Where's the Love for Drupal Content Editors? (UPDATED)
One of the great things about Drupal from a developer perspective is access to a large, supportive community of other Drupal developers from which I learn every day. If I'm having trouble figuring out how to achieve something, a quick Google search will often reveal the solution to my problem in just a few clicks.
But a large reason that Drupal has become such a popular tool is that it provides ease of use (or should when developed properly), for clients, who ultimately become the day to day users and maintainers of the sites we build. Once the site is handed over, there is usually a person or a small group of people responsible for maintaining the site, editing, and entering new content. Every project should include some time for training clients on how to manage the beautiful new site you have created for them.
The technical expertise of editors can vary widely—from knowledge of basic HTML, to folks who find anything more than checking their email scary and intimidating. Additionally, as has been pointed out before, Drupal is an extremely flexible framework, which can be put together in many different ways. Depending on the skill and knowledge of the developer, a client might end up with a basic blank form in which they have to create pages and images from scratch—or a user-friendly site with edit links on every major content block that keeps them from every having to touch the scary back end admin area.
I think this may be one reason why there are so few generic resources available online for end users. A search for 'Drupal content editor training' mostly yields links to a few university run courses (usually for staff) and the occasional online seminar. The lack of openly available web resources for new Drupal content editors seems to a huge void that not many people in the Drupal developer community have addressed.
Over the coming weeks, I will be thinking more about this and writing posts on specific aspects of Drupal that may be confusing to the new Drupal editor. Developers—what do you think are some baseline things content editors who have little Drupal experience need to know? Editors, what questions do you have about how to maintain your Drupal sites?
UPDATE: Commenter Marilyn Langfeld has taken this ball and run with it and created a new group for Drupal managers and content editors on Drupal.org. Hopefully this will be a central place to share some basic knowledge about administering Drupal and for new Drupal managers to get their questions answers. Head on over and join the conversation if you're so inclined.