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When developing a solution using the MVC conventions for controllers, models and views, it is convenient to base your model on Episerver content types. Your content model can inherit from model classes for content types, which provides flexibility when extending your solution. You can easily create new content types by adding model classes. Create for example a page type that implements IContent to get the basic properties, and add custom properties like author, an editorial area and publish date. 

Example: A page type created using the Episerver Visual Studio extensions.

namespace MyEpiserverSite.Models.Pages
{
    [ContentType(GroupName = "Basic pages", Order=1, DisplayName = "StandardPage", GUID = "abad391c-5563-4069-b4db-1bd94f7a1eea", 
        Description = "To be used for basic content pages.")]
    public class StandardPage : SitePageData
    {
                [CultureSpecific]
                [Display(
                    Name = "Main body",
                    Description = "The main body will be shown in the main content area of the page, using the XHTML-editor you can insert for example text, images and tables.",
                    GroupName = SystemTabNames.Content,
                    Order = 1)]
                public virtual XhtmlString MainBody { get; set; }
    }
}

You can add and modify content types from the administrative user interface. However, these will not be strongly typed, and for legacy reasons this approach is not recommended. Settings defined in the user interface take precedence over settings from your model.

Initialization and synchronization

During site initialization all assemblies in the bin folder are scanned, and all classes decorated with the EPiServer.DataAbstraction.ContentType attribute are added by the synchronization engine. A content type is constructed by merging the settings from the model class with any settings that have been defined in the administration view.

You can see examples of different content types if you install an Episerver CMS sample site.

Built-in functionality

When using the Episerver content model, certain functionality will be available by default for all content types. You will for example get waste basket support, content reference checking when deleting content items, and drag-and-drop support from the Assets pane into any overlay or editor that handles files.

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