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Choose a Template

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.

Content Templates

Content templates are intended for use in the overall site architecture, and are designed to house specific content about a topic. These templates are generally less visually complex and used mostly for text-based content.

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:

5 template

  • [5-columns wide]

4-1 template 

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

3-1-1 template

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

3-2 template 

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

Each template group has associated with it a default 5-column version as well as the above variations.

How To Use the CMS


Build a Good Layout

Web pages 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 secondary elements also have a hierarchy.

The informational content on a Web site can have various content types: It can be displayed as text, images, videos, multimedia presentations, audio files, slideshows, or promotions. Within every content type, it is important to separate the “most important” from the “least important” – or in our terms, “primary” and “secondary” content – and classify the hierarchy of importance of what we would like to communicate to the public (end user).

Considering the interactive character of the internet and the limited space on the screen, it is important to wisely determine your site’s most important goals when choosing to publish the content.

Main text content can have other related content. For example: photo galleries or videos, interactive forms, or multimedia presentations. It is up to the author to assess related content to determine its importance and hierarchy within the page.

Making choices is the key to successful layout. Some believe every topic is important and so it may be hard to make these choices. However, they do have to be made, particularly when one subject leads into another, or because it is easier to read from primary to secondary content then reading an undistinguished block of the same size content.

The title is the content that defines a page. The choice of the title is highly important, as that title will also be the name for the particular link directing users to that page. It will also be referenced under that name in the search engine of the Web site and the directories.  The title must be the name of the topic the author is addressing in their main content.

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

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, or a Content 5 template.

Have a page with lots of text?

  • Try a Content 3-2, or a Content 3-1-1 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 website best practices.
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