Concepts & Definitions

May 31, 2024

Before digging into authoring interfaces, a few definitions can help editors to understand some words or concepts that will be used on a regular basis in the present documentation :

  • Site: a site is a collection of pages organized in a hierachical manner. A site is accessible through an url or a domain-name. For instance or are sites. Each page inside those sites will be accessible through a unique url formed with or as radicals followed by the name of the page or their access path.
  • Page: a page is an entity accessible through a unique url (a web address) that can display various ressources like texts, images, forms, links, etc., with a layout that defines the visual output of all those content items.
  • Template: a template is a blueprint that will be used when creating or displaying a page to visitors. The page will then inherit certain properties defined at the template level (layout, page structure, menus, additional static or dynamic content…). Thus templates guide and fasten the editorial team work. There can be simple templates just defining where the header, the footer and the menu will appear in the page then leave a central place for the page-specific content, while other templates can come with a more complex page structure with multiple columns, and predefined items. A page created in Jahia is always based on a template. There are two types of templates
    • Page template: Templates that can be applied when manually creating a new page.
    • Content template: Content Templates is a Jahia specific and powerful feature. It ensure that a templates can be applied to any content type. For instance, a blog article may have a content template so that a blog post can be rendered as a complete HTML page without having to manually create a that page. As long as a content template has been defined for the blog content-type, the editors don’t have to think about the site map, all the blog posts will be accessible by default in full page with this template. The content item in this case is reffered as the “main resource”.
  • Area: an area is a subpart of a page that has been specified by developers at the template level with a given name. The purpose of an area is to hold content, in other words it’s a placeholder. An area can not be moved, its position in the page is fixed and defined once for all at the template level. An area can be editable or not, it depends how the developers have defined its behavior. For instance an area containing a menu is generaly not editable, as it is supposed to display automaticaly the navigation menu of the current site. Also there can be areas that are filled automaticaly with content: for instance a News or Press releases list, will display all the news or press releases existing in the web site, thanks to a query. In that case an editor will not be able to edit the list directly, but if he adds a new News item or a Press release item, this particular content will show-up in the list automaticaly. On the other hand in the central part of a page, there can be multiple areas configured to receive content inputed by editors. For each area a specific setup may have be defined to apply a certain layout or allow any type of content or only some specific type of content. Also the number of items displayed in a area can be limited, or not, at the template level.
  • Content-type: it’s the name in Jahia lingo to designate a specific structure composed of multiple fields that will hold actual content. For instance, a Press Release content-type could be defined by 5 fields (a title, a headline, a body and a more-about-us field and an issue date), while a biography content-type could be defined by the following 10 fields: first name, last name, nationality, bio text, place of birth, date of birth, place of death, date of death, title, diplomaes (list). While Jahia provides by default some basic and advanced content-types, other content types can be created by developers to match your project needs. If you think that a content-type if too limited (one or several fields are missing) or too complex (some fields are of no use), you can always go back to your development team and ask for an update.
  • Content-item: a generic term to designate a piece of content, whatever its type. Sometimes we will talk about more specific items like a Press Release item, which is a piece of content of the content-type “Press Release”.
  • View: a view is a piece of code, provided by the developers you’re working with, to render any content in HTML so that they can be displayed on your website. Multiples “views” can exist for a given content-type that will allow to change how this content is presented. To take a simple example, there can be a limited view that will only display the title and the date of a content, while another view will also display the body, the author, and related links, a third view could expose the same fields but in a different order or with a different styling. The flexibility opened by the views is limitless.
  • Content-reference: a content reference is not a content in itself, it’s a method to point to a content that is not local (not a child of the page) and display it in the page. In Jahia editors will use references, for instance, to point at an image and display this image in the page, or select a content that already exist somewhere and also display it in the page without duplicating the content. The major benefit of using references is that when the source content is updated and published, the changes will impact all the places where this content is referenced.