The simplest way to implement Experience Manager is to just configure the existing Pages and Component Presentations to be editable inline. I’ll go into the technical details in the next blog post, but this is pretty straightforward and takes very little thought or planning.
However, to allow your editors to get the most from Experience Manager the following (more advanced) features should be employed:
- Creating new pages using Page Types
- Creating new content using Content Types
- Constraining what type of content can appear where on a page using Regions.
Once created, Page Types provide editors with a ‘prototype’ of how a particular type of page should be constructed. For example, if a ‘Section Introduction’ page normally contains a Banner Image, two Teaser Components and then an Article Component underneath, then a Page Type can be created for this. Whenever an author needs to create a new ‘Section Introduction’ page, they can just base it on this ‘prototype’.
The screenshot below shows how an editor would go about creating a new page using the ‘Section Intro’ Page Type in a standard DXA implementation.
In my opinion, the most useful feature of Page Types is that each Component Presentation can be configured to either:
- Use the exact Components that are on the prototype version of the Page, or
- Use copies of the Components that are on the prototype Page.
If configured correctly, number 2 is especially useful for the sorts of pages that either have lots of components on them or, where the components are particularly time consuming to create.
Content Types allow Administrators to define a ‘Prototype Component’ that is cloned when an Experience Manager author creates a new piece of content using “Create and Insert new Content”.
As well as defining the ‘Prototype Component’ to be used, Content Types also allow Administrators to the Default Tridion Folder where the new Component will be created, the Default Component Template that will be used with this Component and where it will be positioned on the Page initially (either at the top or the bottom).
Once the Content Types have been created, you can configure which Page Templates that each of these can then be used with. This is done in the Tridion CME settings.
Along with the configuration of which Content Types can be used on which Page Templates, each Page can contain a number of Experience Manager Regions.
XPM Regions define areas of the Page that contain specific Component Presentation ‘types’ - that is, all of the Component Presentations within that Region need to use the same Component Schema and the same Component Template. Using XPM Regions allows control over where new Component Presentations can be added onto the Page, along with guiding authors when moving existing Component Presentations around.
For example, the screenshot below shows these constraints being enforced when moving an Article Component on a Page:
This blog post gave a high level overview of creating new Pages and adding new Component Presentations using Experience Manager.
In the next post, I’ll be looking at the technical details of how Experience Manager and Session Preview actually works. In the meantime, if you have any XPM related questions, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask over on the Tridion Stack Exchange site.
Other blog posts in this series include:
- Tridion Experience Manager (XPM) Blog Post Series Introduction
- What exactly is Experience Manager?
- What is XPM Session Preview?
- Adding New Content Using Tridion Experience Manager
- How does XPM and Session Preview actually work? [Coming soon]
- My XPM/Session Preview implementation isn’t working! What now? [Coming soon]