When working with content, you will find yourself creating certain kinds of content over and over again. A classic example is a bio for a book or blog post. In Contentful, you can link to this bio without having to rewrite or re-add it to each individual blog post. These links between content are called references.
References are very useful, because they allow you to you reuse content throughout the various channels of your company, instead of having to recreate it from scratch each time. Any edits you make to a referenced entry will be reflected globally—so if you update the copyright year on your legal notice, for example, you don’t have to worry about having to go back in to each individual page and changing it manually. Create content once in Contentful, and your changes will be live everywhere you link to that entry.
An entry with a reference field
To add references to an entry:
In the web app, navigate to the main content list and click the blue Add entry button.
In the entry editor, look for a field with the following links:
Create new entry and link: This will open the entry editor in another tab. Create your entry as normal, and publish. It will then be linked to the original entry.
Link existing entries: Select an existing entry in your space from the list to link. Click the green Insert selected entries button when finished.
There will be two updates to the entry editor after you finish:
The Links section in the sidebar will be updated to show a list of which entries in the space link to the current entry.
The title field will also be updated to show the number of links to the current entry. The color of the icon changes depending on the number of incoming links.
A list of entries that are linked to the current entry
The title of this article shows how many other entries link to it (in this case, four)
For a more in-depth tutorial on how to work with references and nested entries, watch the following two-minute video.