Website nodes for Drupal as a key to building reference lists and footnoting

Date: Thu Jan 14 2010 Drupal »»»» Drupal CCK »»»» Drupal Tutorial »»»» Drupal Planet
For several years I've used a CCK content type named 'Website'. The purpose has been to simply list links to websites for my reference and others benefit. The traffic on my sites shows that the website links (specifically the taxonomy pages listing the website nodes) are popular and in some cases the most popular part of the sites. In general "resources" pages are an old practice on the web, you'd see a "Resources" page on most sites that's a simple list of links to useful sites. Those resources pages can be a goldmine of usefulness, and that's what the 'Website' node is meant to implement, at a larger scale of usefulness.

The content type is very simple:

  • Create a CCK content type. I like to name it 'website' but y'all might have a better idea for the name.
  • Enable the following modules: Link and emfield (and its included modules like extaudio, extvideo, etc)
  • Add those as fields to your 'website' content type. It's useful to allow for unlimited number of links

This gives you a title, description, and links to useful resources. I include the emfield modules because some useful resources are on video sharing sites. The emfield module lets you link to a video on a video sharing site, and supports playing the video without the user leaving your site.

The last thing to do is set up taxonomy support for website nodes. The choices are whether to use a flexible vocabulary, or not, and whether to have a vocabulary specifically for website nodes, or not.

I generally use flexible vocabularies. Unfortunately choosing good keywords is apparently an art lost on most people. If your site has a large population of "regular" people a large number will not understand the art of good keyword choice and you'll end up with a slew of nonuseful vocabulary terms. It might be best to instead have a fixed vocabulary with a larger user base.

By having a vocabulary just for website nodes the taxonomy list pages for that vocabulary will automatically be resource pages. This can be useful, or not. On this site the website nodes have the same vocabulary as the blog posts meaning that the taxonomy list pages have a mix of blog entries and web links, and the taxonomy list pages are not useful resource pages. If blog, book, etc & website nodes are in separate vocabularies it creates a dual navigation structure on your site. One set of taxonomy list pages are for blog and book nodes, while the other is for website nodes. It depends on your preference whether to mix them together or not.