Multi-Page and Fourth-Level Modules

Best Practices

Overview

The multi-page module and fourth-level navigation module function as on-page menus for web pages. They are used to provide a table of contents for related web pages, such as a report or other collection of content. The list of related links displays automatically at the top of each page in the collection. (For the fourth-level navigation module, the list also displays on the third-level parent page.)

Example two-column block multi-page module

These two on-page menus are built and maintained differently in the WCMS, but they look and behave the same, with a couple of exceptions:

  • Fourth-level links display in the page section navigation menu. Multi-page links do not.
  • Pages in a multi-page module have “previous” and “next” links at the bottom.

View examples of multi-page module and fourth-level module

The module format can be block, bulleted, or numbered. When a multi-page or fourth-level module has more than five page links, it automatically displays in two columns. The illustration above shows a two-column block module. “Project Updates” is the title of the open page (“2017: A Year in Review” is the optional page subtitle). The module header (“Contents” in this example) can be customized.

Note: There is an alternative way of handling fourth-level navigation, particularly if you have various fourth-level pages with different parent pages.  This approach does not create a module of links on each page.  It simply insert the fourth-level page dynamically in the left-navigation menu when a visitor lands on it.  (This approach is used for the “Building in the WCMS” pages in this Gallery.)

Guidelines

  • Keep link text as brief as possible so that visitors can easily scan the page list. (By default, the multi-page module uses page titles for the links, but you can override the titles. Link text for the fourth-level navigation module comes from the left navigation SSI.)
  • For titled collections of content, enter the title as the subtitle for all pages in the multi-page or fourth-level module.  In the example above, the document title “2017: A Year in Review” is the page subtitle.
  • Try to keep the list of items as short as possible (typically no more than 12 to 16).  This may involve merging some content to reduce the number of pages.
  • Do not combine on-page menus on the same page (multi-page, fourth-level, “on this page” module).
  • Avoid fourth-level navigation if possible.
Go to Examples

Page last reviewed: May 10, 2018
Content source: WCMS / Template Team