Connecting content on Mass.gov

Learn how different content types link together in the Mass.gov site architecture.

The way content connects together on Mass.gov plays a huge role in providing constituents with a predictable and understandable user journey, in how we set user expectations for specific pages, and in how we track page and session analytics. Each content type was designed with a specific goal in mind, and the way content types connect factors into how these goals are tracked in the Analytics Dashboard (Beta). Additionally, linking pages together correctly using the CMS’s autofill feature up-front can save a lot of time and effort when editing content later on.

Organization Pages

Parent Pages:

  • None

Child Pages:

  • Service pages

  • How tos

  • Guides

  • Info details

  • Service details

  • Curated lists

  • Binders

  • Events

  • News

  • Locations

Can also be linked on:

  • Topic Pages

  • Other org pages

The goal of organization pages is to offer information about your organization, and to ultimately direct users to Services. Org pages are a great hub for Service pages and Topic pages, but can also be used to strategically link directly to other page types. Org pages may be linked in Topic pages and on other Organization pages.

The “Services Offered” tab in the CMS is where you can add links to your organization’s main attractions. There are 2 sections in this tab: “Featured Services” and “More Services.” In the “Featured Services” section, you can link to up to 3 pages of almost any content type, including child pages. You do not have to choose to link to service pages in this section. In the “More Services” section, you can link to an additional 6 service pages.

In the “More” section, you may choose to include links to up to 6 Topic pages, as well as to related Organization pages.

Your organization may also choose to utilize a Featured Item Mosaic, which contains exactly 5 links with large highlight images. Featured Item Mosaic links can be to any content type. In the CMS, you can find the Featured Item Mosaic in the “Featured” tab.

Service Pages

Parent Pages:

  • Organization Pages

  • Topic Pages

Child Pages:

  • How tos

  • Guides

  • Info details

  • Service details

  • Curated lists

  • Binders

  • Events

  • News

  • Locations

Can also be linked on:

  • Other service pages

Service pages are the backbone of our site architecture, and the content type that most site users are probably trying to find. Most Mass.gov content types can be linked to on a Service page.

On every Service page you can link to up to three Featured Tasks, which can be most content types: How To pages, Guides, Information Details pages, Service Detail pages, Curated lists, Binders, and decision trees.

After Featured Tasks, Service pages are by default broken into 2 sections: What would you like to do, and what you need to know. The “What would you like to do” section comes first, and is reserved for typically transactional content types like Guides and How To pages. Informational page types, like Info Details, Service Details, and Curated lists can be linked to in the “What you need to know” section. In both sections, users may add as many links as are needed, but any links after 6 will be relegated behind a “see all” link that takes users to another page.

You can choose to list a featured or first-time guide for new users in the “Overview” tab in the CMS.

Users may also elect to use the Custom Link Groups template. With this template, users are able to define their own groups of service page links, rather than using the “What would you like to do” and “What you need to know” sections. These custom groups may contain links of most content types, mixing both informational and transactional pages.

Topic Pages

Parent Pages:

  • None

Child Pages:

  • Service pages

  • Org pages

  • Other Topic pages

Can also be linked on:

  • Org pages

Topic pages are hubs for similar or related service pages organization pages, and other topic pages. Their goal is to collect groups of parent pages centered around one broad topic. They typically contain links from multiple organizations, but may also be focused on one single org.

Events

Parent Pages:

  • Service pages

  • Org pages

Child Pages:

  • None

Events may be linked on Organization Pages and on Service Pages. To add an event to one of these content types, navigate to the “Related” tab in the CMS and add any pages the event should appear on.

All Service Child Pages

Parent Pages:

  • Service pages

  • Guides

  • Curated Lists

  • Binders

Can also be linked on:

  • Org Pages

Child pages like How tos, Guides, Info details, and Service details are most often linked on Service pages. Content types that were designed to contain a transaction, like How to pages and guides, will most often be linked in a Service page’s “What would you like to do” section, while informational content types can be linked in the “What you need to know” section. If you elect to use a Custom Link Group template for your service, you can mix-and-match these content types within whatever groups you define.

Child pages may also be linked within other child pages that were designed to collect content, like Guides, Curated Lists, and Binders. Child pages that are linked within Guides, Curated Lists, and Binders will receive a relationship indicator link back to that page. Finally, Child pages may be linked directly to on Organization pages in two places: The top actions and services section and the featured item mosaic.