Use this glossary to find more about the meaning of the terms you'll see in Kontent.ai and our educational materials.
Interested in terms relating generally to content strategy and content operations? Check out our content strategy glossary.
Table of contents
All-in-one CMS, also often referred to as traditional CMS or Digital Experience Platform (DXP), is a CMS focused on one communication channel, typically a website. On the other hand, they usually cover multiple functionality areas, such as email marketing or A/B features.
Such CMSs are suitable for smaller or mid-size companies with smaller content creation and marketing teams. That's because the feature set is in one place, so they're also often easier to set up. The downside is that with complex content needs, such as the omnichannel content presence or a global cooperative team, all-in-one CMSs don't reflect the need for a best-of-breed integrated ecosystem.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It provides a way to communicate between different kinds of software. Thanks to an API, programs from your ecosystem can work with Kontent.ai and vice versa.
As a real-life parallel, you can imagine people using their mouths to speak and ears to listen. Thanks to those, people can exchange information. An API is the mouth and ears of a program.
Kontent.ai contains different APIs for different use cases to fulfill security and workload needs. Check out our API reference to find out more.
Assets are files included in your project. You can include any type of file you wish, with files such as images generating automatic previews inside Kontent.ai. You can include assets within content items to display the assets outside Kontent.ai.
Assets on their own don't count as items against your plan's limits. There are no limits on how many assets you can have in your projects as long as the storage doesn't exceed the Fair Use Policy.
Use asset elements to reference media, PDFs, or any other files uploaded to Kontent.ai. Set up the element limitations to specify the allowed number of files, their size, and so on.
Renditions are different versions or editions of the original image used in Kontent.ai. In the Kontent.ai UI, renditions are simply referred to as customized images. With advanced asset management, you can customize images used in content items directly in the UI or via the Management API.
Channel, or communication channel, is a type of medium used for communication. In the CMS world, typical channels are, for example, websites, social media, or mobile apps. In recent years, chatbots and virtual reality have also started gaining traction.
The headless CMS is based on the idea of addressing more channels using the same content. Historically, all-in-one CMSs have focused on one channel, typically websites, which is less and less effective in modern times.
Collections set boundaries for your content items. Collections let you simplify your content organization according to your company's business structure and needs.
With collections, you can divide your project's content into manageable parts. Doing so improves cross-team collaboration, centralizes governance, and removes problems with duplicating content that already exists.
Component is a single-use piece of content added to a rich text element. Components allow you to practice component-based design when writing your content. For example, you can add structured content like tweets or code examples to your articles. Similar to content items, the structure of a component is defined by its content type. Unlike content items, components are an integral part of their rich text element. They don't have a separate workflow status and don't appear in your content inventory.
Content groups are groups of elements in a content type. In Kontent.ai, they're displayed as tabs when editing content types and later content items. They help to keep related content together. This way, content creators have a compact view of which elements they should fill in at a specific time.
Learn how to create and use content groups.
As a term, content infrastructure is often used interchangeably with headless CMS. It keeps the focus on omnichannel delivery, not focusing on websites only as typical CMSs. As an author or even a company, you don't need to take care of a one-purpose CMS.
This means the technical infrastructure behind your content comes with the content itself. Those are the typical traits of both headless CMS and modular content platforms.
Content items are specific pieces of content based on a specific content type. The item's content type defines what content is allowed in the given content item. For example, if you're creating a series of articles, each one will be based on the Article content type. Each item will have the same structure. But the content of each item can be as different as you wish.
Content items can include assets, but assets do not count against your plan's limits. Each content item can have as many variants as you have languages in your project. The item will have the same name for each variant and will only count as 1 item.
Content item variant
Variants are localized versions of content items. If you operate in multiple regions, it's important to localize your content for each region to match both language and expectations of its audience.
In projects with multiple languages, each content item includes variants for each language. The name of the item is shared across all variants, only the content may be different.
A content model is a representation of the content's structure (what the content consists of) and the relations between your content. It can represent all content within an organization or a subset of an organization's content that has typically a common purpose.
The structure is defined on multiple levels. It describes each content type, how content types are reused, whether they reuse some elements, and how elements are connected to each other. The relationships provide simple rules that indicate what is to be used where, when, and how many times.
Content modeling is one of the key parts when establishing your content strategy and is deeper elaborated in What is content modeling. Use the content modeling checklist for best practices.
Personalization means showing content to your website visitors or app users based on what you know about them. Each customer is different. They have unique preferences, behaviors, and intents.
Content personalization can boost your customer satisfaction, reduce cart abandonment (if you're in the e-commerce business), and increase conversion rates.
To provide great personalized experiences, you need to label your content with metadata and recommend your content based on data.
Content reuse is using a single piece of content in multiple content items. Reusing content avoids its duplication so that there is only a single version of the content wherever it appears. That's a benefit of a well-structured content model, as it improves efficiency and consistency.
Reused content can be both simple and complex. You can reuse chunks of text or whole content items. You can also reuse other types of content, such as assets.
See content reuse in action in our 5-minute course.
Content strategy provides a decision-making direction for all activities that are related to the publication of digital content. It ensures that the business objectives for content are aligned with audience needs. This way, your content will be effective at achieving expected outcomes. It focuses on three core areas:
- Overall direction for content:
- Roadmaps for content initiatives
- Business objectives that content supports
- High-level, tangible outcomes that content is expected to accomplish
- The development of efficient and effective operational capabilities:
- Allocation of staff resources and training
- Development and refinement of processes and practices
- Enhancement of technical capabilities and automation
- Guiding principles for how content is created:
- Process and standards that are used when creating content
- Ways of team collaboration
- Practices ensuring that customer needs are addressed with content, such as research and testing
Take our Content strategy course for partners to dive deeper into the content strategy topic and find out what tools strategists use, what are content operations, what's the role of structured content, or why content governance is so important.
Content types are like templates for your content. They define the structure for each piece of content so you know exactly what to include where. Each content type is made up of various elements that can be defined to fit what you need in each template. So if you're defining articles that will appear both on a website and in a mobile app, you create an Article content type with separate elements for long and short texts. For each article, you then fill in the required content in a content item based on the Article content type.
Content type snippet
Content type snippets are collections of elements that can be included in multiple content types. Maybe you have some elements that you'd like to use in multiple templates, such as including metadata for SEO. You can create a single content type snippet to hold the metadata elements and include it in as many content types as you wish. Read more about using content type snippets.
Content type snippet element
Content type snippet elements provide space for your content type snippets, which are collections of elements. You define a content type snippet separately and then you can add it to multiple content types. The same collection of elements will then be added to each content type. Each content type snippet can only be used once in a given content type.
Custom elements are user-implemented elements that you define within content types. These elements let you add your own content editing features to Kontent.ai projects and integrate Kontent.ai with third-party systems, such as Shopify and others. Read more about integrating with custom elements.
Date & time element
The Date & time element is for choosing a specific date and time, such as when an article was published. By default, the time is in your local time zone. You can select a different time zone that suits your needs.
When setting up a default value for the element in your content model, you can't select a time zone. The element's value is displayed and interpreted as UTC.
Elements are parts of content types that define what kind of content can be included. There are two categories of elements:
- Content elements hold your content to be displayed, such as text and assets.
- Supporting elements hold items that are not directly content for display, such as taxonomy and content type snippets.
When working with content items, each element consists of a label and guidelines.
- Labels tell content creators how the elements are titled.
- Guidelines provide instructions throughout the production process. If you define them as a part of a content type, they will be displayed to contributors with each content item they fill in.
Environment is a snapshot of your project which you can use to safely make changes to your content model and adjust your app. Because environments are isolated snapshots, they aren't meant for content production.
Only users that are active in a specific environment can work within that environment. You also need a specific permission to manage environments.
Use guidelines to help your content creators understand the purpose and use of each element and of the content type as a whole. Use the dedicated guidelines element in content types to provide images to illustrate how the content type is used in your app, for example. Discover more benefits of proper guidelines.
Guidelines are purely internal and visible only to people with access to your project in Kontent.ai.
In the CMS area, headless means without a presentation layer. Traditional CMSs provide both the back-end (i.e., how it works – the body) and the front-end (i.e., how it looks – the head). In such CMSs, content is bound tightly to the front-end. Authors then usually adjust their content to the specific final appearance, which is often one-purpose and cannot be reused.
Headless CMSs offer the option to reuse your content as the front-end is not part of the CMS, and you can make it work any way you want. That's more useful for larger organizations or anyone interested in omnichannel presence.
Check out our free course about what a headless CMS is and how it can help you.
You can link different content items together using linked items elements or by adding them to rich text elements. This lets you define relationships between your content. So if you have authors writing a variety of articles, you can create content items for the bio of each author and link to the Author item from each Article item. Read more and watch a video about linking content together.
Linked items element
Linked items help you link content together and create relationships, menus, and more. You can limit content types and the number of items that a content creator can add to the element. If you use Web Spotlight, check out the Subpages element as well.
Multiple choice element
Multiple choice elements are great for creating either a single-select or multiple-select options from a list of up to 250 predefined options. If your multiple choice element has 7+ options, it'll be shown as a drop-down list in content items.
Use number elements for any numeric information: integers (like 0, 3, or -10), decimal numbers (like 3.14), or scientific notations (like 2E8).
Pages are web pages within a website project with Web Spotlight. They contain navigation information so that they can be located somewhere in the website's page tree. For example, they specify their subpages or URL slug. The actual content can be stored either in them directly or linked in other content items based on your content model.
When Web Spotlight is activated in your project, the Page content type is created automatically so that you can start creating pages right away. Technically, they are content items so you can use any content type for pages.
Project is the primary way to organize your content. You can use a single project to store all related content that you are trying to deliver across various channels (a website, a mobile app, an IoT device). The Project managers in a given project can set details such as the workflow and languages for that project.
Rich text element
Rich text is suitable for structured and formatted texts like the body of articles or blog posts. You can extend the content with components or link other items. Use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your work in rich text.
The rich text element can contain up to 100,000 characters. You can also set your own custom limit.
Roles are specific sets of permissions for users in your projects. You can use roles to limit what your users can do in your project.
Roles are useful when defining a workflow and determining who can publish and unpublish content. Read more about using roles to set up a common production flow.
With spaces, you can manage multiple channels or brands under one project for easier content reuse. For example, each space can represent a website with its own preview capabilities. Spaces also come with Web Spotlight support so that you can have a different page tree for each website.
Subpages are child items of other pages in Web Spotlight projects. You can create them directly from Web Spotlight or you can use the Subpages element. The element becomes available when Web Spotlight is activated in your project.
Subpages elements specify the child pages of content items based on a given content type. They work similarly as the Linked items elements but their purpose is for establishing page tree navigation. This element is only available with Web Spotlight and can only be used once in a given content type.
Subscription is the highest level of access to Kontent.ai. Every user and project must belong to a subscription. Subscriptions are run by subscription admins who can manage the subscription as well as its projects. You can choose from several subscription plans, which define the features available to the projects under the subscription.
Taxonomies are a way to organize your content items and assets and are helpful in many scenarios. Create hierarchical groups of taxonomy terms to label related content. For example:
- Categorize content items or label assets by tags, personas, brands, and so on
- Group content that should be released together
- Create sitemaps
- Group content into subprojects
- Filter your content by taxonomy – in Kontent.ai or in your app
With taxonomy elements, you can tag your content items. In technical terms, you specify a taxonomy group in your taxonomy element in a specific content type. For this to work, you first need to create the taxonomy group.
If your taxonomy group has 12+ terms, the taxonomy element will be shown as a drop-down list in content items.
Use text elements for texts without formatting, such as titles, keywords, URLs of embedded videos, or code samples.
A text element can contain up to 100,000 characters. You can also set your own custom limit.
URL slugs let you define SEO-friendly text to generate URLs for your content. A URL slug value is generated automatically from a specified text element. For example, your URL slugs can be set auto-generate from titles. If a given article has a title that doesn't fit well with search results, you can manually change the URL slug and provide your own.
Users are specific people who have been invited to your project. This means people who will work with the content, not people who view the final product. Users who are not marked as inactive will count towards your plan's limits for each month that they are active. You can define permissions for users by assigning them a specific role.
Web Spotlight is an additional feature for Kontent.ai focusing on website management. It adds a visible page tree of the website. From the page tree, you can create new pages as well as preview your changes directly in Kontent.ai. This makes the authoring a much smoother experience for website content creators.
You have Web Spotlight activated in your project if there's the Web Spotlight link in your Kontent.ai app menu.
See all relevant materials for Web Spotlight to learn more.
Web Spotlight root
Web Spotlight root is the content type for the top-level content item in Web Spotlight. Each space can have only one such content item.
The Web Spotlight root content type is created automatically when Web Spotlight is activated in your project and cannot be deleted while Web Spotlight is active. You can change and rename the content type and the root items however you desire, though.