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!

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.