Editing Umbraco Websites

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1 Editing Umbraco Websites August The purpose of this document is to explain how to edit a website which has been built using Umbraco. The target audience for this document is content editors and authors, not necessarily developers and designers. Version 1.0 By Paul Marden Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited. All rights reserved.

2 Editing Umbraco Websites, First Edition By Paul Marden Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited. All rights reserved. Umbraco is a registered trademark of Niels Hartvig. No part of this document may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the express written permission of the Author. The author can be contacted on While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this article, the author assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. Version History First Edition: August Contents 1 Introduction About Umbraco Walk around the Umbraco Interface Understanding your website structure Editing existing content Creating new content Creating hyperlinks in a page Managing media content Storing and using Pictures in the Media section Upload new pictures in the Content section Manage rich media Publishing at a specific time Introduction This guide is intended as introductory material for website editors who are using Umbraco. We cover the basics of using the Umbraco interface, how to create and edit content linking pages together, managing media and publishing content. Umbraco is an extremely flexible system, and as such it s impossible to list exactly how every site will function, so you should use this guide to introduce the basics and then work with the site administrator or developer to better understand how your site is structured. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

3 1.1 About Umbraco Umbraco is a Web Content Management System (CMS) a tool to help designers, developers and editors build websites which are highly attractive, very functional and very easy to manage. Umbraco is built using standard Microsoft technologies and has it s roots back to around There are currently around 50,000 active installations of Umbraco, including Peugot.com, wired.co.uk and vogue.co.uk. 2 Walk around the Umbraco Interface To edit website content you must log into the Umbraco administrators interface (also known as the Umbraco Back End), this is usually accessed via the following web address (swap yourdomain.com with your website domain name). You will need a username and password to access Umbraco. Once you have logged in to Umbraco you will be presented with a screen similar to that shown in Figure 1: Umbraco back-end screen. The backend consists of a number of sections, including Content, Media, Members and so on. The sections that are available to each user depends on the permissions that have been granted by the site administrator. To swap between sections select a new section from the bottom left of the screen. The main sections provide the following features: Content enables users to add, edit, publish and delete pages on their website. Media enables users to manage media files, such as images, videos and pdfs. Members used when a site has a secure members area, this section lets you add, edit and delete members that have registered with your site. 3 Understanding your website structure Umbraco is an extremely flexible framework for developing websites. An Umbraco website is built using Document Types which are the building blocks of every website. Every page in an Umbraco site has a Document Type that specifies the structure of the page, what parts can be edited by authors, and what design template should be used to display the page to end users. Most sites have a number of different Document Types and many pages share the same Document Type. Important Note: The Document Type for each page is set when the page is created. Once it has been set the Document Type cannot be changed. If you do happen to choose the wrong Document Type, the only solution is to create a new page with the correct Document Type and copy/paste the settings from the old page to the new page. Many Umbraco websites share common Document Types, for example most sites have Homepage and Textpage Document Types. In most cases the Homepage Document Type will be used only once for the home page of the site, whereas the Textpage Document Type will be reused for many of the standard static text pages of a site. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

4 Click here to create new pages in your site Search here to find pages on your site This section enables you to edit an individual page in Umbraco. The actual fields shown depend on the type of page you edit The Tab bar changes depending on the type of page you are editing The content section lists the pages in your site. This menu changes depending on which section you are in. The Sections list enables you to move between different parts of the Umbraco Back End Figure 1: Umbraco back-end screen Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

5 Each Document Type can be customised to meet the exact needs of a particular site, which means that in general no two websites built with Umbraco will be exactly the same. Having said that, many Umbraco developers use standard names for the attributes of a Document Type. Below is a list of the commonly used names for attributes of a Document Type: Page Header The main headline for the page Menu Title A shortened version of the page title for use in navigation menus Body Text The main text of the page Secondary Content Some text which appears elsewhere on a page, e.g. in a callout box or sidebar Page Title The title of the page as shown on the title bar in Internet Explorer and on the main search listing on Google. You may use the same as the Page Header, or this may be a search engine optimised title. Description A short description of the page which is hidden from users but used by search engines to better index your page. Keywords A comma separated list of keywords sometimes used by search engines to index your page. Hidden Page A tick box which when selected will hide the page from your sitemap and navigation menu, but still allows people to view the page, and link to it if they like. Not every Document Type will use these attributes, and indeed many Document Types will have more than this, it just depends on how your site was originally developed. Other examples of common Document Types and their attributes include: News Document Type optimised for news releases, often including Headline, Date, Body Text, Media Contact etc, News and Events Document Type lists all the most recent news and events for your site, Contact Page Document Type enables a page to display a form for users to enter queries which converts their request into an . This document type has many hidden attributes which enable you to specify the from and to addresses, and whether to send a message to the person submitting the form. Gallery Document Type Lists pictures in a gallery Photo Page Document Type has a couple of attributes to enable photo s to be displayed in a gallery Pages in most websites are nested in a tree like structure to make navigating through the site easier for end users. This is also true in Umbraco websites, and the sitemap can be viewed in the Content Tree when viewing the Content Section, see Figure 2: Content Tree in Umbraco. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

6 The Content Tree will then be shown First select the content Section Figure 2: Content Tree in Umbraco The Document Type for each page also specifies what type of page it can be attached to as its parent, and also what type can be attached below it as its children. Most Umbraco sites only allow a Homepage Document Type to appear at the root of the site, and allow a Homepage to have any number of Textpages below it. It s often the case that special Document Types like News and Events Page won t let you create Textpages beneath them in the site map, only enabling you to create News items and Events. These rules vary from site to site, and will have been setup by the developer when the site was first created. 4 Editing existing content When first becoming an Umbraco editor it s easiest to start editing content that has already been created. The first job when editing content is to find the page to be edited. You can find pages in the Umbraco back end either by clicking through the Content Tree, or by searching for the page, using the search box at the top left of every part of the Umbraco back end. Once the page has been found, click on it and it will display in the right hand side of the Content Section of the Backend, similar to that shown in Figure 3: Editing an existing page in Umbraco. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

7 Figure 3: Editing an existing page in Umbraco In order to understand what the individual parts of the Umbraco page actually do you will need to consult the site s developer. The specific tabs along the top of the page will vary according to how the developer configured the Document Type of the page. The toolbar at the top of the editing part of the screen changes depending on the page attribute being edited and the tab you are viewing. For example, Page Header attributes commonly only allow you to type plain text, so you can t click on buttons like bold, italic and so on. BodyText attributes are almost always Rich Text Fields, this means you can edit the text and change some of the formatting of the text. The extent to which you can format a Rich Text Field depends entirely on how the site developer has configured the page. But many Rich Text Field attributes (such as BodyText) will allow you to cut, copy, paste, undo, set bold and italic, create bulleted and numbered lists, make hyperlinks to other parts of the site or to external sites, insert images and tables and run macros which are short pieces of program code which make sites dynamic. When you have finished editing a page you must save the changes, if you navigate away from a page before it is saved your changes will be lost. To make your changes live on the website you must also Publish the page. If you save changes without publishing them, then they won t be visible on the site. Important Note: Remember, in most cases when you are using Umbraco you will be working on your live website. That means if you publish a change it will usually be visible to members of the public using your site. Conversely if you save your changes but don t publish them, the public can t view them. The only tab that appears on every page is the Properties Tab, as shown in Figure 4: The Properties Tab of a page in Umbraco. This includes the following attributes: Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

8 Name similar to a filename, this is used to identify the page in Umbraco, and is often used to generate the URL (or website address) of the page. For example, a page called About may have the URL of Created By and Created Record the username of the person that created the page along with the date the page was created. Template this is used to define what design template is used to display a page to the site s end users. In many cases there is only one template available for a page, however some pages do have multiple templates. Publication Status Pages will only be shown on the site once they have been Published. If the page is visible on the site it will have a Last Published date. Publish At this enables you to set a date and time when the page will be published. This enables you to set a document to publish when you aren t available, for example at midnight in line with a press release date. Remove At enables you to set a date when a page will be unpublished, and so not visible on the site. This makes it easy for stale content to be automatically removed from the site. Link to document gives a quick link that you can click on to see the page as it is currently viewed on the site. 5 Creating new content To create new pages in Umbraco you must first choose where in the site the new page will be created, and what Document Type the new page will have. You can create new pages either by clicking on the Create button ( ) at the top left corner of the Content Section where you will be presented with the Create Content dialog, containing a copy of the content tree to select where you want the new page created. Alternatively you can right-click on the parent page in the normal Content Tree on the left hand side of the Content Section then click create. Figure 4: The Properties Tab of a page in Umbraco Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

9 In both cases once the location has been selected the Create Content dialog will enable you to name the page, and select the Document Type for the page. The list of available Document Types depends on Document Type of the parent page; you will only be able to select a new Document Type which can be a child of the parent. For example, a Homepage typically will allow Textpages or News and Events Lists to be created, but not individual News Items. Once the new page is created, it should be edited in the same way as in Editing existing content, above. Some attributes of the new page may be set as mandatory, if you fail to enter a value for them you will get an error message if you try to Save and Publish the page. 6 Creating hyperlinks in a page Because Umbraco manages all the pages in your site, as well as all the media content such as movies, pictures and pdfs, it makes it easy for you to insert images and links into the pages of your site. To make a piece of text into a hyperlink, highlight the text in the Rich Text Editorthen click the Insert/Edit Link button. This will display the Insert /Edit Link dialog as shown in Figure 5: Insert/Edit Link dialog. Figure 5: Insert/Edit Link dialog In this dialog you can choose to link to a page in your site, a media item, such as a PDF or to a page on an external site. To link to a page within your current site, use the content tree to navigate through your site map, when the page has been found click on it, and you will see an internal link appear in the URL at the top of the dialog. The title attribute will enable you to enter a search engine friendly description of Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

10 the page that is being linked to. To make the page appear in a new window select Open in New Window from the Target drop down menu. To link to an item in the Media Library of the site, click on the Media tab and navigate through the Media Tree as in the previous example. Note: You should always link to internal pages and media items using this method. If you copy the URL of an internal page from Internet Explorer and paste it into the URL field, then should you ever reorganise your site the link won t be updated. Using the above method ensures that Umbraco will always keep the link active even if you move or rename the target page. Finally to link to an external page, copy the link from Internet Explorer and paste it into the URL field. You should also provide a search engine friendly description of the link in the Title field. 7 Managing media content The purpose of the Media section of Umbraco is to act as a reusable repository for files such as pictures, videos, Adobe Acrobat PDF s and Office documents. Media items can then be used throughout the Content section of Umbraco, for example you can insert images into a Rich Text field or embed a link to a PDF document. 7.1 Storing and using Pictures in the Media section To create a new Picture in the Media Library go the Media section, right click on the Media folder and click Create. Give the new Media item a name (usually the same as the file name for the image), then select Image as the Document Type, and click Create. Figure 6: Create Media Item dialog A new Media item will be created, within which you can upload the picture. Once the picture is uploaded to the server and saved, Umbraco will calculate the Width, Height, Size and Type for GIF and JPG images. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

11 Figure 7: Image item property pages in the Media section. You can use an image stored in the Media section in most Rich Text fields. To insert an image click on the Insert/edit image icon in the toolbar ( ). The Insert Picture dialog will appear. Figure 8: Insert/Edit Picture dialog (Chose media item) From the Media Picker select the appropriate picture from the Media folder. This will insert the appropriate URL height and width at the top of the dialog. To change the alternative text that will display when hovering over the picture in the finished web page, update the content of the Name field. You can resize the image either by setting the Width or Height fields, or by dragging and dropping the image once it has been inserted into the Rich Text field Upload new pictures in the Content section As well as adding new pictures to the Media section directly, you can also add new media items in the Content section. From the Insert/edit image icon in the toolbar ( in the Insert Picture dialog. ) go to the Create New tab Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

12 Figure 9: Insert/Edit Picture dialog (Create New media item) Give the new media item a Name, as before probably the same as the file name of the image, then upload an image file. By default the media item will be put into the Media folder. It s important to click Save before inserting the image, otherwise any file you upload won t be saved to Umbraco. Finally the image URL, alternate text and dimensions will be updated. 7.2 Manage rich media You can also store non-pictorial media in Umbraco, such as office documents, PDFs and video. To create a new Picture in the Media Library go the Media section, right click on the Media folder and click Create. Give the new Media item a name (usually the same as the file name), then select File as the Document Type, and click Create. To then link to such a document from a Rich Text field, click on the Insert/edit Link icon. In the resulting dialog box, click on the Media tab, and a Media Picker control will display. Select the Media file you want to link to and click Insert. When the page is published users will be able to click on the link and the Media file will be downloaded and opened. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

13 Figure 10: Insert/Edit Link dialog (Media Picker) 7.3 Organising Media Creating all pictures and media downloads as items in the Media folder will soon become unmanageable. You will likely struggle to find the item you re looking for when inserting an image or link or simply waste time scrolling through a long list. To resolve this Umbraco enables you to organise Media items into separate folders Creating new folders To create a new Folder in the Media Library go the Media section, right click on the Media folder and click Create. Give the new Media item a name, then select Folder as the Document Type, and click Create. N.B. you can also create folders within folders, simply right click on the new parent folder rather than the root Media folder Moving and Sorting media Once you ve created a new folder structure in the Media section you will need to sort and reorganise all the media items. To move a Media item, right click on it and select Move. In the resulting dialog chose the new folder which will act as the parent, and click Save. If you choose and invalid parent, such as an image or file, then an error will be displayed. By default, folders are organised so that items are listed in the order they were created. This isn t very intuitive and you may want to sort items into alphanumeric order. To sort a folder, right click on it and select Sort. In the Sort dialog, drag and drop media items until they are in your chosen order and click Save. 8 Publishing at a specific time Individual content nodes are only shown on your site when published, they are then available to view until either the node is deleted from Umbraco or unpublished. However, there are occasions when you will want to publish a node at a particular time. For example, a new item may be published at midnight on a particular day. You may also want a document to be removed from the site at a particular time, for example a job advertisement may be invalid after the closing date. In these cases it is possible to automatically set a document to publish and unpublish at a time of your chosing. To change the publish and unpublish settings for a node, open the node in the Content Section, and click on the Properties tab. To set a document to publish at a specific time click the calendar icon adjacent to Publish at. You can then set the date and time the document will auto publish. Similarly to set the time to unpublish, click the calendar icon adjacent to Remove at. When the node is saved Umbraco will monitor the time and display or remove the node as you have instructed it. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

14 About the Author Paul Marden is an IT specialist. Having spent ten years helping large companies design and build new technology projects, he now helps charities and small companies to use IT to increase their profile, sell more and work more effectively. See linkedin.com/in/pmarden. About Orcare Orcare Limited is a Software Engineering and IT Services company based in Farnborough, Hampshire. It specialises in developing complex websites using Microsoft technologies and Open Source (free) software including Umbraco, the Friendly Content Management System. Orcare also specialises in providing IT Services to the travel and transport industry, with customers including British Airways Flying Club, Road Safety Foundation, European Road Assessment Association and International Road Assessment Programme. See orcare.com. Version Copyright Ä 2009, Orcare Limited

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