Digital NSW Plone Starter Kit Demo

View on GitHub
A NSW Government website

Plone 6 Basics


Plone 6 has very simple yet powerful editor called Volto. A page is composed of "Blocks" which often correspond to NSW Design System Components.

You can add a block by clicking on the block above it and then clicking on the "plus" button and choosing which block you want to insert

Hitting "Enter" will also insert a block below the current one. "/" is a shortcut to pick which block type you want

Blocks can be dragged and dropped using the drag marker on the left, deleted using the "Trash Can" icon and also copy and pasted between pages

Block Settings

  • Most Blocks let you edit them directly and many also have additional settings on the right sidebar, under the "Block" tab.
  • Text blocks have an additional formatting toolbar that appears if you select a word, allowing you to format text, create headers, links of bullets.
  • Not all blocks have settings, for example the Title and Text blocks have no settings
  • The right side bar can be hidden if needed by clicking on the middle of its seperator (as can the left toolbar)

Select text to apply formatting


You can create page sections using the sections block setting (NSW DS only)

Page Settings/Content metadata

In the right sidebar there are settings for the content. Almost all content types have

  • Title - this appears in listings, searches, navigation and you can use the "Title Block" to have the tile appear on a page as a H1 Header.
  • Summary - a one paragraph summary of the content. Also appears on search (unless a keyword is used) and listings. You can use the description block to have this appear on the page so you don't need to type the text in two places.
  • Preview Image - An image you can optionally have appear in in listings and searches
  • Short name - allows you to change the url of the content
  • Exclude from naviation - Prevents the item from appearing in top level navigation
  • Categorization - You can use tags to help either internally organise your content, or make this user facing by using a Search Block with a Tag facet or show tags in listings. In a later version you will be able to make tags appear on the page itself. Related items is currently unsed but will be allow for displaying a user picked set of items in a special block in the future.
  • Dates - Publication date is set automatically when you publish and can be used in Search and Listing Blocks. You can also adjust it normally. Expiry date can be useful in listings and search blocks to prevent the item showing up however the item can still be seen if there is a direct link to it.

Publishing and workflow

  • Once you have saved a page you will need to publish it as new Pages are Private by default
  • Pages you create will automatically appear in the top level navigation.
    • Use "Exclude from navigation" in the Page settings if this isn't desired.
  • You can create a subpage of a page by clicking "Add > Page". Pages are both a folder and a Page in Plone 6.
  • You can restrict content to certain logged in users by keeping the Page state "Private" and using the Sharing tool to add users or groups permissions
  • You can publish items in bulk using the "Contents" tool.

Managing Content with the Contents Tool

The folder icon on the left toolbar is the "Contents" tool. The contents tool allows for bulk renaming, moving, reordering, duplicating and uploading of content.

Cut/Copy/Paste - moving content

You can move content around the site using Cut and then Paste. Select the items using checkboxes, click cut, navigate to the folder you want to move the items and then paste. Not cut won't immediatly remove the items from the old location until you paste.

Note: this doesn't copy content to your computer clipboard and allow you to paste into other applications

Plone will automatically add redirects for moved content so any external urls pointing to it's old url will still work. You can view these redirects under "URL Management" either via the toolbar or the control panel

Copy allows you to duplicate content but it also won't create the copy until you click paste in the desired location.

URL Management/Rename

Each item has a "short name" and a "Title". The "short name" is what appears in the url. The full url path is made up of the short name of the item, then the "short name" of the folder it's in and so on up to the site root. If you want to edit this url you need to rename the item or parent pages until you have the url you want.

Renaming is done in "Contents" via the selecting the item and clicking rename. It can also be done while editing an item under the metadata tab on the right sidebar. Renaming will automatically add redirects for the old urls so external links using that url will still work.


To delete an item, go to contents, use the breadcrumbs to move to the parent item, find the content you wish to delete, select it and then click delete.

  • There isn't an easy way to recover a deleted item so do this carefully

If you would like to redirect external urls that pointed to that deleted content, you can do this by going to the item you want to redirect to, use "URL Management" from the left toolbar and enter the path of the old url of the content you just deleted.

Navigation menus/Ordering

The order of items inside a parent page can be controlled by dragging items up and down in the Contents tool. This is how you get a different order in the top level navigation menu. You can also use a listing block and choose to sort it by contents order.

If you would like to hide an item from the top level navigation, there is a setting for this when you editing the content.

Bulk Upload

There is a bulk upload tool in the top left of the "Contents" tool. It allows you to drag and drop files from your desktop or click and select files to upload. It will give the files a "short name" using the filename but you can use rename to change this after.

Alternativelly you can use "Add > File" to create file content one by one.

During editing you are also able to upload Images and Videos directly into blocks. Note however this will create file or image objects.

  • If you upload images to a page before its first saved it they will appear in the parent. You can safely move these into the page where they are used without a problem due to Plone's automatic linking.

History and Undo

In the left sidebar is a "History" tool that allows you to view the publication and edit history of Pages.

You can view the differences between two revisions of a page or choose to rollback the content to an old revision

You can also undo other actions using the "Control Panel > Undo" tool however this will often not work unless it's done soon after the change you want to undo. This will undo the full transaction and if later transactions touch that same data then the undo will fail unless you undo both of those transactions.

Managing Users and Permissions

You can add new users in the control panel

When adding a new user it's recommended you add them to a group and then give the group permissions globally (called roles)

The permissions (roles) are

  • Administrator - Complete access
  • Site Administrator - Can manage users
  • Reviewer (Can Review) - Can publish content submitted for review
  • Editor (Can Edit) - Can edit/remove other published content
  • Contributor (Can Add) - Can create new content but can only edit content they create
  • Reader (Can View) - Gives access to private content

If you don't want to give permissions globally there are fine grained permissions for groups or users on a page, or section level, using the "sharing" action.

Futher reading

Documentation on all the NSW Design system components that have been implemented in Plone 6

A powerful feature of Plone is create autmatically updating listings of content from other parts of your site

Cards, linked lists and other groupings of related content that you can fully configure

Simple form builder to email or save collected answers

The plone communities official user documentation

Plone 6 you can login into and try (without the NSW Design system)