Tridion Content Types for XPM explained

In this article, I want to explain how to create, configure and use Tridion Content Types with Experience Manager (XPM).


Lots of clients want to have Experience Manager (XPM) enabled for their sites to have inline editing capabilities in the staging environment. For moderating existing content this is working fine. For new content, the Content Manager often falls back to the 'classic' Content Management Explorer (CME). Their reason given is that XPM does not add value. This can be improved by defining a lesser known feature: Content Types.

What are Content Types?

Content Types are pre-set definitions for adding a new component presentation to your page. Within the definition you can define content creation settings:

  • Component prototype (which is copied to bootstrap your new component)
  • Auto-generated component title (optional)
  • Default storage location (restricted or optional)
  • Default component template
  • Insert location (top or bottom of the page)

Content Types can be used to create and insert new content within XPM. The content types are presented on the left-hand side panel.

How to create a Content Type?

Content Types are managed on publication level. When opening the properties of a publication there is a tab:

The title and description fields are shown in XPM for the content editor to get a notion of the purpose.

Create Content Type mapping to Page Template(s)

After creating a new Content Type you do not see it in XPM directly. First, you need to enable for 1 or more Page Templates. This can be done via Tridion Settings page - Inline Editing - Content Type mappings - [your publication]. When selecting a page template you should see something like this:

You can see that I unchecked 'Inherit settings from Parent' since in my case I only want to enable my new 'Campaign Story' content type on campaign site publication level. If you want to create a content type to used in every publication, you have to create it on the highest possible publication. And then create the PT mapping there too to inherit it to lower publications. 

Happy XPM-ing :-)