The Data tool gives you a new way to create web pages. Create a data set and a template page that serves as a model for new pages. Then automatically generate new web pages with the same structure but different content.
This a different approach to building web pages. Normally, we create one page at a time. If we want to create a new page with the same layout but different content (e.g. unique product information, dates, prices, etc.) we need to go through several steps:
- use the Clone tool to copy an existing page
- rename the new page
- change the content on the new page
The Clone tool is useful when creating one or two new pages, but let's say you need to create 25 pages or even 100 pages. Suddenly, you have a time-consuming project on your hands.
Creating pages with the Data tool is a better way to quickly scale your website.
Who's it for?
The Data tool is for web builders and business people who want to efficiently publish lots of structured content today and tomorrow.
Here's a shortlist of people and organisations that could benefit from the Data tool's rapid-publish features:
- real estate agents with an ever-changing list of properties for sale or lease
- food wholesalers that sell a long list of seasonal grocery items
- clothing manufacturers/wholesalers/retailers with an extensive product catalogue
- educational institutions with a growing list of course offerings that change each semester
- manufacturers of industrial components
- professional service providers (e.g. lawyers, consultants) who frequently post online blog content
To use the Data tool, three key steps need to be completed.
1.1 Create a data set
A data set holds website content. The data set looks like an Excel spreadsheet; it has rows and columns. The data set holds text, rich text (i.e. text plus formatting like bold, font sizes, typeface, etc.), dates, and numbers.
There are two ways to create a data set:
1.2 Create a template page
The next step is to create a template page. You create a template page by placing content components (e.g. headers, text, etc.) on a page and then connecting each component to a column of information in a data set.
There are two kinds of template pages: Repeater and Details. The best option for you depends on the kind of output you want to generate.
The Repeater template generates a single web page with a list of formatted data. If you have 25 records in your data set, all 25 items appear on the same page. In some ways, the output of a Repeater template looks like a catalogue of information.
Learn how to create a Repeater template page here.
The Details template generates a unique web page for every record (i.e. row of data) in the data set. If you have 100 records in the data set, the output is 100 web pages. Each page has the same basic structure but different content.
Learn how to create a Details template page here.
1.3 Map Data
Link the content in the data set you built in Step 1.1 with the components you placed on a page in Step 1.2. This linking process is called mapping.
Mapping the data is easy. You can complete this task in a couple of minutes -- or less.
Learn how to map data here.