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bit of a 'best practice' question, as I'm very sure there are many ways to do this sort of thing, but...

When/how do you decide whether to use a section, category, or entry type to organise your entries? I've been finding that my EntryTypes match 1:1 to the categories in my 'global' group, and that's lead me to wonder if there's any point in having them as global categories too, and whether I'm just not understanding how to use these tools properly.

For example, I've got sections: webDevelopment, generalWriting.

And categories (in a global group): Article, Tutorial, Links.

And EntryTypes in each section: Article, Tutorial, Links.

It's starting to look like there's little point in having global categories, but not having categories feels very weird / wrong.

So... how do you decide how to organise your stuff?

  • Are you displaying the sections on different pages? How different are the fields for your three entry types? – Bryan Redeagle Jun 26 '14 at 15:19
  • I'm pulling parts of section entries on other pages; essentially as a blog, so the homepage will grab whatever's newest in each section and pull an excerpt, linking back. The fields for the entry types are different but not wildly so. They all share a Synopsis field. Article and Tutorial both share the same Matrix field (which has a textblock, code block, and image block). Links has a synopsis and a field for external URLs. I get the feeling I'm using EntryTypes correctly; they'll display different types of information in a different way. But should they map to categories? – Matt Wilcox Jun 26 '14 at 15:25
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Sections are for completely separate areas of content. They have their own URLs, and are conceptually different. Like blog posts and press releases would be different sections. Your sections could easily be one section with a different set of categories defining web development and general writing. This is entirely up to you.

Categories are for separating entries into smaller groups. Your use of categories is correct. You just use it to categorize entries.

Entry types are when you have common content that require different field layouts. Think Tumblr and how it has one stream that shows text, pictures, links, and quotes as separate types. For your setup, if no entry will be both an article and a tutorial at the same time, you can remove the tutorial entry type and simply use the article one. Then in your template, use the category to decide how to lay it out. The link has a different field layout so it can stay separate.

  • So you're saying that, conceptually, sections are 'top level' and may or may not have similar fields/entry-types to other sections - that's a user choice which varies based on use-case. Categories are purely for grouping thematically similar entries within (and between) sections for later filtering on the front-end. Entry types are for when fields are vastly different within an entry and would be displayed differently. In which case, the fact my Categories and Entry types match up is just coincidence, not bad planning? It's right as long as the fields differ? – Matt Wilcox Jun 26 '14 at 16:04
  • Yes. It's just a coincidence. There's nothing wrong with how you have it set up now. – Bryan Redeagle Jun 26 '14 at 16:07
  • Sweet, thank you :) – Matt Wilcox Jun 26 '14 at 16:18

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