New features just in time for the holidays

And you thought we weren’t going to get you any presents this year. Boy, were you wrong! You were all good boys and girls this year, so we have three new features just for you.

List view

toggle

list-viewYou may have noticed some new buttons under the Content and Asset tabs. These buttons allow you to switch between the default Thumbnail View (See #1) and the fancy new List View (See #2). In the Content tab, List View condenses your website’s pages into a two-column list, allowing you to see and manage more pages at the same time. The same menus are available in List View as in Thumbnail View such as Edit, Edit Metadata, and View. It also works in the Assets tab, hiding the thumbnail of each asset to create a two-column list of all of the assets that have been uploaded to your site.

Under the Asset dropdown, your documents show in one section, and images in another

Under the Asset dropdown, your documents show in one section, and images in another

Create a link to an image

Not to be confused with displaying an image on a page, linking to an image will direct the viewer to the image itself – outside of the website. This can be helpful if you want a small image to be a link to a larger version of the same image, or if you want the viewer to be able to see the image but don’t want to include it on your page. We’ve expanded the Asset dropdown from the Insert Link window to show documents in one category, and images in another.

Anchor tags

The anchor symbol next to Meaning means that this has an anchor attached to it. The link above it links to this anchor

The anchor symbol next to Meaning means that this has an anchor attached to it. The "Meaning" link above it links to this anchor.

You asked, and we listened. Insert anchor tags with ease with the new Add Anchor button and the new dropdown menu in the Insert Link window. For those of you who aren’t familiar with anchor tags, they are a different kind of link that allow you to link to a specific area on a page. Anchors are really helpful for long pages like Glossaries and FAQs.

Say for instance that you have a glossary on your site, divided up into sections by the first letter of the word. The page would consist of 26 sections, with the corresponding letter at the top of each section. If you added an anchor to each section heading you could

The new Insert Anchor dropdown will detect what anchors you have placed on a page and allow you to link to them.

The new "Anchor on Page" dropdown will detect what anchors you have placed on a page and allow you to link to them.

then list each letter at the top of the page and link to the section headings farther down the page. When a viewer clicks on a letter, it would “jump” down to that section of the page. Many sites with anchors also include a “back to top” link to bring the viewer back to the original list of links.

Quick tip: keyboard shortcuts

Want a new and easy way to move between views of Content or Assets in your datAvenger admin area? Simple! Just use the up, down, page up, or page down keys while you’re viewing either the main Content or Assets page. The ‘up’ and ‘page up’ keys will move the view to the previous page (just as if you’d clicked the ‘<>’ link).

We’d love to add more keyboard shortcuts to the datAvenger admin area in the future. Have a suggestion for a shortcut you’d like to see? Let us know!

Searching for a new feature?

SearchEver since we launched the latest version of datAvenger, we’ve been asking what our users would love to see in the product. Lately we’ve spent some time going through the list of features you want to see, and we noticed pretty quickly that there were a few specific requests that appeared over and over again.

By far the most requested feature was an integrated way to search a datAvenger site. Good news, search fans: we’ve just added a way to search your datAvenger site, and the search results will even appear right inside the look and feel of the rest of your site. The search will return results for all pages on your site, whether or not they appear in your site’s navigation. We’ve even added search right into the Theme Builder theme; if you build your site using the Theme Builder in the Settings tab, you’ll have search added automatically.

If you have a custom theme for your site and would like search added, please get in touch with us. We’d be happy to give you your very own site search box in datAvenger!

The datAvenger Gallery module

datAvenger galleryWe’re excited to announce the addition of a new module to our datAvenger collection: a gallery!

The aim of the gallery is to allow you to create a gallery of your photos, illustrations, or other images as simply as possible. We let you choose as many of your uploaded assets as you’d like to display in your gallery, and we also give you the choice to pick a size for the images in the gallery, an option to show image thumbnails (smaller versions of the images that are always viewable), and an autoplay option that turns your gallery into an auto-rotating image slideshow (we even give you the choice of how long you want each image to appear before advancing).

Have a bunch of images you want to display? Contact us and ask to have the Gallery added to your site!

Controlling navigation in datAvenger

One of the biggest additions in the latest update to datAvenger is the ability to control your site’s navigation. To modify your site’s nav, head into the Settings tab and click the link under ‘Your Navigation.’ There are two ways to do navigation in datAvenger: automatic and manual.

Automatic navigation control

Automatic navigation in datAvenger

Automatic is the no-worries approach to creating usable navigation on your site. When the automatic mode is selected, datAvenger will fill your site’s nav with all of the pages on your site in alphabetical order. The best part about automatic navigation is that it will automatically update whenever you add a new page on your site. (The ‘404’ and ‘XML Sitemap’ system pages will not be displayed in nav.)

Manual navigation control

Manual navigation in datAvenger

If you want more control of your site’s nav, select the manual option. The box on the left lists the pages that will be shown in your navigation, shown in the order they will appear (top to bottom). The box on the right shows the remaining pages on the site. If you want to move a page to your site’s navigation, just click on it in the right column and drag it to the left column. To remove a page from nav, simply drag it from the left to the right column.

While you’ll need to come back whenever you want to change the navigation on your site, the manual option gives power users the ability to show only what they want.

If we designed a site-specific layout for you, you may not have the navigation control option available for your site. We can enable navigation control on most custom layouts, but there may be some exceptions. If you don’t have the navigation control option for your site and would like it, please contact us and we’ll discuss what we can do.

Name changes for our datAvenger applications

datAvenger logoHere at Sephone we’ve had two content management products for quite a while: datAvenger and datAvenger lite. datAvenger lite has always been our basic content manager, and datAvenger provided more options for companies that need more control and flexibility. (We have a product comparison of the two products available on our site.)

With some of the latest additions to these products, we’ve realized that the names of these applications don’t reflect the companies aren’t as accurate as they could be. If you’ve visited the admin area for a datAvenger/datAvenger lite site today, you may have noticed that we’ve rolled out a name change to both applications. Here’s what you’ll see:

  • If you’ve been working in datAvenger, your content management application is now called datAvenger Pro.
  • If you currently use the latest version of datAvenger lite (the one with the blue header bar), your application is now simply called datAvenger.

You’ll see these changes in the text of the application, the logo, and references to the applications on our sites.

There are a few key points to keep in mind for this transition.

  • The people who visit your site won’t be affected by this change at all. The only changes you’ll see are in the administration area of your site.
  • The administration area will remain the same other than references to your application’s name. This change does not affect any functionality.
  • Your invoices from us will reflect the name change, but the amount you are billed will not change. This is only a name change, not a pricing change.

Thank you for your understanding during this transition. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Early April additions

Happy April! I just wanted to run through a few new additions and changes we’ve made to dA lite today.

This release includes some big new features for those of you with the Form page type. In addition to regular and long text fields, you now have a selection option. To add options to the selection box, just type one option per line in the field details area. You can leave a blank selection type by inserting a blank line at the beginning of the options box. When viewed on your site, this type will appear as a select box.

The datAvenger lite form selection type

Select box in dA lite

Form users also now have the option to redirect users to another page on the site after the form has been submitted. This is great for those times when you may want to create a “thank you” page for form submitters. If you already have forms set up on your site, users will be redirected to your site’s home page (unless you change the redirect for those forms, of course).

We’ve also improved navigation for sites that have more have more pages or assets than will appear on one page in the admin area (12 of either). In addition to moving to the previous or next page in the grid, you can now use a new page selector to jump directly to different pages:

Page selector in datAvenger lite

Please note that the page selector is only available when you’re sorting the list by name in Content or Assets. If you choose to sort by date, size, or extension, you can still use the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ links.

We also fixed some bugs when dragging in form pages, previewing pages from the admin area, and a few other minor tweaks.

As always, feel free to leave your comments either here or using the ‘Ask for help or send us feedback’ link at the bottom the datAvenger lite admin area.

New ways to manage assets

We just activated a new set of features in datAvenger lite having to do with asset management. We think these changes will really speed up the assets on your site: both for you in management and for the visitors who come to your site. You’ll now find three new features in your Assets tab: editing, resizing, and compressing.

Asset editing

You can now edit the name of your assets from within dA lite, a first for any Sephone content management product. Click on any asset in the Assets tab and you’ll be given the option to change the name of that asset. From that point on you’ll see the name you choose in the Assets list, and we’ll make a web-friendly version of the name you choose for the file’s actual name (for example, if you give a photo a name of ‘Nubble sunrise’, we’ll give the asset a web filename of ‘nubble-sunrise.jpg’). Search engines prefer descriptive names instead of those generic filenames you’ll find on digital camera pictures and the like (‘IMG_0429.JPG’), so rename to your heart’s content!

Editing an asset in datAvenger lite

You don’t even need to worry about your content. datAvenger lite will go through the pages on your site and change any references to the asset to the new name as long as you keep the checkbox on the edit screen checked.

Asset resizing and compressing

Have you noticed that JPEG images (usually photo files) take a little while to load on your page? That’s probably because they aren’t web-optimized. We’ve now given you the option to optimize these images right from the Assets tab.

There’s a new option in the context menu for JPEG files called ‘Resize / Compress’. Once you’ve selected that option, you’ll be given two new ways to save space and speed up the load time of your photos: you can resize or compress them.

Resizing an image in datAvenger lite

To resize an image, just drag the slider to the left and right depending on the desired size for the photo. Smaller photos will take less space and will load faster on your pages. We find that most users never need a photo larger than 400 pixels wide if they’re using it on a content page; that might be a good dimension to use as a starter. Of course, you can always go back into the resize area and shrink it down again if you like! (You can only resize to a smaller size, though.)

If you want to keep your asset’s current dimensions, you can try compressing the image. This may result in a little bit of quality loss, but most users don’t even notice a change… and it will save you a ton of space in many cases!

We’d love to hear what you think about these new features. If you have any questions, please let us know as well.

Adding a custom Not Found page

Over the last month or so we’ve been busy adding a fresh batch of features to datAvenger lite. While a lot of these are system-level stability and reliability tweaks, there are plenty of opportunities to try out some of the newest updates yourself. We’ll be walking through many of these over the coming days and weeks.

Visitors can reach your site in a number of different ways: search engines, links from other sites, ads, and more. The best case scenario, of course, is that people will always find the page they need right away. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. There are a handful of bumps in the road that may keep your visitors from heading to the right page:

  • The owner of another site misspells a link to a page on your site
  • A visitor might try to reach a page you’ve deleted via a bookmark or an old advertisement
  • You might delete a page and forget to change links to that page around your site (whoops!)

The solution to this is something we in the Web biz call a 404 page: a page that appears whenever a user tries to reach a location on your site that can’t be found. datAvenger lite will automatically display a page for you in these cases. You’ll see the following where you’d normally see the content for a page:

The default text that shows when a visitor can't find a page

That’s all most site owners will need, really. The visitor can click on the home page link to head to your home page and find the page there. If you want more control over this message, you can now edit this page by using the special 404 content area under the Content tab. Just click on the following icon in your content list:

The 404 icon in datAvenger lite

You’ll then be able to change the special Not Found page just as you would any other page on your site. You can put anything you like in this page. Some of our favorite Not Found pages include links to popular pages on the site, a message explaining what may have happened, or even a list of the main pages of the site that would act like a site map. Want some inspiration? Check these out:

Be creative! The best Not Found pages will encourage visitors to explore your site and find what they need.