Organizing Content with Taxonomies

A taxonomya content-level categorization system that uses one-to-many relationships (such as Ronald Reagan is to Actor, Governor, and President) to create a scalable organization of content. A taxonomy lets your site visitors navigate content independent of the folder structure. is a top-level navigation structure, independent of the folder structure. It provides site visitors with multiple access routes to content. A taxonomy contains 1 or more categories.

NOTE: A taxonomy is essentially the highest-level category. You can perform most of the same operations on a taxonomy that you can a category.

For example, a taxonomy about Books can have categories called Nonfiction, Entertainment, Mystery, and so on. A site visitor may look for a book about Ronald Reagan's acting career and find it in the Entertainment category. Another visitor may look for a book about his political career and find it in the Nonfiction category. Although you store all the books that were written about Ronald Reagan in 1 Workarea folder called Famous People, the taxonomy assignments let your site visitors access information in the way that they think about Ronald Reagan (such as Actor, US Governor, or US President).

The following example shows the hierarchy of a taxonomy and it categories and sub-categories. A category can have any number of sub-categories. In the OnTrek sample site, the OnTrek Site Navigation taxonomy has Products, Services, Clients, Support, Company, and Community categories. Similarly, the Products category has Software, Hardware, and Training sub-categories.

You can use taxonomies in many ways such as helping site visitors narrow shopping choices in the immediate vicinity with GeoMapping, or organizing a photo album by categories, or organizing group discussion board topics, and so on.

Best Practice—Design a Taxonomy before Creating it

It helps to design a taxonomy on paper before creating it in Ektron. This can let you determine relationships among the kinds of information before you try to implement the taxonomy.

Review the site content and decide which content items and folders to assign to taxonomy categories. Some categories might map directly to a folder. Other categories might refer to content from several folders. After you determine how content and folders should be assigned to taxonomy categories, log in to Ektron and set up those relationships.

A taxonomy directory control can create the navigation on your website automatically. When the content is tagged with a category, it automatically shows up in the correct section of the site. The author does not need to know where the content is going to show up because the taxonomy tagging determines that. If you are managing large amounts of information, this use of taxonomy is especially powerful.