Cascade Exchange: A-Z listing

By Charlie Holder — Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 at 9:30am
Cascade Exchange: A-Z Index

This is the first blog in our ongoing Cascade Exchange (#CascadeXC) Series, where we’ll be highlighting a different resource every week.

A-Z indexes offer an alphabetical list of pages through which a website visitor can browse to find the content they’re looking for. An A-Z index is typically a single, long list, but it can also be broken into separate lists, pages, or tabs if it is extremely long. At the top of the page, a horizontal list of the letters of the alphabet usually appears. The visitor can choose a letter from this list, click it, and jump to the appropriate section of the alphabetical index.

A-Z indexes can be all-inclusive or hand-picked to only include important pages.

The biggest competitor to A-Z indexes is search. Big search engines or custom search appliances can be free and easy to implement, but it can sometimes be difficult to produce quality results for search terms. With A-Z indexes, you get much more control over exactly what pages are highlighted and what words you use to represent the link to the page.

Manually created A-Z indexes need to be updated when pages are added to or removed from the website. You can certainly maintain this list yourself, but Cascade Server contains a powerful mechanism to make this process easy and more dynamic -- Index Blocks. These important assets can automatically aggregate pages into a list that is automatically transformed into a navigation of letters and the corresponding sections of links. To enhance this setup one step further, the list can be filtered based on page metadata or content values so that content authors can decide if the page should be included in the list without having to visit the index itself.

Our example XSLT code is all you need to create this simple, effective, and useful content index for your website visitors. Visit the A-Z Index resource to access this example code, and check out our other free resources at the Cascade Server Exchange.

What resource do you want to see highlighted next? Is there a resource that you're dreaming of that we haven't created yet?

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