• Top Four Navigation Pitfalls to Avoid in Web Design

    Providing a good web experience depends heavily on good use of navigational aids. While it sounds simple enough, in fact, designing good navigational elements on a site can be tricky. Here are four common mistakes to avoid:

    Too many levels.

    Don't make visitors do a deep dive into your site to find information. If possible, keep the site reasonably shallow, around three levels, and keep the most important information on the first or second levels. Use design elements, such as sidebars to squeeze more information onto a page, and resist the urge to add another page link.


    Unclear identifiers.

    Avoid cutesy or long-winded language in identifying URLs and pages. Also avoid unclear words. For instance, "engage" is vague, but "contact" is clearer.


    Too many words.

    Visitors should be able to cut-and-paste a link without needing to copy a dozen words. That also means limiting your links to one or two words in length. Anything longer is a waste of time. For instance, "See How Our Product Works" is not a good title. But "How It Works" is better.


    Avoid "mega flyout menus."

    Some ecommerce sites with a lot of product categories will use drop down menus that spawn other drop down menus -- as much as four to five levels down. The problem is visitors can't see those hidden categories so may not go looking for them in the menu. Multi-level drop down menus also have a tendency to collapse, forcing the person to start over again.

  • Collision Media Draws on LightCMS to Create Hundreds of Beautiful, Responsive Websites

    Design Agency Leverages the Powerful, Easy-to-Use CMS to Grow Their Business

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.—October 21, 2014—LightCMS, a NetSuite (NYSE: N) company that provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use cloud-based content management system (CMS), today announced that Collision Media, a small creative design studio, has built a thriving business by working exclusively with the LightCMS platform since 2008. Collision Media, a boutique firm headed by husband-and-wife team Tommy and Emily Bailey in Nashville, Tenn., has used LightCMS to build more than 200 websites for businesses, ministries, and nonprofits. Collision Media continues to grow its business by taking advantage of the flexibility and agility of the LightCMS platform to design striking websites that meet and exceed client expectations. In addition, the intuitive ease of use offered by the LightCMS platform enables Collision Media’s clients to easily update their websites themselves which opens up bandwidth for the agency to take on additional projects while helping to preserve a healthy work-life balance.

    “As a small boutique firm, we could not manage all of the websites we’ve created without a platform like LightCMS,” said Tommy Bailey, Co-founder of Collision Media. “LightCMS has a unique balance that helps speed and simplify the process in front-end design and site maintenance. Clients can update their own websites with a very small learning curve. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

    Collision Media recently strengthened its relationship with LightCMS by joining the new LightCMS Partner Platform program, designed to make it easier than ever for creative designers and resellers to focus on what they do best in creating leading-edge websites with a standards-based platform. As a result of the LightCMS Partner Platform, Collision Media has introduced a new and simplified pricing model that offers clients websites with unlimited pages, unlimited products and online store capabilities for a flat fee that replaces a five-tier system that offered various prices based on limits to the number of pages and products.

    “One of the biggest benefits of the LightCMS Partner Platform has been simplifying our monthly pricing for our clients,” said Tommy Bailey. “We’ve had great success with it. Our clients really like the new pricing structure and the unlimited nature of the platform so they don’t have to worry about limits on pages or products as they grow.”

    “We’re seeing a lot of interest among designers and resellers in the flexibility and attractive pricing offered in the LightCMS Partner Platform,” said Justin Cowan, Director of Content Management for LightCMS. “Collision Media is a great example of an agency that got on board early and is passing along benefits of the platform to its clients to improve customer satisfaction and win new business.”

    Collision Media chose LightCMS after previous experiences with WordPress and Joomla that left them needing more. LightCMS equips Collision Media with rich and flexible controls for managing the creative process and also accelerates website development without the need to master specialized programming languages. The responsive web design capabilities built into LightCMS enable Collision Media to deliver beautiful websites optimized to display and function on a wide variety of Internet-enabled devices from laptop screens to tablets and smartphones.

    “LightCMS allows for a very quick turnaround. The coding and integration is simple and intuitive and allows us to produce quality work in a fraction of the time,” Tommy Bailey said. “Clients really love the ease of use, and that’s very helpful to us because it minimizes support needs after launching.”

    To view a case study and video on Collision Media’s partnership with LightCMS, please visit http://www.lightcms.com/lightcms-story-collision-media.

    About LightCMS LightCMS is a NetSuite Inc. company that provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use cloud-based platform for creating beautiful websites and online stores. Guided by its philosophy of sophisticated simplicity, LightCMS offers an ideal set of tools for individuals, non-profits, and small to medium-sized businesses who want to communicate, conduct business, and sell products online. LightCMS is also a leading platform of choice for web designers and creative agencies. With industry-leading design flexibility, LightCMS offers designers and developers the opportunity to create custom websites their clients can easily manage themselves. More than 275,000 users from around the world leverage the simplicity and flexibility LightCMS offers to build standout websites and online stores quickly.

    For more information about LightCMS, please visit www.lightcms.com.

    Follow LightCMS's blog, LightCMS's Facebook page and the @LightCMS Twitter handle for real-time updates.

    NOTE: NetSuite, the NetSuite logo, LightCMS, and the LightCMS logo are registered service marks of NetSuite Inc. or its affiliates.

     


  • LightCMS Receives People's Choice CMS Award for Best Cloud CMS for SMB


    We are ecstatic to announce that LightCMS has received the People's Choice CMS Award for Best Cloud CMS for SMB (Small to Midsize Business) by CMS Critic. Thanks to all of those users who nominated and voted for us!

    We thank you again for your continued support in making us the best Cloud CMS by creating beautiful websites and online stores for your businesses and your clients’ businesses. We cannot do this without your help!

     

  • New Features: Users and Roles Enhancements

    This release of LightCMS brings you some exciting new features and enhancements regarding users and roles. Keep reading to learn more.

    Redesigned Users and Roles Page

    The Users and Roles page introduces a new design that brings you improved form and function. Previously, roles were located at the bottom of the page, below the list of users. This proved cumbersome, especially for anyone with a large number of users. There was also no easy way to locate a particular user if you had a large number of users. The Users page now separates users and roles onto two separate tabs. Users are listed on the Manage Users tab, and roles are listed on the Manage Roles tab.

    Manage Users Tab

    The Manage Users tab includes several new features you will find especially useful if you have a large number of users.

     

    Users are now listed in a table format that provides you with the same functionality recently introduced with Manage Posts and Manage Events.

    • Search for Users - Have you ever needed to find a user named Jake or anyone with a gmail.com email address? The new search feature enables you to quickly filter the user list based on criteria you enter in the search field at the top of the users list. The search filters on user name and email address so you can filter to a specific or partial username or email address.



    • Filter Users by Role - Have you ever needed to see only the admin users or maybe the users assigned to a custom role? No problem. Now all you have to do is select the role from the dropdown list at the top of the user grid and the list instantly filters to only those users assigned to the selected role. To display all users, simply select Show All Roles.



    • Easily Delete a User - Previously you had to edit a user account in order to delete it. Now you can delete it from the user list simply by clicking the trashcan icon in the far right column.

    • Pagination – Anyone with a large number of users knows how cumbersome a user list can be. The new pagination feature lets you limit the number of users that the list shows at a time, and the Previous and Next navigation links enable you to quickly page through the list.

    • Gravatar – If the user account is configured to use a Gravatar image or if the account has an uploaded image, the first column in the grid displays the user image.

    • Sort Users - Easily sort the user list by clicking a column heading. Click the heading once to sort in ascending order, and click the heading again to sort in descending order. Click the heading a third time to return to the original sort order.




    Manage Roles Tab

    The Manage Roles tab lists all of the roles you have set up in the system. This includes the system roles and any custom roles. You can edit a custom role by clicking the role name or delete a custom role by clicking the trashcan icon to the right of the role. Click the + button in the upper right corner to add a new custom role.



    As with Manage Users, you can click the column heading to sort the roles in ascending or descending order, search for specific roles, and use pagination if you have a large number of roles.

    Export Users

    The new Export Users feature enables you to export your user account information to a CSV file. This serves as a useful tool for backing up your user information. You can also use this feature if you need to make mass changes to all of your users. For example, you may want to force all of your users to change their passwords. By exporting the users to a CSV file, you can set a flag in the file that requires users to change their passwords the next time they log in. You can then use the Import Users feature to import the modified user information and overwrite the existing user information.

    To export users, go to the Users page and click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the page, then click Export Users. That’s all there is to it.


      

    Import Users

    The Import User feature enables you to import multiple users from a CSV file. This proves exceptionally useful if you have several new users you need to set up and also if you need to make changes to your existing users. To help you import users, you can first, export your users and use the export file as a template for the new users. You can also use the download a template file link on the import page to download a template file.

    To import users, first study the data elements in the template file to gain an understanding of each, and then delete the user data. Do not delete the header row. You can then enter your new user data into the file. The columns in the file include the following:

    • FirstName - User's first name.
    • LastName - User's last name.
    • FullName - User's full name.
    • Email - User's email address.
    • Password - User's password.
    • RequireUserToChangePassword - FALSE means the user is not required to change his or her password at next log in, and TRUE means the user is required to change his or her password at next log in.
    • Roles - A comma separated list of roles to which the user is assigned.

      Note: When importing users, a good rule of thumb for passwords is to use the same password for all users and then set the RequireUserToChangePassword flag to TRUE. That way, when the user logs in with the password you provide, he or she will be required to change the password before accessing the site.

    To import users, go to the Users page and click the Gear icon in the upper right corner of the page, then click Import Users. This displays the Import Users page.




    Click the Browse button to select the CSV file you want to import. After selecting the file, click the Upload button to upload the file and let the system verify the contents. The import displays the first record in the file and lets you view it.

    After you have uploaded your file, you must click the Import Users button to complete the import.

    Two New System Roles

    The system roles now include two new roles that let you maintain tighter control over which users can upload or access files on your site.

    • System File Manager – Any user assigned to the System File Manager role will have access to the File Manager in the text editor. With the File Manager, users can upload, rename, and/or delete files such as document and media files. If a user does not have the System File Manager role, the File Manager button is not displayed on the text editor toolbar.
    • System Image Manager – Any user with the System Image Manager role will have access to the Image Manager in the text editor. With the Image Manager, users can upload, rename, and/or delete image files. If a user does not have the System Image Manager role, the Image Manager button is not displayed on the text editor toolbar.

    By default, all users will be assigned both roles. You can remove the role or reassign it at any time from the manage user page.

    Released October 21st

    Look for these changes on the morning of October 21st. For a look at what else to expect in this release, take a look at the 2014.11 release notes below.

     


    2014.11 Release Notes

    New Features

    • The new Search feature enables you to search for a specific user by user name or email address, and the user list enables you to filter users based on assigned role.
    • Users can now be exported to a CSV file and also imported from a CSV file.
    • The users list now includes pagination, enabling you to specify how many users to show on the page and Previous and Next navigation links for paging through the list of users.
    • The new System File Manager role gives users access to the File Manager in the text editor. If a user does not have this role, the File Manager button is not available on the toolbar in the text editor. All users are assigned this role by default, but the administrator can remove the role from a user if necessary.
    • The new System Image Manger role gives users access to the Image Manager in the text editor. If a user does not have this role, the Image Manager button is not displayed on the toolbar in the text editor. All users are assigned this role by default, but the administrator can remove the role from a user if necessary.

    Enhancements

    • Redesigned the Manage Users page to separate users and roles to different tabs. Users are now listed on the Manage Users tab and roles are listed on the Manage Roles tab.

    Resolved Issues

    • If a user was not assigned to an administrator role, but was granted access to edit a blog or event element, no items were listed in the Manage Posts or Manage Events grids.
    • If a role is granted edit access to a page, any user in that role is given edit privileges for all elements on the page. The Manage Posts and Manage Events pages need to consider this security check.
    • Search terms that include dashes now return matching results.
    • When PayPal returned a payment status of "SuccessWithWarning," the LightCMS system recorded it as a failed payment, even though it was successful. The payment is now recorded as a successful payment.
  • New Features: Password Protected Pages and Calendar Enhancements

    As children, we learn the importance of passwords. Who doesn't remember playing as a child and asking "What's the password?" before granting permission to enter a room, a clubhouse, or even a password protected page. What? A password protected page? That's right! Adults and kids alike will love today's release, bringing Password Protected Pages and more to the LightCMS platform.

    Password Protected Pages

    Granted, you may not want to password protect a page to keep your little sister out, but password protection on website pages enables you to restrict access to certain pages of your site, granting access to only those visitors who know the password. Of course, you've always been able to restrict access via LightCMS's robust system of Users and Roles, but we've had many requests for a quick and easy way to restrict access without having to create a user.

    Plus, it's so easy to use.

    To enable the feature, simply go to a page’s settings and select the Advanced tab. Enter a password in the Password field, and that page becomes password protected. It's really that easy. As you might guess, to unprotect a page, you clear the password from the field.


     

    When a visitor attempts to access a protected page, the system displays the Protected Page message and requires the visitor to enter the password before it will display the page.

    Registered users assigned to an administrative role, or any role that grants editing privileges for the page, can access the page without having to enter the password, as long as they are logged in.

    Manage Your Events

    LightCMS users who publish a calendar of events on their websites will be excited about the new Manage Events feature. Similar to Manage Posts for blogs, Manage Events gives you a listing of all of that calendar element’s events. To view the Manage Events page, go to the page with the calendar element and select Manage Events from the Calendar element’s dropdown menu.

    You can sort the Manage Events grid by clicking a column heading. Filter the events in the grid by entering a search term in the Search field located at the upper right corner. You can also specify the number of events to display in the grid by selecting the number from the Show dropdown list in the upper left corner. If the calendar has more events than you choose to display, use the Next and Previous links in the bottom right corner of the grid to page forward and backward through the events.

    Manage Posts

    The Blog element's Manage Posts page now includes the same features that were introduced on the Manage Events page listed above. This includes sorting, filtering, and pagination.

    It’s About Time!

    Event time! You can now specify an end time for an event. Previously, you could set only the event start time. To set up start and end times for an event, enter them in the time section of the event settings page.

    Display the Time in Event Summaries

    Previously, event times only displayed on the event's detail page. Now, both the start time and end time can be displayed in event summaries in list or calendar view.

    List View

       

    Calendar View

     

    A check box on the calendar element settings specifies if this calendar should list the start and end times for events.

      

    When the feature is released, Display event time will be unchecked for any existing calendars. For new calendars, Display event time will be checked by default.

    Released September 23rd

    As you may have already noticed, these features and enhancements were released today Tuesday, September 23rd. For a look at what else to expect in this release, take a look at the 2014.10 release notes below. 


    2014.10 Release Notes

    New Features

    • Added the ability to password protect a page. By password protecting a page you can restrict access to only those visitors who know the password. This enables you to secure and grant access to pages on your site, without having to set up a user for each visitor you want to give access to the page. To password protect a page, simply enter a password in the password field on the pages advanced settings. Then give the password to whomever you want to view the page.
    • The new Manage Events page gives you an easy-to-use interface for managing your calendar events. To manage events, select Manage Events from the Calendar element menu. This page lets you sort events by name, date, and modified date. You can also search for events by name or date.
    • You can now specify an end time for calendar events. Previously you could specify only an event start time.
    • You can now list event start and end times on the calendar summary view. Previously, times were displayed only on the event detail page. To display event times, select settings from the Calendar element menu and check the Display event time box on the Basic tab. After release, this box will be unchecked for existing calendars. For new calendars, the box will be checked by default.
    • The Blog element Manage Posts page now gives you the ability to more easily manage your blog posts. These enhancements include the ability to sort posts by title, publish date, and modified date. You can also search posts by title and publish date.

    Enhancements

    • The body and summary sections of the BlogML import no longer uses paragraph tags on every new line. The HTML is now imported as is.
    • When blogs are exported from LightCMS, the system no longer serializes the attachments as part of the post. Instead, only the file name of the attachment is stored in the export XML file. The BlogML import process now also looks for and imports the file name of the attachment so it is stored in the new post record. With this change, users must move the attached files from one blog to another via FTPS.
    • Now if a visitor encounters an error on a site or if a site is down, the system displays a page that lets the visitor know we are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it.
    • You now have the ability to configure your element toolbars and menus to display in black instead of the default white. To enable black toolbars, go to your site settings and select the Advanced tab. Check Enable black toolbars in the Toolbar Options section.

    Resolved Issues

    • Default text now displays for an empty Files and Links element.
    • Billing information fields now display at checkout when a customer purchases a free item that includes a handling fee.
    • When a digital download product was created and the source of the digital download was a remote link, an error message sometimes displayed stating no file was found at the URL, even if a file existed at that location. 
    • When a client billed website is upgraded by the account owner and a custom price is set, the custom price is only allowed if it is 5x the monthly price or lower. For partner platform accounts, this now allows a 10x price markup.
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