Silva features and benefits

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User friendly

User friendly

Easy to use

Silva's content management environment makes you feel at home immediately. It works intuitive and you don't need to read manuals for hours just to get started creating and managing content.

Editing works in all major modern browsers

Authoring in Silva works in all major modern browsers. Authors can use all the features that make writing, structuring and publishing content easy and straightforward.

Handy and fast Image manipulations

Scale, crop and link to a high resolution version of an image in simple and quick steps.

Easy to use

Silva is well documented, most authors can start building a site without requiring a hands on training, minimizing training costs. Creating content, updating content, the use of the editor, previewing your content, organizing your content, the workflow,... , etc. everything feels natural and selfexplanatory. The AJAX driven content management interface allows you to easily grab and hold the content you would like to reorder to its desired position.


Authors can create an infinitely nested hierarchy of publications and folders to structure content.

Underwater, authors produce structured XML that is displayed as HTML in a web page. This also future proofs the information.

All text stored as unicode, which means content in multiple languages can be mixed in single documents freely.

Silva includes a WYSIWYG editor (CKEditor) that provides many features:

  • Full Silva integration; CKEditor handles Silva special data sources transparently.
  • Copy and paste HTML from any source (web page, word processor) into CKEditor.
  • Works in modern browsers (Internet Explorer 8+,  Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
  • People who work with word processors will be comfortable with CKEditor's user interface.
  • Assets (e.g. Silva Images and Files) are linked as a robust reference and therefore can be moved around the site without breaking reference links.
  • Silva provides dynamic elements that can be embedded in documents that fetch information from a relational database or by calling a script, using Data Sources.
  • Metadata is stored per content object. Metadata is extensible; new metadata sets can be added. The metadata can be automatically indexed for site search purposes and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • An automatic Table of Contents feature lets authors create complex listings of documents and other content types.

Straightforward user interface

  • Silva has its own through-the-web user interface with easy access to all features. Authors can only access functionality relevant to Authors, while Editors and Chief Editors have more capabilities in specific screens.
  • The user interface is internationalized (using i18n)  so that it can be translated to different languages. Since Silva 1.2, there are English, German, French, Dutch and Traditional Chinese versions. Others are in progress.
  • Managers can descend into the Zope user interface for fine-grained system control.
  • A javascript pop up is used to select references. The pop up uses a REST API to query the site.
  • With the Preview functionality you can quickly check how the content will look in the public web layout.
  • The editor fullscreen functionality makes it possible to edit and preview in a wide screen layout.

Multilingual user interface

The Silva content management user interface is translated in the language that a user sets in his Preferences. This is extra handy if your organization has an audience and web authors that speak different languages. The web authors can write content in the audience language and edit in their native language in the editing environment. If a language in the editing environment is not translated yet, it can be translated using a web interface on Launchpad. This community effort will then be added to Silva CMS in the next minor release.

Content and website governance

Website governance

Move, copy and reorder

Authors can move or copy entire site content structures with ease in Silva. They can reorder documents and pages via drag and drop through the browser in the editing environment.

You only see what you can do

There are no confusing actions and settings which your user rights and permissions don't allow, what you see is what you can do.

Easy efficient versioning

Robust, simple to use versioning. Use an older version of a web page as a starting point of your new version, update the new version and publish when satisfied. Simple efficient steps make content management a pleasure.

Finding your content

Easily find your content in the content overview using a content filter that only shows the content matching your filter criteria.

Online collaboration

Ask you web audience for feedback on topics of interest using the Silva Poll extension. Create a moderated discussion about valuable topics on your site using the Silva Forum extension. Use your Silva site to interact with your visitors and syndicate your website content to interested stakeholders with ease using the build in RSS and Atom feeds.

Content syndication

Keep your website audience up to date using the possibility to subscribe to content so they get an email whenever the content is updated. Expose XML feeds (RSS/Atom) of your content so people can subscribe to the RSS and Atom feed.

Export and archiving

As Silva is designed for large multiple Silva site setups, you might have valuable content in one site that you would like to backup, archive or reuse with some adaptations on one of you others Silva sites. This can be realized with the build in export and import functionality. You can create full zip export of content which you can archive or import in another Silva site. You can also make a local HTML export to have your site content offline on your local computer, which you can use for presentations and other offline activities without giving people online access to your site or part of that site section.

Media and assets

  • Images and files can be imported either singly or in bulk by importing a zip file. The entire zipped directory structure can be imported and will create Silva Folders automatically.
  • Images can be manipulated for web publication. The original high resolution images can still be exported for print purposes.
  • Silva provides facilities for cropping and resizing images. This tool combined with the scaling possibilities offers Authors the means to both customize a high resolution image to a web suited image.
  • Images can be positioned in documents using standard styles.

Mobile web

  • Silva integrates with Mobi, a middleware suite for detecting mobile devices. Silva provides a layout system that is able to choose the appropriate presentation for a mobile device or desktop computer.

Corporate branding

Corporate branding


Layout templates provide flexible, customizable presentation using Zope or Chameleon Page Templates. Different sub-sites can have different publications and designs.

User interface

The editing environment can easily get the corporate look of your organization using simple customization settings, which can be set through the web browser with just a few steps.

Safety and security

Silva secure

Workflow and versioning

Versioning was build into Silva since it was created in 2002, it is not something build in later with some add-on to add that functionality. This makes it robust, simple to use. You can compare older versions and get a visual presentation of what the differences are between the selected versions. This is welcome for one of the most important features of a CMS. When working together on web content you don't want to lose your content as an author, and as a content manager you don't want unapproved content to get published online and impact the reputation of your organization.

  • Publication workflow: approval by (Chief) Editor is needed in order to publish content. Content can be published as well as expired automatically at a set time.
  • Versioning of content: Authors can work on new versions of documents while a previous version remains published.
  • Editors can manage the publication status of large quantities of documents in one screen.
  • Silva can be configured to automatically send emails to Authors and Chief Editors for workflow events, informing them about the status of their documents.
  • For documents and other versioned content you can review older versions, compare them, revert the draft version to an older version or remove older versions completely.
  • It is possible for site visitors to subscribe to web pages. They will get an email message sent to them automatically when a new version of the page gets published.

Security logging

With you can track user login action details in Silva. You can configure the logging output. By default it will be logged in the local database, but you can log to an external SQL database as well.


Silva documentation

Well documented

User documentation at your finger tips is a good thing when using more advanced features of the software you're using. You don't want to search the web and find outdated documentation confusing you even more and make you waste valuable time making outdated steps that don't work for the version you use. Silva comes with it's documentation, you just need to click the install documentation button and you have the documentation for the software version you use immediately available in your site. And if you would like to consult documentation for a newer version our fixes for the documentation after the version you use, the documentation section on this website is your best friend.

User documentation

  • Extensive Silva user documentation for Author and Editors, site Managers.

Installable documentation

  • Silva user documentation can be automatically installed in your Silva site.

Developer documentation

Site management

Website management

User management

Silva offers out of the box Group management, the only need is to configure it, which is documented in our Adding Groups in Silva section.

The  Pluggable Authentication System (PAS) has been integrated into Silva. This means a whole range of existing plugins are available to integrate Silva with different authentication services. In addition to LDAP, there are integrations with Radius and a plugin for OpenID Authentication.

Access management

  • Silva separates responsibilities between Author, Editor and Chief Editor roles.
  • Silva allows delegation of responsibilities. Editors can approve for publication, Chief Editors can create new (Chief) Editors and Authors. This prevents a one-person bottleneck holding up publication.
  • LDAP connections are possible using LDAPUserFolder or the LDAP Multi-Plugin. This has a search interface for people in LDAP in order to assign roles, scaling to large quantities of users.
  • Group management and access can be handled with the  Pluggable Authentication System  (PAS).
  • Public access can be restricted to individual users, authenticated users, or users with Viewer, Viewer+ and Viewer++ roles.
  • Users who do not yet have access to edit objects can optionally be allowed to request this in a user interface.

Content management

  • Granular configuration per publication makes content available for Authors to add and edit. It is also possible to completely disable certain content site-wide.
  • Ghosts and Ghost folders allow presenting content in a different context than which they are authored in. This allows storing content in a structure paralleling that of the organization for access rights distribution and delegation, but reusing the same content inside topic oriented structures for web publication.
  • Virtual hosting support allows different areas of the site to be exposed in a separate virtual host for both viewing and authoring.
  • Table of contents (TOC) elements can be included in pages to present the local structure of the site.
  • Silva Links can manage references to external sites within the table of contents.
  • All Silva assets (images and files) can be stored on the file system. This provides substantial performance increases.
  • Content caching architecture ensures that the renderings of individual Silva content objects such as documents can be cached for high-performance display.
  • A quota subsystem lets Managers set a quota on publications (which can also be a virtual host root). Containers within the publication acquire the quota. The quota does not count the space used by the documents but tallies the assets. The space utilized is tracked on e container and displayed in the settings screen. Quotas can be set by Managers in the settings screen of the publication. The quota subsystem is off by default.


Silva futureproof

Futureproof content

Content is stored independent of layout and presentation keeping it pure like it should be.
Many large organizations and universities use Silva, which is released under a new BSD Open Source license.



Features and benefits