Content Management System
One CMS feature that Web authors may notice from the start, is the unique structure of Web addresses (URLs). CMS URLs have a tendency to be clunky and even difficult to decipher. The system must pass a complex string of session variables, directory paths, etc. in order to bring the page up for the visitor. To simplify the CMS URL and help you understand its structure, take a look at the following examples and explanations.
- EXAMPLE 1:
The first part of the CMS Web address will be familiar as it follows the standard URL structure:
- "http" is known as the protocol, and it determines the type of resource being accessed. In this particular situation, a Web page (or hypertext transfer protocol) is identified.
- "www.winthrop.edu" is the domain or hostname. All of Winthrop's CMS pages reside on this domain.
- "admissions" identifies the location on the server where the files reside. This file name is equivalent to a Web folder on the FrontPage (Expression Web) system.
- EXAMPLE 2:
Here is an example of a CMS Web address that takes the visitor to a piece of content found deeper into a site (past the home page):
- Notice the first part of the address, "http://www.winthrop.edu/visitors," is the same as the Admissions' URL discussed above. "Visitors" is the name of the Web.
- The "secondary.aspx" is the name of the template being used to display the content. Please reference the Design Elements page for template details. Typically, a site will utilize 2-3 templates depending on the content being conveyed.
- The "?id=" portion of the URL asks what content block is to be displayed in the template identified.
- The numbers that follow, which in this URL are "2890," identify the content and is called the content block ID. Note that when you are in the Work Area on the Content tab, the content ID numbers are displayed. View a screen shot showing the content IDs.
- EXAMPLE 3:
This URL shows how a template AND an anchor (or bookmark) are pulled onto the screen:
- The name of the Web is "calendars."
- The template being used is "default.aspx."
- Of course, "?id=25474" identifies the content block to display.
- "#Jan" is the name of the anchor which points to a specific location on the page.
Just as with FrontPage/Expression, anchors/bookmarks are a helpful navigation tool typically used on long pages to help visitors more easily move to specific content on a Web page.
- EXAMPLE 4:
Forms that are completed and submitted online require a specially coded template.
- The template assigned to this Web page is "forms.aspx."
- What follows is somewhat similar to other content blocks, "?ekfrm=." The CMS needs to know what form ID to pass to the forms template.
- Just as with other CMS URLs, the number here indicates that a content block with the ID number "1718" will be retrieved.
- Note: If your department requires a form, please notify the Web developer during the initial CMS conversion meeting.