Sitecore training guide
A guide to training new Sitecore editors.
1. Arrange a date
Once you've arranged a session, post the time in the UWE - All Web Teams Teams chat so that the developers know not to arrange Sitecore maintenance during that time.
Remind trainees that they must have a UWE Bristol device (not a Mac).
Customise training to editors
Please note that the information on this page won't be relevant to all editors - you'll need to customise what you show them according to the type of editing they'll do. There's no point explaining templates types, for example, if they're going to be updating staff lists on content simple/advanced templates. Equally, someone might be updating accordions and approving their own work but never touch things like documents.
Find out about the editor requirements before you train them and use that to pick and choose from this guide.
The amount of time you'll need to book out for the training depends on how much the trainees will need to do:
- If they're just updating staff lists, allow 30 minutes.
- If they're amending existing pages/accordions/tweaking content on simple components like content image copy sections or managing documents (an example of this would be accommodation or PSNET colleagues), allow two hours (split over two sessions ideally). You'll need to book in a 30-minute session after they've had time to get used to Sitecore to show them publishing.
- Allow two hours for library staff - they'll be the only ones who will use Databases and Service Detail Cards or Service Filters. They will also need to be shown Single Media Content and how to change between video and image.
- Allow 30 minutes for a separate session on images and Asset Bank.
There are some more much advanced functions that very few editors will work with, so book these in as and when, and talk through how to do them. Editors will need good technical ability to be able to pick up these edits, so they should already have some familiarity with Sitecore first. These advanced functions include:
- external embeds
- duplicating components
- Manual Blocks of Cards
- Single Media Content
- adding galleries
- Quick Links
- You May Also Be Interested In.
2. Set up users
Please ask Neil Finlay (Neil.Finlay@uwe.ac.uk) to set up the editors on Sitecore in advance. Then contact the trainees and ask them to see whether they can log in a few days before the training. If there are issues, speak to Neil.
Tips for successful training
- Record the sessions so trainees can look back.
- Get the right people together – train people with similar editing expectations.
- Split sessions in two – don't run a three-hour session as people won't take it in.
- Talk through the steps as you demonstrate them – this forces you to demonstrate slowly enough that your clicks match your speech. Eg "I'm just going to add a document. I'm starting by writing my link text, which is Ramadan guidance (PDF) and then I'll click on the xxx".
- Talk slowly, as it's easy to rattle through things quickly when you know the subject.
- Avoid jargon and acronyms – explain what CMS is before referring to that.
- Follow linear steps and be task-focussed, eg show how to update and then how to submit a page amend.
- If something doesn't work, change it for next time.
- Don't worry if the training doesn't go perfectly or if you miss something. You can always follow up afterwards with screenshots in an email or record a quick video and then share that. If there are technical/connection issues during the training, you could see whether people are happy to stay on a bit, but bear in mind that isn't always possible, and if people have been present for a while it might be easier to reschedule.
- Ask for feedback.
- Email all the links and anything you didn't get to do after the session, so they have it all in one place.
Show them how to log in (they may not remember doing it before the training).
Ask the trainee to log in themselves.
Introduction to logged-in state
Key points to discuss (using your screen):
- The launch pad allows you to access different options. (Show)
- Pages in the Content editor are nestled in the same way as on the live site. (Show – find the Bristol facts page in Sitecore and show how you can open and close the folders).
- There is a separate components section which consists of elements which can be pulled through on pages.
There is a test site where editors can practice. Set them up in the test site before you begin training.
Where trainees need to make edits, you may find it helpful to use this dummy content (DOC) to save you coming up with real examples. You can pick from the content according to what you're showing the trainees.
Key points to discuss
Each page is assigned a template depending on its content type. The template type is indicated by a symbol next to its name in Content Editor (Show). There are a number of templates but you’ll mostly likely edit one of the below (talk through each one):
In Content Editor, use the Bristol facts page to show that – each page has several elements, and briefly describe each one:
- Meta description
- Page description (pulled through on components)
- Thumbnail space
- Navigation title
- Header heading – short title
- Header description
- Quick links – adding CTA and not page name
- On-page copy sections
- You may also be interested in
- Page name - that gives the URL – mention that this is kept short for ease of navigation. Amending or shortening a live page URL will break links, so please consult Neil F if you feel you have a business case for doing this.
Open the Bristol facts page in Experience Editor and mention which are editable fields and which are components added to the page.
Explain that edits need to be submitted for approval before they can show live. Show them authoring and explain how to get a preview link that can be sent to a stakeholder. Then show the submission and approval process.
Remind them that approvals run Monday to Friday, 15:00–16:00. Let them know that they shouldn't be editing pages on the weekend as there's no support available if anything goes wrong.
- If they're going to approve their own work, ask them to submit an edit and approve it – you could tweak a word if you don’t have an existing amend to make. If they won't be approvers, skip this step.
This would make a good natural break if you've shown them everything so far. If there are multiple trainees, ask one person to share their screen to demonstrate the publishing.
Explain the function of link text and how it must make clear what the link refers to – eg ‘Click here’ is poor but ‘Student Ambassador guidance’ is good.
Explain that we would have one copy of a document that may be linked to from multiple places. Mention that before uploading a document, you should search the Media library using the search bar to see whether it is already there. Use a keyword, eg ‘athena’ rather than multiple keywords like ‘athena swan’ to ensure a more accurate search.
Demonstrate linking to an existing document that was previously added.
- Ask the trainee to link to an existing document.
- Demonstrate uploading a document from your computer, linking to it on the page (include PDF/DOC/XLS tags) and how to publish. Ask the trainee to do that.
- Demonstrate how to upload a newer version of a document and publish it. Ask the trainee to do that.
- Show how to edit content in an accordion item.
- Show how to add a new accordion item to an accordion
- Show how to change the order of accordion items.
- Ask them to add a new accordion item and add content to it.
Advanced editors task
- Show them how to add a link to a specific accordion if that is needed.
If your trainees need to work with images, explain the image naming convention.
Say all images need to added on Asset Bank first and have correct permissions (signed permission forms from anyone featured and model release forms from the photographer). Explain how to crop and download the image from Asset Bank, then save with a logical file name that includes the image size.
Show how to upload an image to Sitecore and add image alt text.
Show how to publish an image.
Show how to update an existing image.
- Ask them to upload an image and show how they would publish it.
- Ask them to show you how they would update an existing image.
This is an advanced function but, if they need to know, follow the steps for adding galleries.
- Ask them to demonstrate how to add the above component (whichever is relevant).
Some more advanced editors may need to know how to add pages, but this will be with prior agreement only. Grad School staff will need to know how to add Sticky Nav pages for studentship opportunities, and other editors may need to add Content Advanced pages.
Show how to add a new Content advanced page, including metadata, page description and header header.
Recap the purposes of metadata and page description.
Show them how to add on-the-page YAMBIIs.
- Ask them to demonstrate the above.