A content type is a coherent collection of information elements that form an item a user will read and use, for example, a policy. Content types, available in the Content Management System (CMS), allow content producers to add content to their website in a structured and coherent way. Research and analysis are used to identify the fields required in a given content type as well as related metadata.
Structured content makes it possible to list content, which facilitates search and filtering (both for internal and end users). Content types ‘knit together’ as part of the data model. For example, the Event content type draws on the Person content type to organise content covering the speakers at an event.
The benefits of content types
Whom do content types help?
Content types help end-users to find and understand information more easily by ensuring content is relevant and consistently organised. Fields help avoid superfluous content. Agreed metadata help navigation where users can refine and focus the content, based on the task they wish to complete on the site.
Content types help webmasters and reduce production costs by providing a common approach for pages addressing a given type of content (for example, policy, event, person, etc.). The common elements are available from the Europa Components Library (ECL).
How content types help the approach to the Commission’s online experience
Given the devolved approach in which DGs are responsible for content on standardised sites, content types are critical. Investing in and deploying content types maintains a level of ‘control’ and helps deliver the Commission's objective of creating a coherent, relevant and cost-effective web presence:
- Content types support organisational goals.
- in the Funding example, deploying content types helps achieve the organisational goal, mentioned by several DGs during earlier research, of improving the range of participants and the quality of funding applications.
Content types - along with taxonomies - play a central role in meeting user needs and organisational goals, as well as delivering a coherent, relevant, cost-efficient European Commission online experience based on a solid metadata model.