Carnegie Mellon University

CMU Web

A service provided by the University CMS Team

Categories, Filters & Dropdowns

Categories provide the ability to be selective about what to include on pages and feeds that are auto-populated with content. Dropdown menus can also be provided for website visitors to filter content by category. Category functionality is available on all of the special page types.

Here's how it works:

1. Add Categories

Every site contains a categories block at the base level. Categories are added to the block in four specific groups; two that are custom topics for your site, two that are related to your courses (Degrees and Concentrations). General CMU categories are also provided (not shown in categories block).

Categories block in asset tree

2. Tag Pages

Special page types (Bio, News Article, Course) are tagged with select categories; choose from the categories added to the categories block, or from a list of general CMU categories commonly used across the university's websites.

3. Apply Filters

Special index page types (Bio Index, News Index, Course Index) and RSS feeds can have a filter applied to only include pages tagged with select categories.

4. Enable Dropdowns

Dropdown menus can be added to special index page types (Bio Index, News Index, Course Index) for category filtering by website visitors. Dropdown filtering is done on the fly, so the page doesn't have to reload!

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to set up categories and use them on your special page types.

Step 1: Add Categories

  1. Edit the categories block. Categories are grouped as follows (existing categories are displayed if previously added)
    1. Site Categories
      1. Categories-1
      2. Categories-2
    2. Course
      1. Concentrations
      2. Degrees
  2. Add a new category by entering the term in the appropriate box; use semicolons to separate multiple categories (e.g., Entrepreneurship;Robots;Pittsburgh Campus)
  3. After categories have been added to Categories-1 and Categories-2, you will have the option to specify a custom Dropdown Label. These labels will display on the special index page types if the dropdown is added. If not specified, Category 1 and Category 2 will be used as the labels respectively. Examples of custom dropdown labels: Areas of Expertise, Topics, Field of Study.
  4. Submit to save; new categories will be available to use on your pages within five minutes
Editing the categories block in the CMS

Categories block edit interface; fields are available to add new terms to four groups of categories.

Step 2: Tag Pages

When creating or editing a Bio, News Article, or Course page, there will be a section for selecting Page Categories.

  1.  Enable the categories you want to tag the page with:
    1. General CMU Categories commonly used across the university's websites
    2. Four custom site categories specified in the categories block (Categories-1, Categories-2, Concentrations, Degrees)
  2. Click in the appropriate box to Select one or more values to tag the page; remove a category from being selected by clicking on it and pressing delete
  3. Finish editing the page and submit to save
Selecting page categories in the user interface

Page categories in the page edit interface.

Step 3: Apply Filters (optional)

When creating or editing a Bio Index, News Index, Course Index page or RSS feed, there will be a section for Filters; filters can be applied so that only pages tagged with specific categories are displayed.

  1. Enable the filters you want to apply to the page:
    1. General CMU Categories commonly used across the university's websites
    2. Four custom site categories specified in the categories block (Categories-1, Categories-2, Concentrations, Degrees)
  2. Click in the appropriate box to Select one or more values to filter the contents of the page; remove a category from being selected by clicking on it and pressing delete
  3. Finish editing the page and submit to save, or enable dropdowns (next step)
Configuring filters in the user interface.

Filters in the page edit interface.

Step 4: Enable Dropdowns (optional)

When creating or editing a Bio Index, News Index, or Course Index page, there will be a section for Dropdowns. Dropdown menus allow category filtering by website visitors, such as filtering by a course number or a professor's name.

  1. Enable the dropdowns you want to add to the page:
    1. General CMU Categories commonly used across the university's websites
    2. Four custom site categories specified in the categories block (Categories-1, Categories-2, Concentrations, Degrees)
    3. Bio Index page includes a dropdown for Last Name
    4. Course Index page includes a dropdown for Semesters and Required/Elective
  2. Finish editing the page and submit to save

Review the special index page types to ensure filtering and dropdowns function as expected; publish relevant pages when ready.

Bio Index page dropdown menus

Example of dropdown menus for website visitors; in the example:

  • Last Name is available on Bio Index pages only
  • Areas of Expertise and Topics are Categories 1 & 2 with custom dropdown labels specified in the categories block
  • General CMU Categories are pre-defined categories available to all sites, however only the ones tagged on your pages will be listed in the dropdown. The dropdown label can be customized on a per-page basis.

Tips

No, dropdowns can be used regardless if a filter has been applied. If a dropdown is enabled but no pages have been tagged with its respective categories, the dropdown will not display.
No, you can use the general CMU Categories for filtering and dropdowns if the categories are sufficient; the categories block is for specifying custom categories not available in the general CMU Categories.
In order for the custom dropdown label fields to appear for Categories 1 & 2, you have to submit the categories block with terms in these fields first, then edit the categories block again; the custom dropdown label fields should then be available.

The CMS is smart enough to not include a category in a dropdown if no pages are tagged with it. Once a category is used on a page, it will then be listed in the dropdown.

In addition, be sure that all relevant pages are published when using categories (see next topic).

Like the setup block, you will never need to publish the categories block. Here's what you will need to publish:

  • If a new category has been added to the categories block and is then tagged on a page, you will need to publish the page and any special index page types or RSS feeds that feature the page
  • If a category is no longer in use by any pages but still appears in a dropdown on your live site, publish the page containing the dropdown

Unfortunately you won't be able to delete categories from the categories block, however the CMS team can do this for you. Submit a request to it-help@cmu.edu.