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Last Reviewed: April 22, 2021

Introduction

Shared Content is meant to be embedded into regular webpages, using a component. Sometimes just part of the content is displayed, as a teaser in a list, or a slide in a carousel or slide deck. Other times the entire shared content page is displayed, wrapped in the header and footer of a 'host' page. This gives enormous flexibility.

Do Not Link Directly to Shared Content

Please be careful not to accidentally build a direct link to a Shared Content page. They are meant to be displayed using components, as modules, teasers, or 'hosted' pages (within the header and footer of a regular webpage. Linking to them on their own will load a rogue page that has no header or footer.

And while it is possible to construct an absolute link to a Shared Content page (https://), rather than using than building a reference using the finder tool, we strongly discourage this practice. Building absolute links to other UBCMS content into your pages is risky in general, 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.

How Shared Content is Displayed on Your Site

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.  

Components that are intended to work with Shared Content (e.g. lists and slide decks) include a special setting for 'Host page', so the shared content is displayed correctly (e.g. with header/footer and navigation), no matter which site the shared content is displayed on. This setting also allows you to specify a different page from the current one 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.

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.  

This approach has the following 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 References tool or report, 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 set 'hide in navigation' in the page's Properties.

Components Often Used With Shared Content

Best Practices

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 content from another source, please consider:

  • Who 'owns' and maintains this content?
    • Check their contact details in the page Properties Stewardship tab.
  • Is their content current and is it likely to change frequently?
    • Check these details in the page Properties Stewardship tab.
  • Are there any restrictions or precautions for its use?
    • Note any Comments in the page Properties Stewardship tab.
    • Look for any Annotations on the page itself.
  • Are there any preferred uses for this content?
    • Note any Comments in the page Properties Stewardship tab.
    • Look for any Annotations on the page itself.

Examples

A variety of examples and case studies are presented on the Shared Content overview.

Additional Resources