About Content Modeling
Content modeling helps you determine and create just the right content type that suits your needs.
Content Modeling Steps
Content modeling means defining the structure of your content at a granular level. It involves:
- Analyzing requirement - Determining what kind of content you need
- Identifying structure - Deciding how it should be structured in Contentstack
- Developing content type - Defining the required content type and fields
The process of modeling content in Contentstack begins as soon as the designs (or even design wireframes) are finalized. Based on the designs, site managers/developers need to identify the structure of content types that need to be created in Contentstack. Developers can then start by actually creating the content type by adding relevant fields.
Since the process of content modeling begins at the design stage, any minor (and indeed, major) errors made while modeling will be reflected on the actual structure of your web/app page. It is therefore recommended that content modeling should not be skipped and should be done accurately.
Each section/component of your website or mobile app should have an appropriate content model in place. Content types, and thus the actual content, should then be created accordingly for each component. In the next section, we will understand the process of creating a robust content model and look at how to create one.
Let's look at each of the steps briefly.
Analyzing requirementDetermining what kind of content you need:
Content modeling begins with this stage. Here, the rough designs or wireframes are shared with the site managers or developers. Content managers can analyze how content will fit in and whether or not any changes are required in the designs and the content plan.
Identifying structureDeciding how it should be structured in Contentstack:
Based on the finalized designs, developers identify the kind of content type to be created, and the fields included within the content type. In this step, fields need to be identified to make the content type more optimized and reusable.
Additional Resource: We've collated some content modeling best practices that you can refer to while building your content types.
Developing content typeDefining the required content type and fields
Note: Create an SEO Global Field for SEO Tags as a recommended best practice. Please refer to the Global Field Use Cases documentation for more information.
Now that the content structure is ready, it's time to start creating your content type. Creating a content type is a two-step process:
- Select the type of content type: Based on the number of entries you wish to create, select if the content type should be Single or Multiple. The former allows you to create a single entry, while the latter lets you create multiple entries.
Note: For the new UI, you no longer have to choose between the “Webpage” and “Content Block” options. For more details, refer to the Optional URL field section in the Introducing the New Contentstack document.
- Add fields: Fields are the building blocks for structured content. Fields give you the flexibility to add various types of data into the database. You can also modify the behavior of the fields by editing their Field Properties.
We will look at an example to understand content modeling better. Let's assume that you own a new website and wish to post new articles to it regularly. We will follow the steps given above to develop a content model for the news article page.
Analyzing requirementThe news article page should contain a headline, date, location, image, body text, and author's name. Let's assume that the structure of the news article that you have in mind is similar to the article given below:
Identify structureLet's identify the fields you need to add to build a content type to create the page shown in the above step.
Develop content typeThis content type will be used to create multiple new articles. Hence, the content type should be of the "Multiple" type. Then, add all the required fields to the content type. The fields' names can be changed by editing their properties.
- Title: The Title field will hold the headline of the news article. The headline is mostly short and simple. Probably, a simple textbox will be a great choice.
- Date: Below the "Title" field, we'll need the Date field that will display the current date of the articles. We need to set this date such that when we enter a news article, this field will be auto-populated.
- Location: Under the "Date" field, we will add the "Location" field. This field will display the location where the news article is based on. We will use a Single Line Textbox field and rename it as "Location."
- Body: The body of the news article is the most important part of your content. You need a special field that'll allow you to enter a rich variety of content, such as text, images, and so on. So, we will use the Rich Text Editor field and rename it as "Body."
- Author: For "Author," we'll use the Reference field. The "Reference" field helps you refer to entries of other content types. In another tab, you may probably want to create another content type named "Authors" (with fields name, image, and designation) and add entries for all existing authors. So, when selecting content in the "Author" field of the news article, you can choose an entry of the "Authors" content type instead of entering all the details manually.
This creates your “News Article” content type. You can even set Labels to the content type and add Field Visibility Rules to control the display of fields. In addition, you can add a Global Field that can act as an SEO field in your content type. Having an SEO field in your content type (within the entry) can enhance your search results and drive traffic to your website. Now, you can start creating entries for it.
Additional Resource: To know more about adding entries to your content type, go through our extensive guide that lets you create and manage your content.