A node is a piece of individual content, such as a page, poll, article. On a Drupal site, all nodes are stored in the filesystem until they are accessed. Once a node has been inserted into the filesystem it is treated as a normal file and can be read and written to.
A node is a piece of individual content
A node is a piece of individual content, such as a page, poll, article. The term “node” was first coined by Drupal developers in order to describe these types of content and has evolved into a kind of convenience.
Why not just use the term “content”?
A node is a piece of individual content. A page is a piece of content that can be accessed from the front-end of your website: you can navigate through it and read it. A poll is a piece of content that can be voted on or responded to by readers. But we also need to remember how we define nodes in drupal: they are pieces of individual content which are used as containers for other pieces of individual content (a poll, for example). If you want to provide links or images within your polls and articles, then those should extend an existing node — but they shouldn’t actually be part of that node!
All nodes have their own unique ID
Every Drupal website contains a single content tree. And every node in that tree has an identifier. A node with a unique ID is called a “node” and the identifier is called its “ID”.
This is what many people mean when they say “The node in the content tree has a unique ID” or simply “A node with a unique ID.”
The important thing to notice here is that IDs are not really numbers. They are strings of characters, often embedded in arrays of bytes, which can be compressed and decompressed. These strings only have meaning once they have been interpreted as numbers by your computer’s processor, so it’s possible to write them out and then read them back as numbers without error, but the only way to truly understand the information contained in an ID string is to decode it into its component parts (data) before you do anything with it (the data can be read from or written to by some other component). They may also be used for navigating through layers of data more easily than nodes can be (“id” being just one example).
Nodes can be managed in bulk using Views
There are a couple of key differences between Drupal’s content management system and most other software. Views is the primary way that Drupal manages content, but it’s not the only way.
Drupal has included a vast array of useful Views modules over the years, but there are a lot more than just these two:
• • • • • • • • Dcolors DendroArchitect Dmodify Dpod_view Dredact_view Dsettings Dstatements_view Druntime Drush_interface Drush_jobs Drush_nodejs Drush_pages DrushViews Drupal 8 has added a number of new Views modules, including:
• Drupal Core Views v1 (aka Page Views)
• Content Alignment Views
• Hinge Views
• Open Graph Tags Views
• Revisions & Rebuilds Views
These are listed in alphabetical order. Some of them have multiple versions based on their API capabilities and can be installed via Composer. Others are standalone packages. All of them have been developed by one or more contributors, so they’re often quite different from each other. Their API is documented on the Drupal Documentation site; you can browse source code or download binaries directly from the Composer page for each module. They are all very similar in terms of how they work, so it’s probably easiest to look at the most recent version (the one for Drupal 8). It’s also worth noting that most modules can be used without installing any code at all — this is usually called “out-of-the-box” functionality and it’s pretty common in Drupal 7 as well. If you need to modify how something works post-installation, though, you will need to install additional files or use some custom code (which is generally not recommended). Most modules also come with examples which should show you how to implement a given module using Composer, but those examples may not cover everything. We’ll cover those later in this article as well. So what is a node? Essentially it’s any piece of content like an article, poll or page and includes any block elements (like blocks), comments and fields (such as taxonomy fields). There are many ways to organize and manage nodes in Drupal 7 though there aren’t many ways to organize nodes in Drupal 8 yet either — if you want to create your own organization schemes for your nodes then we’ll cover that next time!
Best practices for using nodes in Drupal
A node is a piece of content that lives on Drupal’s filesystem and can be exported to other applications. You can think of a node as the “head” of the Drupal site: it contains some minimal information about the site (the URL, the data that makes up the layout) and is where you upload your content. If you’re not storing any additional information on your node, it should be very simple to export it to another application.
It’s not just about the content, it’s about the way it is organised and used. It’s about how people find and use your site, their habits, their context.
That’s the real point of drupal. It’s not just a CMS.
It’s a platform for building communities around different ideas, connecting them to one another and sharing what they learn with each other. And that’s why everyone loves Drupal: it gives them a chance to be part of something larger than themselves.
It has been said that the reason so many people are using Drupal is because they want to be part of a community that cares about them – about making their experience with Drupal better for them and for everyone else too. It seems we can’t help but being part of that community too!