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This guide provides instructions and information about Stanford Web Services Jumpstart platform, based on Drupal 7.

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Help vs. Private Page

Stanford Help Feature vs Stanford Private Page Feature: When to use which?

Looking for a private section on your site to share information privately with your site members? Stanford Web Services has two features that can help you with what you need: the “Stanford Help” feature, and the “Stanford Private Page” feature.

Stanford Help Feature

The Help feature creates a content type, that when used with Content Access, can restrict viewing to only users with the Site Owner or Editor roles. These help pages are intended for storing customized documentation related specifically to your site that is pertinent to the maintainenance of your site, and use an authentication layer to prevent the information from being visible to the public and search robots.

Stanford Private Page Feature

Alternatively, Stanford Web Services has also created the Private Page feature which allows you to add pages to your site that are visible only to "Site Members" (see definition below). These "Private Pages" can be used to facilitate the building of a simple intranet on your Drupal site for unidirectional communication, and includes an optional Private Page Section subfeature that helps you get started with building a private section on your site. For more complex intranet/collaboration/communication needs, we recommend reviewing our blog post on intranets for purpose-built alternatives.

Similar to the Help feature, the Private Page feature also uses the Content Access module to allow the site administrator to use permissions to limit the roles that can view and edit the private pages. However, unlike the Help feature, Private Pages are intended to be viewed by users with the “Site Member” role, in addition to Site Owners and Site Editors.

Site Member Role

“Site Member” is a role that can be assigned to users on the site that gives users permission to view Private Pages; for example, students, faculty, and/or staff can be given user accounts on the site with the Site Member role so that they may access the private pages to view information such as help documentation (e.g. “how to connect to the printer”, “lab safety information”), orientation materials (e.g. handouts, schedules, contact information), internal forms (e.g. hiring forms), and other private information (e.g. private job listings, alumni communications).

Private Page Section Subfeature

The Private Page feature also includes a submodule for “Private Page Section”, which provides a basic architecture with placeholder information for starting a private page section for faculty, staff, and students. The placeholder content and template pages can be customized as well, if you would like to add more subpages or sections for other categories of your users (e.g. affiliates, visiting scholars, etc).

Interested in moving forward?

Both the Help and Private Page features are available to be added to your site upon request. Please see the GitHub repositories for stanford_help and stanford_private_page for more information, or contact us via HelpSU.