Structured or 'Pulled' Content

 A more advanced way of handling database-like material.  We use structures to make it easier for our web content editors to add or change information on their sites. Instead of editing the page directly, the content is changed or edited through form fields (located in the backend under the Content tab. We write code that will make this content display on the page.

For example, using a structure for your Faculty list would allow you to enter the name, phone, email, office location, bio and photo of each individual faculty member into form fields, and our code would alphabetize and display the faculty on your webpage so they are all formatted the same.

What is WYSIWYG (wiz-ee-wig)?

WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get - meaning code-free viewing of HTML material that shows bolded text as bolded rather than marked <strong>I'm Bold</strong>. Also, in context, it means using the content editor in WYSIWYG mode, with tools that you are familiar with from programs like Microsoft Word.

Containers, Contentlets, and Content

Containers: the 'windows' that comprise a dotCMS webpage. Typically in the backend containers are marked by "add content" buttons that allow you to fill the container with your content.

Contentlets: A chunk of content, particularly one stored or accessed by a container. It's the text and images that you put onto a specific page of your site. Contentlets can be reused throughout your site, such as your department contact info at the bottom of each page of your site.

Content: The content of your site is all of the copy text that you write explaining what your department does, or what your academic program is about.

The Backend

We refer to the backend as anything you see once you log into the CMS using your username and password. Content editors and the web team use the backend to change content, write code, and manage the server, permissions, and users of our CMS. 

Velocity Programming

Velocity, or more specifically Apache Velocity, is the programming language in which our website is written.

Velocity is what makes our website so dynamic. It handles advanced things like news pulls and auto-generated content. If you see lines in your page that start with a #, it is Velocity Code.

Our Content Management System (CMS)

CMS is short for "Content Management System" and is the program that handles building and displaying webpages. We use dotCMS. Other content management systems you made have heard of are Wordpress or Drupal.

"Show on Menu" Checkbox

When working with pages or folders, you have the option of showing them on the menu or not showing them on the menu. Folders by default are not shown on the menu, but pages are. Contact us if you have trouble.


Don't select Show on Menu for folders that are storing files, such as your images, docs, or files folder.

Do select Show on Menu if you are creating a folder for all the pages in the Academic Programs section of your site. If folders are not shown on the menu, none of the HTML files within it will be visible, even if you've selected to show these individual pages on the menu. Remember that each folder within your site will require an "index.html" HTML file to be created as the landing page for that folder.

HTML Pages

If you'd like to work on the page without having anyone else be able to see it, you can uncheck the Show on Menu option. Once it's ready to be seen, you'll need to edit the Page Properties and check the box.

If you are making an index page, or a landing page for a particular section of the site, we recommend not showing this page on the menu.

Website on Mobile Devices

Our design makes most of your webpage content automatically look nice on a smartphone or a tablet. If you notice something doesn't look quite right, contact us.

Getting Photos on a Site

If you don't have any photos, you can contact the Web Team and we can help you. 

You have access to a picture-collections folder in dotCMS that has Marywood buildings, classrooms, and campus images that you can add to your site. Please contact Web Development for help. 

Content Locking

Content locking is in place to prevent more than one person from editing the same page or piece of content at the same time. Locked content will show a lock icon when it is listed in the backend.

You will be required to Lock for Editing before you can begin editing a page and before you can save changes to any particular contentlet. It will actually be possible to make changes to an unlocked contentlet.  You will need to lock it before you will be able to save those changes.

You are advised to lock before you begin editing, especially if another editor has access to the same content. When you save and publish your content, the lock is released.  It is not released if you save or cancel editing. It is important to release the lock when you are done with a piece of content.

Only you or an administrator can release the lock on content that has been left locked.