A Collection is like a database — it's where content can be stored and referenced throughout a project dynamically. Different Collections signify different content types, and an individual piece of content within a Collection is called a Collection item. For example, you can have a Collection of blog posts, authors, clients, projects, and so on. Ecommerce Collections are automatically created for products and categories.

In this lesson

Creating a collection

To create a new Collection, open the CMS panel and click on the Create New Collection button.

Collection templates

If you’re not sure what content structure you need for the Collection, you can use one of our preset Collection templates to get started. Each of these templates have their own set of fields (which you can add to or delete from as needed).

Collection name

First, specify the name of your Collection.

Singular and plural versions of the name will be generated and used in different places throughout the CMS. The collection name can be customized at any time.

Collection Url

The next step is to specify the Collection URL (slug) which is the name of the folder that your Collection pages will be stored in. The text you specify here will determining the URL structure of your Collection pages — all the pages generated for each collection item. This URL can be the same as the singular or plural version of the Collection name or it can be customized.

For example, if you’re creating a collection of “Blog Posts,” you can name the Collection URL “blog-post,” so it reads yourwebsite.com/blog-post/blog-post-page. Or, you can name the Collection URL “blog” so it reads website.com/blog/blog-post-article.

You can rename the Collection URL whenever you want. However, if you've already published your site, you'll need to set 301 redirects to ensure that existing external links to pages in this Collection will keep working. Here's how you can set the redirect easily without having to redirect each and every collection page:

  • Old path: /old-collection-url/(.*)
  • Redirect to path: /new-collection-url/%1

Adding Collection fields

While presets can be a good way to get started quickly, you can also build your Collections from scratch, adding or removing fields as needed for the type of content you’re working with.

 
Good to know
Collection fields aren't website elements. They're simply fields where data is stored for each Collection item, which you’ll be able to reference in your designs.

Field types

There are many different field types to choose from when structuring your Collection. Each field translates into different kinds of content that you incorporate into the design for your project.

Preview

As you're setting up a Collection and its fields, you'll see a preview on the right for what the form will look like when creating items for your Collection in the Designer and the Editor—the interface clients and other collaborators can use to add their own content on the live site.

 

Creating collection items

Once the collection is created, you can choose to add dummy content so you can start designing quickly, manually create items for the Collection, or import items from a CSV file.  

 

Creating dummy content

When there are no items in a Collection you have the option to generate some dummy content. Dummy content allows you to start designing and building inside the project right away, even if you don’t already have the actual content.

Creating items manually

You can start creating items manually by opening the CMS, selecting a collection and clicking + New Item button.

Creating a new item

When you create a new CMS item, you can choose to:

  • Create this new item. It will be staged to publish, and will go live on your site next time you publish your site.
  • Publish your item right away (without waiting for the next site wide publish to take place).
  • Save as Draft if you aren’t quite ready for the item to go on the live site.
  • Cancel to discard changes.
After you fill out an item’s various fields, create the item, publish it instantly, or save it as draft to continue editing it later.
Need to know
Publishing and updating individual items will also publish any items referenced in reference and multi-reference fields.

Updating existing items

When you’re updating an existing item, you can either save the changes to go live at the next site-wide publish, or publish the item right away to push the content changes to your site.

You can also save it as draft or cancel to discard the changes.

Save your updates or publish them instantly to your site. You can also save an item as draft.

Editing draft items

You can edit draft items as many times as you need and keep choosing to save them as draft until you’re ready to publish them. Once ready, the item can be staged for publish or published instantly to your site.

Instantly publish a drafted item or stage it for publication with your next site-wide publish. You can always save a draft as a draft to keep editing until it's ready to go live.

Unpublishing items

If you want to unpublish an item, you can save it as draft. This will unpublish the item on your next project-wide publish. (You can’t currently unpublish an individual item without publishing the whole site.)

Publishing restrictions

In some cases, publishing individual items would break your site. In these instances, we prevent you from being able to publish single item updates. These instances include:

  • Your site hasn’t been published
  • The structure of the Collection for that item (or a referenced item) has changed
  • You have multiple domains published at different times
  • The item’s references create circular dependencies (for example, a blog post has an author, the author has a client, and the client has a blog post)

In each of these situations, the fix is simple: publish your entire site (to all domains) to make sure everything’s in sync.

Importing content into a Collection

If you already have the content structured in a CSV file you can easily import it into your collection and map it to existing fields or new fields.

 Learn more about importing content into your collection.

Editing a Collection

The Collection can always be edited later. You can add a new field and can click in to edit an existing field (or even go to remove that field altogether). Items in a collection can be edited individually or in bulk. Learn more about modifying existing collections.

Designing with Collections

Now that you've created your Collections, you can pull content from them and connect them to your elements and design. Learn all about designing collections.