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

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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.

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.