Contribution Guidelines

Thank you for taking the time to contribute to Circonus Docs. These guidelines cover project organization and content formatting. When you’re ready to contribute, head over to our open source project hosted on Github. There, you can suggest updates and additions. Please keep in mind that all changes require a pull request and associated approval by a Circonus team member before being merged and deployed to the live site.

Project Organization

Circonus Docs uses a website framework called Hugo which builds HTML pages from content markdown files. All raw content is located under the content directory. Here, the top-level directories correspond to Circonus' main products. Each of these products is then further nested into logical sections.

Adding a Section

Sections help organize project content and facilitate navigation. To create a section, first add a directory. The directory name should correspond to the desired section title, with all letters lowercased and spaces converted to hyphens. Hyphens are specifically important as the directory name impacts the URL path of pages within the section and in turn, their SEO.

Next, add an file to your directory. Within Hugo, files formally define sections. The file should contain YAML front matter (metadata) that specifies the official section title as well as a weight indicating the appearance order of the section in relation to sibling pages and sections (lower weight gets higher precedence). An H1 heading that corresponds to the page title should also be added to pages (it will be displayed before the navigational boxes on section list pages).

Here is an example file for a section entitled “Dashboards”:

title: Dashboards
weight: 10

# Dashboards

It is critical that pages contain no other content beyond the front matter and heading as these pages do not display within search results.

Should introductory content exist for a section, first add a hidecards property set to true within the front matter of the section’s file, like so:

title: Get Started
hidecards: true
weight: 10

# Get Started

Then, create a file within the section. The title and H1 heading within should match those within Lastly, add the appropriate introductory content within

If introductory content exists for a section, it will be displayed when a user clicks on the section name within the sidebar or section list page. If introductory content does not exist for a section, the user will simply see a list of navigational boxes corresponding to each child page and section.

Adding a Page

To add a page, create a markdown file (extension .md). The file name should correspond to the desired page title, with all letters lowercased and spaces converted to hyphens. Keep in mind that the file name will determine the URL path of each page and in turn, its SEO. Choosing a descriptive title and using hyphens, rather than underscores, will improve the page’s SEO performance.

Although file name determines page URL, the front matter (metadata) within the file itself defines the official page title. In addition to the title, front matter should also include a weight indicating the appearance order in relation to sibling pages, where lower weight gets higher precedence.

Here is example front matter for a page entitled “Creating Worksheets”:

title: Creating Worksheets
weight: 40

After the front matter, the actual page content can be inserted (see below for content formatting requirements).

Content Formatting

All content must be contributed as markdown. Beyond standard markdown syntax, we have a few additional formatting requirements.

Line Length

For easier editing, please keep line length within the markdown files below 170 characters.


After the front matter, content should commence with a single h1 heading corresponding to the page title specified in the front matter.

title: CAQL Design and Architecture
weight: 30

# CAQL Design and Architecture

In the markdown that follows, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 headings should be sequentially nested; h2s directly beneath h1, h3s directly beneath h2s, and so forth. All headings should use the hash (#) markdown syntax rather than underlines. Additionally, an empty new line should be inserted both above and below each heading for optimal distinction from body text.

For pages titles, all headings, and bold/italic text that is treated as a heading, use title case (i.e., all words should be capitalized except for minor words such as prepositions and conjunctions, as per Chicago guidelines). Please note that code, file names, and some formal nouns require lowercase no matter the context (e.g., /tags?query=and(__name:foo), config.json, collectd).

title: collectd

# collectd

Inline code and file names within a heading should be flanked in backticks or left quotes which will wrap the entity in code tags when rendered. The following heading example precedes description of the CAQL outlier package:

### Package `outlier`

Please note that heading ids and anchors will be dynamically inserted upon page load and do not need to be included within the markdown.


Blockquotes can be used to highlight tips and hints within the content. To create a blockquote in markdown, add a > in front of a paragraph.


All URLs and anchors specified within the content markdown should be lowercased.

Links internal to Circonus Docs must use paths relative to the base URL, Each link should also end with a /, e.g. [data model](/circonus/data-model/). Specification of an ID within the link can be made directly after the /, e.g. [histogram](/circonus/data-model/#histogram).


Images referenced within the content markdown should be uploaded to the appropriate product directory inside of static/images. Remember to use the relative path to the image and include sensible alt text, like so:

![alt text](/images/circonus/file-name.png)

Images should be PNGs or JPGs of reasonable file size (preferably less than 200 KB each). Minimizing image file size is particularly important for pages with several images as they will impact the page load time.

In terms of dimensions, the maximum width at which images are displayed is 913px. Images need not fill this width if a more focused image better communicates the instructions and results in more legible text. If possible, images should be a minimum of either 568px wide or 913px wide, though exceptions will occur. Greater widths are acceptable since images will be scaled down by the CSS (just be mindful of file size).