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Ten tips to master SilverStripe CMS

We like to keep things clean, simple, and easy-to-use in SilverStripe CMS. This means your team is more empowered to focus on creating outstanding digital experiences for your users. Here are ten tips that we think could take your SilverStripe CMS experience to the next level.

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Managing your website shouldn’t be a chore, which is why we like to keep things clean, simple, and easy-to-use in SilverStripe CMS. Built with teams in mind, the intuitive user interface packs all the functionality you expect in a modern CMS, but doesn’t require a major effort to train new team members. This means your team is more empowered to focus on creating outstanding digital experiences for your users.

Here are ten tips that we think could take your SilverStripe CMS experience to the next level.

Ten tips to master SilverStripe CMS

Add new pages to your website

The typical approach to adding a new page to your website is by clicking the “Add new” button at the top of the site tree. Alternatively, right-clicking on an existing page in the site tree provides some handy actions including adding new child pages. 

Add new pages

Add content blocks between other blocks

If you’re using Elemental content blocks, you can add a new block to your page simply by hovering over the space between two existing blocks and then clicking to add a block in that position.

Add between blocks

Rotate device previews

SilverStripe CMS includes the option to preview a page on different devices, such as mobile or tablet. Conveniently, the orientation of devices in this preview can be rotated to emulate actual device rotation, simply by clicking "Rotate" in the preview.

Rotate device preview

Share draft content

Collaborating on website content can be challenging if someone doesn’t have access to your CMS, particularly if they need to review changes before content goes live. The Share Draft Module makes this much easier by providing a private link, allowing you to share an unpublished page with anyone. This functionality is a must-have for content teams.

Share draft content

Paste content as plain text

When copying and pasting content from an application like Word directly into your CMS, any formatting and code that the content has inherited from the application can interfere with your website’s presentation. By using “Paste as Plain Text”, you can strip out any of that unwanted formatting and code from your content. There’s also an option to “Paste from Word”, which retains headers in pasted content.

Paste content as plain text

Use Campaigns to improve content workflow

The traditional use case for Campaigns is grouping content so it can be published all at once, but it can also be a useful workflow tool when it comes to content planning and peer-reviewing. By creating a collection of work within a campaign, content can then easily be reviewed and published at the appropriate time. 

Additional features are coming to SilverStripe CMS soon, such as scheduled publishing. You can check out some of the designs we’ve planned for this area here.

Drag and drop

Drag and drop is the new norm when moving files from one location to another, emulating the native app experience we’ve all become accustomed to. In SilverStripe CMS, you can drag and drop blocks to reorder them easily, and drag files directly from your desktop into the interface.

Drag and drop

Create custom reports

Keep your team up-to-date with custom reports that are tailored to your organisation’s needs. These reports are designed to help your team avoid breakages on your site and make sure they’re able to make informed decisions about future enhancements.

There are numerous ways that custom reports can support a good routine around website maintenance. It makes for valuable conversation between your content and development teams to ensure that you’re maintaining a performant website. One example is the reports provided by Recipe Reporting Tools, which indicate the availability of upgrades to modules that are used on your site, or highlight any potential security issues.

Content archive

When you archive content from your website, you can have confidence that it’s never far away. This recent addition to SilverStripe CMS allows your team to easily recover archived content and maintain a healthy audit trail.

Content archive

CMS help menu

In any software or application, readily available guidance is essential for a positive experience. The SilverStripe CMS help menu includes links to important guidance so that your team can get the most out of the interface. From the help menu, your team can also gain access to the wider SilverStripe community, where they’re able to seek advice from others in a variety of community channels including Slack and the SilverStripe forum.

We’ve also heard from content editors who have tapped into the developer documentation to gain a deeper understanding of SilverStripe CMS, helping them leverage its full capabilities, and have better conversations with developers about features.

CMS help menu

Your experience is front-of-mind

We’re continually improving the CMS, and whether you’re a content editor or website administrator, your experience is front-of-mind. If you’re keen to learn more about our user-centred approach to development, SilverStripe Product Owner, Bryn Whyman recently wrote about a new initiative we’re undertaking to eliminate friction points that users experience when performing common tasks in the CMS.

Want to know how SilverStripe CMS works?

We've built a demo that lets you try out a range of our features and modules that SilverStripe CMS has to offer. You can check out the latest version of the CMS right here with a personalised demo.

Demo SilverStripe CMS

About the author
Paul Clarke

Paul has a solid background in the design industry and brings a fusion of creative flair and technical knowledge to his projects.

He joined the SilverStripe design team after returning from Hong Kong, where he worked as a graphic designer and front-end developer. With a background in graphic design, web development and commercial print, he brings a great deal of versatility to his role.

Paul believes there's plenty of room for improvement to both the functionality and aesthetics of most websites/applications and his aim is just that–improve the web. He has enjoyed many overseas adventures–including an 8-year stint in Europe and looks forward to seeing more of the world with his family.

In his spare time, Paul enjoys water sports (both melted and frozen), riding his classic 1978 Motorbike and hanging with his family.

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