How to Create an Event in dotCMS

Learn how to create an event in dotCMS.

  1. Log into dotCMS.
  2. Select Content on the left side of the screen.
  3. Select Search.

Content Dashboard

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

This image shows the dotCMS content dashboard with Type drop down menu showing the different content types that can be selected, such as Events.

  1. Select Add New Content button.
  2. Select Add New Content.

This image shows the Add New Content drop down menu options where you can select the option for Add New Content.

Event Content Tab

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: Open the Host drop-down menu.
  2. Select the Plus Sign (+) to twirl open
  3. Select the Folder of the site where you want to save your event.

This image shows the Host field drop down menu options.

TIP: If you forget to select your folder for the Host, then when you attempt to Publish your event you will receive an error stating that you do not have permission to post this event to the CANR website. Follow the steps above and republish your event. It should publish properly this time.

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

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.

TIP: If your event is part of series where each event will take place at a different location, and will feature the same name for all events, it is a good idea to include a place reference in the title to help distinguish these events on your calendar feed. For example, “Placemaking and Public Engagement Workshop – Lansing.”

TIP 2: If your event is part of a course series and you want to post an event for each class in the course, and will feature the same name for all events, it is a good idea to include a class number in the title to help distinguish these events on your calendar feed. For example, “Citizen Planner Macomb County – Class 1.”

This image shows the Title, URL Title, Summary and Image fields. For the Image Field, the Browse button is also indicated.

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

TIP: The text for the Summary should be the first sentence or two of your event description.

NOTE: This information will appear only in the Event feed on your website. It will not appear on the main Event page.

NOTE 2: You may ignore the Toggle Editor and Language Variable fields whenever you see them listed below a text box.

  1. OPTIONAL: Upload an image for the event using the Browse button.
  2. If you select the Browse button, from the Select a file window, navigate to the Uploads Images folder on your site.

This image shows an Images folder for a website with the option to either select a pre-existing uploaded image, or choose the Upload New File button.

  1. Either select an image that was previously uploaded from the Images folder, or select the Upload New File button.
  2. If you selected the Upload New File button, Select file(s) to upload button and navigate to where the image file resides on your computer, and choose the file and select Open.
  3. Select Save and Publish button only.

This image shows the two-step process for selecting a file from your computer to upload into a dotCMS website folder. It also highlights the Save and Publish button as a step.

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

  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.
  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…”

  1. OPTIONAL: This field is for uploading a 3:2 ratio Horizontal Image that is a resized custom crop of the primary image for use on social media and search engines.

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

  1. OPTIONAL Square Image: This field is for uploading a Square Image that is a resized custom crop of the primary image. For headshot images this will ensure that the photo showing on the Event 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.

This image shows the Image Description, Image Caption, 3:2 Horizontal Image and Square Image fields.

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: Select the Start Date of the event.
  2. If you know both the start time AND the end time for your event, select the Start Time from the dropdown menu.
  3. If the event is an all day event, select the All Day Event Checkbox.
  4. OPTIONAL: Enter the Time of the event in the text box if you only know the start time for your event.

TIP: If you do know both the start and end time for your event, leave this field blank and follow steps 19 and 23.

TIP 2: This field can be used to share additional time-related information, such as “Registration starts at…”

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: Select the End Date of the Event. If it is a single day event, leave the End Date the same as the Start Date. If it is a multiday event, change the End Date to the appropriate date.
  2. If you know the end time for your event, select the time from the dropdown menu.

This image shows the Start Date, Start Time, All Day Event check box, Time, End Date and End Time fields.

  1. This function is broken in dotCMS. Create a new event for each repeating event occurrence.
  2. OPTIONAL: Enter the location of the event.

TIP: Include the street address, city, state and zip code for your event location, as this is may be the only place the address for your event will be listed on the web page. Also, if you know the place name of your event location, such as business or building name, and/or the room number where the event will be held, type in the information in this field. For example, Marriott Hotel, 552 W. Circle Drive, Room 101, East Lansing, MI 48823.

TIP 2: If your event is virtual, i.e., a web meeting, webinar, etc., enter in this information in this field. For example, Zoom Meeting.

  1. OPTIONAL: Enter the Geolocation of the event; the street address, city, state and zip code. This should search the available places so you can select the correct one from the available search results.

TIP: This field is important to fill in if you know this information, as it will show a “Get Directions” button when your event is published live that visitors can select to map the location using their GPS.

TIP 2: If your event is virtual, then skip this field.

  1. OPTIONAL: Enter the Contact Information for the event.

TIP: If you have a generic and/or main office email address and phone number as contact information, type in this information in this field. For example,, (XXX) XXX-XXXX.

TIP 2: If someone from your person directory is the point of contact, and their office email address and phone number will be used as contact information, then leave this field blank. You can create a Relationship to them as a Person: Child (Point-OfContact) instead. When the event publishes live, their directory information (Photo, Name, Title, Email Address and Phone Number) will appear under a Related People heading at the bottom of the Event page.

This image shows the Repeats, Location, Geolocation and Open Map button, and Contact Information fields

  1. REQUIRED: Use the WYSIWYG Editor (Description) to enter all of the details of the event information, including known details, such as focus of event, speakers, the agenda, cost to attend, continuing education, lodging, parking, etc.

TIP: You should always include some information in the description, so visitors will know what your event is about.

This image shows the WYSIWYG Editor buttons and the Description field.

  1. OPTIONAL: If using a registration system or have a web address for a PDF form for your event, insert the registration web address into the Link field.

NOTE: This is not a text field.

TIP: This field is important to fill in if you know the web address information, as it will show a “Register” button when your event is published live that visitors can select to take them to this specific web page or PDF posted online.

TIP 2: If you want to include a web address from another website for more information, such as a conference website URL, you should reference this information in the Description field above using descriptive sentence text that you then hyperlink with the conference website URL. For example, For more information, visit Planning Conference.

This image shows the Link field where a web address can be inserted.

Event Relationships Tab

  1. Select the Relationships Tab at the top of the screen. OPTIONAL: There are four types of relationships that can be applied: 1) Place, 2) Organization, 3) Dataset and 4) Person (Point of Contact).

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

  1. 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.
  2. An Organization is a unit that is a college, department or institute. MSU Extension (main website) is considered an Organization.
  3. 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.
  4. A Person (Point of Contact) is someone with a Person profile saved within your website that you want to feature as a point of contact for your event. When the event is published, this person’s name, title, phone, number and photo will appear on the event web page as “Related People,” and their name will appear in the Contact field from the Content tab, which will also be hyperlinked to their Profile page.

NOTE: More than one Point of Contact may be selected for an event.

NOTE 2: There may be times when you may select for both an Organization and a Dataset relationship for an event. For example, Construction Management is an academic program within the School of Planning, Design and Construction. If this is a Construction Management-related event, then you would make the Dataset relationship for the program, as well as Organization relationship for the school. This is only possible for websites for which you have access. You are not able to make relationships to units for which you don’t have access.

NOTE 3: For MSU Extension events only, there is an Event Submission Form outside of dotCMS that allows for making relationship to sites you don’t have access to, i.e., relating an event to all county websites, so you can promote your event statewide. This form is available to use online at MSU Extension Event Submission Form.

This image shows the Relationships tab with it's corresponding options to select relationships for Place, Organization, Dataset and Person.

  1. OPTIONAL: To apply a relationship, select the Relate button connect the appropriate relationship type.
  2. 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 Point of Contact.

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

This image shows the Relate Search box and the Title field.

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

This image shows the bottom of the Search window with the Search button identified.

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

This image shows the Relate Search box with Matching Results and the Relate button indicated.

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

This image shows an applied relationship under the Organization option. 

Event Categories Tab

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

Image showing the Cateogry tab in dotCMS and it's Tags field.

NOTE: When your event 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 pulls all content related to that specific tag from across all the college’s websites in dotCMS into one place. This feature enables a website visitor to view this content in one place.

  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.

Image of the Tags field showing both a typed in tag and a resulting pre-existing tag that is available for selection.

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

Image of Tags field showing a selected tag.

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

Image showing the Tags field with a typed in tag phrase with no existing tag showing in the system.

  1. Your new tag will appear and have the outlined box showing around it like in Step 43.

Image of Tags field showing a newly created tag. 

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

Event Date Tab

  1. Select the Date Tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Once you have selected a Start Date for your event, the System Expiration Date will automatically be set for one month after your event End Date occurs. This is the only field you need to pay attention to on this tab.

NOTE: This function will unpublish your event so that it is no longer live and searchable online.

This image shows the Date tab with the System Expiration Date showing in the field.

Event Unused Tab

  1. You can skip the Unused Tab. It has no relevance to the Event Content type.

This image shows the Unused tab, which can be ignored.

Event History Tab

  1. Select the History Tab at the top of the screen.

Image shows the History tab with both Working Version and Bring Back options available to select.

  1. This is where “Working” (or edited) and “Bring Back” (original or previous) versions of your content will appear. If you publish edits to the original version of your content, you will be able to bring it back and republish it as needed.
  2. To revert your content to a previous or original version, select the text “Bring back.”
  3. Select the OK button when the question prompt window appears.

This image shows the window that appears after you've selected to Bring Back content. It reads "Are you sure you want to replace the working version of the content with this version?, as well as an Ok button to confirm or a Cancel button to decline.

Event Final Steps

  1. Select the Language for your event. 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.

This image shows the final publishing buttons, which includes buttons for Language, Check Links, Save Draft, Publish and Cancel.

  1. If you select the Check Links button, it will enable you to check the links in your event posting to make sure they work.
  2. If you select the Save Draft button, it will save your event to the backend of dotCMS so you can still work on it before publishing it live.
  3. If you select the Publish button, it will publish your event so it will appear live on your site.
  4. If you select the Cancel button, it will cancel the event.

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