Production concepts

On this page we'll explain the key concepts of content authoring and production in more detail, from designing content to creating and publishing it.

Old world vs Dynamic Content

The Amplience approach to content authoring can be looked upon as the old legacy CMS approach vs the new world of Dynamic Content.

In what we’ll call the “old world” approach, to create some content for your website you’d usually need a developer to hand-craft some HTML and styling and embed the content within it. They’d have to repeat this process to create or update a piece of content. The developer resource would be better used on other parts of your project.

Because developers would need to create templates to define the way that each piece of content is displayed and repeat this process every time, it’s also a slow process and prone to error.

And because the content is embedded in the HTML, it’s more difficult to review and update and crucially it’s more difficult to re-use content in different page layouts, for example. You’ll end up with several copies of the same content, each out of sync with the other and without a ‘single source of truth’.

The old world approach: content is intermingled with the code
The old world approach: content is intermingled with the code

Another drawback of this approach is that your content is static and it’s very difficult to dynamically deliver content, to configure pages personalised for a particular user’s shopping habits, for example.

The new world approach

The Dynamic Content approach is to separate the content from the presentation. Your developers will create content types that define how content is structured and this is completely separate from the way it’s presented.

Content is separated from the way it is presented
Content is separated from the way it is presented

This allows content to be rendered responsively and adaptively to any platform and makes it easy for your business users to create and update content without needing any developer time.

Because the content is separated from the presentation it’s less prone to errors, easier to review and you can re-use the content in many different places. The content is dynamic, so you can change the content once and the updated content is delivered to wherever it’s being consumed.

Content types

Let’s look in more detail about how a content type is created. The example below shows a simple banner. In the “old world” approach to creating the banner, your creative team would design this using a tool such as photoshop and your developers would create the HTML and CSS and embed the content for each time a banner is used.

Example banner
Example banner

To create a content type in Dynamic Content, you’d break this banner down into its component parts:

  • a background image
  • headline text
  • a subheading
  • call to action text
  • call to action URL

These component parts would be used to create a content type, you can think of this as a re-usable template for the banner. This template can then be used as many times as you want to create content, without any additional development.

For each content type your front end developers will write the rendering code and style sheets so that the content is responsive and looks great on any channel you support. This rendering code will also be used to provide a preview of the content within Dynamic Content, allowing your reviewers to be sure each content item meets their requirements before it goes live.

Creating and publishing content

Once content types are deployed, your users can start using them to create content. This is done from the production section of the Dynamic Content app. To create a new piece of content, the user just chooses the type of content to add and fills in the content editing form as shown below, adding images and video from their own media repository. The content editing form also applies your business rules, such as the maximum and minimum length of the copy text, defined as part of the content type.

Creating and editing content
Creating and editing content

Notice that a preview of the content is displayed, allowing reviewers to see exactly how it will appear when it goes live and at a range of device sizes. Once everyone is happy with the content it can be made available to whichever projects it was created for. In the case of this piece of banner content, it was created to be used as part of a sales promotion. To make it available to be scheduled for publication, the user would:

  • Associate it with the content drop for the big sale promotion. This would make the content available in the planning view. To do this the content is saved to an edition. This process is explained in much more detail in the planning user guide.
  • In the planning view, the user can then choose where the content should be delivered to. This banner might be intended for the home page, so it would be added to a slot that represents this location.

The image below shows the banner item added to a slot representing the home page.

Adding content to a slot
Adding content to a slot
  • When the edition containing the content for the big sales promotion goes live, the banner content will be published and available to be displayed on the home page.

Content items can also be published directly from the Content Library. See the publishing content page for more details.

To find out more about events, editions and slots see the planning concepts page.

If you're a developer and want find out more about creating content types and consuming content, see the integration section.

To get started creating and editing content, go to the production user guide.