I have been reading information about what is a content type and what is a node. I understand what a content type is (a collection of fields), but I don't know exactly the difference between a node and a content type.

In drupal website, I can read:

A node is any piece of individual content, such as a page, poll, article, forum topic, or a blog entry

Content-Type is a pre-defined collection of data types (Fields) which relate to each other by an informational context

For example, I think an article is a content-type, but it seems that, at the same time, it's also a node. So I don't understand the difference.

It seems that a node is a super-category while a content-type seems to be a sub-category. Is it right? How would you explain to me as simple as possible?

  • A content type is the definition, a node is an instance of a particular definition.
    – Kevin
    May 1, 2018 at 5:23
  • Of course, but reading again the definition that drupal website offers, I can read "A node is...such as a page...". So, if the node is an instance of a content-type. Is a page a content-type? May 1, 2018 at 5:44

2 Answers 2


In an easy to understand way:

Node is a page.

Content type is the page type or page fields & page structure.

For example, you could create a new content type called "Blog". Here you can add the fields that you would like blogs to have. The other content type "Articles" may not have the same fields that "Blogs" have.

So when you go create a node, you choose which one you would like, "Blog" or "Article".

  • Thanks, I better understand right now. So each page is a node that belongs to a specific category (content-type). Comparing it to fruits, a lemon or an orange are fruits (nodes) and, at the same time, those fruits belongs to a category (content-type), in this case oranges and lemons correspond to citrus. Right? May 1, 2018 at 5:50
  • @RichardSteele Assuming citrus is the content type, then correct.
    – No Sssweat
    May 1, 2018 at 6:52
  • @RichardSteele although, category may not be the best way to describe it as you can categorize stuff using tags/taxonomy reference. Think of it more of a fields that are inside of the content type and how they display when viewed. Ex: The blog content type may have 10 fields while the Article content type only has 2 fields.
    – No Sssweat
    May 1, 2018 at 6:59

Newcomers to Drupal who aren't tech savvy often struggle with the concept of Content types and Nodes.

I find it beneficial to remind them of the real world equivalent—forms and filling in forms.

Remember in the olden days when you were given a piece of paper out of a whole stack of them, with labels and boxes and you used a pen to fill in your information by hand (name, address, DOB, etc.) when applying for a college or anything?

The Drupal equivalent to a real-life stack of blank sheets of preformatted forms is a Content type. When you're creating a Content type in Drupal, you're actually designing a form of blank fields. You're designing a structure, it holds no data.

In the digital world, we don't have to have multiple copies of Content types, one is enough because it doesn't have to be printed on paper. It is printed on the screen and we can always use the same "source". That's way we only have one “Create article” form and not thousands of them like you have to in paper form.

When you fill in one sheet of paper in ink with your specific information it is considered one form submission. The Drupal equivalent to this one filled-in sheet of paper is a Node. Node is the actual data entered into the structure defined by the Content type. You can create many Nodes (data submissions) for a Content type.

When you want to publish an Article you are first presented with a form to fill—Create Article page. This is the Content type form. Once you enter specific data into it and Save, you have created one submission of that form, one Node. You can create many nodes, with different data, as submissions to the same form.


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