updating structured contentHave you ever logged into the CMS, tried to edit a page on your site, and BAM -- you are hit with this scary message:

Do not edit this contentlet, it contains code! Use the Content Tab and edit information using the "Blah Blah Blah" Content Structure. Contact Web Development if you need alterations.

Don't get nervous!! Don't panic!! This simply means that your site has what we call "structured content" on it. THIS IS A GOOD THING!! 

structured content process

What is Structured Content?

A structure, or "structured content" is a more advanced way of handling database-like material. We use structures to make it easier for our web content editors to add or change information on their sites.

Here's Why It's Easy

  • Instead of editing the page directly, each unique entry (faculty member, news item, etc.) is changed or edited through easy-to-use form fields.
  • We write code that will make these entries display on the page, with the same formatting, and in the proper order... automatically.
  • Quickly add, remove, or change an entry without affecting other parts of the page.

Ultimately, this will save you time and frustration in formatting information that needs to be updated often.

How to Update Your Structured Content

click the content tab

1. Click the content tab

Most of the website updating that our content editors do is within the "website" tab. Structured content is found under the "content" tab. Click this tab, and you will find all your databased information. The warning message you just saw on your page will explicitly name the content structure that you are looking for.



2. Select your structure from the Type menuSelect your structure from the Type menu

Click the little arrow next to "Type" to find the structure name. Once you click on it, all the data within that structure will appear. So, for example, if you are editing a faculty structure for your department, most likely you will see each individual faculty member's name listed to the right.



Edit Existing Content

To edit an existing piece of content, simply click on the faculty members name, or content title. This will bring up a box with all of the fields available for editing. Simply update the information that needs updating, and then hit the Save/Publish button:


Remove an Entry

So, you have a faculty member that no longer works here and you'd like to remove their name from the list? Check the little box next to their name, and then hit the Unpublish Contents button:

unpublish contents button

This will mark that entry with a little yellow light next to it, indicating that this will no longer show up on your website, but isn't deleted from the system (in case you want to add it back later).

Troubleshooting tips for unpublishing content:

Check your live website to make sure that the content that you've unpublished is actually removed from your site. In some of our old structures this will not work. You should contact us to update the code on your page. In the meantime, you can check the little box next to their name again, and this time hit the Archive Content button:

archive content button

This will definitely remove the entry from your website. Although you can't see the entry anymore (even when logged in), we assure you it is STILL there if you need it.  Archiving content is also a good way to stay organized if you have a lot of structured content. This will get those old entries out of your way so you can focus on the entries you need to.

add a new entry

Add a New Entry

It's very easy to add a new entry to your structured content. Click the Add New Content button on the right of the screen, and fill out the fields of the form. If you aren't sure about what a form field means, you can always click on an existing entry to see what type of information should be there.  Don't forget to hit the Save/Publish button when you are done creating your new entry. Check your website to make sure the update worked.

Troubleshooting form fields:

We commonly use a field called "Sort Name" to alphabetize faculty members. This allows us to order them by last name in most cases. If someone is a director and needs to be at the top of the list, we sometimes enter "aa" as the Sort Name so that alphabetically they move to the top of the page.


search structureSearch the structure

Not sure if you need to update old information or add a new entry? Have a lot of entries and need to find one quickly? You can use the search features to find any piece of content within your structure.

Type a word you are looking for into the appropriate field name and hit search. Any results will appear on the right side of the screen. 

Troubleshooting searches:

If you return no entries and need to go back, simply click the "Clear Search" button that's right next to the "Search" button. This will bring you back to the screen that shows all of the entries. 

You can also click on any of the field titles on the right side of the screen to sort by that particular field. If you clicked on the Name field, all of the entries within your structure would be aphabetically sorted by name.