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Widget Corner #1

Page builder is a powerful tool within the Ektron Content Management System (CMS), allowing the user to alter the layout and behaviour of the page by simply dragging and dropping widgets around the page. Widgets are the building blocks of page builder pages. Each widget has a simple job to do, such as displaying a piece of content or a list of content items.

Starting with version 8 of the CMS, Ektron added the ability to have widgets inside widgets, one of the first such being the MVT widget set that allows variations within a page to be tested on real live users.

At Green River Media we recognised this as a major milestone and have built on the idea of widgets inside widgets to considerably extend the functionality of the CMS. The first such widget that I want to describe here is called the Tabbed widget. It allows users to create a tabbed area on the page and to add content successively to each tab, adding tabs themselves where necessary.

Tabs are a great way to save page real estate. They allow several different pieces of content to occupy the same place on the page and the user to choose which one to view. Very often this can mean the difference between an important piece of content appearing above or below the fold line of the page.

In design mode the widget gets an extra Tab called Add, this allows the user to add another tab to the widget. There is a text box where the user can enter the title of the tab and the user has the option of deleting a tab.

The main body of the tab panel is a page builder dropzone. Here the user can drop in any other widget or combination of widgets that is necessary for this particular tab. If necessary the widget can be tweaked slightly to allow for an image instead of, or as well as, the title text.