9 signs your Sitecore site is DMS ready

If you want to make the most of the Sitecore DMS, you must ensure that your Sitecore instance has been implemented in such a way that the digital marketing platform can be properly configured. The functionality of the Page Editor in particular requires special attention. Follow these nine nonlinear approved best practices for optimizing your own Sitecore DMS implementation:

  1. Support inline editing whenever possible -the FieldRenderer does this for you – so leverage it. If the user does not have access to the content, the content will not be editable. When implementing inline editing with content shared across pages, provide a visual cue to content authors that the action they perform will affect multiple pages.
  2. Hidden fields like meta tags don’t support inline editing, but you can set up buttons on the Page Editor Ribbon to spawn a field editor that will enable your content authors to use it.

  3. Break up your pages into components and rely on a proven grid system (Twitter Bootstrap, 960 Grid, etc) to implement the grid.
  4. When creating components, consider the naming of the components and the order with which they are assigned to placeholder settings, as this can have a major impact on usability.
  5. You will want to consider implementing dynamic / nested placeholders for ultimate flexibility. When using dynamic placeholders this will often result in many placeholder setting items that have the same assignment of components but different keys. To address that, use a clone of the primary placeholder to allow for a single place to update the list of allowed controls.

  6. Carefully consider datasources: the DMS relies on components to have datasource items to drive testing and personalization. Parameter templates and the context item should only be used when this is not a requirement.
  7. Datasource locations for components should be kept as close as possible to the page the content will be used on. You will also want to get support patch 389483 from Sitecore to support multiple datasource locations.
  8. If using dynamic placeholders: be careful to consider the implications on compatible renderings. Many approaches rely on the GUID generated when a component is added to a page – swapping components changes that GUID and will be disassociated from the nested components on the page (the content will still be there).
  9. Based on the skill level and routing needs of your content authors you may want to consider updating the default buttons/functions that show for inline editing. For the Rich Text field this is done by adding buttons to the WebEdit folder of the HTML profile. All other types can be adjusted using the field types /sitecore/system/Field types/Simple Types.

We have incorporated all of these features and more, into our Keystone Accelerator for Sitecore.

If you want to see Keystone in action check out our demo videos.