Concepts & Terminology


Along with the Developer’s Quick Start Video Series, we’ve created four short videos that go over some concepts and terminology that are unique to cmScribe. We hope this background material provides a shortcut to learning how to use our Content Management System (CMS) to develop your own websites. We’ll be going over the following:

  1. Templates
  2. Panels & Regions
  3. Insertion Points
  4. Navigation
Video 1: Templates screenshot

Video 1: Templates

Almost everything in cmScribe is stored in the database, including templates. In cmScribe, a template is a way of defining how the software will assemble and present your pages based on the designs and functionalities that you want. In many other CMSs, a template consists of a set of files on the server, but in cmScribe, you’ll create your templates within the CMS itself.

Templates in cmScribe can also be “nested,” allowing you to easily share common elements between templates while still having the flexibility to create as many different templates as you need. Another way of looking at “nested templates” is that you can create a new template by building on an existing one, keeping all the elements in the base template in one place.

Planning Your Site’s Template Structure

  • Figure out which site elements are common to all pages of your site. These will be included in a “base template” upon which all the other templates will be built. In a lot of cases, this will be the header and footer (but this will depend on the site).
  • For smaller sites, you may be able to plan out the all the templates you need at this point, which may be just a handful (“interior wide,” “interior 2 column,” etc.).
  • For sites that are still in development, you may not know all the templates you’ll need at the start.
    • Try to plan ahead and anticipate future needs.
    • For example, if you are creating a 3-column template, instead of starting with the “base template,” you may want to first create a 1- or 2- column template and then base the 3-column template on that. This will help to avoid duplicating layouts later on.
Video 2: Panels & Regions

Video 2: Panels & Regions


Panels are used to add cmScribe functionality to your website. They are organized into categories, which include:

  • Content (examples: Basic Content, Video, Audio)
  • Template / Page Building (examples: Content, Layout)
  • Navigation (examples: Crumb Trail, List Nav)
  • Forms (examples: Form, Login)
  • Email A Friend
  • Polls
  • Search
  • Store
  • User Directory / Extranet
  • Web Application Builder

Most panels have various parameters that allow you to configure the way they will behave. In cmScribe, all panels are dynamic since everything in cmScribe is in a database; however some panel functions are “inherently static” (i.e., Basic Content), and some are dynamic (i.e., List Nav). By default, Site Developers are permissioned (via cmScribe’s “Designer Role”) to add Panels at both the template and individual page level. When a content panel is added on a template, changing the content of that panel on one page will change it on every page built from that same template.


In order to add panels to your templates, you have to define where they should go by including placeholders called “regions” in your template’s layout. cmScribe uses its own markup to define these placeholders in your HTML. cmScribe’s region markup consists of a string of text between double square brackets:

[[Region Name String]]

They can be used in both templates and pages.

Adding Regions & Panels to Your Templates

  • Create a New Template (Admin -> Templates)
  • Set the Base Template to “Blank”
  • Add a Layout Panel
  • Add (or copy/paste) HTML into the layout for the parts of the page that should be in this template (header/footer/etc)
  • Replace things that will be handled by cmScribe Panels with [[Placeholders]]
    • [[Navigation]]
    • [[Search]]
    • [[Editable Content]]
  • Save the Layout. All [[Placeholders]] will be replaced with Regions where you can add panels
  • Add and configure Panels
Video 3: Insertion Points screenshot

Video 3: Insertion Points

Literally, an “insertion point” in cmScribe is just another panel type that you place into a region. Insertion points can be confusing for Site Developers, because their purpose is to allow you or a Site Manager to add other panels into that insertion point on a page, when you use that template. When you add an insertion point, you're saying, "When I use this template I want to be able to add other stuff (i.e., panels) to this spot." They can only be used at the template level.

Content in Templates

To allow unique content to be added on a page-by-page basis, you need to add insertion points to the template and then you add the content panels to the page. The main thing to think about when building a template is how to set up your editable content areas. If you add content panels directly to a template, then the content added to them will be the same on every page that uses that template (and every template based on it).

Adding Insertion Points to Your Templates

  • Add insertion points
    • For building more templates
      • For example, if your base template only contains the header and footer of the site, you would include a [[Placeholder]] in between those containers and add an insertion point panel. This will allow you to add to that area in a separate template.
    • For adding panels on pages
      • You probably won’t have any content in the header and footer that you’ll want to be unique on each page, but if you did it would also require an insertion point.
Video 4: Navigations screenshot

Video 4: Navigation

cmScribe includes a category of panel type called navigation. These navigation panels allow site developers to add different types of navigation to templates (or even pages). Some of the navigation panels are:

  • Crumb Trail
  • List Nav
  • Site Map

The panels in this category are dynamic and automatically update, as pages are added, moved or deleted.

Adding Site Navigation

  • To create site navigation you must create pages, so a good place to start is with the top-level pages of the site.
  • You don’t necessarily have to create all of them but you’ll want at least 2 or 3 so you can style the different nav states
  • For pages that appear outside the main site navigation, create Navs (Admin -> Navs) for each group of pages (ie, footer nav, secondary header nav, etc) and then create the pages under those Navs



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