Inside Brightspot: Get a jump-start on content creation with the quick start widget

Every so often, our Vice President of Product shares an email with the company that tells the background story on why Brightspot’s features are the way they are. Not one to keep secrets, we’re sharing her insights with you here, in a series called “Inside Brightspot.” From creating users and permissions to knowing the difference between different dashboard widgets, this series will answer the questions anyone who publishes digital content has likely pondered.

The Quick Start dashboard widget is designed to get Brightspot users off and running with creating new content easily.

screenshot of Brightspot CMS dashboard

Brightspot's Quick Start widget allows users to put the content types they need to create and edit the most front and center in the UI. For writers, that might be Article. For marketing teams, it might be Pages and Forms. For photo editors, it could be Image and Gallery. The Quick Start widget also allows teams to include Content Templates as well as existing assets.

There are a number of ways an admin user can decide what displays in the Quick Start widget. Here's a quick overview.

Quick Start: Global
As is often the case in Brightspot, a set of Quick Start options can be set in Admin > Sites & Settings > Global, and within the Dashboard area. An admin user can choose from an array of content types (including Article, Author, Video, etc.), as well as content templates, plus a list of existing assets (such as your Homepage). On the CMS UI, a user would then see a single, scrollable list in Quick Start of content types, content templates and existing assets. If this is the only set of options configured, these Quick Start choices will display to all users across all sites.

Quick Start: Site-Specific
Similarly, an admin user can elect to set a unique set of choices for a given site, which will replace the options that were set globally. This is also located in Admin > Sites & Settings > Site 1 (and so on) under the Dashboard cluster. A good use case for using site-specific settings is when one site frequently uses one content type, such as a poll or a quiz, much more regularly than another site. In addition, the admin may want to include a shortcut to each site's unique Homepage for the editorial teams.

A site-specific setup for the Quick Start widget in Brightspot
An example of a Quick Start setup for a specific site in Brightspot

Quick Start: Role-Specific
In addition to Global and Site settings, an admin can also choose to set Quick Start defaults for a specific Role. If used, the Role selection of Quick Start options will replace the Global or Site choices. These can be set within Roles at Admin > Users & Roles > Roles > Role > Advanced > Dashboard.

Quick Start: User-Specific
The most granular level of control is at the individual user. By clicking the Gear icon in the widget itself, a user can check or uncheck the pre-selected options and also add his or her own Edit Existing choices from live, published content.

A user selecting unique options on the Brightspot Quick Start widget
A user can select unique options on the Brightspot Quick Start widget

The idea behind Brightspot's Quick Start widget, again, is to empower content creators to accelerate their workflows. The customizable Quick Start widget has become a favorite among busy editors, who use it as a shortcut to quickly and easily pin their most-used content types to their dashboards.

image of Brightspot employee Meredith Rodkey
About the Author
Meredith Rodkey is VP of Platform Product Management & Solutions at Brightspot. She has focused on product management for nearly 10 years, contributing to major Brightspot engagements from U.S. News & World Report to Arizent and Healthgrades. In her previous life, Meredith worked as a homepage editor and writer for, curating a daily experience for millions of users.

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