A user’s guide to the CMS, part 1: knowing your fields

Creating a new article image

Creating a new article


We’re inside a bright and spacious office. There are large windows looking out on to a busy city road on one side of the room. It’s a rainy February morning. Two desks are positioned at either end of the rectangular room.

A clock ticks high up on the largest wall, it’s 9.11 am.

A new article page within the University CMS is open on a desktop computer. The mouse cursor flashes like a metronome invitingly, waiting to be used.

A newly received createdigital@plymouth.ac.uk email is open. It’s a request for a new article page on creating a new article page.

RYAN, a dark-haired, tall member of the digital team glances up and down at the empty article on the screen in front of him.

So many fields to fill in.

The screen brightness on the article page grows brighter.

At the top of the page is a collection of cartoon heads lined-up under a field called ‘Audience types’

RYAN (cont’d)
So who are you?

We’re your audience. Choose
one or more of us first,
before you begin to write.
It’ll make you focus on the
target audience for your page.
And help ensure the content
you add is relevant for them.

Ryan smiles with acknowledgement and controls the mouse. He CLICKS over the ‘Current staff’ option.

Great, thanks. Now what?

The mouse cursor jumps down to the ‘Article type’ field.

We control the CMS template
for you. Usually you’ll be
using the ‘Standard’ template
by default. Creating a news
or events article? Select
those options instead.

I’m doing a standard article.
So I’ll leave it as it is.

Following the request the mouse cursor moves down a level and lands on the ‘Parent’ field.

If you look at your new
article as a child, then
you now have to give it a
parent. Give it a home.
Choosing a parent affects
the URL of your article
and helps us give
structure to all the
articles in the CMS.

Pretty important then.
Right, so I’ve been
told it needs to sit
within the training guides
section, so I’ll choose
that option.

Ryan drives the mouse and searches, then chooses the ‘Training guides’ section.

OK. I’m ready for the next

As if by magic the mouse cursor moves and lands on the ‘Title’ field.

I’m quite an easy one to
complete. What’s your page
about? Make it clear for the
user. Informative too, with
keywords. They’re great for
helping others find your page
when searching too.

Ryan leans forward in his desk chair and starts to TAP on the keyboard.

How to create an article page.

Ryan leans back in his chair and looks at the screen.

RYAN (cont’d)
That should do it?

The mouse cursor seems to slow down its repetition of flashing to give a reassuring wink. The cursor then shifts across to the next field in the CMS titled ‘Summary’.

I’m the title’s big sister.
I’m bigger (150 characters
long, with spaces to be
precise) and I know more
about your article. I
embellish the title and
say a little more. If your
title was ‘Ryan’, my
summary for you could be
‘member of the digital team’.

Ryan’s fingers flex across the keyboard and start to TAP.

Crystal. Ok … Discover some
best practice tips on how to
create an article … There you

Ryan looks up at the screen and reads back what he has typed.

RYAN (cont’d)
I could probably do better,
but it will be final reviewed
by the team. They always have
good ideas when I need them.

Ryan takes a sip of water and looks out of the window. The rain is beginning to ease. Some blue sky is peeking out behind the fast-moving heavy clouds.

The mouse cursor hops across to the meta-description field.

Hello! I’m succinct, 255
characters long. And my role
is to help people find your page.
My best friend is Search Engine,
we go hand in hand. If you had
a couple of lines to sell your
page when a user searches for
something, what would you say!

Ryan begins to type.

A new browser window pops up. Ryan stops typing.

Feeling lucky? I want to find
your page, so make sure you
fit in as many relevant keywords
in to my friend meta description.

Ryan resumes typing.

Discover some best practice
tips on how to complete an
article. Learn how to ensure
users will find your page
easily when browsing keywords
in a search engine.

The article page glows a little brighter.

Not bad Ryan. Best move on
to my friends tags now.

The mouse cursor dives down and lands in the next CMS field.

So what are you for?

We’re a list of the keywords
used in your article. We’re
great to help users find you.
Plus, click on one of us and
you will find like-minded
articles of content. Really
valuable! We’re also useful
for helping to pull through
news and event articles when
relevant lists are added to
your articles. We’re small
but powerful!

Great feature. Let me think
about this.

After a brief pause Ryan starts TAPPING on the keyboard again.

articles, help-guide, it,
digital-team, keywords,
search, best-practice

Good. Now just a couple
more lessons for today.

The mouse cursor flies down to the next CMS field.

That’s right, it’s me next!
I’m the word or words that
will get added to the end
of your web address. So
think carefully and make
sure it makes sense and
isn’t too long.

Well I chose the training
guides parent, so my URL
will be www.plymouth.ac.uk
/trainingguides. So I’ll
give this article a permalink
of /articles.

Ryan begins typing.

Great. Now you can move
on to the body text field
and really get stuck in to
your article.

The mouse cursor floats down the page and lands in the body text field of the article page.

I am what really makes
your article. I am
where you can put all
your well-written
content. I am what your
users really want to read.

Ryan looks down at his notebook on his desk.

BODY TEXT (cont’d)
But before you start,
plan what you want to
say and how best to do it.
Break up your content
using headers and highlight
important bits with
bullet points.

OK. Helpful, thanks. I
Need to make my content
clear and informative.
Easy to read and accessible.

That’s right. And don’t
forget to write to our
new tone of voice. We
have great guidance on
this if you need any

Ryan starts to scribble on his notepad.

Thank you. I’m going to
plan out my article now.

Great, I think that will
do for today. Remember,
before you leave your
article, don’t forget to save!

Ryan does as prompted and saves his article by choosing from the coloured options at the bottom of the article.

BODY TEXT (cont’d)
Oh and one last thing!
If you want some official
advice on everything
about creating an article,
please visit the help
section of the CMS.

Ryan looks out of the window and the black clouds have all disappeared. It is now a beautiful Plymouth winters day.



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