Brightspot CMS User Guide

Overview of Brightspot's content hierarchy


The key to managing a dynamic, high-volume website is consistency. Visitors expect certain aspects of a website to be the same regardless of the individual page they view. One aspect of consistency is page structure—consistently placing and positioning the same elements in the same parts of a web page. Other examples of elements requiring consistency include the following:

  • Page layout
    • Position of advertisements
    • Position of reader comments
    • Position of related items
    • Position of author’s bio
    • Position of action bar
  • Contents of headers and footers
    • Appearance and function of search bar
    • Appearance and position of site’s logo
    • Hat, site-wide links, copyright

Looking at any popular website, it is clear that although individual pages have different content (different articles, images, or videos), those pages still have consistent structure.
Brightspot implements consistent page layout using content hierarchy. The hierarchy starts at the global level, flows through site level, nested section levels, and ends at the asset level. When Brightspot assembles content for display in a web browser, it searches the hierarchy to determine what content, layout, and color scheme to use. It first collects all the settings at the global level, then checks if any of those settings are changed at the site level, then the section level, and finally the asset level.

To maximize consistency and minimize the maintenance of your publications, set settings as high as possible in the content hierarchy.

Content Hierarchy Diagram.png

Using Brightspot as an example, here is an example of content hierarchy:

  • Global: This is the highest level in the hierarchy. Brightspot places content shared by all sites at this level. In terms of structure, because the header and footer are the same for all publications, Brightspot sets its header and footer at the global level.
  • Site: Brightspot offers several different products. Each product needs its own look as it fits within the global site. In order to accomplish this, each product is broken down into its own site with its own settings that cascade down to the sections and assets contained within. This allows Brightspot to set different color themes, or graphics, for each product and all of the individual pages related to each product, yet still be maintained within one instance of Brightspot.
  • Section: Sections are used to divide the content within sites into logical groupings for your viewers. Sections help drive the URL structure of content and provide the navigation path to similar content.
  • Asset: At the asset level, Brightspot’s editors provide the most granular information associated with each piece of viewable content. This includes articles, blogs, images, etc.

When Brightspot assembles content for display in a web browser, it searches the hierarchy to determine what content, layout, and color scheme to use. It first collects all the settings at the global level, then checks if any of those settings are changed at the site level, then the section level, and finally the asset level. To maximize consistency and minimize the maintenance of your publications, set settings as high as possible in the content hierarchy.

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