Templates

Templates allow you to create reusable content structures. You can apply them to your content items or briefs.

This article will cover how to utilize EasyContent's templating system to its full potential. With this, you will be able to create templates that will help speed up your content production without sacrificing quality.

The Default Template

All projects will have a default template with three default tabs: Main ContentCMS Fields and Example Tab.

Additionally, any new template you create will automatically have the Main Content and CMS Fields tab. These two tabs can't be deleted, but they can be hidden. We'll talk more about them later in this article.

The example tab can be deleted as it's mostly for demo purposes. However, if this is your first time using EasyContent, be sure to take a look at it. You'll be able to see our custom fields in action there. It might give you an idea for your own custom template.

Now, let's take a look at what the three default tabs do.

Main Content

The main content tab is where your content item's main text will be written. It has three default fields in total: title, main content, and files. These fields belong to one of the two field categories: system fields

System fields are an integral part of EasyContent. They are tied to our API and CMS integrations. They can't be deleted but you have the option to disable them by unchecking the "visible" option.

Now, let's discuss this tab's default fields in more detail.

Title Field

The title will be your article's title or <h1> tag. It has multiple options, all of which are explained below.

Set recommended length to - you can define a recommended length of N words or characters. Note that this doesn't prevent the user from submitting or approving the content item even if the recommended length is not met.

Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.

Required - when checked, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the content item, effectively preventing it from advancing to the next workflow status. Note, however, that this doesn't prevent a user with the manage content items permission to directly change its workflow status.

Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under the current field when viewed in the content editor.

Main Content Field

The main content is where your writers will write your articles. One neat trick you can do with it is that it allows you to prefill it with some text. You can add guidelines, writing tips, outlines, and others.

Set recommended length to - you can define a recommended length of N words or characters. Note that this doesn't prevent the user from submitting or approving the content item even if the recommended length is not met.

Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.

Required - when checked, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the content item, effectively preventing it from advancing to the next workflow status. Note, however, that this doesn't prevent a user with the manage content items permission to directly change its workflow status.

Add/edit default content - anything added here will be the default text when a content item is created, assigned to, or claimed by someone for the first time.

Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under the current field when viewed in the content editor.

Files Field

Finally, we have the files. There aren't any customization options for this one aside from the ability to add a field guideline. Note that you also can't disable or hide this field unless you disabled the entire main content tab (more about disabling tabs later).

CMS Fields

The CMS fields, by default, is hidden. To unhide it, click the "eye icon" next to its name. Once visible, you will see something similar to the image below.

 

The CMS Fields tab, by default, mostly contains input fields that are used for SEO. Like in the Text tab, all of the default fields here are system fields.

In the following sections, we're going to take a look at individual fields in this tab.

Featured Image Widget

When enabled, the featured image widget allows assigned users (as well as those with the right permissions) to attach a featured image to the content item.

  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Important note: the featured image you want to use must be uploaded to the files widget in the main content tab. Images uploaded to a custom asset field in other tabs can't be selected as a featured image.

You can also use an external image URL. All you need to do is to paste the image URL in the featured image field. Make sure it's a direct image link and not a webpage with an image on it.

When viewed in the content editor, the featured image widget will have the alt text option. Use this to add alt text to the featured image when it's automatically published to WordPress.

Excerpt Widget

The excerpt widget allows assigned users to add an excerpt text to the content item. If your project is connected to WordPress, this will be used as the post's excerpt when synced.

  • Set recommended length to - you can define a recommended length of N words or characters. Note that this doesn't prevent the user from submitting or approving an item if the recommended length is not met.
  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

The excerpt widget and any other widgets that accept text input will have a character and word counter visible. If a recommended length is set, it's displayed in the form of N/Limit, like the example below.

Tags Widget

The tags widget allows users to add tags to a content item. If your project is connected to WordPress, this will become the post's tags when synced. Tags must be separated with comma.

  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Custom Post Slug Widget

The custom post slug widget lets you define a custom post URL (example.com/this-is-the-custom-post-slug).

  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Making this a required field is good idea to consider if you're looking to optimize your content for SEO and UX, especially if you're syncing to WordPress. If you do sync to WordPress, be sure to enable custom permalinks via Settings Permalinks in WordPress for this field to be properly synced.

Meta Title Widget

The meta title widget allows you to set a custom meta title for your content items. It's a good idea to set a 60 character recommended length for SEO purposes.

  • Set recommended length to - you can define a recommended length of N words or characters. Note that this doesn't prevent the user from submitting or approving an item if the recommended length is not met. We recommend setting this to 60 characters for this field.
  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

If you're using WordPress, you will need to have either Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO Pack plugins installed and activated for this to work and sync properly.

Meta Description Widget

The meta description widget allows you to set a custom meta description for your content items. It's a good idea to set a 160 character recommended length for SEO purposes.

  • Set recommended length to - you can define a recommended length of N words or characters. Note that this doesn't prevent the user from submitting or approving an item even if the recommended length is not met. We recommend setting this to 160 characters for this field.
  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Like the preceding widget, this also requires either Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO Pack installed and activated to work and sync properly.

Hiding Text and CMS Fields

If you don't want to use the text and/or the CMS fields tabs, you can hide them by clicking the "eye" icon on the template page.

When a tab is hidden, it will not appear in the content editor and on a shared link. It will also not sync to WordPress.

Important note: while you can still publish an item to WordPress using a template with disabled system tabs, the resulting post will either have empty content or no SEO settings, depending on what tab is disabled. Our plugin pulls these data from the system fields in the system tabs. If you intend to use a template on a content item that needs to be published to WordPress, we recommend that you use the system tabs and its system fields.

Custom Tabs

You can create as many custom tabs and add as many custom fields to them as you wish. However, you can't add system fields in a custom tab.

Custom Fields

Currently, there are nine custom fields available. Let's take a look at each of them.

Heading

The heading widget is used for organizing your tabs. You can use this to mark sections of your tab especially if it contains a lot of other fields. Think of it as a header text, just like the ones you use to separate different sections of your articles.

Guidelines

The guidelines widget adds a global-level guideline text to your entire tab or parts of it. You can use this to describe what a tab is for or what a section is for.

Single line text

This widget adds a single-line text input field.

  • Set recommended length to - you can define a recommended length of N words or characters. Note that this doesn't prevent the user from submitting or approving an item even if the recommended length is not met.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Paragraph text

This widget adds either a rich text editor or a plain text editor.

  • Set recommended length to - you can define a recommended length of N words or characters. Note that this doesn't prevent the user from submitting or approving an item if the recommended length is not met.
  • Plain text - when activated, this widget will add a plain text editor instead of a rich text editor.
  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

File/Image upload

This widget adds a file uploader, similar to the one in the main content tab.

  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Checkboxes

This widget adds a checkbox field.

  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Add option - use this to add choices. You can add as many as you want.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Radio Buttons

This widget adds a radio button field.

  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Add option - use this to add choices. You can add as many as you want.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Date

This widget adds a date picker.

  • Required - when activated, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Select (Dropdown Select)

This widget adds a dropdown selection field.

  • Required - when toggled, the user must fill out this field before they are able to submit, approve, or "Publish to WP" the item. Note that this doesn't prevent a user with sufficient permission to directly change the content item's workflow status.
  • Add option - use this to add choices. You can add as many as you want.
  • Limit the number of selection options to - allows you to set a limit to how many items a user can select from the pool of available choices.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Reordering and Deleting Template Fields

To reorder a template field, simply click and drag the hamburger button next to a template field to reorder it.

You can delete a non-system template field by clicking its corresponding delete icon.

Creating Custom Templates

If you're on a Standard Plan or higher, you can create custom templates. All custom templates will automatically have the Main Content and CMS Fields tabs as well as their respective system fields.

To create a custom template, click the template selection menu and click on create a new template link.

Template Options

You can access the template options by clicking the menu next to the template selection menu.

Using this, you can set a template as the default one (if it isn't already) as well as rename it, delete it or duplicate it.

Keep in mind that when you set a template as the default, you won't be able to delete it. You'll need to select a new default template first before you can delete your old default.

Applying Templates to Content Items and Briefs

There are several ways to apply your template to a content item or brief (or to a group of them).

  1. Via actions - you can use this if you want to apply a template to multiple items at once.



  2. Via the template name link - clicking this brings out the template selection window.



  3. Via actions column - brings out a similar type of menu as #1, but for single items.

You can also apply a template to a content item or brief as you create them: