You or your company have chosen to use Sitecore as your CMS of choice. Hooray you made a good decision! Making new pages for your site is easy! It’s truly the bread and butter of using Sitecore: ease of content creation. Simply create a page, populate it with components, and then publish. Ta da! It’s live. This process works well when your content authoring team is small, and the content does not need to be verified before going live. However, businesses with large content authoring teams will want to consider how they handle publishing content to their live sites. You do not want content that is still under construction to go live by accident. You may want your created content to get a second set of eyes on it before it goes live. Workflow is a great way to empower your business to delicately curate the content that goes live on your site.
What is Sitecore Workflow?
Workflow allows a business to create a series of required steps a content author must complete to get content live on their site. The number of hoops a content author will have to jump through is completely dependent upon the process the business wants to make. Think of a real world business process for getting a newspaper article printed, for example. The author of the article will first create a draft of the article. The author will make several revisions of said article that is not made public. Once the author completes their draft, they will submit it to their publication for review and approval. Once someone with approval power clears the article for publication, it will then join the queue for it be published in the newspaper. You can make a workflow process in Sitecore for content authors that mirrors that exact process! This mini-series will take you through making a simple yet effective workflow process for your content authors.
Pros and Cons of Sitecore Workflow
The benefits of implementing workflow in your CMS well outweighs the cons. For starters, you get the ability to prevent accidental publishing of new content that you did not want to go live yet. Items in the “draft” state will forever remain unpublished until the content author is ready to submit their work for approval. This leads us to another benefit of workflow. It makes it possible to require approval of the content before it can go live. This prevents incorrect content from ever reaching your live site. Another added benefit is version control. Did you like the way a page looked in the past and want to revert to it? Workflow adds version control which allows one to reinstate an older version of a piece of content back to the live site. We will dive deeper into version control later in this mini-series.
A con of implementing workflow is a con that can be said for all business processes. It adds more overhead. It adds more stop gates to getting your content live. This is a necessary evil, however, to prevent in-progress content from going live. This mini-series will take a look at how to mitigate this extra overhead for content authors that workflow shouldn’t be required for.