So, how do you tell if content that you add to your site should be entered into a custom node type?

There are a few key indicators:

  • There are many individual content entries that have similar data requirements
  • There are many individual content entries that need to look consistent across a site
  • You want to be able to show data from this content in different tables or other informational styles (grids, etc)
  • You want to dynamically display your data in relation to some other content in the site

If you answer any one (or more) of these, you have a prime candidate for a custom node type.

Here are a few different examples of how different data objects can be displayed:

Consumer Goods

 

Library Data

Sports Schedules

TV Schedules

Closely examine each of these samples. You'll see that, in the case of each site, there's a different "type" of content that's displayed:

  • Amazon displays merchandise.  Some of the critical data here are Title, Manufacturer, Price, Description, Quantity, etc.
  • The Library of Congress displays publications.  Some of the critical data here are Title, Author, Publication Type, Date of Publication.
  • The Oregon State University Women's Basketball Team section of the OSU Athletics site displays games that the team will play.  Some of the critical data here are Date, Time, Opponent, Location.
  • The TV Guide television listing site displays t.v. show schedules.  Some of the critical data here are Date, Time, Title, Channel.

These are all prime examples of structured content.  Now, we're going to learn how to do the information architecture we need in order to build a custom node type.