Finishing flag

Lesson time: 10 minutes

Lesson objectives:  

In this lesson you will learn about different content types. 

What is a content type and why do we make use of it?

A content type is the classification of an information entity that is structured, standardised and reusable. It is used to describe a family of related things. Think of your local library – the main items you’ll find in the  library is books. There are also items like journals, magazines, newspapers, puzzles and multimedia. Each of these can be classified as a content type.   

Every content type has a set of attributes. Each attribute has a name and will hold a value. The value it can hold/is assigned to it, can be constrained. Let’s look at a content type we are all familiar with – an article. This can be an article in a newspaper, your favourite magazine or or your go-to online news platform.   

How do we spot an article?  It will, generally, have a title, author, date it was written, images/video and text structured to tell us a story. The points listed above is the attributes that we associate with the content type – Article. To be correctly re-used these ‘points’/attributes  will have a name and a text or number value can be associated with it. As mentioned earlier, an attribute can be constrained - for example, the date field can only contain a date and not the author’s name etc.  

Why is it important to use content types?

Apart from it’s re-usability, content types provide structure which in turn provides a better user experience - the golden ticket to have visitors return to our sites.   

It not only offers the reader a pleasurable and consistent experience. Content types provide the content creator, content managers and developers a unified language, simplified workflow and opportunity to reuse information. The value it offers the machine (e.g. search engine) is searchabilty and automation. 

Does the use of content types hinder content manger’s creativity? 

Not at all. It provides structure and in our article example, layout consistency. It is the attribute value input that will make every application unique while adhering to our brand message and offer our audience/reader brand familiarity and consistency.

UCT Web CMS – content types 

A UCT website is made up of a collection of webpages which provides news and information about  - a UCT entity, projects, degrees, courses, products, services, contact details, and more. Each webpage contains text, images and in some instances, video and/or audio files.  

Each content item is referred to as a node, and each node belongs to a content type. Each content type has default settings which are applied to every node associated to that type. In the UCT Web CMS, there are two main content types –  holder content types and item content types.   

Holder content types list or group item content types. The main difference between the two is that a holder content types can be independently displayed with its own URL, while item content types are inserted within the components section of a holder content type.

Holder content types

Includes: stores reusable content, which can be referenced from any long text field.

  • Page: used to create and present most nodes within the UCT Web CMS. It uses different widgets to display content types, except articles and events. 

  • Article: ideal for time-sensitive content like news articles, blogs or press releases that contain information, such as current issues, relevant to UCT. 

  • Album: allows images, audio and videos to be placed in a specified folder. They are x cimported as media entities into Web CMS . Once created, albums can be shared to other domains, making it easy to be referenced from other domains and content types. 

Item content types 

  • A-Z Item: referenced, pulled into and presented by the A – Z list container paragraph type. Paragraph types are discussed in more detail later. 

  • Notice item: stores messages used to notify the UCT community of various projects and activities underway. Notices are sorted, categorised and contained in the notice board content type. 

  • Event: displays events that are hosted by  or in collaboration with UCT. These could be one day or recurring events. 

  • Contact:  capture a UCT employee’scontact information,or someone associated with UCT. 

  • Vacancy: store and display job vacancies at UCT, or organisations associated with UCT. 

Custom entity/content types

Includes: stores reusable content, which can be referenced from any long text field.