Evolving CMS Capability with Paragraphs

September 21, 2017 - 11:00am
Marcus Harrison
Evolving CMS Capability with Paragraphs

For those that may not know, a content management system (CMS) is the administrative back-end of the website that facilitates content creators without any HTML expertise, in editing and creating new content. Generally, this would be limited to editing the title and body of a page in a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor or a rigid set of predefined fields in a content type. While this has traditionally gotten the job done it doesn’t allow for much flexibility in terms of page layout. TXC is evolving the breadth of CMS capability to be more modular taking content creation to the next level for our clients.

Our Approach

We’ve adopted and refined an approach based on the Drupal Paragraphs module that avoids the technical complexity and layering of Panels while providing more flexibility. In short, this provides us with the ability to have a collection of pre-designed components for a page where nearly an unlimited number of layouts are possible. Content creators can easily assemble multiple components on a page to best highlight their content without worry of jeopardizing design integrity. Components can be reordered and arranged as needed.

Some examples of common Paragraph components are:

  • Full-width image
  • Multi/single column content
  • 50% image, 50% content
  • Embedded video
  • Testimonial/quotes
  • Image gallery
  • Vertical tabs

All components are designed to be interchangeable allowing content creators more freedom to layout compelling pages. Any desired combination of components will end up looking great together without the need for a designer or developer.

We used this approach successfully on the dcmathpathways.org site for the University of Texas and have refined it even more since to better handle complex media management. This approach also reduces the number of content types needed without sacrificing flexibility and the semantic markup required to support strong SEO practices.

TXC continues to be at the forefront of emerging trends that expand what is possible with a back-end CMS. View more of our work in our portfolio here.

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