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Does anyone have input on best practices (and side effects) of folder (not structure group) structure decisions on an XPM implementation?

  1. Content Type (my preference) a. Normally with some organization by business unit etc...
  2. Page based storage structure
  3. Other

I would always tend to option 1. as it makes content easier to find for content editors, and simplifies the creation with Page Types etc, but I'd be interested to learn other peoples experiences

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I guess if you're working with Editors that concentrate on the content, types and reuse but don't really let the site structure impact their conception of the IA then option 1 would seem to suit best. Of course, an important factor is the experience (and perceptions) of the editors' themselves.

I've worked with editors that were closely engaged with the IA stages of the design and then I've worked with editors that have been introduced / worked primarily from a 'page' perspective for several years.

  • in the former, these editors had no problem with the content type structure and mapping between the 'website/page output' format to considering what type of content they need to locate
  • as the latter see first from the page perspective the original implementers put in place the folder structure that represents the SGs quite closely and it's a real challenge to change that mental relationship when it's so embedded

I've a client that has the folder structure to closely match the SG structure (to placate an editor group list the second I mention above) and then sub-folder this content by it's Type (as the {new group of} Senior Editors prefer to think from the 'Type' perspective. I guess this wouldn't achieve what you want in the XPM Page Type creation model as the specific type are spread across several (sub-)folders and not in a single location.

update: a quick thought... you could have event system code that read some sort of metadata (or looked at page usage) to relocate created content of specific types - so the XPM Page Type Creation can be in place and the components are then moved to something that (for the editor group) more closely matches their model of content structure.

also I'm aware that this 'mixed model' presents challenges for content re-use across multiple pages - but some clients are simply very thin on re-use {requirements}.

  • Thanks Mark. XPM is always the kicker, and I'm trying to look for best practices to make page creation as easy as possible. – Chris Morgan Jan 13 '16 at 12:15
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In my experience, it's a tough one to get right and often one that ends with more discussions than answers as editors are forced to focus on IA (that's not necessarily a bad thing though!)

I think the thing with XPM is that editors shouldn't need to know where the content is - they should be able to do everything they want to from the XPM interface as using in built page types in order to create and manage content.

This is likely where the vision for the XPM implementation of defining locations for components to be created at design time based on type (and a few bare bones naming conventions).

In my opinion it's a bit short sighted - editors will still need to look for content in order to add existing components to new pages and saying to an editor that they have to look through a folder of 'general' components for a global website just isn't feasible. Maybe search would go some way to helping with this, but given that editors don't control the naming convention of new components at content creation time, it severely restricts the benefits of search.

In the implementations I've been responsible for, our default approach (or at least recommendation to the client) is the page based storage structure design where content is created in folders mimicking the website structure.

As a default implementation, this is done through events code (like Mark mentioned above) which creates a matching folder structure when a page is created via a Page Type and moves all newly created components there.

As for configuration, all content types applied to Page Types are configured to create the new content in a set folder for all content (eg. \Content\_XMGenerated) and the events code then knows to pick up from this folder.

Mark's idea of metadata may well be a good extension of this approach though as it could give better control to editors as to where their content is - but if they're having to do that, then maybe their chosen IA model isn't quite as well defined as it should be...

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