Content modeling guide

A content model documents all the content that an organization produces. It should cover every piece of content used for your online presence: content used on your website, applications, different marketing channels, and so on.  

Defining the content structure and establishing relationships between the different content types is an essential part of building a successful project. Well-modeled projects are more successful from both result and satisfaction points of view. The content model then directly affects how you create, store, and use content in Kentico Xperience. That’s why it’s important to recognize the content model as the foundation of your project.

This guide will help you understand different options for storing and displaying content within Kentico Xperience. You will also learn about the recommended approaches for modeling content in Xperience, collected both internally and externally from our selected partners. You can then use these recommendations when creating the content model for your website. 

In this guide, you can learn about:

  1. Available options for storing content.
  2. Approaches to creating a taxonomy.
  3. Ways to design and display content on a website.
  4. General content modeling recommendations.

Content model vs. content type

The crucial element in any content model is a content type. Content types define a blueprint for any piece of content that editors produce. Each content type comes with a specific structure and instructions for how to input and store the data.

The term content type is not an Xperience-specific term. It’s a general term used in information architecture to define a standardized data structure.

Typical examples of web page content types are articles, news, or product pages. Website structure can also contain content types that represent much smaller pieces of information, such as videos, addresses of offices, different calls to action, or user testimonials. These content types often repeat in different places or contexts across the whole website or other marketing channels, thus making the content reusable.

Making content reusable helps editors with content governance. It makes the content manageable: it’s easier to reuse a piece of content in multiple places instead of recreating it as new everywhere editors want to use it.

The content model should cover: 

  • All content types the organization produces,
  • the relationships between the content types,
  • the data and structure each content type stores and provides,
  • and the lifecycle of each content type.

Recommendations - planning content production

Before learning about content modeling in Xperience, we recommend that you:

  1. Gather your project’s functional and environment requirements. Read more about gathering project requirements in our Xperience Advantage.
  2. Audit your existing content and align it with your existing content strategy.
    • During the audit, you should identify different types of content that you want to serve through Kentico Xperience.
    • We recommend defining the content types not from the perspective of what the content will look like on the website (i.e., the content format), but from the perspective of the content’s purpose. Think about what the content represents, e.g., an article, a testimonial, company address, annual report, biography, etc.
    • As a result, you should have defined the structure and purpose of all the content types (usually in a large spreadsheet), and you have a clear idea of the functionalities that need to be developed.
  3. Make sure you know what Developing Xperience applications requires and what the supported development models are.
    • We recommend developing Xperience websites using the .NET Core framework.

With this information in mind and content types defined, you can learn about the different options for storing and displaying content with Kentico Xperience on the following pages. This will give you a solid foundation for creating the content model for your website.

On the Storing content in Xperience page, you’ll learn about the options you can use to store content in Xperience and how you can model taxonomies.