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Using Real Content: CCK and Taxonomy

This is the second in a series on "Using Real Content". Read the first article: Using Real Content: The Design Phase.

Building a comprehensive information architecture for a content-heavy website can be a challenge. Luckily, Drupal is great for rapid development and by building content types early on, it's easier to discover issues with either the content, design, or architectural decisions.

A Drupal-specific content issue that arises often is whether to use a taxonomy vocabulary or a CCK field. For example, a concert content type might display the type of music to be performed (classical, jazz, contemporary, etc.) as well as the type of concert (matinee, evening). Whether these should be CCK fields or a taxonomy vocabulary depends on the overall scope of the site's content.

If the site lists less than ten concerts for a given season, then users won't need to use either piece of data to filter the content. However, "type of music" could apply to other pieces of content. For example, blog posts and artist proifles. In this case, "type of music" would be useful as a vocabulary both for filtering the content and using a recommendation module to suggest similar content. A taxonomy vocabulary also makes it easier to use the data as a search filter.