Templates

Templates allow you to create reusable content structures that you can apply to your content items or briefs. Think of them as blueprints that define how a specific content item should be written.

This article will cover how to utilize EasyContent's templating system to its full potential so that you create effective content templates that will help significantly speed up your content production without sacrificing quality.

The Default Templates

All projects have a default template with two default tabs: Text and Meta data & Files. These tabs belong to a special category called system tabs. System tabs contain system fields, which are vital for our API and CMS integrations.

You can rename these tabs and you can also choose to hide them. Hidden tabs will be disabled and they will not appear in the content editor.

To rename a tab, switch to the tab you want to rename so that it becomes the active tab. Once its the active tab, click on its name and it will switch to "edit mode". Enter your desired name and press the green check button or Enter on your keyboard to save.

To toggle a tab's visibility, click the eye icon. You can learn more about hiding tabs in the "Hiding Text and Meta data & Files tab" section below.

If the system fields are not enough for your needs, you can add a custom field by clicking the "add a new field" button.

You can learn more about custom fields in the "Custom Tabs" section below.

Text Tab

The Text tab is where your content item's main text will reside. By default, it has two fields: title and main content, both of which belong to a special category called system fields, which we touched upon earlier.

Customizing Title

The title will be your article's <h1> tag. In WordPress, this will be the post's title.

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

Customizing Main Content

The main content allows you to prefill the text editor with some text. It's commonly used to 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 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 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/edit default content - anything added here will be the default text when an item is created or is 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 this field when viewed in the content editor.

Meta data & Files Tab

The Meta data & Files tab, by default, mostly contains fields that are used for SEO. Like in the Text tab, all of the default fields here are a system field. You have the option to hde all of them except for the Files field.

Let's take a look at the default system 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 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.
  • 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 featured image you want to use must be uploaded to the Files widget in the Meta data & Files tab. Images uploaded to a custom asset field in other tabs can't be selected.

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 in it.

When viewed in the content editor, the featured image widget will have the Alt text option. With this, you will be able to add alt text to your featured image when the item is synced 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 sycned.

  • 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 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.
  • 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 in their upper right corner. 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. Make sure you separate individual tags with a comma.

  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 for this field to be synced properly.

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.
  • Visible - when this is unchecked, this field is disabled. In that case, it won't appear in the content editor.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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.
  • 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 Meta data & Files Tab

If you don't want to use the text and/or the meta data & files tab, 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.

Note that 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

If the default tabs and fields are not enough, you can create custom tabs and add custom fields to it.

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

Currently, there are nine (9) custom fields available. Let's take a look at them.

Heading Widget

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 Widget

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. Users commonly place this right after a heading widget when used as a section guideline.

Text Field Widget

The text field 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 if the recommended length is not met.
  • 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.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Text Area Widget

The text area widget adds a rich text editor, similar to the the main content editor in the Text tab.

  • 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 toggled, this will use a plain text editor instead of rich text.
  • 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.
  • Field guidelines (optional) - you can use this to add little helper text that will appear under this field when viewed in the content editor.

Asset Widget

The asset widget adds a file uploader to your tab, similar to the one in the Meta data & Files tab.

  • 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.
  • 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 Widget

The checkboxes widget adds a checkbox 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.
  • 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 Widget

The radio buttons widget adds a radio button 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.
  • 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 Widget

The date widget adds a date picker.

  • 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.
  • 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) Widget

The select 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 Text and Meta data & Files 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 or delete 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:

Notes About Changing and Deleting Templates

TL;DR: Switching templates might cause you to lose some data, so make sure you only do this on content items that don't have any content. More detailed info below.

If you have two templates, one template has all the default system fields enabled and the other has some of the system fields disabled, switching between them will destroy the data of disabled system fields. Custom fields, however, will retain their data as long as the custom tab they belong to is not deleted.

Let's say you have two templates.

One template is the default template. We'll call this Template A.

The second template has a custom tab, and most fields in the meta data & files tab for this template are disabled. The only ones enabled are the featured image, tags, and files widget. We'll call this Template B.

You used Template A for a content item. You finished working on it and everything in its meta data & files tab is filled with content.

You decided to switch to Template B. The meta data & files tab now only has three fields: the featured image and tags as well as the files widget. There's also a custom tab with two custom fields: a text field and a text area field.

Everything is once again filled with content.

Then you decided to switch back to Template A.

The disabled meta data & files fields are re-enabled, however, they will not restore their previous data.

If a field in the meta data & files tab contains data and then you switch to a different template with said field disabled, the data it contains will be discarded upon switching.

On the other hand, data held by custom fields persist no matter how many times you switch between templates. The only time data associated with a custom field is deleted is when you delete the content item or delete the template using the custom field itself.

Working with WordPress

Earlier, you learned that system fields are essential to our API and CMS integrations, especially to WordPress. You're going to learn why in this section.

These system fields contain data that is used to sync an article to your WordPress site with impeccable accuracy so that you can focus on creating content instead of having to log in to your site and then manually copying, pasting, and formatting it.

With a click of a button, your article will be replicated to your WordPress site in an instant!

We may add explicit support to other CMS in the future, but at the moment, we're focusing on making it easy and seamless to sync your project to a WordPress-based website. If you're not using WordPress, don't worry! You can utilize our API to sync your project to the CMS of your choice.

Gutenberg (Block Editor) vs Classic Editor

EasyContent works seamlessly with both Gutenberg (block editor) and the Classic Editor. However, since our text editor is based on TinyMCE, your content may have some layout incompatibilities and inconsistencies with the block editor, especially if your articles contain some complex formatting.

Therefore, we recommend using the classic editor over the block editor if you don't have any specific preference, or if you intend to frequently use a complex layout for your articles.

Alternately, you can install the Classic Editor plugin and activate it to keep both the block editor and classic editor enabled for your site. This will allow you to freely switch between the two editors on the fly and on a per-post basis.

If you have the Classic Editor plugin installed, EasyContent will automatically sync your articles using the classic editor by default. You can then "convert" your article to use the block editor and then check if there are any layout inconsistencies.

We're constantly working on ensuring that our text editor and WordPress's block editor sync together perfectly. If you find something that doesn't look right after importing your article to WordPress (it doesn't matter whether you use the classic or block editor), please let us know by submitting a report here.

How System Fields Sync to WordPress

You earlier learned that system fields are important for making sure that the information between EasyContent and your WordPress site syncs perfectly. Here's how each system field syncs to WordPress (and vice versa):

  • Title <=> Post Title
  • Content <=> Post Body
  • Featured Image Widget <=> Featured Image
  • Excerpt <=> Post Excerpt
  • Tags <=> Post Tags
  • Custom Post Slug <=> Custom Permalink
  • Meta Title <=> Compatible plugin's meta title field (Discarded if none found)
  • Meta Description <=> Compatible plugin's meta description field (Discarded if none found)

What about custom fields?

Custom fields are not synced to WordPress at all, so you will need to manually copy them to your site if you have custom fields.

You can also hire a developer and have them make a companion plugin for WordPress to grab your custom fields and sync them to your website if you want. Please direct your developers to our API.

If you're not using WordPress, you can also use our webhooks. With them, you can grab almost everything about your projects, even custom fields, and sync them to your CMS of choice.

Working with Yoast SEO

You've learned that the meta title and meta description fields only work when you have a compatible SEO plugin installed. Right now, EasyContent supports both Yoast SEO and All-in-One SEO pack out of the box. You'll learn how to work with both plugins, starting with Yoast SEO.

When you have Yoast SEO installed, activated, and configured, anything you put in the meta title and meta description fields will automatically be synced to Yoast SEO's equivalent fields.

You can use snippet variables to produce dynamic meta titles and descriptions. You can find the complete list of all available snippets on Yoast SEO's website.

Below is an example usage of snippet variables:

When you sync this to WordPress, the result will be like this:

Putting something like "%%title%% - Some Text" in the meta title or meta description fields also works since Yoast SEO accepts snippet variables mixed with static text.

Working with All in One SEO Pack

When you have the All in One SEO Pack installed, activated, and configured, anything you put in the meta title and meta description fields will automatically be synced to its equivalent fields.

However, unlike Yoast SEO, you can't directly use snippet variables or their equivalent on the meta title and description fields. The reason behind this is that All in One SEO pack's snippet variables, or in the plugin's language, format fields a.k.a. macros, can only be configured in its settings (All in One SEO General Settings).

Therefore, you should manually configure these settings or you should always fill the meta title and description fields in EasyContent to make sure you have proper SEO tags for your posts. In this case, we recommend that you enable the Required option for both the meta title and meta description fields to prevent you or your writers from forgetting to add these important snippets.