How to create an Article in dotCMS

Learn how to create an Article in dotCMS.

How to navigate from the Content dashboard in dotCMS and select for the Article content type.
  1. Log into dotCMS.
  2. Select Content on the left side of the screen.
  3. Select Search.

Content Dashboard

  1. Select Article from the Type drop-down menu.

Shows where to access the Content dashboard and select for the Article type in dropdown menu.

  1. Select the Triple Vertical Dots button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
  2. Select Add New Content.

Shows triple vertical dots button to click and select for Add New Content.

Article Content Tab

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: Open the Host/Folder drop-down menu.
  2. Select the Plus Sign (+) to twirl open the www.canr.msu.edu folder.
  3. Select the Folder of the site you where you want to save your article.

Host field and resulting drop down where you select for your website folder.

TIP: If you forget to select your folder for the Host/Folder, then when you attempt to publish the article you will receive an error stating that “You don't have the required permissions to save the asset. User has no Add Children Permissions on selected host.” Follow the steps above and republish your article. It should publish properly this time.

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: Enter the Title of the article.

NOTE: Above most fields in the Content tab is Hint Text that may help you to use the field more successfully. It is recommended to read this information prior to filing in a particular field.

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: URL Title will fill in automatically; however, you may change this if you so desire.
  2. REQUIRED FIELD: Enter a short Summary for the article.

NOTE: The Summary appears in article listings, reused content and on the Article page below the headline.

NOTE: You may ignore the Toggle Editor and Language Variable fields whenever you see them below a text box.

  1. OPTIONAL: Upload the main Image for the article using the Browse button.

Showing Title, URL Title, Summary and Image fields.

  1. If you select the Browse button, from the Select a file window, navigate to the Uploads/Images folder on your site.
  2. Either select an image that was previously uploaded to the Images folder, or select the Upload New File button to upload a new image.

Showing the Select a File window where you and upload an image. 

  1. If you selected Upload New File, Select file(s) to upload button and navigate to where the image file resides on your computer, and choose the file and select Open.

Showing the Select a File window and the computer files window that opens so you can select to upload a file from your computer.

  1. Select Save and Publish button.

NOTE: DO NOT select the Save button. This will only save your image to the backend of your website as unpublished, and it will not appear live when you publish the Article. By selecting Save and Publish for the image you are preparing the image for publishing live for the Article. It will not appear on your page until you Publish the Article.

  1. Select Execute.

Showing Save/Publish and Execute buttons when uploading an image.

  1. OPTIONAL: If you uploaded an image in step 13, you must enter an Image Description for web accessibility purposes. This needs to be written in sentence format with punctuation and is typically a basic, not detailed, description. For example, “Keyboard with hands typing.”
  2. OPTIONAL: If you uploaded an image in step 13, you can choose to enter an Image Caption to appear below the image.

TIP: If your photo needs to include attribution to the photographer, this is a great place to add a sentence like “Photo courtesy of…”

Showing Image Description (required if you select an Image) and Image Caption fields (which is optional).

  1. Image Crop Preview: If you uploaded an image in step 13, this field will show you what an automatically cropped version of the image will look like for 3:2 Horizontal Image and Square Image crops. However, if you upload custom crops for each of these fields in the next two steps below, then these preview images will no longer show in this field.
  2. OPTIONAL: This field is for a 3:2 (ratio 3 wide by 2 tall) Horizontal Image that is a resized custom crop of the primary image for use on the article feed, social media and search engines.

NOTE: You will still need to upload the original sized image in the Image field in step 13.

Showing the Image Crop Previews for 3:2 Horizontal and Square Image fields.

  1. OPTIONAL: This field is for a Square Image (1 wide by 1 tall) that is a resized custom crop of the primary image. For headshot images this will ensure that the photo showing on the Article posting and any feeds won’t cut off, or partially cut off, the person’s head from the image space.

NOTE: You will still need to upload the original sized image in the Image field in step 13.

  1. OPTIONAL: This field is for a large Banner Image for the article. This is the background image for the article that appears at the top of the article page and looks like what is shown on home pages. The Title and Summary fields will be overlaid.

TIP: It is best to use a landscape image.

Showing Image fields for 3:2 Horizontal, Square and Banner.

  1. REQUIRED: Enter the Date Published for the article. The Time field is optional.
  2. OPTIONAL: Enter the Byline author(s).

NOTE: Fill in with author(s) name(s) and email address(s) if the person(s) is not a part of MSU or does not have a Person Profile in dotCMS. Any names that exactly match a person’s name on their dotCMS profile will be automatically linked to their profile.

NOTE2: A relationship will still need to be made on the Relationships Tab for people with profiles that are the Article – Child (Author-Article).

  1. OPTIONAL: If you are updating an Article written by someone else that is no longer with your unit, include the name of the person in the Original Author
  2. REQUIRED: Use the WYSIWYG Editor to enter and format the article Content.

Showing fields for Date Published, Byline, Original Author and Description.

Article Relationships Tab

  1. Select the Relationships Tab at the top of the screen. OPTIONAL: There are several types of relationships that can be applied: 1) Dataset, 2) In the News, 3) Series, 4) Organization, 5) Article –Parent (Article), 6) Place, 7) Publication Issue, 8) Article (Child), 9) Person – Child (Featured), 10) Scholarship, 11) Audio Clip and 12) Person – Child (Author).

NOTE: Typically, the relationship you select for Organization and/or Dataset will be based on the type of website you use.

  1. Dataset is any topic or other grouping of information with which the article is related. It is possible to be affiliated with more than one dataset. A Dataset is a unit or group that is an academic or Extension program, an Extension county website or an Extension topic website. These are typically sub-sites of Organization websites. For example, MSU Extension is the main organization site and all Extension sub-sites are datasets of that main site.
  2. In the News: An article is also featured in an external news article.
  3. Series: This is used to highlight a group of related articles.
  4. Select the Organization for which the article is related. It is possible to be affiliated with more than one organization. An organization is a unit that is a college, department or institute. MSU Extension (main website) is considered an Organization.
  5. Article – Parent (Article-related Articles): If this article has a relationship made for parent article, it means that it is the child article of the parent article. This article will appear in the "Related Articles" section in the footer of the related parent article. 
  6. Place is a location associated with the article. A place is a targeted and select physical building or outdoor location, e.g., Dunbar Forest, related to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, includes off-campus places.
  7. Publication Issue: This is used to associate an article with a publication.
  8. Article – Child (Article-related Articles): If this article has a relationship made for child article is means that the article is the parent article. This article will show any children articles in the footer area under the "Related Articles" heading.
  9. Person – Child (Featured-Person): Relate the article to any people featured in the article that have a person profile in dotCMS.
  10. Scholarship: Relate a scholarship to the article.
  11. Audio Clip: Relate the article to any audio clip.
  12. Person – Child (Author-Article): This is where you relate any article authors that have a person profile in dotCMS.
  1. OPTIONAL: To apply a relationship, select the Relate button for the appropriate relationship type.

Showing the Relationships tab and where to select to make a relationship for a type of content.

  1. In the Search window that opens, under Title field, type in the name of the relationship you want to make, i.e., the name of your unit (for Organizations and Datasets), or the name of the person for Featured-Person or Article-Author.

NOTE: Ignore the Language field as it defaults to the English language.

Showing Relate Search window with Title field example filled in with Interior Design.

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the Search screen and select the Search button.

Showing Relate Search window with Search button that needs to be selected to search for Title field contents.

  1. From the Matching Results that appear, select the check box next to the most appropriate result.

Showing Relate Search window with Matching Results selected and the Relate button to be selected.

  1. Select the Relate button and the relationship will appear.

Showing an applied Relationship for Dataset.

Article Tags Tab

  1. Select the Tags Tab at the top of the screen. This tab enables you to create and select tags specific to your article posting.

NOTE: When your article is Published, the tags will appear at the bottom of the web page and will be clickable. If you select one of these tags a web page will open that displays all content related to that specific tag from across all the college’s websites.

Showing the Tags tab.

  1. Put your cursor in the Tags field and start typing the name of the tag you would like to use.

TIP: It is better to use tags that are targeted and strategic, rather than a lot of single word tags. For example, “dotcms training” is a better tag to use than the words “dotcms,” “website” or “training.”

  1. If a pre-set tag appears, you can select it.

Showing a pre-set tag that can be selected for the Tags field.

  1. Your tag will now appear in the Tags field.

Showing a tag example in the Tags field.

  1. If a pre-set tag does not appear for the text you have typed, select the Enter key on your keyboard.

Showing an example of when a pre-set tag doesn't appear when you type in text.

  1. Your new tag will appear and have the outlined box showing around it like in Step 38.

NOTE: This new tag will go live as soon as you publish your Article, and you will be able to select for it in the future.

Showing a newly made tag in the Tags field.

Article Date Tab

  1. Select the Date Tab at the top of the screen. This tab allows you to select for a System Publish Date and a System Expiration Date.

TIP: It is best not to use these features. Instead you can create and Save Draft of your article to Publish live on the publish date, and Unpublish your article as needed.

NOTE: If you do use the fields in this tab, and you need to unpublish your article, you will have to first remove the date/time information and Publish the Article. Then, you can Unpublish the article.

Showing the Date tab with related System Publish Date and System Expiration Date fields.

Article Final Steps

  1. Select the language for your article. The English language is the default. Other options include Espanol, French and Arabic. To choose another language other than English, select the dropdown and choose the appropriate language.
  2. If you select the Save Draft button, it will save your article to the backend of dotCMS so you can still work on it before publishing it live.
  3. If you select the Check Links button, it will check the links in your article to make sure they work. If so, then the article will be Published. If not, then an error message window will pop up letting you know which links need to be fixed.
  4. If you select the Publish button, it will publish your article so it will appear live on your site.

Showing the final steps buttons, including Language, Save Draft, Check Links and Publish.


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