Frequently Asked Questions

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If you've prepared your Drupal-based site "off-line" so you can test it before you make it live, here's how you move that test site into the production environment

  1. Install the Backup & Migrate Drupal module in your development site.
  2. Use Backup & Migrate to make a backup of the database that holds your site's contents.
  3. Download the backup file to your local computer.
  4. Install Drupal in your site on the HSU Central Web Server.
  5. Install the Backup & Migrate Drupal module in your site on the Central Web Server.
  6. Copy over the "structural" files you need from your old file directory to your new one, including themes, modules, and file folders.
  7. Upload the backup file to your new site on the Central Web Server.
  8. Use the Backup & Migrate module to restore the contents of your old site to your new site.

If you have any problems moving your dev site, contact the Technology Help Desk at (707) 826-HELP (4357),, or submit a trouble ticket.

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To view a the status of your modules (to find out which need to be udpated):

  1. We always recommend you back up your site before making any major changes. We recommend the Backup & Migrate module for your database, but you should also manually download (SFTP) your files & modules directory.
  2. Log in to your site
  3. Visit Administer > Reports > Available updates
  4. Each module is listed in either green, yellow, or red
    1. Green: Up to date
    2. Yellow: Update available (we recommend you update)
    3. Red: Security update required!
  5. Click the download link next to each module you wish to update. The file will download to your computer, where you can decompress it (it is in a .tar.gz file format).
  6. SFTP to (production server) or (development server)
  7. Navigate to your site's public_html folder and upload the decompressed module folder to the modules directory
  8. Note:  You may wish to update only one module at a time, refreshing the "Available updates" screen after each upload. Occasionally, an updated module can cause you to get a WSOD (White Screen of Death) with no helpful troubleshooting information. By updating one module at a time, you can pinpoint which module caused the WSOD. As a short term fix, you can replace the module folder with your previous module folder (that you backed up in step 1). You'll have to research why the newest module isn't working. In many cases, it may be dependent on another module*, which should be updated first. 
  9. Once you've finished updating your modules, you want to run update.php again to catch any database update steps.

*For example, a prior version of the Context module did NOT require the CTools module. The new version did. Updating the Context module caused an unexplainable WSOD. Looking at the website for Context revealed its dependency on CTools. Installing the CTools module and THEN updating the Context module solved the WSOD problem.

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Anytime the university upgrades Drupal OR if you upload any updated modules, you'll want to run update.php. Follow these instructions to do so:

  1. We always recommend you back up your site before making any major changes. We recommend the Backup & Migrate module.
  2. Edit your settings.php file on the web server and change FALSE to TRUE for the $update_free_access statement ($update_free_access = TRUE;). (You can access this file by SFTPing to (production server) or (development server) and navigating to your site's public_html folder). Note: It's very important that you change this back to FALSE at the end of this process.
  3. Run update.php by visiting
  4. The update script will walk you through the process and may present you with options to select which version.  Typically, you can leave these as default unless you have reason to change them.
  5. The final page will display any warnings or errors. You should take note of these as some may require you to fix a problem. (Often problems are fixed by updating the referenced module or one it is dependent on)
  6. VERY IMPORTANT: Edit your settings.php file on the web server and change TRUE to FALSE for the $update_free_access statement ($update_free_access = FALSE;).  (You can access this file by SFTPing to (production server) or (development server) and navigating to your site's public_html folder).
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ITS installs and maintains (periodically updates) the following modules.  Modules marked with an * are enabled by default.  Other modules can be enabled in the Modules Administrative menu.

Core Modules:

  • Aggregator
  • Block*
  • Blog
  • BlogAPI
  • Book
  • Color*
  • Comment*
  • Contact
  • Database logging*
  • Filter*
  • Forum
  • Help*
  • Locale*
  • Menu*
  • Node*
  • OpenID
  • Path*
  • PHP filter
  • Ping
  • Poll
  • Profile*
  • Search*
  • Statistics
  • Syslog
  • System*
  • Taxonomy*
  • Throttle
  • Tracker
  • Translation
  • Trigger
  • Update status*
  • Upload
  • User*


  • Content *
  • Content Copy
  • Content Permissions*
  • Fieldgroup
  • Node Reference
  • Number*
  • Option Widgets*
  • Text*
  • User Reference


  • Chart API
  • Chart API Views Integration
  • Drupal System Charting


  • Calendar
  • Calendar iCal
  • Calendar Multiday
  • Calendar Popup
  • Date
  • Date API*
  • Dale Locale
  • Date PHP4
  • Date Popup
  • Date Repeat API
  • Date Timezone*
  • Date Tools


  • SimpleTest

Input Filters:

  • SpamSpan*

LDAP Integration:

  • Authentication*
  • Data
  • Groups*


  • Country Codes API
  • Region Codes API

Meta tags:

  • Nodewords
  • Nodewords - basic meta tags
  • Nodewords - extra meta tags
  • Nodewords - site verification meta tags


  • DHTML Menu
  • FCKEditor
  • Global Redirect
  • IMCE*
  • No Request New Pass
  • Path filter*
  • Poormanscron
  • Site map
  • String Overrides*
  • Token
  • Token actions
  • TokenSTARTER
  • Webform


  • Services

Services - authentication:

  • Key Authentication

Services - servers:

  • XMLRPC Server

Services - services:

  • Comment Service
  • Countries API Service
  • File Service
  • Menu Service
  • Node Resource
  • Node Service
  • Regions API Service
  • Search Service
  • Taxonomy Service
  • User Service
  • Views Service


  • Google Analytics

User Interface:

  • IMCE Wysiwyg API bridge
  • jQuery UI
  • Wysiwyg


  • Views
  • Views exporter
  • Views UI
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Anyone adding content to a site must have completed the ATI Training and be listed as a developer on your site. Follow these steps to add a new Drupal user to your tea

  1. Have the person log into your site with their HSU User Name and Password.
  2. Once they’ve done that, the site administrator should go to Administer > User management > Users, click "Edit" by the new person's user name, and select the roles that the user should have.

Note: Don’t use the Add User link from the User menu! Using this will force people to use a different password than their HSU User Name Password.

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  1. Login to your site (
  2. Click "Administer" in the navigation menu
  3. Click "Blocks"
  4. In the Footer section, click "configure" next to "Contact Information"
  5. Update the information and links as necessary.
  6. Click "Save block"

For more information, see the Drupal QuickStart Guide.

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Check out the Drupal QuickStart Guide.

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Converting a site to Drupal will take some time. You'll need to copy each page of your site and reset all of the links - it's about the same amount of work as moving your existing content to a completely new site. For someone unfamiliar with how Drupal works, we found that it took about 3.5 hours to move a 15 page site. The first hour and a half were spent reading instructions and getting a feel for how Drupal works. After that, it took about five to ten minutes per page (as long as you don't stop to change/edit the pages as you work). To help you, we've prepared some useful Drupal conversion hints and tips.

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Your first priority is to ensure that your site is fully accessible. When you're ready to start experimenting with Drupal, we encourage you to get a second development site on the server so that you can explore using a non-live site without accidentally messing anything up on the live site.

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Drupal is a software platform that enables individuals, teams, and communities to easily publish, manage, and organize content on the web. For HSU, this means you can use Drupal to create your web site at no cost instead of paying for a license to use Dreamweaver. Drupal is all web-based, so there's no software to install, and you can control who's allowed to edit what if you have multiple people editing your site. HSU's Drupal license incorporates an HSU "theme", giving your site an easily-recognizable HSU appearance.