CastleCMS Feature of the Week: Adding Content to Your Website
In previous blog posts, we’ve discussed the basics of how to use the features of CastleCMS to build a theme and start designing your website. Adding content to your website is the final, and most important step to unifying the look, feel, and flow of your website.
One of the awesome features of CastleCMS is its variety of tiles and the different content you can add to your website using those tiles (see my previous blog). But adding content to a website goes beyond just throwing some basic tiles on the page. The most important things to keep in mind when adding content are your target audience and end-users of that website.
As a designer at Wildcard, we have the opportunity to go to events like “An Event Apart” in Seattle, WA to learn the latest on user experience and content/design of websites. I will briefly cover what they discussed and what was learned in hopes that you’ll apply this way of thinking to build your own website.
Content Performance Quotient
This is the time it takes your customer to get the information they came for on your website. How quickly can you solve the customer's problem and how quickly can you get the customer to the information they’re looking for? Always ask yourself, ‘why do we need this?’ when you’re adding content to your website. Always make the design of your website intentional. Don’t add extra design or content to a website that is going to bog the site down and make the user distracted or confused.
Purpose Driven Design & Content
There are plenty of ways to make content confusing or impractical. The following steps will help make sure each word is carefully placed and has a purpose.
- Make sure your website doesn’t have too much content.
- Check to make sure there is no duplicated or contradicting information.
- Use bigger type, a better typographic hierarchy, and more whitespace.
- Use clear, concise text.
- Consider your target audience and accessibility compliance:
Have unique page titles
Use headings to convey meaning and structure
Make text and link text meaningful; Use verbs and calls to action.
i.e. Get Started, Open an Account, Learn More, Get a Quote, etc.
Use alt tags for images
Transcripts and captions must be used for multimedia
Always have a purpose for everything on your site and ask yourself, “What am I trying to say?” Hone in on the substance of your website. Get to the point. Don’t write a whole paragraph about something that can be narrowed down to one sentence. Users want to know what YOU can do for THEM. They don’t want to read through the depths of your website to find what might interest them. While you want to be concise, you also need to try not to state the obvious. “Welcome to Our Website” is unnecessary.
When you build a site with CastleCMS, you can use a range of tiles of different content to keep your site clean, simple, and unique to your end user. Tiles are specific items you place into the mosaic grid layout, in order to add personalized content to a page. Tiles come in an array of different categories ranging from the structure of the page layout with rich text descriptions, summaries, and header text, to media tiles such as images, videos, maps, and galleries, or even advanced tiles that include content listings, query listings, document viewers, search bars, and more. These tiles just scratch the surface as to what content can easily be added to a page, to personalize your website using CastleCMS.
To add tiles to your website, you just select Edit > Insert and then choose the tile you'd like to place on the page. Tiles work with Mosaic layout to be placed in a grid format on a page; This means you can add any tile you'd like, top-to-bottom or left-to-right in any order and as many or as few as you desire. You can switch the position of tiles by dragging and dropping that tile according to the dotted lines around the content, into a different location or next to different content on that page. Then, using the theme you designed, you can apply certain styles to your website and those tiles.
Content and theme must come together in a thoughtful, deliberate way to truly create a first-class website. CastleCMS helps content creators and web designers work together to make your website the best it can possibly be.