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 needs to be created in Contentstack. Developers can then start with actually creating the content type by adding relevant fields.
Since the process of content modeling begins at design stage, any minor (and certainly, major) error 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 an example of creating one.
Let’s look at each of the steps briefly.
Determining 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 as well as the content plan.
Deciding 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 that will be included within the content type. In this step, fields need to be identified in a way that makes the content type more optimized and reusable.
Developing content type
Defining the required content type and fields
Now that the structure of the content 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: You need to select if the content type should be a Webpage or a Content Block. If the required content is a web page (such as home page, about us, and so on), create a Webpage content type. Alternatively, if the required content id for mobile application or for partials of a website (header, footer, navigation, menu), select Content Block. Then, 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.
- 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.
The 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:
Let’s identify the fields that you need to add to build a content type for creating the page shown in the above step.
Develop content type
Since the news article piece is a web page, we will set the content type as “Webpage”. Also, this 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 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 type. Probably, in another tab, you may want to have 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 our news article, instead of entering all the details manually, you can simply select an entry of the “Authors” content type.
Now, you can start creating entries for it.
Additional Resource: To know more about how to add entries for your content type, go through our extensive guide that lets you create and manage your content.