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Drupal Tips


  • The SIU School of Medicine webpage (.edu) was updated on May 1, 2017. Its design and structure mirrors (formerly is the academic webspace of SIU School of Medicine. is the webspace of SIU Medicine, the clinical practice.

  • Drupal is the name of the Content Management System we are now using.

  • For consistency, the design and structure of the website is not changable. Departments should focus on creating and maintaining well-written, engaging content and photographs to attract and retain web users.

  • Your Communications/Marketing “content coach” can assist you with content questions. (

  • IT can assist in functionality/structure questions.  (

Overview talk. (.pdf) and initial training presentation (.pdf)


  1. LOGIN: (use email credentials)
  2. Click “My Workbench”
  3. Click “create content”
  4. Choose appropriate template - Read the descriptions of each for guidance.
  5. Copy/paste text/write/add photos if needed
  6. Choose your “Groups” Audience (your dept.) - 
    1. To select more than one audience, hold down "ctrl".
    2. If there are other “depts./offices” who should see the info, let your content coach know.
  7. Primary group needed for all pieces of content –
    1. this is critical to have the content tied to YOUR group (aka “breadcrumb” in the URL) (PR/Marketing will add other groups as needed).
    2. HOW TO DO IT: At the bottom of your content type, below “Groups Audience” is “Primary Group” – select your Dept./Office.
  8. Select the appropriate audience(s) and missions
  9. Publish to SOM/Medicine/Intranet if appropriate
  10. Click “provide a menu link” if you want it listed in your dept/office menu.
  11. Save
  12. Review your draft. 
  13. Click “Needs Review” when you want your content coach to review your draft. Once it is approved by your coach, the content will "go live."

How to View Your Content

Content box will show all pieces of content created ( group name). At the top in the gray bar should be the word “Content.” 

Points to Consider As You Create Content

1. Who is the primary audience of your content?
2. What is the primary message of this content?
3. Does this content need to be public? Can it be on the intranet? Disseminated a different way? (server, email)
3. What is the origin of the information?
4. How will you keep it current?
5. What is the most important information your audience needs to know?
6. Has the content already been created? Do a quick search and communicate with other departments to avoid duplicating content. The Office of Marketing and Communications can "tag" other departments to minimize duplication and promote integration of resources.
7. See web writing document.

Content Types (see examples)

All the content types have a brief description of how they should be used. A few content types are similar. If you need help, contact your Content Coach for guidance. 


  • Use pictures when appropriate. Not every page needs a photo.
  • Pictures must be uploaded. DO NOT copy and paste a photo into the text box. It will not transfer and you'll be left with a broken link once it's published. 
  • Photos must be RGB, not CMYK. A color shift will occur if using CMYK photos. If the colors in your image look off or overly saturated, it's probably in CMYK. Contact the Office of Marketing & Communication for help. 
  • Pictures must be of good quality.
  • Follow the notes included in Drupal that advise on file size and minimum pixels. 
  • Crop as needed.
  • A web photos library is available to web content coordinators. Email for access. Additional photos will be added to the library over time. If you have a specific request, ask your Content Coach.

To Upload a Photo:

  1. In the Body window, click the photo icon.
  2. Click "Browse Server"
  3. CLick "Upload"
  4. FInd your photo and upload it - be sure it conforms to the image requirements of the content type.
  5. Click "Upload"
  6. Click "Insert File"
  7. Adjust size, spacing and alignment as necessary.
  8. Click OK.

"Call-to-Action"/Sliding Banner Photos

Call-to-action (CTA) banner photos appear at the top of the department homepages and give users instructions to do something, i.e. "contact us, view a video, attend an event." Because CTA photos must be created in Photoshop, the Office of Marketing and Communications will create all banners. Please note that no more than five CTAs can be used. Only approved photographs can be used. 

More Details

Content Creation - Basic Word editing capabilities are included.

Calendar Events - Event must be an SIU-organized event, or SIU must directly benefit from the event (e.g., fundraising) to be posted.

Edit Summary - Give a brief description with keywords - this helps with SEO for search engines like Google.

Faculty Profiles - Academic/research and doctor/health care provider profiles are separate to satisfy two primary audiences: learners and colleagues; and patients. Departments are responsible for completing academic profiles; Marketing & Communications will maintain health care provider profiles. When creating an academic profile, please include undergratuate and graduate school information in "school" box. Only full-time faculty should be included as a separate bio. Please note: At this time, there is not a staff profile content type.

Links - When linking to another piece of content within, you can eliminate the (absolute link) and just type in the url from the first forward slash  /   (relative link)

Menus - Menus - the purple bar near the top of the page - must be kept to one line. Clinical and research departments, clerkships, etc. have consistent, structured menus. Other departments/offices may not. Please contact Marketing & Communications for help.

PDFs are difficult to access and read on mobile devices. Therefore, limit the use of PDFs whenever possible. If it is a simple 1 or 2-page document, simply copy and paste in a Basic Page template. Don’t add the SIU logo to the document – it already is on the web template.

Powerpoint files must be converted to .pdfs. 

Tables - Are difficult to read on a mobile device, difficulty to format correctly within Drupal and rarely print as expected. Consider eliminating tables and using lists or simple text.

ANCHOR text -

1. Select anchor point and click the Flag/Anchor icon in the Body editing section.
2. Give it a name. Copy/paste this text. Say OK.
3. Select the text on which you want to place the anchor.  Click link icon.
4. Select "Link Type" dropdown box.  Select "Link to anchor in the text." 
5. Select the appropriate name from dropdown box and click OK.


"I can't see my content." -- Select "My Drafts" tab.  Push your content to "Needs Review" for moderation.

"I don't see "My Workbench" - login again to -- or put in https: before the url.


We have created helpful guidelines to improve your web writing. Includes style guide, formattng guide, SEO tips, and how to write faculty bios. Feinberg School of Medicine also has an extensive writing guide.