Simple Content Update Instructions

It's "easy" to explain basic Tridion concepts. The challenge is making it practical and relevant to an author's specific set of content.

Here's a "simple" content update process for the occasional author or even power user. Basically edit from your website publication, add new multimedia or components from the hyperlink pop-up, and publish the component when done.


  • Page is already published and component exists on the page (this applies for the typical page-with-component-presentations setup)
  • Most of your content is in a "main" content component.
  • You manage components and pages (as a content "editor")
  • Your rights and permissions give you access to the right folders
  • Content and pages may exist in separate publications (typically "020 Content" and "040 Site" or similar).
  • The update may include new (text) components or multimedia

Here we go...

Update (9-Dec, 2012): Step 0. If you have a page with metadata and Component Presentations that you like, make a copy of it first. Then update and change according to the following. You'll just have to publish the page at least once.
  1. In your "Site" publication (where you typically publish from), open your content component.* Select "Yes" if prompted to edit parent.
  2. Make updates in your main "details" or "body" field.
  3. If making a link to another component or multimedia, select some text, press the hyperlink button, and select type "component." Find your other component.
  4. If you haven't created the linked-to item select the "create" tab from your folder and create one or more of the following:
    • new component
    • new multimedia component, or
    • upload multimedia (if you want a new "Default Multimedia" component with the same name).
  5. Your new component will be selected. Click insert. Click OK. Save & Close your component from step #1.
  6. You're back at the Tridion main screen (Content Manager Explorer or "CME") with your updated component selected. Refresh. Click publish. You may need to publish multimedia as well if instructed by your team.
Happy Editing!

*If you've used other content management systems, Tridion components may feel like your "page" or "content chunk."

This process is the simplest I've found working with my latest set of content authors. The feedback was it's "sweet" when working correctly.

Tips for the Technical Implementation Team

To improve the author experience, reduce the number of folders, schema, fields, and templates, each author has to choose from (by removing permissions on sub folders as needed). Provide clear field descriptions and possibly custom URL instructions. Use clear, "well-sorting" naming conventions!

If possible don't ask authors to enter full URLs, code snippets, HTML, or proprietary identifiers from other systems. Instead offer drop-downs powered by categories and keywords or "template" away the repeated details (so authors only need easy-to-find IDs). Handle "bad" input gracefully, helping authors know what went wrong.

Use the content delivery API, if possible, for linking. Possibly consider dynamic component presentations. "Look Ma, no pages!"

Want to use dynamic linking but still link to (index) pages? Use a special "link to me" template to link to a component presentation instead and set any "summary" templates to never link.

If replacing content delivery or linking API (for page links), be sure to capture existing scenarios including binary publishing, "mail to" links, and content porting if and where possible.

Add parent publication as an option for the site publication target to let editors publish from the parent (advanced option lets you publish to children).

Got any tips at improving the author experience?

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