Dynamic List

Building in the WCMS


Setting up a dynamic list involves several steps, in addition to creating the list content item:

  1. Set up the taxonomy for filtering
  2. Prepare the content pages
  3. Create the dynamic list
  4. Preview for future date (optional)
  5. Publish the page with dynamic list

Setting up a Taxonomy

At this time, the dynamic list does not filter on the standard taxonomies in the Metatags and Taxonomies panel (e.g., Topics, Content Source).  You must work with one or more custom taxonomies.  For example, to support this Features Gallery, a taxonomy called “Gallery Categories” was created for the parent site.  It has three categories:  Bicycles, Villages, and Flowers.

Once you determine your taxonomy needs (working with the content owners), a site manager must create your custom taxonomies and add the taxonomy terms.  Instructions are provided in the WCMS Developer’s Guide, which is available on the CDC intranet.  (Search for “WCMS Guide Taxonomy.”)

Preparing Content Pages

Tags. Once your taxonomies are in place, make certain that the content pages you want to feature are tagged appropriately.  (A panel for each custom taxonomy displays on the right of the page form.)

Dates. Also make certain that the date you plan to use for filtering and sorting the dynamic list is set correctly for each content page.  You can use Article Date, Last-Updated Date, Initial-Publish Date (i.e., initial LINK publish date), or Created Date. Note that the dynamic list filters future-date pages, so you can use a user-maintained date like Article Date to create a backlog of pages to feature.

Descriptions. For the item description, work with the content owner to determine whether you are using the Link Descriptor Text or content body from the page.  if you are using Link Descriptor Text, make certain this text is set for each content page.

Images. When using “image with caption” style, images are necessary. (They are optional with text box style. You can check a box to include images when you set up the dynamic list.)  Make certain each content page has an iconic image.

Creating the Dynamic List

The dynamic list must be created in Visual Composer (either a page or the Visual Composer module). Pay particular attention to the following fields on the Filter Criteria tab:

  • Taxonomy:  Select the taxonomy you will use for filtering and then select the taxonomy values.
  • Max Number:  Select the number of items (pages) to pull.
  • Filter & Order by Date:  Select the type of date field to use for filtering and sorting.

On the Display Options tab, note the following:

  • List Style: Select textbox, image with caption, or bulleted as the basic display style.
  • Description Source: Set the source of the featured pages’ descriptive text (Link Description or Content Body).
  • Number of Columns: This dropdown can be used to allow for multiple columns within the generated list.
  • Show Featured Image: Check this box for textbox lists when you want to pull the featured pages’ iconic images.

Previewing for a Future Date

To see how a dynamic list will look on a future date (assuming the relevant content pages are published to LINK), add the future date as a parameter to the preview URL:



When new pages are created and published that are to be featured in the dynamic list, you must to republish the page containing the list in order for it to pull the new pages.

Tips: Consider setting up recurring publishing for the list page.  If you do not wish to republish the whole page on a recurring schedule, you can create an SSI with the dynamic list (created inside a Visual Composer module).  Then insert the SSI as a module on the page. You can then schedule the SSI for recurring publishing.

WCMS Quick Facts

The Dynamic List is a single-use Visual Composer module.

The creation and management of custom taxonomies is handled by site managers.

You can place multiple dynamic lists on a page, all pulling content according to the same taxonomy categories and date field.  They do not pull  the same pages.  For example, if you create two dynamic lists filtering on the category “News” and Article Date, one list pulls the most recent “News” page and the other list pulls the next “News” page according to the date.

The dynamic list filters out content with future dates, so you can, for example, backlog items for featuring in a dynamic list by selecting Article Date as the sorting/filtering date and then setting Article Date in the future for select pages.

To preview a dynamic list page for a future date, add the date to the preview URL:  [URL]?date=mm/dd/yyyy.