2019 CMS Tips of the Week

CMS tips posted in 2019.

Week of Dec. 30, 2019

If you have a new smartphone, here’s how to maintain CMS access.

Read the email to learn more.

Week of Dec. 9, 2019

Here’s what to consider when choosing a friendly URL, and how to request one.

Read the email to learn more.

Week of Dec. 2, 2019

Some users are reporting difficulties uploading new documents straight from their computer into Curated List and Event content types. Users should upload a document to the CMS and then, using the “Add document” link, insert the document into the content type.

Read the email to learn more.

Week of Nov. 18, 2019

Learn more about the Mass.gov Image Library and explore its newly reorganized content.

Read the email to learn more.

Week of Nov. 11, 2019

Use the “Compare Selected Revisions” tool to review differences between current and past versions of content.

Read the email to learn more.

Week of Nov. 4, 2019

When creating multiple pieces of closely related content like recurring events or page level alerts, users can save some time with the "Clone" feature in the CMS.

Read the email to learn more.

Week of Oct. 21, 2019

Thinking about how to improve a social media presence? Meet with a Mass Digital team member to see what tools are available.

Learn more on the Knowledge Base.

Week of Oct.14, 2019

Customize buttons on Mass.gov maps: To add context to maps on Organization and Service pages, users can customize the text on the big blue button next to the map and for the optional short description above that button.

Learn more about improving maps.

Week of Oct.7, 2019

Prioritize which links to feature on Service pages on Mass.gov: One way to call more attention to an app, page or other link is to move it closer to the top of a Service page. Using web analytics can help.

Learn more about making links more prominent on Service pages.

Week of Sept. 23, 2019

Use video on Mass.gov Content Types: Videos provide a dynamic vehicle for information and can improve content scores for pages on Mass.gov.

Learn more about video on Mass.gov.

Week of Sept. 9, 2019

Use the new "Restricted" state to make a document private: A new option was added to the CMS called "Restricted." The new option gives a user the opportunity to make a document private by applying the "Restricted" state. This means other users won't be able to access the document.

Learn more about the new restricted feature for documents in the CMS.

Week of Sept. 2, 2019

Use the best content type for long Mass.gov pages: When you have a lot of text to add to a single Mass.gov page, readers may find what they are looking for if the content is matched to the best content type right from the start. The Guide or Information Details content types make it easier to organize a large volume of content with the Table of Contents (TOC) as a key feature.

Learn more about using the Guide or Information Details content types.

Week of Aug. 26, 2019

Change the "authored by" designation of content in bulk: In a recent release, the ability to change the “authored by” designation of content in bulk was implemented. This can save time in your day from having to change the designation page-by-page and ensure an active user in your organization is alerted whenever the content is updated. To do this, submit a request in ServiceNow.

Learn more about changing the author of the content in bulk.

Week of Aug. 19, 2019

Customize the "Log In to…" links: You can now add application login links that will appear on the blue navigation bar at the top of Org, Service, and Service child pages. These contextual login links will make it easier for users to directly access important applications.

Learn more about using application login links.

Week of Aug. 12, 2019

Show more upcoming events: You can choose to show more than just 2 upcoming events on your Organization or Service pages. Choose from showing up to 2, 4, 6, or 8 upcoming events at a time, making it easier to highlight more high-priority events you’re hosting without making visitors click on the “More events” link.

Learn more about showing more upcoming events.

Week of Aug. 5, 2019

Find important updates in the CMS: When there’s an issue affecting the CMS, the Mass.gov team does its best to communicate those issues with authors and editors as soon as possible. These messages are displayed within the CMS via the Updates box on the author landing page and an alert banner that displays on all edit.mass.gov pages.

Learn more about updates posted internally to the CMS.

Week of July 22, 2019

Moving content to the Trash: The CMS’s trash function works much like the recycle (Windows) or trash (Mac) bins you find on your desktop: You can place items that you don’t need there to get them out of the way, and you can get them back if it turns out that you shouldn’t have thrown them out.

Learn more about moving items into and out of the Trash.

Week of July 15, 2019

Keep tabs on Topic page feedback: You might already be reviewing feedback left on the pages you and your colleagues have created, but did you know you can see what people are saying on Topic pages? This can be helpful for tracking questions or comments about your organization’s services that may be featured on these Topic pages.

Learn more about 2 easy ways to track Topic page feedback.

Week of July 8, 2019

Create Events with complex date and time info: If you’re creating an Event where the date or time can’t be represented with numerals, you can use the complex event date and time field. When you use this field, it’s important to complete the standard date and time field so the system knows when the event has actually passed.

Display complex dates and times on Events.

Week of June 24, 2019

Check Shutterstock for the perfect image: If you’ve looked through the Mass.gov Image Library and still can’t find the right image for your content, try searching Shutterstock. If you find an image you like, let us know and we can add it to the library for you and others to use.

📷 Follow these steps to request your Shutterstock image.

Week of June 17, 2019

Keep your content fresh: It’s a good practice to review your organization's content once every 3-6 months to make sure all the information is still accurate, relevant, and performing well. While reviewing this content, it can also be beneficial to see if converting it to a different content type can improve its organization or effectiveness to visitors. This can, in turn, lead to improvements in your content’s overall performance.

Not sure what content type to use? This tool may help.

📧 Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of June 10, 2019

Check how your content displays on mobile: 45% of overall Mass.gov traffic comes from tablets or mobile devices. It’s a good practice to always check how your content looks on mobile devices. A page that looks to be an appropriate length on desktop may be too long if you have to scroll down a cellphone screen.

📱 3 quick & easy ways to preview your mobile display.

Week of May 20, 2019

Track and improve content performance by exporting user feedback: You can export lists of filtered results from the Feedback Manager into an Excel spreadsheet. This can be helpful if you’re tracking feedback you’ve responded to or plan to respond to, making content improvements based on specific feedback, or sharing feedback with colleagues or supervisors.

📂 Learn more about exporting feedback data from the CMS.

Week of May 13, 2019

Keep visitors in mind when linking between Mass.gov and external apps: When linking to external applications from your Mass.gov pages, be as informative and specific as possible about where your visitors will land. It’s important they know what to expect, whether or not they know the official name of your app. When linking back to Mass.gov from your app, try to avoid linking directly to the Mass.gov homepage. Instead, link to pages that provide background or contact information.

Learn more about linking between Mass.gov and external apps. 📧 Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of May 6, 2019

Improve browser performance by managing your cache: When you encounter strange behavior while working in your browser (eg. 403 or 404 errors while logged into the CMS or not seeing updated content on the page you’ve just edited), try refreshing your cache. This will force your browser to re-download the latest content. In most cases you can follow these simple instructions to refresh your cache.

Learn more about managing your browser’s cache. 📧 Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of April 29, 2019

Easily find a colleague in the CMS: Use the “author” filter to quickly search for content created by a colleague. This filter is available on the all content, Needs review, and All documents pages and work for active and inactive users.

📧 Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of April 22, 2019

Set it and forget it: You can schedule Alerts to appear or disappear like you can with other content types by using the scheduling options. This can help you prepare expected Alerts ahead of time or ensure outdated Alerts don’t overstay their welcome.

📅 Learn more about scheduling content. ❕ Learn more about creating Alerts. 📧 Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of April 15, 2019

Create the perfect ServiceNow support request: To make sure your request gets to the right place, please make sure to click on “Request something” from the ServiceNow homepage. Better yet, you can bookmark this link to get directly to the Mass.gov Support catalog item.

Learn more about requesting support through ServiceNow. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of April 1, 2019

Easily rearrange sections of content with row weights: When you need to move around sections of content on a long Information Details page or Curates List, using the drag-and-drop feature can turn into a nightmare. However, using numeric row weights can make organizing your content quick and easy.

Learn more about using row weights in the CMS. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of March 25, 2019

See what content needs your attention: The Analytics Dashboards (Beta) can help identify your content’s performance, but it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin making improvements. The new Needs Attention Dashboard will help you answer that question.

Learn more about using the Needs Attention Dashboard. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of March 18, 2019

Compile lots of informational content into a Binder: The most recent update to the Binders content type now allows you to include Curated Lists, a popular request among our Feature Request board. This presents an additional option for how you can organize related documents, contacts, or other types of links.

Learn more about organizing content into Binders. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of March 11, 2019

Use labels to save time building Curated Lists: Use the CMS’s labeling system to automatically include content in a curated list. This means you only have to update 1 piece of content instead of 2 each time you want to add an item to a list.

Learn more about using labels. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of March 4, 2019

Contact authors directly from the CMS: If you’ve got a question or comment about a specific page on Mass.gov, you can easily reach out to the author without ever leaving the CMS. The “Contact the author” tool allows you to send an email to any author in a few simple steps.

Learn more about contacting authors within the CMS. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of Feb. 25, 2019

Curate a staff directory: Use a Curated List to create a staff directory. Select the Person and contacts subtype and add Person items or Contact Information. You can then link to this directory from the Organization Directory page section of your Org page.

Learn more about creating a staff directory. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of Feb. 18, 2019

Highlight important content with a Featured Item Mosaic

If you have important or popular content, you can increase its visibility by adding a Featured Item Mosaic to your Organization page. A mosaic is a group of 5 images representative of 5 pieces of your top content that will display at the top of your Org. page.

Learn more about creating a Featured Item Mosaic. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of Feb. 11, 2019

Check Pages Linking Here before unpublishing files or pages

If you plan to remove a file or page, first make sure to use the Pages Linking Here tool in the CMS to see if other pages link to that file or page. You’ll want to manually remove links from those pages if you own them, or give others a heads up.

Learn more about the Pages Linking Here tool. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of Feb. 4, 2019

Share unpublished content with a temporary unpublished access link

As the name suggests, this link is temporary. It works a little bit like coin-operated binoculars at the top of a mountain: once activated, it allows users to see something they otherwise couldn’t for a period of time.

Learn more about granting temporary unpublished access. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of Jan. 28, 2019

Do you want to see a new feature or functionality added to the CMS? Let us know by visiting the Mass.gov Feature Request Board. Here you can suggest new features, see what others have already suggested, and even vote for your favorites.

Learn more about using the Mass.gov Feature Request Board. 📧Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of Jan. 21, 2019

Try to avoid copying and pasting tables into the CMS: If you copy and paste a table, you could be in for nasty surprises in the form of wacky formatting and tables that perform in unexpected ways. Instead, use the table tool available in all rich text fields.

Learn how to create the perfect table. 📧 Check out the complete emailed tip.

Week of Jan. 14, 2019

Ever wonder how popular your files are? You can use Google Analytics to easily find out how many times a file has been downloaded from Mass.gov with just a few simple steps.

Learn how to get information on file downloads.

Week of Jan. 7, 2019

Update documents properly: It's important to update or replace old documents instead of deleting them and adding new ones. Doing so will keep the correct documents at the top of search results and prevent users from stumbling upon outdated or incorrect information.

Learn more about updating documents.

Week of Dec. 31, 2018

Convert files to HTML, get more traffic: There are lots of reasons to convert your PDF or other files to HTML. HTML is more accessible and easier to manage. It’s also easier to track.

Learn more about converting files into HTML.