Drupal Vocabulary


A user-friendly name to replace the internal path that the system assigns to a URL on the site. For example, you might assign an alias of /about to the About page on your site, to replace the internal path /node/5. This would give the page a URL of https://example.com/about instead of https://example.com/node/5. 


One of two content types that are enabled in the standard installation profile. Articles are used for time-sensitive content like news, press releases or blog posts. (As opposed to Basic pages)

Basic page

One of two content types that are enabled in the standard installation profile. Typically basic pages are used for static content that can (but are not required to) be linked into the main navigation bar. 


The boxes visible in the regions of a Drupal website. Most blocks are generated on-the-fly by various Drupal modules, but they can be created in the administer blocks area of a Drupal site.


A set of pages tied together in a hierarchical sequence, perhaps with chapters, sections, subsections, and so on. You can use books for manuals, site resource guides, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), or whatever you’d like. To use books, enable the core Book module.

The set of links, usually near the top of the page, that shows the path you followed to locate the current page. For example, it might show Home > Macadamia Nuts > Current Events > News Articles, meaning that you started at the home page, clicked on “Macadamia Nuts” in the menu, then selected “Current Events” in the sub-menu, and finally selected, “News Articles.” The term breadcrumbs is borrowed from Hansel and Gretel, who left crumbs of bread along their path so they could find their way back out of the forest.


Objects that can have hierarchical relationships, such as menu items, book pages, taxonomy terms and so on. A “child” menu item, for example, is nested under another menu item, which is referred to as the “parent” menu item.

clean URL

A URL that does not contain code. By default, Drupal uses and generates URLs for your site’s pages that look like “http://www.example.com/?q=node/83.” By enabling clean URLs this will be rewritten to “http://www.example.com/node/83”.


Content Management System (CMS), in the context of a website, serves as a collection of tools that allow the creation, modification, organization, search, retrieval and removal of information. Besides Drupal, other CMS's include Wordpress and Joomla!


The text, images, and other information on a web site. Besides nodes there is more content on a typical Drupal site, such as comments and file attachments.

content type

Every node belongs to a single “node type” or “content type”, which defines various default settings for nodes of that type, such as whether the node is published automatically and whether comments are permitted. Common "Content Types" that just about any website would have include: blog post and page. Content types can have different fields and modules can define their own content types. The core Drupal Book and Poll modules are two examples of modules that define content types.


The files and modules included with the Drupal project download.

custom block

Custom blocks differ from normal blocks as you may create multiple instances of a block to place on your site.


Any defined chunk of data in Drupal. This includes things like nodes, users, taxonomy terms, files, etc. Contributed modules can define custom entities. Each entity type can have multiple bundles.


Elements of data that can be attached to a node or other Drupal entities. Fields commonly contain text, terms, or an image.


A tool for stripping out HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and other undesirable elements from content before pages are displayed. Other filters add formatting and features such as smilies. It is possible to create custom filters that allow or forbid only those tags you wish. More information is available at the Text filters and Input Formats page.

human readable

Also user-friendly name. The text string used to identify a resource as displayed in the user interface, as opposed to the machine name used for internal purposes of the computer program.

In Drupal, the term refers both to the clickable navigational elements on a page, and to Drupal’s internal system for handling requests. When a request is sent to Drupal, the menu system uses the provided URL to determine what functions to call.


Code that extends Drupal features and functionality (but doesn't provide the HTML markup or styling of a theme). Drupal core comes with required (pre-installed) modules and some which are optional. Thousands of non-core or “contrib” modules are listed in the project directory. 


Node ID. The unique identifier for each node. It can be found in the path to the node. For example, a node with path, “http://drupal.org/node/937”, has a node ID of “937”.


A piece of content in Drupal, typically corresponding to a single page on the site, that has a title, an optional body, and perhaps additional fields. Every node also belongs to a particular content type, and can additionally be classified using the taxonomy system. Examples of nodes are polls, stories, book pages and images.


In Drupal, a permission is a tool for controlling access to content creation, modification and site administration at the application level. Administrators assign permissions to roles (such as "Administrator", "Authenticated User" and "Anonymous User"), then assign users to those roles. The first user of a Drupal site (User1) automatically receives all permissions. In operating systems like UNIX, permissions are security settings restricting or allowing users to access information or perform certain functions at the operating system level. In the case of files on UNIX systems, there are three types of permissions: read, write and execute.


The state of a node that can be viewed by visitors to the website. To easily hide nodes from the public (i.e. anonymous role), go to the add/edit form of the node and uncheck the “Published” select box. This effectively unpublishes the node.

reference field

A type of field that allows authors to create a relationship between an entity and one or more other entities. For example, authors might "tag" an article with taxonomy terms using a Term Reference field. Other reference fields can be used to define other kinds of relationship (for example, between nodes and other nodes, or nodes and users). Depending on the Drupal version and/or contributed modules installed, these might be called Entity Reference, Node Reference or User Reference fields.


Defined areas of a page where content can be placed. Basic regions include: Header, Footer, Content, Left sidebar, Right Sidebar. Different themes can define different regions so the options are often different per-site. Content is assigned to regions via blocks. They can be ordered by weight within regions to define the order in which they display. Content with a more negative weight, such as -10, will appear above content with a more positive weight, such as 1.


A name for a group of users, to which you can collectively assign permissions. There are two predefined, locked roles for every new Drupal installation: authenticated user (anyone with an account on the site) and anonymous user (those who haven't yet created accounts or are not logged in). Additional roles can be created and users can belong to more than one. See users, permissions and roles.


Really Simple Syndication. A family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blog entries, news headlines or podcasts. An RSS document (which is called a “feed” or “web feed” or “channel”) contains either a summary of content (“teaser”) from an associated web site or the full text. RSS is one of the many ways of connecting a Drupal website with external sites, systems and data.


In Drupal, "Taxonomy" is the name of a powerful core module that gives your sites use of terms. In Drupal, these terms are gathered within vocabularies which the Taxonomy module allows you to create, manage and apply.


A short introductory sentence or paragraph about a piece of content that informs readers about the subject of the content. By default, the first paragraph or two of the content is used (there is a setting for how much), usually with a link to the complete node.


An organizational keyword, known in other systems as categories or metadata. A term is a label that can be applied to a node. They are also known as tags.


A collection of templates files, configuration files and asset files (JavaScript, CSS, images, fonts) which together determine the look and feel of a site. A theme contains elements such as the header, icons, block layout, etc. Drupal modules define themeable functions which can be overridden by the theme file. There are additional themes available in the themes section of downloads.


User ID. The unique identifier for each user. It can be found in the path to the user profile, e.g. “http://drupal.org/user/1”


uniform resource locator. The address that defines the route to locate an object on an Internet server. Generally, the syntax for a URL contains the scheme, host-name, port, path and filename, e.g. http://www.drupal.org/node/937


user experience. An umbrella term referring to the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a website. It is important to note that this “includes only what the user perceives and not all that is presented.”


A view is a listing of displayed information. A site builder using Views Module can create, manage and display a list of content. By default, views may be created that list content (a Node view type), or users (a User view type). A view scans your website using any criteria you specify and presents the results in the format of your choice. Each view uses a table in the database as a "base table" to build a list of objects. That display is provided in either block or page form. A single view may have multiple displays. A view may be restricted to members of specific user roles, and may be added, edited or deleted at the views administration page. For more technical users, views can be understood as a user interface to compose SQL-queries, pulling information (Content, Users, etc.) from the database and showing it on screen in the desired format.

view display

In reference to the Views module above, view displays are created inside of a view to display the objects fetched by the view in different manners. For example, a view called "Blog Posts" might have view displays for "Top 5", "Most Recent", or "Posts by Author".


A vocabulary is a collection of terms. Click here to read more.


Weights define the priority or order in which a function or hook is processed or a block / node is displayed (e.g. menu items). Lower weight values (-10) float to the top of lists, while heavier (+10) weights appear lower.


WYSIWYG (pronounced Whizzy-whig)

What You See Is What You Get. An acronym used in computing to describe a method in which content is edited and formatted by interacting with an interface that closely resembles the final product.

zebra striping

Alternating colors behind rows of data. This is often used in tabular data where rows of data alternate background colors between white and a shade of gray.

Glossary definitions taken from Drupal.org