How To: Modify Your Left_Column

June 17, 2016 | Jason O'Connell | joconnell1@uwf.edu

What is the Left_Column?

The Left_Column is a container section that houses all the content underneath your website's navigation. This area is typically reserved for Featured Links, departmental Contact Information, and certain dynamic content such as calendar feeds and Twitter Streams. Please note that is not an exhaustive list. The most important thing to realize about the Left_Column is that by default it will appear on EVERY page of your website. 

*DO NOT rename the Left_Column. This will cause it to break and no longer appear in it's proper location.*

Where Can I Find the Left_Column in Site Manager?

The Left_Column is a section, hidden from navigation, and lives directly under the root section (homepage) of your site. 

How Can I Modify or Add Content in the Left_Column?

Treat the Left_Column like you would any other section, you add content types to it in the same manner and update it in the same way. Please note that a special content type, Side: General Content, has been developed for use in the Left_Column, and can be used for the vast majority of content appropriate for this section.

Variations

  • Left_Column - appears on the majority of pages that use site navigation.
  • Right_Column - appears on landing pages that do not use site navigation, but still require an area on the side for content. Side: General Content is also the preferred content type to use.

What Has Changed?

Until recently, the Left (or Right) Column needed to be mirrored into a section for it to appear on a page. That has changed, and now any section underneath the root (homepage) will automatically search up a level in the site hierarchy until it finds a Left_Column section.

What if I Have a Page That Doesn't Require a Left_Column?

This can be accomplished by creating a new section underneath the page in question. Name it EXACTLY this: Left_Column. Be sure to uncheck the 'Show in Navigation' option. Keep this new Left_Column empty, that is, do not put any content in it. So even though a Left_Column has been created, because it is empty nothing will display, and it will not search up in your site hierarchy for the Left_Column that DOES have content. For all intents and purposes, that page will not have a Left_Column.

What if I have a Page or Navigation Heading That Requires Different Content in the Left_Column?

Repeat the steps listed above, but add different content to the new section. Remember, you can add a Left_Column under a navigation heading, and it will appear on all pages underneath that heading.


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