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:

mceclip2.png

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

mceclip1.png

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 -> Homepage Content). Most customers will see these datasets here.

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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 socrata-support@tylertech.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 on 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  socrata-support@tylertech.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.

Editing a Dataset

Getting to the Editable Dataset

1) First just as mentioned above. Go to yourdomainname/admin/home. You should see the page that lists the datasets powering the homepage content like in the example below.  

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2) Second, click on the dataset you wish to edit. One of the following pages will appear..... 

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(Grid view Page)

 or 

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(Primer Page)

 

3) Now, on either page click the “Edit” button in the top right. 

 

4) A draft of the dataset will be created for editing purposesTo go into the editing view, click on the “View Data” button. 

 blobid2.png

 
After clicking the “View Data” button, the following page should appear. This is where the dataset content can be changed. 
 
blobid3.png

(Grid View Edit Page )

 

Changing a Value in a Homepage Dataset

1) Start from the grid view edit page shown above. To change a value in a row, first, double click on that row. A modal popup should appear.

blobid4.png 

2) Find the column you wish to edit and change the value under the “Column value(s)” section. If the value is un-clickable/un-editable check to make sure the “(No value)” section is checked. 

3) Before the changes can be savedAll the values with a red background must be set to “(no value)”. To do so just click the “(No value)” checkbox. 

4) Once all the values are filled in or are toggled to “(no value)”, go ahead and hit the “Save” button. 

blobid5.png

5) The previous changes are now saved to this working copy of the original dataset. In order to make these changes appear on the homepage, click on the “Update” button. This will overwrite the original dataset with the changes made in the working copy. 
blobid6.png

After clicking the “Update” button the homepage should be updated on your homepage domain. 

Adding a Row in a Homepage Dataset 

There are some cases where you may want to add a row to a homepage dataset, this is common when adding rows to the wallpaper dataset to create a carousel. 

1) Start from the grid view edit page. Click on a different “Edit” button shown below. 

blobid7.png

A drop down should appear.

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2) Click on the “Add Row” option.

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3) A modal popup should appear with all entries equaling “(No value)”. 

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4) Enter some of the values. Note that the column “sort_order must be filled in, otherwise the homepage might break. 

blobid11.png

5) Click to “Save” button to finish adding the row to the working copy dataset. 

blobid12.png

6) To have it appear on the homepage. Click the “Update” button. It will take a few seconds to a couple of minutes to appear on the homepage. 

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If you wish to have anything further explained please reach out to socrata-support@tylertech.com. 

 

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