If there is one thing that web developers hate, it’s being asked to do tedious tasks over and over again. If there is one thing that marketers and content editors hate, it’s waiting on the completion of tedious tasks. So goes the dance of marketers and web developers, a constant waltz of requests and waiting. As content editors, getting our content up in the quickest and efficient way possible is paramount, and as developers, our focus belongs on high priority tasks such as maintenance and optimization of website performance. This creates friction between the two teams and ultimately results in frustration and loss of efficiency and productivity on both sides.
So, how can we as content editors and Umbraco developers both get our cake and eat it too? How can we simplify each other’s lives and both put our focus back where it belongs - developing great content quickly and boosting our overall website performance?
What Is A Content Template?
In order to alleviate these pain points for content editors and web developers, Umbraco allows for the creation of content templates. Content templates are prefilled versions of pages that can be reused over and over again by your content editors. Essentially, they are a blueprint for what you want certain future pages to look like. For instance, if you’re regularly creating pieces of content, such as blog posts, news articles, services pages, or case studies, your web development team can create templates for your team that can be selected ongoing to quickly create the content they need!
Why Do You Need Content Templates?
To save time and resources. Your web developers don’t want to create the same pages over and over again, and your content editors / marketing team don’t want to wait to have those pages created. With Umbraco content templates, your content editors can log in to the Umbraco backend, click and choose the page layout that suits their needs and start creating a page in seconds. It’s literally that easy.
How Do You Make them?
While I could give you a step-by-step breakdown, filled with screenshots, Kevin Giszewski over at Tonic put together a great, short demo on how you can create your own content templates in Umbraco 7.7 right now!
“Today I’m going to show you a little cool feature that Umbraco just released in Umbraco 7/7 called ‘Content Templates’. If we look here on our content tree we have a node here that shows us a bunch of fake content that I have here. We got some grid content, we got some nested content, we’ve got some form editors and what not. Let’s say that this page represented a blueprint of what we want other pages to look like. What we can do is take a snapshot of this by using this new feature called ‘Create Content Template’. When we do that we can name this, we can say ‘Our page blueprint’. When we hit create, it will go ahead and give us a success notification. And so in the future, your editors can now come here when they want to create a page, they can select ‘Our page blueprint’ and when they do so it’ll pre-fill everything out and we can say ‘Our new page’, based on that template, and when we save that - boom, there it is, awesome! One cool feature also is if we go into the Settings, here is your content template that we create, so if you need to tweak the template, you can do so there. And there it is! That’s content templates with Umbraco 7.7!”
Need Extra Help?
So there you have it - if you're creating multiple pieces of content that require the same structure and presentation, it's best to create Content Templates that save you not only time and resources but both your and your web developer's sanity. If you ever have questions on Content Templates, don't hesitate to reach out, and one of the Umbraco Masters at Marcel Digital will quickly be in touch to get you rolling in the right direction!
About the author
Alex Vilmur is a wizard at development and also trumpet. He once auditioned for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, but found his passion for website development and Umbraco made it too hard to leave.