Using tags, the UBCMS can automatically display content through a variety of components. Tags are most powerful on Shared Content.

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Last Reviewed: March 1, 2024


Think of tags more as a tool to control HOW content should be displayed on your website, rather than as a description OF that content; e.g., a news article about a class studying pollution might actually be tagged as content for prospective students, and suitable for a news collection, and specifically stories dealing with environmental research.

Tags are special keywords that are attached to your pages as additional meta-data. This information can help with searches, but more directly, it is used by the UBCMS to cluster related content within one site, or across several sites, in lists or other collections. And through Dynamic Lists, tags can support searching and secondary navigation options.

Any author can add tags to their pages, especially general use tags (e.g. Audience, Location, Content Type), or those created specifically for your own website.

But before you start adding tags to your content, please understand how the tags are organized in the UBCMS.

  • Tags are grouped hierarchically, starting with top-level 'namespace' folders that cannot be added to pages. Under each 'namespace' is one or more additional tags, and any children, or grand-children. (Tags can be nested ad infinitum.)
  • Some tags have been created for general use by all units; e.g. Audience, Content Type, Location.
  • Some units have created their own collections of tags, usually under the Website namespace.

For authors, tags are listed (and added) in page Properties, on the Basic tag. Please do not apply tags from another site's inventory without advance permission (e.g. from the Website namespace).

To request a new tag for your site's own use, or to propose a new tag for general use across the university, please complete the request a custom tag form.

If your unit will be managing a large collection of your own tags, Site Managers or Unit Web Leaders can ask the DCT Help Team about granting Tag Administrator permissions.



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.

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?

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.

How Do I Display Tagged Content on My Site?

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.

Lists built with tags will pull in not only content flagged with those specific tags, but also any content flagged with their child tags. For example, a list built on Target Audience: Student would automatically also include content tagged with its child tags Undergraduate and Graduate.

An Example of Tags in Use

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. 

What Tags are in Use on Your Site Now?

The Tag Report lists details for any of your pages that are currently tagged.

  • The report will include each UBCMS page by title and path, as well as the associated tag ID(s) and title(s). Additional options:
    • Arrange tags
      • Multiple rows per page - one tag per row
      • One row per page - consolidate each page's tags into a comma-separate string
        • Show: choose from Tag ID or Tag Title
    • Include pages with no tags? (optional)
  • This report does NOT allow modification of the UBCMS pages.
  • This does NOT list related assets that are pulled onto your pages (e.g. through lists).
  • Many sites tag their shared content and not their actual Web pages. In that case, remember to set the path to your shared content folder(s).

What Tags are Available?

Below is a more complete list of the tags. General tags (e.g. Audience, Collection, Content Type) have been developed for broad use by all university offices, intended to help cluster content pages into collections of like objects. The Website tags are set aside for use by each UBCMS site for locally within their own pages. (Note that the namespaces are for use in managing the tags, and cannot themselves be used as tags.)

If you have questions about the general tags, or would like to explore developing your own tags, please contact the UBCMS Help Desk. If you have questions about the intent of tags established within a specific  Website folder, please contact that department directly.

Creating New Tags

Activate tags when are created to prevent complications on your published site. Unpublished tags are not on the live site, so they are not added on the live versions of pages. Publishing the tag is not sufficient to update the tagged page(s). You may need to remove the tag and then add it again and republish each tagged page.

Tag Administrators have the ability to create new tags. The DCT Help Team can assist you with creating new tags. If you wish to explore extensive use of tags on your site, contact us.

In the UBCMS, tags have the following form:

  • 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 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 Namespaces 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]

Please refrain from moving or merging tags until further notice. For more details, see this Known Issue.

Retiring a Tag (delete)

screenshot of tag usage details.

Usage details (displayed during the deletion process).

Tags must be deleted by a Tag Admin or the DCT Help Team.

They can be deleted at any time, but if they have been published, they should first be unpublished so they are removed from the publishers.  

As you begin to delete the tag, a confirmation screen warns you if they are used by any pages. The messages notes the volume of referenced pages, but only ten examples.

You do not need to remove them from use on pages, but before you delete a tag, you should first check its usage and adjust any pages you control, and alert impacted site owners, so that their content is not unexpectedly changed.

Deletion process:

  1. Select the tag(s).
  2. Click Unpublish in the Command Menu.
  3. Click Delete in the Command Menu.
    1. A confirmation panel asks "You are going to delete the following tags" and lists them. Choose Cancel or Delete.
    2. A confirmation panel notes either
      • No References Found. Safe to delete the selected tag(s), or
      • "Warning. Total NNN references for tag '/content/cq:tags/abc' exists:" followed by up to ten references and then "Please confirm the action for the tag(s)."
    3. Choose Keep (cancel) or Delete.
    4. Delete removes the tag. The console reloads showing the tag is now gone.

The Tag Console also provides a report of usage for each tag. Enter the console from the welcome screen. Click the hammer icon in the upper left, then Tagging. Navigate to the desired tag, select it, and open the side panel and the References browser (shortcut alt+2).  The volume of references is provided, as well as the name of each page or asset. For pages, click the reference to see the path. There is no edit link, but the reference path can be copied for each page (not the assets).

Another way to audit page use is to put a List Builder on a page in Author, set to 'build using tags.' The references can be traced using the 'helper' links that appear in Preview mode, and you can actually edit each page for which you permissions.

Best practice: always unpublish a tag before you delete it.

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