Sitecore: The Experience Editor


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A page built with the Marketing Template

Marketing Template vs. Academic Template

For some departments, their websites are built using the Sitecore Experience Editor, or as we refer to it, the Marketing Template. You can tell a Marketing Template page apart from an Academic Template page by looking at the navigation. If the site navigation is at the top of the page, and the body of the page takes up the full width, then the page is using the Marketing Template. If the site navigation is at the left of the page, with the content taking up the remaining width of the page, then you know the page is using the “default” or Academic Template. Marketing pages are generally geared towards the public, namely alumni and prospective students. 

There is a tradeoff between using the Marketing Template vs. the Academic Template. Marketing pages can have eye-catching large imagery, and a wider variety of design elements. However, the process of building and maintaining a page using the Marketing Template can be challenging. 


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A page built using the Academic Template

For the Academic Template, you generally just have to drop your content in the page content folder, and it will show up on the page in the order in which it appears in the folder. In contrast, the Marketing Template requires you to take that content, package it in an appealing way, and then drop in on the page manually. Considering each item on the page needs to be saved, checked in, published, and positioned, there can be a real learning curve to using the Marketing Template. 

Many departments opt to avoid making those changes on their own, and must rely on support tickets to get changes made. In summary, the Academic Template is easy to use but visually limited, while the Marketing Template is difficult to use but visually more versatile. 

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Making changes to the Marketing Template

If your department uses the Marketing Template, here is how to make changes to your page. 

First, from the content editor, click on the page you would like to edit. Click “Lock and Edit,” click the “Publish” tab, and then click “Experience Editor.” Here we can see our page, similar to how it will appear to site visitors when published.

In order to edit a part of the page, click the item you would like to edit, and in the toolbar that pops up, click the yellow and blue checkmark icon. Click “Edit the related item,” and the item will open in a minimized view of the content editor at the top of the screen. Go ahead and make your changes as you would if editing an item in the default academic template. Click “Save,” and then click “Close.” Be very careful when clicking this, as the “Delete” and “Close” buttons are both red Xs.

Take a look at the page. If you are happy with how everything looks, then it’s time to publish. However, this is a two-step process. Click on the item you edited again, and click the “Edit the related item” link one more time. Once the content editor pops up, click the “Home” tab, then “Edit,” and then “Publish.” Click “Close.” Now, you can publish the page itself by clicking “Publish” at the top of the page. 

In order to double-check that your page has published with all of your changes, go back to the Content Editor, right-click on your page, select “Copy Item Url,” and then click “Copy Live Url.” Highlight the link and paste it in a new browser window. Here, we can see that our changes published successfully.