Sitecore content teams are integral to the content creation process. Having experienced content editors working with your Sitecore website is vital to the smooth running of your content output.

At Codehouse, we understand that every content author has their own way of working and using the editing interface.

Sitecore is rich with powerful editing tools. Creating content is made as easy as possible. Given our experience with Sitecore we thought we'd compile a list of editing tips that can help improve your content editing experience.

Please note that using the tips below may be reliant on your user permissions.

  1. Use the Desktop interface
  2. Use the Quick Action Bar
  3. Make better use of the HTML view
  4. Use versioning
  5. Use the Links function
  6. Presentation / Details
  7. Content count
  8. Unlocking another content editor's items (admin only)
  9. Duplication
  10. Structure your Media Library

1. Use the Desktop interface

The Desktop interface, which is accessible via the Launchpad, is a great way to toggle between applications. For instance, you can toggle between the Content Editor and Media Library without interrupting your task. You can even have more than one Content Editor open if for instance you want to use content from one page and add it to another.

Did you know you can also access the Desktop interface by deleting everything in the address bar after 'shell'?

2. Use the Quick Action Bar

The thin gutter to the left of the site tree displays insightful information on each item in your site tree. Access the Quick Action Bar by hovering the mouse over the left gutter and right clicking. You select from Workflow states, locked items, Publishing Restrictions, Broken links and more. This allows you to view at a glance the status of each item.

Quick action bar example in sitecore

3. Make better use of the HTML view

If you're HTML savy the HTML view in the Rich Text Editor is a great way to add content. Paste and wrap your content between relevant tags like Paragraph and Headings.

4. Use versioning

There may be instances when you want to change an existing item. If you're the sole content creator and approver and you don't use workflows, then it's very easy to open an item, make the change and publish. Adding a new version of the item enables you to keep track of each version and even roll back to a previous version should the need arise.

5. Use the Links function

There may be instances when you want to find out which page/pages use a particular component, or alternatively, which components are used on a page. The Links function is a great feature that allows you to do this.

To reference the pages a component is used on, navigate to the component and from the Review group in the navigation select Links. All the pages that use the selected components are listed in the 'Items that refer to the selected item' section.

To reference which components are used on a particular page, do the same but this time chose the page from the content tree.

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6. Presentation / Details

We only recommend this tip for experienced Sitecore editors who know Sitecore and their content infrastructure. Selecting the Presentation group from the navigation and accessing Details displays the complete layout of the page. By selecting Final Layout you'll be able to change the datasource of renderings.

For reference, the Shared Layout is only for presentations that share content, like for example different language versions.

Sitecore presentation

7. Content count

Sitecore has a powerful search feature which no doubt is used extensively. If you want to see the content count of all your content select 'Sitecore' from the site tree, click the search icon in the content pane and type '*'. Sitecore will list a usage breakdown of all the templates as well as additional information. You can drill down even further by clicking on your selection.

8. Unlocking another content editor's items (admin only)

This feature is only available to administrators. Picture this scenario: A member of your content team is working on an item that needs to be published the following day. The publication day arrives and the item needs to be edited but the person that created the page is not in the office - and the content item is locked.

With the item locked it can't be edited so it needs to be unlocked. This can only be done by a Sitecore user with administrator access. Navigate to the item, access the Quick Action Bar (left gutter), right click, select Locked items and double-click the padlock to unlock.

9. Duplication

The duplication feature, which is accessible from the Home group or from the right-click function, can save you time. Say for example you want to create a new page and it's components. Instead of creating them from scratch simply duplicate them.

Select the page which uses the same template you require, and duplicate it. Rename the page and update relevant content in its content pane like title, meta description etc.

Select desired component/s and duplicate, rename accordingly and update content.

Open the new page in the Experience Editor and switch out its components.

10. Structure your Media Library

We all know that over time your Media Library's content will increase. With a large content team it's very easy for images to be uploaded without any consideration for those who may not know the content infrastructure as well as others. At Codehouse, we believe that a well-structured Media Library is just as important as your website infrastructure.

Organise your Media Library into folders. This can be based on image types (heros, logos etc.), your entire site tree, or whatever suits your business.

Media library example in sitecore

On a final note, as a content team it’s important to always communicate. Let your colleagues know whether a new folder has been created and what that folder should be used for.

At Codehouse we advise and train our Sitecore customers on how best to optimise the content editing process.

If you want to find out more about how our Sitecore Optimisation Service can benefit your content team, get in touch.