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UB Web Management

Transforming UB’s digital communications through process and tools

Linking to Shared Content

Because these pages lack the important elements of your website (header, navigation, etc.), they are never shown on their own. Instead, they must be displayed through a 'host page,' and thus must be linked with special care.

On this page:

Background

When you use shared content in your site, one of your regular pages acts as a 'host' to provide the navigation and header/footer elements.

For example, when you include shared content through a Shared Content Reference, the shared content is immediately displayed on that regular Web page, which acts as the host.  

But when you link to a piece of shared content that is intended to look like the contents of a regular Web page, you normally would use another component such as a List or Slide Deck that is intended to handle shared content. These components automatically provide the host page information so the shared content is displayed correctly (e.g. with header/footer and navigation), no matter which site the shared content is displayed on.

But if you put a direct link to shared content, say in Body Text, Button, Title or a Call to Action, or you want to include a series of links to shared content in a List, where the shared content will not all display in the same host page, an extra step is required (see below).

Best Practices for Using Content From Another Site

Shared Content that is intended for use throughout the university can be found in the University-Wide and Authoritative areas. However, you may also notice a piece of content on another unit's website, and we encourage you to first contact that unit before using their Shared Content page on your own site.

Before using Shared Content from another source, please consider these best practices.

Linking from a Shared Content Component

Components that are intended to work with Shared Content (e.g. lists and slide decks) include a special setting for 'Host page.' This setting allows you to specify a different page from your site as the 'host' for that particular content. For example, all news stories might be displayed on your News page, even if they are initially linked from a slide deck on your home page, or a list on another secondary page. This setting is often found in the Advanced Options (see this setting for the List Builder). 

If you do not provide a page in this setting, the component will use the current page as the 'host.' The shared content will appear on the same page the person was viewing when they clicked the link.

A list of Shared Content components can be found on the demo site.

Do Not Link Directly to Shared Content

While it is possible to construct direct links to shared content (e.g. with the 'host' page and 'detail' page specified), we strongly discourage this practice.

Building absolute links to other UBCMS content into your pages is risky, because they are not automatically updated when the host page or detail page is later moved, and because these links are very hard to build and maintain.

Linking from a Text Component

In cases where the Shared Content components do not meet your needs, but you still wish to link directly to a Shared Content page from a text component, use the following steps.  (This will load the Shared Content within a specific Host Page, something normally not supported by a text component.)

  1. Build a Fixed List and point to the piece of Shared Content you would like to link to in the Fixed List component.
  2. Set the host page to the desired host page.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Enter Preview mode on the sidekick. Right click on the newly created link and click "Copy Link Location/Address".
  5. Open the Text component in which you would like to place the link and open the link dialog box.
  6. Paste in the link address that you copied (Ctrl-C or Apple-C). From this URL, delete the first part of the link -- "https://ubcms-author.buffalo.edu/cf#" or "https://ubcms-author.buffalo.edu" -- so that it begins with "/content...". 
  7. Click OK.
  8. Check to make sure the link works. (The Shared Content should display within your prefered host page.)
  9. Delete the Fixed List that was built in Step 1.

Build a Pseudo Host Page

In cases where the shared content components do not meet your needs, and you still wish to link directly to a shared content page from your site, consider pulling the content onto a new page within your site by using the Shared Content Reference component to display the shared content on that page, and then link to this page instead.  

Advantages

  • You can give the page your preferred title.
  • You can add your own content above or below the shared content, or assemble several pieces into one page.
  • Your page will show when the shared content owner uses the Show References tool so they are aware it is being used before making changes or deactivating it. (This does not happen for pages used in host mode.)
  • If you do not wish this page to show in your main navigation, you can always hide it in navigation (Page Properties).

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