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A clean installation of Craft includes a 'News' channel which has confused me slightly. Would it not be better to have a 'Blog' channel with a 'News' category?

What is the advantage to having a dedicated 'News' channel?

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Not every website has a 'blog' section. If your site's other content would, for instance, be something completely different like general company info, it would make perfect sense to have a news section.

In case you do have a blog, it would be perfectly possible to delete the 'news' section and give the blog section an entry type called 'news'. That way you would be able to give news entries their own fields, which is convenient.

It's all possible with Craft, so it really is up to you.

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I think if you compare the default installation of Craft to Wordpress which has two main content types, "Posts" and "Pages," Craft is subtly trying to tell you it's not just another blogging platform.

You're right that news entries on a website could just be a "News" category in a larger blog. But the biggest advantage of creating a separate News channel is that it can have it's own set of fields. With separate channels, each type of content can have it's own data tailored to it's specific needs.

For example, a site might have a page that lists News and upcoming Events together. But Events might need extra information attached to them like an event date, a location, and a price. If these were blog posts with categories like "news" and "events," that extra event information would have to be added to a large WYSIWYG field making it hard to make sure that information is always formatted properly or consistently, or added to custom fields that would only be used for events and ignored for news articles. Both of these solutions get the job done, but make it harder for content administrators to use and understand when they have to remember these arbitrary rules.

Whereas two separate channels for News and Events could have unique fields from each other. This makes everything more straightforward and streamlines the process of adding new content.

Updated:

As Lea points out, News and Events could also be two entry types for a Blog channel. The only difference would be they would then share the same URL route like blog/{slug}. Two separate sections/channels for News and Events could have URL routes like /blog/news/{slug} and /blog/events/{slug}. This might make more sense also if you wanted to have a listing page for only Events at /blog/events.

I don't think there's any real advantage to setting them up as entry types instead of separate channels. There's no "right" way. It just depends on your situation or personal preference.

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  • Custom fields can be added for news-specific content in a "Blog" channel by creating a "News" entry type though. How does using an entire channel for "News" provide advantages over the entry type? – Lea Hayes Nov 26 '14 at 10:41
  • Yes, that's another great option. I think the only difference in that case would be your URL routes. Sections/Channels can have their own URL routes, but entry types in the same section share the same URL route. I wouldn't say there was necessarily and advantage for one way or the other in that case. I'll update my answer. – Alex Roper Nov 26 '14 at 11:47

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