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How to Create New Sections of Your Site

This How-to applies to: 2.1, 2.5

This how-to explains methods for creating new sections for your Plone-powered website. Building new sections is integral to developing the site over time, and is essential knowledge for general management of the website.

Note: The following instructions make some assumptions about how your site navigation is configured. You may need to contact your web consultant if your site configuration is very different from what is described here.


On a very basic level, Plone sites are organzied in a series of folders and subfolders.

A good analogy is to think of a Plone site the same way think of your hard drive. There is a top-most level, called the root, or "C:" drive. You can store things on this level, but before long your root directory is full of files. So, you make use of folders to keep things organized, separate from each other, and more importantly, easy to navigate and find content on your computer.

It's the same story with a Plone website. You can really see this if you look at the homepage and click the Contents tab. The Contents tab gives you a table of contents for everything  on your website.



In this basic example, there are a few folders and few pages on the home level of the site. Members, About Us, and Programs, all are sections of the site and they all have subsection within them.

Let's walk through the process of creating a new section for your website.

Note: It is helpful to use the breadcrumbs to remind you where you are in the site in terms of the hierarchy. Look for the breadcrumbs just below your top navigation tabs; it look like thisYou are here: Home → Documentation → How-Tos


Create a New Folder

The first step in creating new site sections is to create a new folder. Think about where you want this new section to exist. If it is to exist off the home level, then you must navigation to the home page first. Likewise, if the new section is to exist within a pre-existing section, you must navigate to that section before adding the new folder.

To add a new folder, simply click the Add Item drop-down menu (it might also be labeled as Add to Folder), and select Folder from the list.

Give the folder a Title and Description. For this example, let's call the new folder Support Our Work where we can put donation and volunteer information. Save the folder to finish the creation process.


Add a Page to the Folder

Once you've created a new folder, you are automatically "inside" it, so the next thing you add goes in the folder you just built. Look at the breadcrumbs to confirm that you are now inside the new folder.

Now click the Add to Folder drop-down menu again, and select Page from the list. This new page is going to act as a "landing page" for the section when someone clicks on it from your left-side navigation. As such, give this page the same Title as the folder you just made - in this case: Support Our Work. Give the page a Description, and of course content in the Body Text. Save the page when you are all done.

You may now also create other pages, add files, images, or other content that you know are going to be part of this section.


Select the Page as Default View for the Folder

When you create a new folder in Plone, the default behavior for that folder is to simply list its contents. Take a look at this example:




This might be OK in some situations, but more likely what you want is a landing page that talks describes what Support Our Work is all about. You can then include links in the text of that page to the other pages in the section. The other items in folder can also be Published and appear in the left navigation portlet.

Click the Display tab in the green toolbar to change the default view for this folder. You should see a drop-down menu with several choices. Choose Select a Content Item as Default View. You will now see a list of all items in the folder than can act as the default view:



Be sure to click Save to make the change complete. Now the folder has a landing page selected for it. The last thing to consider is publishing the folder, and possibly the contents too.

Publish the Folder and its Contents

Now that the new section has been built, you may want to include it in your navigation portlet. In order to do this, you must publish the folder. To publish the folder, return to the home level of the site and view the site Contents. Check the box next to the name of your new folder and click the Change State button under the contents list.


You'll see a rather long page with many settings, but the one you are after is at the bottom.



Select Publish and click Save to finish. The folder is now part of the navigation portlet and your new section is complete! Depending on your needs, you may also wish to publish the contents of the folder so that they will appear as sub-navigation items in the portlet.

With all folder contents published, the navigation portlet will look something like this, if you were viewing the Support Our Work section.





by samk last modified 2007-11-12 11:19 All content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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