Productivity Tips for Sitecore Content Authors and Experience Marketers

Posted 03-12-2018 by Ken Gray

Since October 23, 2011 I’ve been helping content managers, authors, editors and marketers become more experienced, successful and productive with Sitecore.

I remember the date because I was hired as a Webmaster and exposed to Sitecore on the same day. Talk about a double-whammy! I had to learn a new culture and a new robust enterprise website content management system – that’s really a digital experience and marketing platform – right out the gate!

So, if you’re diving into Sitecore for the firs time or looking to squeeze more juice out of it, don’t worry – you’ve got this!

In this series of posts, I’m going to share my experiences, along with anecdotes and maneuvers, to help you efficiently work in Sitecore. I’ll do my best to keep the articles version-neutral and when I am not able to, I will note the version accordingly.

At the end of each post, I will also share some additional resources to enhance the content and I will give you the opportunity to ask questions or request a specific topic that you would like me to cover.

So, let’s get started.

Twice a week I will release a “deep-dive” article and update the Productivity Tips for Sitecore outline below. Feel free to bookmark this page to return periodically to check for updates. You can also subscribe to this series and get an alert when the next post is released.

Content Authoring Productivity Topics

  1. Sitecore Content Governance

  2. The first step to Sitecore productivity is having a clear process for managing your content. In this post we’ll look at…

    • A couple of content governance definitions
    • Why content governance is important
    • Getting buy-in from stakeholders and your team
    • Governance steering committee roles
    • Style guides and content naming conventions
    • Content life-cycle and content auditing
    • Sitecore’s important role in content governance

  3. Workflows and the Sitecore Workbox

  4. Workflows allow your content team to seamlessly work together to move content through legal, editorial and styling phases while simultaneously enforcing your content governance policies. Workflows speed up content delivery by having each team member responsible for their queue or stage in process without the mess of e-mail or phone confirmations. In this post we’ll look at…

    • Where to start with content workflows
    • Questions to ask when defining your workflows
    • A look at Sitecore's Sample Workflow
    • Workflow Best Practices
    • Dangers of not using workflows
    • Additional workflow resources

  5. Sitecore IA 101: Tree Design and Naming Items

  6. While providing Sitecore support over the years, I’ve work with a lot of websites and content trees and I can tell you I’ve spent [cough…wasted] a lot of time just looking for items before I could even begin to investigate a problem. Yes. I’ve used search, but sometimes, even that didn’t locate the items I was after. So, to that end, here are some tips to help you as content authors and marketers save time. We cover the following:

    • Placing items in the Content Tree
    • Naming Items for SEO and User-friendliness
    • Using Sitecore’s Display Name
    • Automating and enforcing Best Practices
    • Keeping the Media Library organised and tidy
    • Fixing a slow loading Sitecore Tree
  7. Managing Sitecore's Media Library

  8. Expanding on the previous post on Sitecore Information Architecture (IA) and Tree Design, this post covers some tips for managing the Sitecore Media Library. If you've been working with Content Management Systems for any length of time, you probably would have noticed that the number of media files will tend to grow very rapidly and often, finding items takes longer and longer, thus killing productivity. Hopefully, after reading this post you will gain a few key tips to save yourself time and frustration in dealing with this very important content area. Included in this post are the following topics:

    • Placing and Naming Media Items
    • Uploading ZIP Archives of multiple files and folders
    • Globally changing an image with Detach and Attach
    • Archiving and Auditing
    • Scanning for broken links to media items
  9. Recovering deleted items in Sitecore

  10. If you have used the Sitecore Recycle Bin then you can count yourself among the elite of Content Authors. In my seven years as a Sitecorean, I've found few who actually knew where to find the Sitecore Recycle Bin. The newer versions of Sitecore makes it more prevalent, but still I get many "panicked" requests from users wanting to know how to recover an item that was accidentally deleted. If you've not use the recycle bin before, have no fear, this article will give you the ins and outs, and you'll save time by not having to send those "I can't find my content" e-mails or make those "Help! I accidentally deleted..." phone calls. Hopefully we'll eliminate the panic attacks too :-) Here's what's in this post:

    • Finding and opening the Sitecore Recycle Bin
    • How to recover/restore an Item
    • Recovering/restoring a single version of an Item
    • Permanently deleting items (use with caution)
    • Emptying the Recycle Bin (use with caution)
  11. Scheduled and Advanced publishing with Sitecore

  12. Sitecore content alerts and reminders

  13. The Sitecore Experience editor

Additional Resources

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