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.

Are you still missing editing rights to Drupal? See how to get editing rights is structured around hubs doesn’t have a hierarchical 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

A screen capture of the Drupal editing menu with the links "Content", "Add content" and the list of content types highlighted.

Adding content

To add new content to, you must first be logged in. A white menu bar will appear at the top of your browser. Click on “Content" in the menu bar. This will take you to a search menu for all content, where you can click on a blue button that says “+ Add content”. You can also choose the type of content you want to create directly from the list that appears when you hover over “Content” and "Add content". The most common content types are Article, News, Event, Research group and Service.

Learn the basics of each page type

Page restrictions

Once you have chosen the content type, you should decide whether your page will be public or restricted to the Aalto Community only. Content restricted to the Aalto Community is only visible to logged-in users. If you choose to make your page public, the content will be visible to 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 restrict the content for the Aalto Community by adding the 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 is made at the bottom of each component.

Language versions

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

How to translate your content

Tagging your content

Every new page needs metadata. This section looks slightly different for different content types, but simply enter data that best describes your content. This will have an immediate effect when it comes to filtering 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.

Components: how to create content for

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


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!

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.

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.

FAQ on and Drupal

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

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

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.

Workday Learning sovellus käytössä. Kuvaaja / Unto Rautio

All Drupal instructions

This page compiles all Drupal instructions. Drupal is the content management system of the website.

This service is provided by:

Communications Services

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