Structures are the foundation for web content. They determine which fields are available to users as they create new items for display. Structures not only improve manageability for the administrator, they also make it much easier for users to add content quickly.
For example, say you’re managing an online news magazine. All your articles must contain the same types of information: a title, a subtitle, an author, and one or more pages of text and images that comprise the body of the article. With only basic content creation, you’d have no way to make sure your users entered a title, subtitle, and author. You might also get articles that don’t match the look and feel of your site. If titles are supposed to be navy blue but they come in from your writers manually set to light blue, you must spend time reformatting them before they are published.
Structures enforce a format for your content so your writers know exactly what a complete article or mapped display page needs. Using structures, you can provide a form for your users which spells out exactly what is required and can be formatted automatically using a template or a display page.
You create a structure by adding form controls such as text fields, text boxes, HTML text areas, check boxes, select boxes and multi-selection lists. You can add specialized application fields such as an Image Uploader or Documents and Media right onto the structure. Positioning elements is accomplished by drag-and-drop, making it easy for you to prototype different orders for your input fields. Additionally, elements can be grouped together into blocks which can then be repeatable. Display Page creators can then map these fields to editable page fragments to use custom styles and formatting. Alternatively, template writers can write a template which loops through these blocks and presents your content in innovative ways, such as in sliding navigation bars, content that scrolls with the user, and more.
Next you’ll learn how you can create and edit structures through the Manage Structures interface.