Discover the magic that is the Sorting function in Umbraco!

Your website is presented to your visitors in a way which will (hopefully) be easy to navigate, flow naturally and direct your visitors to where you ultimately want them to end up – maybe at a contact or buy now page.

One of the greatest things about Umbraco is how easy it is to use for content editors. One of the main reasons for this is because the content is stored in a hierarchical, folder like structure, making it very easy to follow and find what you’re looking for – add Umbraco’s sorting functionality to this and its even easier to maintain a great site structure.

How is content sorted

By default, new content is stored in the order it was created, so if you create a new Service page under your Services Landing page, it will appear at the bottom, after all existing Service pages.

Changing the order

First, make sure the parent page is selected in the content tree. You will be sorting the child pages. Then access the Sorting function by right clicking the parent page to bring up the context menu:

TIP: if you are on a tablet or touch device and can’t perform a right click, simply tap the parent page, the ‘Create’ context menu will appear and you will see a button at the bottom of this menu named ‘Do something else’. Tap this to bring up the full context menu.

The full context menu can also be accessed from the ‘Actions’ dropdown on the Parent page:

In the Sort menu, simply drag and drop your pages into the desired order:

Alternatively, you can click on the either the Name column heading to sort all of the child pages alphabetically (click the column header again to reverse the sort order) or click the Create date column header to sort by date.

TIP: When naming folders, think about the format so they can be easily sorted.

What if I have hundreds of pages to sort?

A tree structure can be difficult to navigate if you have a lot of pages, such as news or blog posts. This is where Umbraco List Views come to the rescue. Instead of showing the child pages in the content tree, they are displayed in a table, with search and quick sorting features:

The table has paging so you can scroll through the content ten pages at a time. There is a Search feature to quickly filter your content. You can also click on the column headers to sort by each column.

It is important to note that sorting and filtering on a List View does not change the sort order in the front end of your website. This type of sort is solely to aid the Editor find the content they want to edit.

The front end doesn’t always follow the backend

How the CMS backend presents content to the editor should be logical and consistent so they can find it easily and quickly.

When dealing with big lists of pages, it’s not practical for the editor to have to worry about sorting. As part of our service as Umbraco developers, we often add logic to the frontend pages, so the data is automatically ordered.

Some examples of ordering we can automate are:

  • Testimonials can be random order – so users get a good sample without having to sit through a carousel or seeing the same one on every page.
  • News can be by date posted – so users can easily follow the latest news and event
  • Projects or Products can be by category – there are often a large number of this type of content so quickly changing filters and sort order helps the end user
  • Team can be displayed alphabetically – finding people listed alphabetically is much quicker than a random order and is natural and comforting for the end user.

Hope this has provided plenty of inspiration on how to manage and sort your website content. As always, get in touch for any questions!