Help us help you

Help us improve our online Drupal training resources by giving us feedback.

Like any software, Drupal will continue to get easier with practice. As you're getting familiar with the system, here are some key terms and concepts to keep in mind.


According to the Web Accessibility Initiative, web accessibility means that people with disabilities, as well as older people, can use the web. More specifically, it means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to the web.


Available as a layout option via the Panelizer, accordions can be used to streamline a lot of information into a single page via collapsible panels. They should be used sparingly, but in certain cases they may come in handy.


When you are logged in to Drupal, you will see your changes right away, as will anyone who is viewing that page for the first time. However, if they have already been to that page in their web browser, they might not see the changes. They may need to refresh their browser window, wait about an hour, or look at the page in a different browser. 

This is because the browser "cached" the page they had visited before: It stores the web page for a bit so that the site loads faster. Usually the cache will be cleared within minutes, and it will never be more than six hours.


Callouts provide a way to draw attention to select text on a page, either in full-width format or as a box to the left or right of the text.

CMS (content management system)

A CMS is a computer application that allows publishing, editing, modifying, organizing, deleting, and maintaining content from a central interface. Drupal is the official web CMS of the University of Minnesota.

Content type

Simply put, this is the type of content you're creating, such as AHC Content (the most commonly used), AHC Event, or AHC News.

Eraser tool

Eraser toolSometimes text gets too small, too large, or generally wonky. In addition, your type may look funny when you copy it in from Microsoft Word or other sources. Select all the type and apply the eraser tool. This will clear formatting. The eraser is your friend!


Located at the bottom of your webpages and often consistent throughout the site, the web footer helps people find contact information, social media, and any key links and info that you want to be persistent across your site. 


The layout selected for your web page, making use of columns and sidebars. This can be changed using the Panelizer.


Website navigation is like a road map that enables visitors to explore and discover different areas and information contained within the website. Types of navigation include hiearchical, global, and local.


A node is any piece of content on your site.

Nokomis web theme

Nokomis is the Academic Health Center's official web theme, built on the Drupal platform. The web theme is the combination of visual look, templates, styles, standards, system for content updating, and contributor experience used by one or more websites. Browse AHC websites in the Nokomis theme.

Panes and Panels

When you’re editing content, the Customize Display tab will appear toward the right of your menu bar. This is where you can change the layout of your page (e.g. 1 column, 3 columns, etc.). Within the Panelizer, each layout has Panels. And within each Panel can live multiple Panes, which actually contain the content. 

Red or green highlight boxRed and green highlight box

Red: You can ignore these security update warnings, they are intended for OIT and AHC technical staff. If you experience any issues, email

Green: A confirmation of success!

Reusable content

If you have a certain piece of web content that needs to appear in more than one place on your site, you can create a reusable callout, sidebar, or list of links.


This is your level of access as a user. Many of you will be assigned the senior editor role, with access to add, remove, and publish content.


Styles control how your content looks, from text and links to images and captions. As part of the Nokomis web theme, there are styles built in that you will use to format your web content. 


Tabs screenshotAvailable as a layout option via the Panelizer, tabs can be used to streamline information into a single page via tabbed content. They should be used sparingly, but can offer a good solution for consolidating content.

Web point person

Every web property in the Academic Health Center web support system must have one assigned web point person. This person handles communication between their unit and the AHC web team.


Located in the top menu bar of your dashboard, the workbench features tabs for all the different areas of your site. As a web contributor, you will most often use the Content tab to add/edit pages.

Workbench bar

WYSIWYG editor

"What You See Is What You Get” toolbar, which you’ll use to add images, format your text and images, and more.WYSIWYG bar large