Content Architecture refers to the way all of your content is organized, structured, labeled, and inter-connected. Well-designed content architecture is key for two things:
Your content editors will be able to build, edit, and manage content more intuitively, and as a result, your visitors will have a better user experience too! This is the best practice for the Content Before Design approach, or Content First.
Agility is a flexible, content-first CMS that can be configured in several ways. We find that It is important to step back and evaluate how everything will work together before you start development.
Having a smooth and intuitive content architecture maximizes your content editors' experience by giving them tools to have full control over their content. This makes things like building new layouts and editing content easier for your editors and avoids putting them in situations where they might have to hard-code content. This will allow your editors to rely less on developers when a change is needed, leading to faster and more efficient updates.
Having good content architecture is also extremely beneficial when it comes time to expand your digital solution. By future-proofing content ahead of time to ensure it's reusable, flexible, and easy to manage, and by thinking of what integrations you may need in the mid to long term, you can be sure that these expansions will be easier to implement and that the integration process will run more smoothly. No more complete restructuring of your digital solution every time you may need a new integration!
Content Architecture is simply the most important operation you can undertake as a modern organization in our connected world. How you are able to promote your brand and communicate your message is directly related to how your Content performs, which translates into more engagement with increased traffic and, ultimately, more conversions. Building an effective Content Architecture allows your organization to move quickly, and with greater reliability in terms of your brand messaging.
We believe there are 4 important pillars of a successful Content Architecture:
The first and arguably the most important pillar is your Strategy. Think of it as an ongoing birds-eye view of how everything is supposed to work. Building out your strategy is an opportunity to determine all the really high-level questions that matter most to you:
Coming up with these questions (and more) will provide the building blocks. It truly is a top-down scenario; the better we are able to define what will make you successful moving forward from a high level, the easier it will be to continue to be successful over time.
Your Content Model is the way that the content, (i.e.: text, lists, images videos, etc.) is set up within Agility CMS, allowing editors to make updates and circulate this content with ease, across all your digital products.
Agility CMS's unique approach to Content Modelling enables a robust and consistent way to define, and relate your content with endless possibilities.
Next, we’ll need to think about where we want that content to end up, which we will refer to as its destination or outputs.
Where Agility CMS's best-in-class Editor Experience differentiates itself from other systems, in that it not only allows you to define and relate content, it also integrates with our built-in Layout Management. This means you can define content, then control exactly how that content gets used and in which layouts.
With Agility CMS, not having restrictions or limits of entries or content models allows you to build bullet-proof architectures without compromise.
Invariably, we will end up changing our architectural models as we continue to examine the specifics of what each endpoint requires. As we work through all the places your content will flow, we should also ponder what the future might look like – are we making decisions based on a technology that might disappear or drastically change soon? How will we respond to these changes? How can we build resilience into our system to allow for this sort of flexibility?
At this point, we have to consider the question of who does what with which elements of content and when:
This is called Content Workflow, and it’s all about the people side of the equation. It’s vital to keep in mind that these folks are the lifeblood of your Content, and their experience matters. We need to make sure they are set up for success.
Now we can begin to work through our ideas about HOW our content will flow in our stack to its various outputs. We refer to this as Content DevOps. It might mean tools that we integrate with, application protocols that provide us data or that we feed data to, or software development components that need to be implemented.
DevOps brings the Development and Operations process together in a cycle used to deploy and update the artifacts powering our online properties. This is illustrated by a continuous repeating pathway through the stages of Plan > Create > Verify > Package > Release > Configure > Monitor > Plan. This process has redefined how we deploy and maintain our code online because it allows us to iterate quickly and continuously with new features and bug fixes.
There are several questions you need to ask in order to shape out your DevOps Strategy. Here are a few to get you started:
Creating and maintaining a great content model and workflow as part of your content architecture is key. Our team can help you in your efforts both to get you up and running in your initial build, as well as helping you to maintain and evolve you model as your solutions evolve.