Before getting started with the actual Drupal user guide, it might be useful to list some general Drupal concepts and their definitions:
Drupal is a content management system that makes use of modules to allow site administrators to organize and display content, customize appearance and manage routine tasks, such as registration for websites requiring user names and passwords. One of Drupal’s key characteristics is the fact that the entire Drupal framework is open source.
A node is a piece of content in Drupal, typically corresponding to a single page on the site, which 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, images, etc..
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.
Blocks are a method for positioning data within a page. They often contain lists of nodes or other navigational content and are frequently placed in the left or right regions of a page. Assignment to a region is specified through the administrator settings. Blocks themselves are not nodes.
In Drupal, the term menu 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.
Taxonomy is literally “the science of classification”. The Drupal taxonomy system enables authorized users to categorize content using both tags and administrator-defined terms. It is a flexible tool for classifying content with many advanced features.
Views is a contributed module which allows site developers a simple graphical interface for modifying the presentation of content. Views permit selection of specific fields to display, filtration against various node attributes, choice of basic layout options (i.e. list, full nodes, teasers, etc.), and other more advanced features.
In Drupal terms, path is the unique, last part of the URL for a specific function or piece of content. For instance, for a page whose full URL http://example.com/node/7 , the path is node/7.
Roles are sets of permissions that can be applied to individual users. Users can belong to more than one role. Two roles, authenticated users (those users that signup for an account) and anonymous users (those either without an account or not logged in), are supplied by default with Drupal installations. Users with sufficient permission can create additional roles, and the permissions granted to the two default roles can also be configured.
A teaser is the first few words or sentences of a piece of content, usually with a link to the complete node.
Weight is a term used by Drupal to define the priority or order in which a function is processed or a block / node is displayed. Note: A lower weight value (-10) will float to the top of lists, while heaver (+10) weights will appear lower in lists.