is an extremely robust tool for building and maintaining your website. Like any tool, however, if you don’t know how to use it well, its potential is wasted. Kentico is strong enough to handle the demands of some of the largest sites with some of the most rigorous requirements (see some of our past large projects at www.bdo.com
) while being simple enough to be managed by even the busiest content managers; even those with little to no programming experience.
The goal of this blog is to try and help bridge the gap between an awesome tool and having the requisite skills to make a website with that tool.
The Pages Application
There are a lot of power user features within this application. I’d like to focus on some best-practices aimed at the folks who spend their time curating the content of your website. As content editors you’ll probably use the Pages Application more than any other part of Kentico.
The area highlighted in red is your content tree. This is where all your pages are organized and laid out. All your content is nested beneath the Master Page of your site or the “root.” Typically this would be labeled with the name of your site. For our example, the name of the site is Dancing Goat.
From there we can continue to nest pages beneath each other to help organize your site and provide the context for the structure of the final url of each page.
The icons at the top of the tree can be used to edit your tree structure. They are pretty self explanatory but there is also a easy right-click menu that provides the same options as well as some additional ones that many people find helpful.
Adding and Removing Pages
One of the more basic functions of managing your site is adding and removing pages. Whether that is simply putting up your most recent blog post or getting rid of that campaign page that is no longer relevant, adding and removing pages is easy.
Adding a Page
- Select the Parent Page you would like your new page to live under (on our example site if we were adding a new Brewer product we would select the “Brewers” page).
- Click on the “+” symbol at the top of the tree or right-click and select “New…”
- Depending on how that area of your site is set up you may either be taken directly to the Form Tab (more information on that later) or you may be given a list of Page Types to choose from.
- If you are required to choose a Page Type you will need to double check what kind of content you are added to ensure you are choosing the correct type. I will dive more deeply into Page Types in a future article but Kentico offers many built-in Page Types to suit different needs. Your development team also has the ability to create custom Page Types tailored to the requirements of your site. An experienced Kentico developer will make sure that these are scoped well so that you only see Page Types that are relevant to the area where you’re trying to add a page.
- Occasionally you may also be asked to select a Page Template for your new page. Page Templates will be covered more in more detail in a later article but they essentially determine how your content will be displayed to the user. Generally, you should not be prompted to select a Page Template very often as it is best-practice for your development team to set default Page Templates. If prompted to select a page template they should be labeled clearly and easily identified.
Removing a Page
- Select the page you wish to remove and click on the Trash Can symbol at the top of the tree or right-click and select “Delete”.
- You will be presented with a page that has some options:
- The first option permanently destroys the page (i.e. it skips your recycle bin and directly deletes the page)
- The second option is an important one if you think users may still try and navigate to the page you are removing and you’d like to make sure they don’t reach a 404 page. This is often the case if the page being removed has been linked to from another part of your site or from an outside site or if the url has been used in some sort of print media. Checking this box will display additional options for where you would like users redirected to if they try and reach this url.
- Once you’ve made your option selections click the green delete button at the top of the page.
Content is the heart of your site. Kentico, in concert with a good development team, makes managing that content a breeze. There are two primary areas where you will be editing content. In each case you will begin by clicking on the page that needs to be updated.
The Page Tab
By default Kentico will display the first area which is the Page Tab. This tab is used for templates which utilize unstructured content. Generally these are one-off pages where you will only need to enter that type of content once. A good example from our example site is the “About us” page.
You’ll notice the Page Tab is highlighted and there are several editable areas right on a preview of the page where you can update content. These range from simple text boxes to image selectors to What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG - often pronounced “wiz-ee-wig” ) and many more. Here you will make your edits right on the page. This view has the advantage of being able to see an approximation of what your content will look like on the live site. To quickly visit the finished product click the Kentico icon at the top left corner and then click on the “Live Site” button at the bottom of the slide out menu.
A quick note about WYSIWYG areas. One frustration I hear with these areas regularly is that content sometimes winds up with styles that don’t match the rest of the site. The number one reason for this is copying and pasting from other text editors such as Microsoft Word. Like many word processors Kentico will attempt to maintain the formatting of any content you paste into the WYSIWYG editor. In my experience this is often most obvious in the form of default colored bright blue links.
To avoid this you’ll need to:
- Click the “Source” button in the WYSIWYG toolbar.
- Paste in your text.
- Click the “Source” button again.
- Format the content as needed.
This process will have the side-effect of eliminating any formatting that was previously in the content but is the best way to ensure you are not overriding the styles your development team has worked hard to set up to ensure your visitors have a consistent experience across the entire site.
The Form Tab
The other area where you may need to edit your content is the Form Tab. This area is used to organized structured data. You will most often need to use the Form Tab when you are providing the same type of information for many pages. Think of the products in an online store. Each product needs to have a name, image, price, description, etc. This is where structured data comes in really handy.
Filling out this form for each product provides the code with the information it needs to display everything dynamically in a quick and easy manner.
In both the Page and Form Tab, once you are done with your edits be sure to hit the green “Save” button and, if you have Workflow enabled, either Publish the page or Submit the page for approval. If this is a feature you do not have set up yet your development team can help you enable it.
There are a TON of other features within the Pages Application (seriously, we’ve barely scratched the surface). The couple of items we looked at above, however, covers most of what typically needs to be done in the day-to-day management of your site’s content. Mastering these simple actions will have a tremendous impact on keeping your site looking great and providing a excellent experience for your users.
What did you think of this blog post? Would you like to see more Kentico 101 articles? What would you like to learn more about? Comment below!