Beginner's guide to Drupal

This guide functions as a portal to instructional content for new editors. Here you will learn about the basic structure of, its content management system Drupal, and find links to other tutorials.
Illustration that shows how is built on independent hubs and pages and doesn't have a hierarchy. is not a hierarchal website, instead it's built around hubs. is structured around hubs doesn’t have a hierarchial page structure. Instead, the website is structured around something called hubs, each with their own main page. The hubs focus on a specific topic and user group, for example, the School of Business or Research & Art. site structure

Screenshot of in editor mode with the Manage-menu shown on the left and the option Content highlighted.

Adding content

To add new content to, you need to be logged in. A black bar appears at the top of the browser with a menu icon and the text "Manage" next to it. Click the text and then "Content" in the grey side bar that appears. This will lead you to a search menu for all content. There is also a blue button on the page that reads "+ Add content". Click it and choose the page type that you want to create. The most common ones are Article, News, Events, Research groups and Services.

Learn the basics of each page type

Page restrictions

When you have chosen page type, you should decide whether your page should be public or visible for the Aalto Community only, meaning that only logged-in users can see the content. If you choose to make your page public, the content will appear for anyone searching the web. For news and events, this is done by choosing between "Visible only to Aalto Community" and "Public for everyone" at the top. For articles, you can lock the content for Aalto Community by adding a role restriction, Aalto Autentikoitu, at the bottom. This can also be done for specific components on the page, for example, an internal news feed. The selection done at then end of each component.

Language versions

By default, the page is created in the language version that you chose for, but you can change language at the top to any of Finnish, Swedish and English. Once you have created one language version, we recommend to add one or two translations. Note that you can add components only to the original language version and then translate any text in them in the translation.

How to translate your content

Tagging your content

Every new page needs metadata. This section looks slightly different for different content types, but simply put in data that best describes your webpage. This will have an immediate effect when it comes to filter content in advanced searches and automatic liftups.

Utilise content tagging

Aalto logo on campus. Photo by Mikko Raskinen.

Adding images

Pages at can have a main image. You can either select a pre-existing image or upload a new one.

There are some tricks and tips to consider when you want to add your own image to Drupal. The website is adapted to work on different devices and for a diversity of users. As editors, we need to make sure our images are accessible and add value to the content. For example, all images should have an alternative text that describes the image and fit different devices. Alternative text describes what the image contains: do not write here the file name or add caption, as that is done in a separate caption field.

Also, make sure that your images aren't larger than needed. Large images take longer to load and eat up server space. Normally 1 mb in size is enough.

How to get good results when adding images

Add components to create content

Once you start creating your first page, you need to add so called components to be able to add any text or media. A useful component for linking to other content is liftups, which the boxes below are an example of.

Drupal image for Comms use only. Abstract graphic with orange semi-circles and squares on a red background..

Components: how to create content for

Get to know the components for creating versatility and visuality when delivering your content.

What are the liftups graphic

Liftups visualise content

Here, you will find a short description of and a link to the different liftup components available to you at With them, you can visualise and highlight the versatile content on the site.


Links and attachments

When creating web content, it’s vital to link to other content at or elsewhere on the web. However, there are a few things to consider when adding a link, like checking that it works after publishing. Attachments should normally be in .pdf format. Also, don’t miss the document storage guidelines that all editors need to follow.

Tips on using links, liftups and attachments

Document storage guidelines for

Feeling unsure how to start?

A laptop and papers on a table.

Best practices for Drupal beginners

New at Drupal and having trouble designing a good-looking page? Look no further! Here are some best practices for creating content at


Get out there and publish stuff!

Great, you should now be ready to publish your first page! You can find all tutorials and news concering editing at at the website hub, or check out the FAQ page if you have a specific question. You can also contact us if you need support. Have fun with Drupal!

On the right edge a person with shoulder-length hair is moving out of the picture; behind them is a black background with narrow light strings horizontally on it.

Drupal: website

Here, you can find instructions on how to make the most out of to visualise your pages and make your content findable. This page is also for the latest Drupal news and events.

Harald Herlin Learning Centre, a view from the second floor to downstairs reading area. Photo by Aalto University / Tuomas Uusheimo

FAQ on and Drupal

Find answers to some commonly asked questions regarding and its content management system Drupal.

Drupal: website
Workday Learning sovellus käytössä. Kuvaaja / Unto Rautio

Need help with your Drupal content?

There is an abundance of resources available to web editors at Learn about online resources, trainings and meetups that will help you create great content.

Drupal: website
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