UCL Information Services Division


Drupal features

The Drupal interface is clear and intuitive and we have added help-text and guidance where possible - we will keep adding when required. Back-end tasks like re-ordering pages and restructuring are simple and fast. Workflow, content scheduling, link checking and content review dates help you keep on top of website maintenance.

Content types

Detail pages (Drupal content)

  • Pages
  • News
  • Events
  • Case Studies
  • Research Projects
  • Publications

Detail pages (consuming UCL data)

  • Undergraduate programme pages
  • Postgraduate taught programme pages
  • Postgraduate research programme pages
  • Staff profiles (IRIS)

Landing pages

The main Drupal landing page template is extremely flexible and combines curated teasers (i.e. teasers where you control the content, feeds of Drupal and external content with standard web content to produce a wide variety of content display options. 

The landing page currently includes

  • Teasers (boxes) 
  • Vertical link list with teasers (list)
  • Combined teaser boxes with vertical teaser list (hybrid)
  • External RSS and Drupal content feeds
  • Optional sidebar
  • Optional left menu
  • Two- and three-column box layout
  • Add and remove teasers
  • Change layout without losing content
  • The full range of text editor functionality for certain fields (e.g. image carousels: see below.)

Tagging and feeds

Editors can display dynamic content on landing pages or detail pages based on combining content types with subject tags or organisational units. This allows for easy surfacing of content across the site or across a family of sites e.g. departments within a faculty. 

If required, users can also apply filters to further refine these feeds.

We’re working on further refining the use of feeds by making optional automated ‘latest’ feeds for the sidebars of e.g. news posts.

For more on tagging and feeds please see: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/drupal-support/tagging-and-feeds

Embed media from third-party sites

Editors can embed content within their web pages from the following third-party or UCL platforms:

  • Flickr
  • Google Calendars
  • Google Forms
  • Google Maps
  • Issuu
  • MailChimp newsletter sign up
  • Mixcloud
  • Opinio poll 
  • Research publications  (from RPS)
  • Slideshare
  • SoundCloud
  • Storify
  • Twitter
  • UCL MediaCentral
  • Vimeo
  • YouTube

For more information: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/drupal-support/creating-content/embed-third-party-content 

Design options

Standard Drupal sites all use UCL’s design pattern library Indigo, are fully responsive and accessible and embody the UCL online brand. 

Colour options: The full Indigo colour palette is now available in Drupal: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/indigo-demo/look-and-feel/colour-options

Navigation options: Drupal sites include as standard: horizontal menu/left menu with new and improved UX and clear visual indicators for parent section, current section and sibling sections.

Text editor functionality

The Drupal text editor allow standard formatting as well as layout changes (columns, boxouts, accordions) plus embedded feeds and rich media including image galleries, carousels and third-party media. For a comprehensive list of text editor functionality see: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/drupal-support/editing-toolbar 

Back-end content publishing functionality

As well as the front-end functionality that creates web content, Drupal also contains useful back-end content management features including but not limited to:

  • Clear help text and labels
  • Well-structured and semantic content layouts to support SEO
  • Industry approved optimised meta tags for content sharing (OpenGraph, Twitter Cards and many more).
  • Content approvals and workflow
  • Content scheduling
  • Automatic 301 redirects when page titles or menus change
  • Automatic generation of clean, readable URLs
  • Easy moving and saving of pages
  • Bulk upload of media

Drupal roadmap

The primary aim for the first phase of Drupal development will be to replace Silva and all the features and functionality available currently.

We will continue to add functionality over the next 12-18 months as Silva sites are moved into Drupal.

You can request new functionality by emailing web-support@ucl.ac.uk with details and expected benefits.

Generally we will implement functionality:

  • It benefits a wide segment of our user base and can be rolled out to all/many areas
  • It doesn’t conflict with our technical strategy or with accessibility and best practice advice
  • As with all work, it will be prioritised according to our web prioritisation policy (find this on our Drupal page)

The Drupal roadmap will always be available on this page and we will communicate regularly with all editors on recently requested functionality and status (via our e-newsletter and blog):

What will load times be like in Drupal?
Sharing between sites will be easier, can you share objects from one page to another such as tables? 
Will infographics be available?
Will password protected areas be possible?
Why are we not able to use staff directory data?
Can we schedule publishing?
Can we crop images, tag them and drag them into the Media Library?
Will the migration deal with images that are not the right size?
Can you embed content from other sites or HTML? 
Does Drupal have an API?