Tagging Your Shared Content

By adding tags to your Shared Content, the UBCMS can automatically display your content through list-building components.

To prevent complications on your published site, tags should be activated as soon as they are created.

What Are Tags?

Tags are special keywords that are attached to your pages as additional meta-data. This information can help with searches, but more directly, it can be used by the UBCMS to cluster shared content within one site, or across several sites.  A variety of tags have already been created in the UBCMS for use by all authors. Additionally, units have built out more tags for their own use. If you would like to explore using tags on your site, let us know using the Request Tag Information Form.

In the UBCMS, tags have the following form (read more about UBCMS tags):

  • Title (a common language descriptive label); e.g. Target Audience.
  • Name (the 'machine name', a lower-case word or hyphenated phrase); e.g. target-audience, or preferably audience.
  • Description (additional notes on how the tag should be used); e.g. "Specifies for whom the content is intended."
Tags are usually nested. The highest level is called the Namespace (e.g. Target Audience). Below that are one or more regular tags, each of which may have children.  (Any except the Namespace can be used to tag UBCMS content.) 
     Example (abbreviated)
         Target Audience             [namespace]
            - Alumni                 [tag]
            - Employee             [tag]
                 - Faculty           [tag, also child tag]
                 - Staff               [tag, also child tag]
            - Student               [tag]
                 - Graduate         [tag, also child tag]
                 - Undergraduate [tag, also child tag]

When Would I Use Tags?

Tags allow you to separate the production and publication side of your work flow. For example, you could have several authors generating shared content pages, tagged appropiately, but never actively placing the pages onto your live website.

The UBCMS can automatically display this tagged content by way of list components, with any new content appearing as soon as it is published in all the appropriate, predetermined channels. Content can appear in multiple places on your own site, or on multiple sites across the UBCMS. It can be split into several collections, or pulled together into one collection as you specify.

Tags are most effectively used when there are a lot of shared content pages in one folder, that naturally subdivide into a series of separate clusters or topics. For example, you might have a large folder of stories about your constituents, some focusing on students, some on faculty, and some on your alumni. You could then use tags to let the UBCMS channel those stories onto corresponding the alumni, student, and faculty pages of your site.  

Tags are also an effective way of reducing your stewardship effort (or risk), by allowing you to maintain information on one piece of shared content that is then reflected on several or many places around your site. For example, your office's contact information might occur on every Web page, or in hundreds of news stories, yet located on one shared content page that can be updated in seconds.  

Additionally, if many site authors use the same system of tags, it will eventually be possible to provide campus-wide collections of content to populate central Web pages, or to be shared by all units. For example, if each unit generates Faces and Voices stories, tagged by their audience (e.g. student, or faculty, or alumni), we can then generate pooled collections of these stories for all sites to display.

How Do I Assign Tags to My UBCMS Content?

Page Properties opened to reveal the Tag attributes.

Page Properties opened to reveal the Tag attributes. To browse for tags, click the little dropdown arrow (circled in red).

To assign a tag to your content, open its Page Properties. Tags are set on the Basic tab — click the little dropdown arrow to display a tree of available tags (see red circle in the picture).

In the tag tree, carefully click the (+) or (-) to expand/collapse the tree and not the folder/tag name. Only click the folder/tag name when you wish to add that tag to your page.

Click any tag from the dropdown to add it to your page, or click the tag again to remove it. You can also click the little X that is revealed beside the tag's name in Page Properties. 

Each tab in the dropdown is a tag Namespace. The tags in Content Type, Location, Target Audience, and Target Website are available for your use.

Expert Tip: If you click into the tag box and type a word from the tag's name, the UBCMS will show a list of matching tags for you to select. You can even paste in the word (Ctrl-V) to speed up the tagging process.


Here is a list of the main tags that are currently available.

We suggest you start gently, by tagging a few sample pieces of content, to see if the effect is of business value.

How Do I Display Tagged Content on My Site?

List Builder component properties opened to reveal the Tag attributes.

A List Builder component's properties opened to reveal the Tag attributes. To browse for tags, click the little dropdown arrow (circled in red).

To pull tagged content onto one of your Web pages, you need to use one of the list components, such as the List Builder, Full Width Carousel, News List, or Horizontal Slide Deck (see the Components Library for more details).

Build List Using Tags

This is the standard and simplest way to list tagged pages.

  • When setting up the list component, under Build List Using select Tags.
  • A Tags tab will automatically appear. In the Tags field, type the tags you would like to use or select the tags from a drop-down menu by clicking on the downward arrow sign to the right of the field.
  • In the Limit to path field, choose the scope of the list by selecting the page, and subsequent child pages, to which you wish to limit the list. Leave this field blank to populate the list using the content of your entire UBCMS. Web pages with tags matching your selections will then be displayed in your list.
    • Whenever possible, set a path in the Limit to Path field. Not only does this practice save the UBCMS from having to search all of its folders for content matching your tags, it also ensures you will always get just the content you desire.
  • Finally, the "Match" setting allows you to choose between Any Tag (Boolean 'OR') and All Tags (Boolean 'AND'). The default is Any Tag, and that is the most common preference. 

Build List Using Search

This alternative way to list tagged pages allows for more complex configurations.

Please be aware of the following:

Starting with CQ version 5.5, lists built with tags will pull in not only content flagged with those specific tags, but also any content flagged with their child tags.  > more details

From the example above, a list built on Target Audience: Student would automatically also include content taggedUndergraduate, and also content tagged Graduate.

An Example of Tags in Use

Example of tags in use: UB's News Center topic pages.

Example of tags in use: UB's News Center topic pages.

UB's News Center relies heavily on tags to deliver its stories onto the various topics pages, such as Arts and Culture, Business, and Law.  The news releases are all produced in a shared content folder, and tagged with their appropriate topic(s).

Separately, each of the topic pages on the published website includes a News List component that draws on a matching news topic tag (e.g. Business) and is limited to just that shared content folder.

For production convenience, the news releases are actually stored in a series of nested year and month folders (2013/01, 2013/02, 2013/04 etc.). This makes it much easier for Media Relations writers to handle the stories, which date back to 1990. To prevent the UBCMS from accidentally also displaying these folders as if they were news releases, all of the news releases are also tagged using the Content Type: News Topic tag. 

Advanced Use - Custom Tags

Tagging DAM Objects

If you have a large collection of objects in the DAM that you wish to pull onto your pages (e.g. a library of PDF documents), consider creating shared content, each with a link to a DAM object and other relevant information, and then tag those pieces of shared content.

Building Custom Tags

Advanced users of the UBCMS may wish to make adjustments to the available tags. If you wish to have new tags added to the existing taxonomy, of if you would like to develop large numbers of tags for your own site, please contact the UBCMS Help Desk.

Moving or Merging Tags

If you are a tag administrator, be very careful before moving or merging tags. If you move or merge a tag, do NOT delete the original tag. The UBCMS maps the old tag to its new name, and deactivation or deletion of the original tag will result in errors. (The old tag will be made invisible, but it does still exist and your older content will still actually be marked with that tag.)

Additional Resources

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