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.

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.

Shows the Add New Content drop down menu options where you can select the option for Add New Content.

Event Content Tab

NOTE: Above most fields in the Content tab is Hint Text that further explains the field. It is recommended to read this information prior to filing in a particular field.

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

Shows the Host field drop down menu options.

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

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

NOTE: It is a best practice to add an event to the calendar as soon as you have identified a program name, date and location. You do not need all the details (e.g., registration link, complete program details) finalized to post the event on a website; you may add those details at a later date. This is more of a save-the-date approach.

TIP 1: If your event is part of series where each event will focus on a different topic and/or take place at a different location, and will feature the same name for all events, it is a good idea to include a date or place reference in the title to help distinguish these events on your calendar feed. For example, “Placemaking and Public Engagement Workshop – April 15” or “Placemaking and Public Engagement Workshop – Lansing.”

TIP 2: If your event is part of a series that can be joined at any time (no prior attendance required), each occurrence of the series should be posted as its own event.  When posting each event, it is a good idea to include either the date or a class number in the title along with the series name to help distinguish these events on your calendar feed. For example, “Citizen Planner Macomb County – Class 1.”

TIP 3: When posting a series of related events, consider reviewing the “How to Copy an Event in dotCMS” documentation (short version and long version) once you have successfully posted your first event using this tutorial.

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.

NOTE 1: If there is already an event in the system with the same URL Title, then you will need to create a unique URL Title. Otherwise, when you try to save the event, you will receive an error that an event already exists in the system with that same URL Title. For example, if an event in the system has a URL title of canr.msu.edu/events/yoga-class, then you would need to change the URL Title to something different like canr.msu.edu/events/yoga-class-april-15.

NOTE 2: URL titles must not contain any spaces and should include hyphens (-) between the words. For example, yoga-class-april-15.

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: Enter a short Summary for the event using a maximum of 256 characters.

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

NOTE 1: 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.

NOTE: If you do not plan to add an image to your event, skip to step 24.

  1. If you select the Browse button, from the Select a file window, navigate to the uploads/images folder within the site folder that you selected for the Host field in steps 7-9.

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 to the Images folder or select the Upload New File button to upload a new image.
  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.

Shows the two-step process for selecting a file from your computer to upload into a dotCMS website folder.

  1. From the drop-up menu, select the Save/Publish button only.

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

  1. Select the Execute button.

Shows the two-step process for selecting the Save and Publish button and the Execute button to publish an image to a dotCMS website folder.

  1. OPTIONAL: If you uploaded an image in step 13, you must enter an Image Description for web accessibility purposes, such as for use with assistive technology tools. The description needs to be written in sentence format with punctuation and is typically a basic, not detailed, description. For example, Person holding a bouquet of flowers.
  2. OPTIONAL: If you uploaded an image in step 13, you can choose to enter an Image Caption to appear below the image on the event page.

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

Shows the location of the Image Description and Image Caption fields.

  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 in each of these fields in the next two steps, then these preview images will no longer show in this field.

Shows what 3:2 Horitontal Image Crop and Square Image Crop previews for an image uploaded into the Image field.

  1. OPTIONAL: This field is for uploading a 3:2 (ratio 3 wide by 2 tall) ratio Horizontal Image that is a resized custom crop of the primary image for use on social media and search engines. This feature is available if the dotCMS automatic crop is not ideal.

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

  1. OPTIONAL: This field is for uploading a Square Image (1 wide by 1 tall) that is a resized custom crop of the primary image. This feature is available if the dotCMS automatic crop is not ideal. 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.

Shows the location of the 3:2 Horizontal Image and Square Image fields.

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: Select the drop-down menu for the Start Date field and choose the Start Date for the event.

The fields for Start Date, Start Time, All Day Event check box, Time, End Date and End Time and Registration Deadline Date and Registration Deadline time.

  1. If you know both the start AND end times for the event, select the Start Time from the drop-down menu.
  2. If the event is an all day event, select the All Day Event Checkbox.
  3. OPTIONAL: Use the Time field if you ONLY know the start time for the event, and enter the time of the event in the text box, or if a specific time zone should be indicated like EST.

TIP 1: If you do know BOTH the start and end time for the event, leave this field blank and follow steps 25 and 29.

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

  1. REQUIRED FIELD: This field auto populates with the Start Date assuming the event is a one-day 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 by selecting the drop-down menu for the End Date field and choosing the End Date for the Event.
  2. If you know the End Time for the event, select the time from the drop-down menu.
  3. OPTIONAL: Enter the Registration Deadline date for an event if it has one. If it does not, skip this field.

NOTE: If a Registration Deadline date is filled in, then the “Register” button will be hidden after this date and no longer show on the live event page.  

  1. OPTIONAL: Enter the Registration Deadline time for an event if it has one. If it does not, skip this field.
  2. OPTIONAL: Enter the Location of the event.

NOTE: If you fill in a physical address in this field, a “Get Directions” button will show when your event is published live that visitors can select to map the event location using Google Maps. It is highly recommended to check that the address information is accurate for Google Maps from the live event to make sure it’s directing people to the correct event location. If it does not, update the street address information in this field accordingly.

TIP 1: Include the street address, city, state and zip code for the location of in-person events, as this may be the only place the address for the event will be listed on the web page. Also, if you know the place name of the event location, such as business or building name, and/or the room number where the event will be held, also type in the information in this field. For example, Marriott Hotel, 552 W. Circle Drive, Room 101, East Lansing, MI 48823.

TIP 2: If the event is virtual or TBA, enter in this information in this field. For example, you can type in the words Zoom, Webinar, Online, Virtual or TBA. This field also accepts URLs, such as Zoom meeting links. If any of these words or a URL are input into this field, then the “Get Directions” button will be hidden on the published event page as it will not meet the physical address requirements.

the fields for Location, Geolocation and Open Map button, and Contact Information.

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

NOTE: There may be times when you may need to select for a more precise event location related to longitude and latitude for an event location. This field is more accurate at determining that information than the Location field. In those types of instances, you will need to fill in both the Location and Geolocation fields.

TIP 1: This field will also generate a “Get Directions” button like the Location field when your event is published live that visitors can select to map the event location using Google Maps.

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

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

TIP 1: 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, abc@msu.edu, XXX-XXX-XXXX.

TIP 2: If someone from your person directory is the Point of Contact for this event, and their office email address and phone number will be used as contact information, then type in their name as it appears on their website profile page in this field. For example, Jane Smith. If you relate this person in the Relationships tab of the event entry, their name will be automatically linked to their profile when the event is Published. To make this possible, you will also need to create a Relationship to them as a Person: Child (Point-Of-Contact). When the event publishes live, their directory information (Photo, Name, Title, Email Address and Phone Number) will also appear under a Related People heading at the bottom of the Event page.

  1. REQUIRED: Use the Description field’s WYSIWYG Editor 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 credits, lodging, parking, etc.

TIP 1: You should always include some information in the description, so visitors will know what your event is about. Do not rely on information contained in a PDF or an image of a “flyer” as this is neither web accessible nor mobile-friendly.

TIP 2: To ensure the text is correctly formatted, if you copy and paste directly from another website, select the text, and select the Paragraph drop-down menu from the WYSIWYG editor and choose the Paragraph option. This will remove formatting that may come over from another site. If the text in this field looks oddly formatted, this is likely the cause.

The Description field with the WYSIWYG Editor buttons.

  1. OPTIONAL: Insert a relevant website registration page hyperlink or web address into the Link field. This could be a registration link from the ANR Events Management System (EMS), Zoom or another website all together.

NOTE: This is not a text field.

NOTE 2: This field is not required and does not need to be filled in in order to publish an Event. This information, if it becomes available, can be added at a later date.

NOTE 3: This field does not need to be filled in in order to publish an Event. This information can be added at a later date when it becomes available.

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 using descriptive sentence text that you then hyperlink with the conference website URL. For example, For more information, visit Planning Conference.

Link field.

Event Relationships Tab

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

The Relationships tab with it's corresponding fields to select relationships for Place, Organization, Dataset and Person (point of contact).

NOTE 1: All dotCMS websites are now tag-based, which means you will NOT select an Organization or Dataset relationship. As an alternative to Dataset and Organization relationships, use the Tags tab to select for the other department-, institute-, program- and/or topic-related tags.

NOTE 2: Most events will need at least one Person (Point of Contact) relationship to be made unless the event contact does not have a profile in dotCMS or it is a main office email or phone number.

NOTE 3: For events pertaining to MSU Extension sites, Person and/or Place relationships may be selected, if applicable. As an alternative to Dataset and Organization relationships, use the Map tab to select for the MSU- Extension counties/regions/state and the Tags tab to select for the other topic- and/or program-related tags.

  1. A Place is a targeted and select physical building (like county Extension offices) or outdoor location (like Dunbar Forest) related to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and include off-campus locations. These locations are already set up within dotCMS. The Place relationship should only be used if the event is being housed at that type of location.
  2. Skip the Organization field and select a department, program, institute, center or lab tag from the Tags tab
  3. Skip the Dataset field and select a program or topic tag from the Tags tab instead.
  4. A Person (Point of Contact) is someone with a Person profile saved within a dotCMS website folder that can be featured as a point of contact for an event. When the event is published, information from this person’s profile such as their name, title, email address, phone number and photo will appear on the event web page under the “Related People” heading. And if their name appears in the Contact Information field from the Content tab, their name will also be hyperlinked to their Profile page in that field.

NOTE 1: More than one Point of Contact may be selected for an event. For example, outside of the main contact person for an event, there may be other people involved with the event that should also be listed like other trainers/instructors under the “Related People” heading.

NOTE 2: You must have access to the folder in which the Point of Contact’s profile is stored in order to create a relationship to this person. If you don’t have access to their profile, you can submit a request to add people as a Point of Contact for an Event using the Website Change Request Form.

  1. OPTIONAL: To apply a Relationship, select the Relate button for the appropriate relationship type field.
  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 the person for Point of Contact or the name of your unit (for the Place field).

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

The Search screen for the Relationships tab with a person's name or unit name typed into the Title field.

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

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.

The Relate Search box with Matching Results and the Relate button indicated.

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

An applied relationship appearing under the Person (Point of Contact) field..

Event Tags Tab

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

The Tags tab and it's Tags and Suggest Tags fields.

NOTE: When the event is Published, the tags selected on this tab will appear at the bottom of the Event 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.

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

TIP 1: 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.”

TIP 2: All department, program, institute, center, lab, program and topic sites have pre-set tags in the system that you can type in to select from.

TIP 3: All MSU Extension events should also be tagged “msu extension.”

TIP 4: Tags are not keywords. If you are not sure what tags to use, refer to the Tagging Recommendations article.

  1. If a pre-set tag appears that is appropriate for the event, select it.

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

  1. The selected tag will now appear in the Tags field.

Tags field showing a selected tag.

  1. If a pre-set tag does not appear for the text typed and you want to make it a new tag, select the Enter key on your keyboard.

Tags field with a typed in tag phrase with no pre-set tag in the system.

  1. The new tag will appear in the Tags field and have the outlined box showing around it like in Step 46.

Tags field with a newly created tag.

NOTE: This new tag will go live as soon as the Event is saved or published, and it will be selectable in the future.

  1. The Suggested Tags field will display tags that may be relevant based on the event information input from the Content tab and other existing dotCMS tags that might be related. Select any tags that are applicable for the event.

Suggested Tags field displaying the "Demo" tag available for selection.

NOTE: Not all tags listed as suggested will be appropriate and there may be others that you will need type in and select yourself, as explained in step 44.

Event Date Tab

NOTE: There is no specific action you need to take in this tab. This information is strictly informative.

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

NOTE: The System Expiration Date function will unpublish the event so that it is no longer live and searchable online.

Date tab showing date-related fields for System Pubish Date, System Expiration Date, "Never" check box and "Review on."

Event Map Tab

  1. If this is an MSU Extension event, select the Map tab at the top of the screen. If this is a non-MSU Extension event, skip this tab.

Map tab with the map options to select for parts of the State of Michigan or specific counties.

  1. Select the County(ies) where you would like to promote this event. This can include the Whole state, Upper or Lower Peninsula, one or more districts, or an individual county(ies) for the event.

TIP: For statewide virtual events, select the entire state.

  1. If there is a County(ies) or area of the map that should be removed as a relationship, select the Clear button or the name of an individual county. Repeat this process, as needed, if removing individual counties.

Deselect counties by selecting the button with their name on it.

Event Analytics Tab

NOTE: Until a new Event is published this tab will remain empty. After an Event is published, then this tab can show analytics generated by Google Analytics, including Page Views, Average Time on Page, Event Value, Entrances, Bounce Rate and Page Value. It may also show Pageviews per Channel like Email, Direct, etc. If Google Campaign URL Builder tracking links are created for this event, then analytics for that content will also appear under the Campaigns heading.

  1. OPTIONAL: Select the Analytics Tab at the top of the screen.

Analytics tab displaying analytics data for a published event, including Page Views, Average Time on Page, Event Value, Entrances, Bounce Rate and Page Value. It may also show Pageviews per Channel like Email, Direct, etc.

Analytics tab displaying Campaign data from Google Campaign URL Builder tracking links for a published event.

Event History Tab

NOTE: This tab is greyed out when a new event is being created. It will appear selectable if an event is opened in dotCMS for editing after it has been published. This tab is not normally used for typical event postings. This information is provided as a point of reference and it is likely that no action is needed on this tab.

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

History tab showing Working Version and Bring Back versions to select for a published event.

  1. This is where “Working” (or edited) and “Bring Back” (original or previous) versions of your content will appear if you are editing an event that has previously been published or saved. 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.

Window that appears after you've selected to Bring Back content. It reads, "Are you sure you want to replace the Working Version with this version?" It also includes an Ok button to confirm or a Cancel button to decline.

Event Final Steps

  1. The English language is the default language. Skip this field.

Final publishing buttons, including Language, Save Draft, Check Links and Publish.

  1. If the Save Draft button is selected, it will save the event to the backend of dotCMS so you can still work on it before publishing it live.
  2. If the Check Links button is selected, it will check the links in the event posting to make sure they work. If a link is broken, a notification window will appear and inform you that a link needs to be fixed.
  3. If the Publish button is selected, it will publish the event so it will appear live on your site.

TIP: As a best practice, it is a good idea to check the event on the live site after it has been published to make sure everything looks okay. To easily find the newly published event, go to a second/different browser that you are NOT logged into for dotCMS and type or paste in canr.msu.edu/events/INSERT EVENT URL TITLE TEXT from step 11. For example, if you are logged into dotCMS via the Chrome browser, select a different browser from your computer (like Firefox, Safari, Edge) to view the event live on a website. If you attempt to open the event URL using the browser you are logged into, it will open the event within the dotCMS system instead, which won’t give you the live view that you are looking for.

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