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Choose a Template

Content Templates

A template is a formatted design which defines the look and feel of a page. It may be reused many times. The CMS uses templates to help authors create pages. The NYU template overall width is 960 pixels (px) wide and equally divided in 5 columns. Each column has a 15 px wide margin on each side. Jointly, the margins build a 30 px wide space separating column containers.

The content on the page can continue indefinitely in length, but best practices recommend keeping this length to no more than three scrollable pages.

Note: Once a page is created and a template has been chosen, there is no way to switch the page template. In order to do so, a new page must be created with the desired new template.

5-column gride

Template Layout

Our standard template is based on a 5-column grid layout. A basic 5-column layout spreads your content across all 5 columns. Therefore, to create a more complex visual design, we've implemented variations on the 5-column layout by subdividing it into the following combinations:

Content 5 template

  • [5-columns wide]

Content 4-1 template (most popular)

  • [4-columns wide  |  1-column wide]

Content 3-1-1 template

  • [3-columns wide |  1-column wide  |  1-column wide]

Content 3-2 template (most popular)

  • [3-columns wide  |  2-columns wide]

How To Use the CMS


Build a Good Layout

The page title should define the content on a page. It is also used as the URL name of the page that appears on directory listings and search engine results for

Example: If your page is about housing at NYU, the most appropriate title would be "Housing at NYU" and not "Live in Greenwich Village!"

Webpages always have a dominant element and a number of additional, peripheral elements. On content pages, the dominant element is always situated in the left top corner of a page. This is where the title and primary content is located. Everything else on the page is considered secondary to this main element, but should also have a hierarchy.

The information on a webpage can be displayed as text, images, videos, multimedia presentations, audio files, slideshows, or promotions Within every page, it is necessary to separate the most important content from the least important; or in our terms, "primary" and "secondary" content.

Determine your page's most important goals when choosing to publish content. Use these goals to create a content hierarchy that distinguishes between your primary and secondary content.

Main text content can have other related content, like photo galleries, videos, or multimedia presentations. It is important that this related content is placed appropriately within the hierarchy of the overall page.

Some believe that every topic is important and so it may be difficult to make these choices. However, consider the natural progression of a site viewer through the page, particularly when one topic leads to another. For a site viewer it may be easier to read from primary to secondary content rather than an undistinguished block of the same size content.

Template Tips

If you have permission to add pages, choose a template that best suits your content. For example:

Need to show a large table?

  • Try a Content 4-1 template.

Have a page with lots of text?

  • Try a Content 3-2 template.

Adding a Policy to the site?

  • Use the Unique Policy template.

Design Tips

  • Reorder your content to make the presentation interesting, or use a new component you haven’t already.
  • Use versioning to manually save drafts and restore your favorite edition of the page.
  • Create a copy of your page, deactivate it, and use that page to experiment with new layouts.
  • Reference the Visual Identity webpage best practices.
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