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OU Campus Content Management System

Training Guide

Reusable Content: Snippets, Assets, and Includes

Reusable content is convenient when working with multiple pages that require the exact same information or a reusable format with different content. End-user tools for creating reusable content come in the form of assets, snippets, include files, binary files, and auxiliary sites. Generally include files are limited in their editing to system designers and template developers and those users will see an editable region button. Additionally the use and design of templates themselves and the use of XML stylesheets are a shortcut to utilizing common code and common content.


Snippets provide a template or a format with information that can be changed. For example, the site may require a specific format or structure for tables. This can be created in a snippet and inserted on a page any number of times. Once inserted on the page, the content becomes a part of the page and editable. Because the snippet is no longer linked to the original file, editing the original snippet does not affect the pages on which it was inserted. Snippet examples are tables, forms, paragraphs of commonly used text, names. For more information see Snippets.


Assets are used to provide the same information on any number of pages. When the content of the asset is updated, so are the pages that "subscribe" to it. This is useful for global content and content that should be protected from changes. This also provides a way to insert server-side and client-side code on the pages. Asset examples include Adobe Reader Download button and Flash Download button. For more information see Assets.

Include Files

The use of "include" files are a best practice recommendation for website components such as navigations, headers, and footers where the content is the same through a portion or the entire website. Additionally, "include" files with information such as tuition, testimonials, or policies that can be used by various pages throughout the website are also a best practice recommendation. OU Campus can reference, preview, modify, and publish these components resulting in site wide changes with a single update.

Compare and Contrast of Snippets, Assets, and Includes

Content Type Snippet Asset Include
Table structure Check Icon    
Image placeholder with caption Check Icon    
Formatted HTML Check Icon    
Non-recurring formatted text Check Icon    
Recurring text, common content   Check Icon Check Icon
President’s name, email addresses, phone numbers   Check Icon  
An article, quote, or accolade that requires departmental branding   Check Icon Check Icon
Code, JavaScript, or other client-side scripting   Check Icon Check Icon
Comments, discussions   Check Icon Check Icon
Image gallery   Check Icon Check Icon
Widgets, gadgets   Check Icon Check Icon
Navigation files     Check Icon
Headers and footers     Check Icon


An even more powerful way to re-use content is by pulling content from XML files. XML content can be marked with standard tags that provide XSL and other languages to parse and modify the content before it is styled by the CSS and output to the web page.

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