After an author has submitted a page, a user with editor rights is responsible for checking the page for content accuracy. The editor can either approve, or change and approve, or decline the page. The editor and author roles overlap; an editor can do everything an author can plus approve and decline content.
Before the editor approves the page, they can make changes to the page content and properties. In other words, a user who has editor rights to a channel can create and approve a new page without the page requiring a separate editor approval step. In the three-step CMS publishing workflow, the editor can modify the page content and properties but usually can't approve the page for publication.
When a user with editing rights logs on to a CMS site and switches to Edit mode, they have more options available in the Web Author console than an author. An Approval Assistant link is displayed in the console to the editors on all pages that are located in the channels where they have editing rights. In addition, the pages that have WaitingforEditorApproval status, or are saved by the editor, also have Approve and Decline options available in the console (Figure 6-4).
Figure 6-4. Web Author default console as displayed to a user with editing rights
Page approval can be performed in one of two ways:
NOTE: If there are no pages waiting for the editor's approval, the Approval Assistant window displays the message "There are no pages waiting for approval."
The Approval Assistant provides the ability to approve or decline multiple pages as well as to preview a page and navigate to the page. The ability to use the Approval Assistant for navigation between pages submitted for editor approval cannot be underestimated. Using the Approval Assistant may be the only way to browse to these pages. In Edit mode, URLs are not hierarchical, and it's not practical to either type them in or bookmark the page. Often, there are navigational aids within the page template that allow the editor to navigate between the pages in a given channel. However, if this is not the case, then the Approval Assistant provides an easy way to go to the pages awaiting approval.
To approve a page using the Approval Assistant, select the page by clicking the Select check box in the leftmost column, and then click the Approve button at the bottom of the list. To Decline a page, select the page and click the Decline button. You can approve or decline multiple pages by selecting these pages and then clicking the appropriate button. You can also use the Select All and Clear All links to select and deselect all pages in the list.
In addition to creating and editing content, editors can perform the following operations on the pages that are contained in the channel where they have editing rights:
NOTE: It is possible to extend the publishing workflow to include, for example, an e-mail notification of publishing events, such as the page's being approved or declined. We will look into customizing the workflow in Chapter 31.
The editors' main responsibility is the quality of the content. Often, the editors are also responsible for setting up the page custom properties. We mentioned the custom properties in Chapter 5; now let's take a more detailed look at them.
These properties are not shown anywhere on the page. Custom properties for pages are defined in the corresponding page template by the template designers. The template contains the custom property name and type. A type defines how the property values are represented in the Web Author. A custom property may be represented as a drop-down list; the content creators may select the value from the list or use the default value provided by the template. Alternatively, the content creators may be asked to type the text for the property value or use the default value provided. A page can have multiple custom properties. Different pages can have the same custom properties.
Custom properties then can be used programmatically in the template code in a number of ways. For example, custom properties can be used to categorize content. Content authors and editors may select the predefined values for the custom properties when they add or edit content. If you want to use custom properties in this way, then these properties must be defined consistently throughout your site, as follows:
Typically, the custom properties are used to generate META tags for the search engines, such as Keywords and Description META tags used by the internal and external search engines. Keywords and Description META tags, along with the full text of a page, are the primary sources of information that search engines use to index the page. META tags can be created at runtime; the page template includes code that programmatically retrieves the content stored in the custom properties and inserts it into the HTML <HEAD> container.
It is a good practice of Web design to provide Keywords and Description META tags for the search engines. It is advisable to provide values for Keywords and Description custom properties on your Web site pages so that the META tags can be generated.
The editor can modify the page properties that are set up by the page author; the editor's settings override the author's settings. For example, as shown in Figure 6-7, our sample page has custom properties for categorization and for the search engines, as follows:
Figure 6-7. Sample page custom properties