Maintaining, Optimizing and Upgrading Your Site in Drupal 6: Part 2

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Maintaining content

As you continue to add content to your web site, you will need to ensure that your content is properly moderated, that old content is removed, and that changes to web site content are tracked.

Creating content revisions

Good Eatin’ Goal: Create revisions of content to ensure that you have a complete record of changes to your web site’s content.

Additional modules needed: None.

Basic steps

We have simply updated our pages as necessary to add new functionality and content. However, if you have many editors, content that changes frequently, a need to view the history of a page, or need the ability to easily return to an old version of a page, you will want to store multiple revisions of your pages.

To do this, carry out the following steps:

  1. Edit the content for which you want to create a new revision.
  2. Make the changes as needed and, before saving, expand the Revision information section.
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  4. Select the Create new revision option and enter a message describing the changes that you have made to the node.
  5. When you save the content, you will see a new tab called Revisions. Clicking on this tab will show you a list of all of the revisions that have been created for the page.
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  7. If you would like to return to an older version of the page, you can click the revert link. Or, if you want to remove an older revision, you can click the delete link to get rid of it permanently.
  8. You can control which users have access to the revision system by using the Permissions Manager. Drupal allows you to control which users can: view revisions, revert revisions, and delete revisions.
  9. If you want to force users to always create new revisions when editing content, edit the content type and then expand the Workflow settings.
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  11. Change the default options to select the Create new revision option. When editors change content, the Create new revision option will be selected by default, and they will not be able to change the option unless they have the administer nodes permission.
  12. If you want to approve all revisions before publication, you can deselect the Published checkbox.

Comparing content revisions

Good Eatin’ Goal: Compare the text of two different revisions of a page.

Additional modules needed: Diff (http://drupal.org/project/diff).

Basic steps

Although the built-in functionality for creating revisions in Drupal works perfectly well, it can be difficult to review the changes that were made in each revision. The Diff module makes comparing revisions very easy.

  1. Begin by installing and activating the Diff module.
  2. To use the Diff module, simply view the revisions for any page. You will notice that the Revisions list has changed to allow you to select the revisions to be compared.
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  4. Select the revisions to compare and then click on the Show diff button. Drupal will then display information about the text that has been changed, added, or deleted.
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Moderate content

Good Eatin’ Goal: Find questionable or offensive content, and remove it from your site, easily.

Additional modules needed: Modr8 (http://drupal.org/project/modr8).

Basic steps

An unfortunate side effect of having a web site on the Internet is that, at some point, a malicious user will attempt to post inappropriate content on your site. If your site is extremely busy, you may find yourself with a large amount of content to review and approve.

The Modr8 module can help you manage the workload and can send emails to users letting them know when their content has been approved or rejected.

  1. Begin by installing and activating the Modr8 module.
  2. The settings for the Modr8 module can be accessed by selecting Site configuration and then Modr8, from the Administer menu.
  3. The basic settings control how often logs are removed. Alternatively, you can choose to keep the logs forever. You can also change the number of items in the moderation queue to be displayed at a time, as well as the default action for the content that requires moderation.
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  5. You can also configure the email settings for the moderation queue, including the text of the emails, and whether or not emails should be sent to the user who posted the content when their content is approved and/or when their content is rejected. You can also choose to send an email if the moderator does not take action for the item and wants to send a note to the author.
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  7. If you would like new content to be added to the moderation queue automatically, you can edit the content type and select the In moderation queue setting in the workflow section.
  8. To view the moderation queue, select Content management and then Moderated content, from the Administer menu.
  9. The moderation queue appears as follows:
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  11. From this page, you can approve, delete, or defer action on any content that needs moderation. After you make your changes, click Save to complete your selections. You can also display a log of all the moderation actions, by clicking on Reports and then Content moderation log. The moderation log appears as follows:
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Allowing users to report questionable or offensive content.

Good Eatin’ Goal: Get feedback from users to learn what they find offensive so the objectionable content can be removed.

Additional modules needed: Abuse (http://drupal.org/project/abuse).

Basic steps

In the last task, we reviewed methods that allowed you to moderate every piece of content that is added to the site. However, this can be a time-intensive task if the proportion of content that you receive that is questionable is low. If this is the case, you can allow your users to help you to moderate the content by using the Abuse module, to let them report items that they find offensive.

This strategy has a couple of advantages. Firstly, you are freed from the maintenance of pre-approving all content before it is published. Secondly, it ensures that the content meets community standards, rather than placing you or your editors in charge of defining community standards.

The Abuse module also has a Watchlist component that allows you to flag content as suspicious or banned, and automatically move them into a queue for review by an administrator.

  1. Begin by downloading and installing the Abuse and Watchlist modules, both of which are included in the Abuse installation.
  2. We will begin by editing the Watchlist settings, which can be accessed by selecting Site configuration and then Watchlist settings, from the Administer menu.
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  4. You can include any words that you want to, in the Watch list and Filtered/banned word list, depending on your target audience and your site’s needs; just make sure that you enter one word per line. Items on the Watch list can be viewed while they are in the review queue, and items on the Filtered/banned word list will be hidden until they are reviewed.
  5. You can also control which items are automatically added to the Watch list or banned list, based on the Watchlist word settings configured above.
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  7. You can also force moderation for specific types if they are more prone to abuse.
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  9. We can now modify the Abuse Moderation settings by selecting Site configuration and then Abuse Moderation settings, from the Administer menu.
  10. The first setting controls what content types are subject to abuse reports.
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  12. The next section of controls how abuse tickets are to be handled by your moderators.
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    If you have multiple moderators for your site, you can select the Abuse Assigned Moderators option. If you use this, you will also need to store the maximum number of items that have been flagged for abuse that are added to the moderator’s queue. If moderators live in different time zones, you can set an hour of the day at which all moderation queues are cleared, so that items do not remain in the moderation queue for an overly-long period of time.

  14. Finally, you can configure the settings related to all of the items that have been flagged as abusive by a user.
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    The Abuse threshold controls how many complaints must be registered for an item before it is moved into the moderation queue. 3 is a good number to start with, but you may want to increase or decrease the threshold depending on the needs of your site.

  16. You can edit the reasons for flagging an item for abuse by selecting Site configuration, then Abuse Moderation settings, and finally Abuse Moderation reasons, from the Administer menu.
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    All available reasons will be listed on the page using a format similar to the example above. You can add new reasons, remove reasons, or change the text for reasons from this page.

  18. Before the abuse module is activated, you need to assign permissions to users, so that they can flag content for review.
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  20. Content that has the abuse module activated will have a new Flag as offensive link added to it, as shown in the following screenshot:
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  22. When the user clicks on the Flag as offensive link, he or she will be presented with a form where he or she can specify their contact information, and a reason why he or she believes that the content is offensive.
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  24. Administrators can review content that has been flagged as offensive by clicking on Content management and then Moderate.
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  26. The administrators can click on the Get More Tickets link to have additional items assigned to them.
  27. Once a ticket has been assigned to them, the administrator can view information about the user who submitted the content as well as the user who flagged the content, and choose what action to take for the content.
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The administrator can either allow the content, or remove the content from the web site. The administrator can also optionally send a warning to the user without further action.

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