With SharePoint 2010 Web Content Management (WCM) also comes enterprise grade content classification functionality. Arranging content on a page is handled using page layouts. A page layout dictates what type of content goes on a page, and how it is arranged on the page. Page layouts help content authors keep the page focused and clean. The page presentation is the combination of the sites master page (which dictates the structure of the sites underlining framework, including navigation and other entities which are common across the site); and the page layout (which dictates the structure of content on a page).
Theme relevant content can be carefully managed using these WCM components to your advantage, but first you will need to fully understand how all this works. A SharePoint WCM site offers another huge advantage called a “site column”. Site columns can be thought of as fields in a database. You can create a site column called “Environmental Issue” and set it as a “choice” data type. Then provide the options for authors to select (example, Global Warming, Greenhouse Gases, Erosion, etc…). This also provides the mechanism of tagging your content. This can be a dropdown or a multi-select using checkboxes. Create as many site columns as needed.
Now that we have our site columns created, we need to exploit another powerful component of a SharePoint WCM site called “content types”. Content types are simply a collection of site columns. Content types can be used for many things in SharePoint 2010 , including page layouts (see above). You can create a content type called “Environmental Article” and add the appropriate site columns. For example, the “Environmental Article Content” content type might contain the following site columns: Title, Author, Date, Environmental Issue, and Article Body. These are the basic ingredients you wish for all articles published on your WCM site to contain.
Now it’s time to bring it all together. Remember, a page layout dictates the type of content that goes on a page. This is accomplished by basing the page layout on… you guessed it… a “content type”. So keeping with this example, you would now create a new page layout called “Environmental Article Page”. You base the page layout on the content type called “Environment Article Content”.
WCM authors can now spent more time publishing environmental articles to your site and less time bogging down IT with requests. Even better, these articles are all formatted and displayed in a consistent, organized, and theme relevant fashion.