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Customizing your Socrata Site using Content Management

The majority of Socrata sites have a built-in content management system that allows our customers to modify homepage content and design on their own - without the help of a Socrata developer! During a project implementation, this content management system should have been detailed. If, by chance, you are an Administrator and are inheriting a site that needs some changes, you may benefit from a refresher course. 

What is this Content Management System?

If your site is set-up with a content management system, you'll be pleased to know that updating your site is as easy as editing a dataset in your catalog. Why? Because our content management system is a group of datasets that control the content of your page.

If we look at the Rally template for example, we see that there is a dataset that controls each of the three main portions of this page: the Homepage Wallpaper, the Category Tiles, and the Featured Datasets. Here is what the Homepage Wallpaper dataset looks like:

With a little bit of imagination, you can see how this dataset correlates to the Homepage Wallpaper on this template:

By simply editing the content management dataset just as you would any other dataset in your catalog, you can make changes to your site. Be sure to publish your changes and allow up to 10 minutes to see your changes reflected on your homepage.

How do I know if my site is customizable by me, a site Administrator?

There are two places to look on your site to see if there are portions of your site that are customizable by you, an Administrator. 

The first place to look for your content management datasets is at data.yoursite.gov/admin/home (or you can navigate to Administration -> Home Page). Most customers will see these datasets here.

The second place to look is in your actual public catalog. Search your catalog for terms like "Home Page" or even search the text of your current homepage wallpaper, category tiles, or featured datasets. If your content management datasets live in your public catalog, you will find them through a simple search.

If you do not find any content management datasets in either of these places but believe you should have access to this kind of functionality, please get in touch with our support team by emailing support@socrata.com 

What portions of my site are customizable?

That's a good question because the answer is, "it depends". Depending on your unique site, you may have different portions of your site that are editable by a content management dataset. By reviewing the content management datasets on your site, however, it should be relatively self-explanatory which parts of your site you can change and which parts rely on a socrata Developer. As a general rule of thumb, if your site design is based off of a template (Rally, Homebase, Cityscape, etc), you should have access to content management datasets.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with the support team by emailing support@socrata.com.

Is there anything else I should know?

One thing to keep in mind is that these content management datasets need to be public (as opposed to private) in order to power your site. As such, be sure to retain this permission level. If you do find that your site appears "broken" and you have been working on these datasets, be sure to check their permission status and ensure that it is "public".

Second, do not delete these content management datasets. As an Administrator, you have great power and can - technically - delete these datasets. Once these datasets are deleted, however, they are gone; the lost content cannot be restored and a replacement dataset will need to be created from scratch by a Socrata developer.

 

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