• Introducing the New Element UI

    Elements are the keys to LightCMS's simple-to-use content management system. From the beginning, we built LightCMS with an "edit in place" approach, using toolbars that overlay the various editable pieces of content on a site. It's one of the things that sets us apart from most other dashboard-based systems. So, it is with great pleasure that we introduce the newest version of LightCMS's Element functionality, to be released very soon. Take a look below at everything that's new.

    The New Element Toolbars

    First off, we've redesigned the Element Toolbars. You're used to seeing black bars at the top of each element. Our new toolbars are more modern and discreet. They're designed to blend into your site while still serving their main purpose of marking your elements and providing access to the element menus. The element menus themselves have been redesigned as well, sporting fresh new custom icons. Take a look at the new toolbars and menus in the image below.

    Image of the Redesign LightCMS Element Toolbars

    The New Add Element Bar

    Next, we've updated the Add Element bar found at the bottom of each editable region. The old Add Element bar was a thick, black bar with the same weight as the Element Toolbars. We felt this made it difficult to distinguish between the tops of elements and the bottoms of regions. We have replaced this bar with an add element button and a thin line to mark the location where you can add elements when in edit mode. This approach more naturally blends with the design of your site while at the same time subtly marking those locations where you can add elements.

    As before, the Element Toolbars and Add Element buttons are displayed only in edit mode to logged-in administrators. See the new Add Element Bar in the image below.

    The redesigned LightCMS Add Element bar

    The Add Element Modal: Beautiful, Responsive Design with Fewer Clicks

    Now comes the most exciting change — the new Add Element modal. Clicking the Add Element button now brings up a beautifully-designed, responsive modal with fresh, custom icons representing each of the available elements. Simply click (or touch) the element you want and it is immediately added to your page. See the Add Element Modal in the image below.

    LightCMS's redesigned Add Element modal

    The modal adapts to the size of your device's screen, enabling you to easily add elements on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. Plus, if you're a click counter, you'll notice that the new modal requires two fewer clicks for every element you add!

    Sharing is the New "Copy"

    We've also updated our copy element functionality. For one thing, we're now calling it "share" instead of "copy." For the most part, sharing an element works just as copying an element used to work. With sharing, you can place an element in multiple locations across your website. Updating the content of the element in one location automatically updates it everywhere it is shared.

    However, we have made one big improvement in sharing vs. copying. Previously, when you copied an element, you had to select the element you wanted from a dropdown list that included every single element on your site. This list of elements could get very long and it could be quite cumbersome and time-consuming to select the element you wanted.

    So, we've addressed this issue by creating a new Is Shareable property on the advanced settings of every element (see the image below). Now, only those elements that are marked as shareable are included in the share element list. By default, new elements will not be marked as shareable. However, when we release this new feature, we will automatically mark any element that you have currently copied as shareable.

    All you have to do to share an element is to select the "Share an Element from Another Part of Your Site" dropdown list on the Add Element modal (see image of the modal above). Remember, this list displays only the elements you have marked as shareable, so if you don't see the element you want, you'll need to go to the Advanced tab in that element's settings and check the Is Shareable checkbox.

    But Wait, There's More!

    The new Element UI is a major upgrade and a big step forward for the LightCMS Platform. However, there are some other features, enhancements and resolved issues included in Release 2014.9 as well. For full details, see the 2014.9 Release Notes below.

    Launching on September 2nd

    Because of the significance of the changes in this release, we felt it important to give you advance notice of what is coming in 2014.9. These changes are tentatively scheduled for release on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. We look forward to bringing you these updates soon!

    Release Notes for 2014.9

    New Features

    • Added an Is Shareable checkbox on the element settings Advanced tab. Selecting this box marks the element as shareable, and it makes it available for selection on the shared element dropdown list on the Add Element modal.
    • Introduced the Add Element modal, offering a completely redesigned, mobile-friendly experience for adding elements to a page. This also reduces the number of clicks required to add an element by 50%.


    • Redesigned the Element Toolbars, giving them a more modern and discreet appearance.
    • Improved the appearance of the Add Element bar.
    • Reduced the Element Toolbar markup and sped up the addition of an element.

    Resolved Issues

    • The checkout page would hang when the user entered the zip code if the currency format used periods for the thousands separator and commas for the decimal.
    • For accounts on the Partner Platform, the Update Subscription page should allow a maximum 10x markup. However, the page allowed only a 5x markup, which is the maximum markup for legacy accounts not on the Partner Platform. The page now allows a maximum 10x markup for legacy accounts.
    • USPS First Class shipping was not calculated and presented as a shipping option for the customer, even when it was selected as an option in the store settings.
    • Clicking the HTML button on the UI resulted in a minor display issue of the text field.
    • The text area on the Blog Summary, Checkout and Payments Page, and on the Policies tab extended below the bottom of the frame, blocking the WYSIWYG controls located at the bottom of the field.
    • Selecting the HTML button on the text editor displayed the HTML code, but clicking the Design button did not revert back to WYSIWYG mode, and the editor continued to display HTML code.
    • Changes made within the Image Editor were not saved.
  • Run Your Design Business Without Giving Up Your Life

    Finding and maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a never-ending challenge for almost everyone. Finding that balance is especially difficult for those who run their own businesses, and if they aren’t careful, their businesses may have a tendency to run them. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

    Photo of the Granata family working with LightCMS at their home

    Take, for example, Hannah and Eric Granata. The Oklahoma-based couple has four young children, two giant dogs, a cat, and a few other pets. They educate their children at home and Eric works at a full-time job for a promotional products distributorship. Plus, in their “spare" time, they also own and operate Screen Four Solutions, a creative design and branding company specializing in developing beautiful, practical websites for a growing base of clients.

    Their key to success is keeping things simple. Creating simple solutions to complex problems is a difficult task, but the Granatas have made a business of it, with the help of technology like the LightCMS content management system. With LightCMS, the Granatas are able to run and grow a profitable website business while still enjoying a very full life together as a family. In fact, the success and portability of Screen Four Productions allows them to dream of one day taking their life on the road.

    “We’ve always had an idea that one day maybe we’ll sell everything and travel the country in an RV or something,” Eric Granata says with a smile. "Since we homeschool the kids we can educate them anywhere. And with Screen Four and LightCMS, we can still generate income no matter where we are. It’s a dream, anyway. A pretty nice dream.”

    In the video below, the Granatas give us a sneak peek into their busy lives and share how LightCMS has lightened their load so they can find the balance between meeting the needs of their clients and enjoying life with their family.

    Read more about the Granatas and how LightCMS meets the needs of their business on their full story page.

  • MagentoGo is Go Go Going. Come to LightCMS Before it's Gone for Good

    We couldn’t help but notice that Magento recently announced it is doing away with two of its ecommerce platforms – MagentoGo and ProStores. As of February 1, 2015 the 10,000 small and mid-sized online retailers currently leveraging these platforms to run their online storefronts will be evicted and forced to find other ways to run their businesses.

    If you are a retailer who is being forced to find a new home, we want you to know that we are here for you and would very much like to become your Ecommerce platform of choice.

    LightCMS provides a powerful, yet easy-to-use cloud-based platform for creating beautiful websites and online stores. Guided by our philosophy of sophisticated simplicity, LightCMS offers an ideal set of tools for small to medium-sized businesses who want to communicate, conduct business, and sell products online. More than 175,000 users from around the world leverage the simplicity and flexibility LightCMS offers to build standout websites and online stores quickly.

    The holidays are quickly approaching and so is the February 1st deadline. If you would like to take LightCMS for a test drive, sign up for FREE to see just how easy running your online store on LightCMS can be. Sign up for your test drive here: https://www.lightcms.com/signup

    See how other organizations like yours are leveraging LightCMS.

    Here are a few case studies and videos featuring some of the many happy LightCMS users leveraging our platform to run their businesses:

  • New Features: Updated WYSIWYG Editor Including Mobile Access

    What you see is what you get, but just wait until you see what all it includes! In case you can't tell, we're super excited to bring an updated WYSIWYG editor to the LightCMS content management system. This updated editor provides you with many new features, enhancements and some improvements to existing features. Keep reading to learn more detail about a few of the most noteworthy changes.

    View of the mobile editing interface for LightCMS

    A New Look

    The most noticeable change is the editor’s appearance. It sports a sleek new look without compromising any functionality. The toolbar buttons and functions remain the same and are in the same familiar locations so you won't have any problem finding the tool you want. File browser dialogues for images, media, documents and others have also been redesigned to incorporate the new look and feel of the WYSIWYG editor.

    View of the new WYSIWYG Toolbar interface

    WYSIWYG on Mobile Devices

    Previously, when editing your site on a mobile device such as an iPad, Android tablet, or smart phone, text elements did not include the WYSIWYG editor. You were limited to viewing and editing only the text and HTML code. The updated editor now gives you the same WYSIWYG editor in the mobile browser that it provides in the Mac or PC browser. However, there are a few features that are unavailable in the mobile browser such as the file manager and full screen editing.

    Full Screen Editing

    The previous editor did not allow you to maximize it to full screen. Now, clicking a button on the toolbar changes the text editor to full screen. Clicking the button again, toggles the editor back to its original size. If you prefer keyboard shortcuts, F11 toggles full screen editing off and on.

    Full Screen WYSIWYG

    Title Boxes For Image and Image Map Properties

    The Image, Hyperlink, and Image Map properties dialogue boxes now include a Title text box. When set, the title will be displayed on mouseover.

     Image with Title

    Plus Much More

    The above-listed features are just a few of the many changes in release 2014.8. For more details, please see the release notes listed below.

    Launching on July 29th

    Because this release presents changes to one of LightCMS's most-used features, we wanted to give you some advanced notice for this release. Therefore, we have tentatively scheduled the release of these features for Tuesday, July 29, 2014.

    Release Notes for 2014.8

    New Features

    • Mobile browsers now provide a WYSIWYG editor. Previously the mobile browser provided only a textbox that allowed editing of the text and HTML code.
    • The WYSIWYG editor now includes a full screen text editing feature. A new toolbar button enables you to toggle full screen editing. You can also toggle full screen editing by pressing F11.


    • Redesigned the WYSIWYG editor, its icons and its file browser dialogues including the Image Manager, Flash Manager, Insert Media, and Document Manager.
    • You can now resize images and tables in the WYSIWYG editor by clicking an image or table and dragging its handles. 
    • New Title textbox in Set Image Options, Hyperlink and Image Map properties dialogues
    • Removed the convert to XHTML content filter from the text editor to allow HTML 5 attributes.
    • When a user configures the store to not auto-charge customers, the user should be able to capture the payments on the order screen. This feature existed for Authorize.Net and other providers, but not for Stripe. Updated the Stripe payment gateway to give users the option to capture a payment that was pre-authorized.

    Resolved Issues

    • Corrected an issue that caused the WYSIWYG editor to insert multiple <br> tags into an element's HTML output when using IE11.
    • If a user tried to contact a customer from the Customer Detail or Order Detail screens and an error occurred, the error message was not displayed to the user. Now if an error occurs when sending a message from the customer detail or order detail screen, any error messages will be displayed to the user.
    • When an administrator or store owner used the order detail or customer detail screen to contact a customer, double and single quotes were not escaped before sending the parameters to the web service. This caused the service to fail. Updated the system to properly escape single and double quotes before sending the email subject and body to the web service.
    • Corrected an issue that prevented users from uploading zero length files via FTPS.
    • If a user was a store owner with permissions to edit a product listing, the element did not list the Add Product option on the element action list. A user with these permissions should be able to add a new product and also edit existing products in the product listing. Updated the system to list the Add Product option on the element action dropdown for store owner with edit content access for the product listing. 
    • When a Stripe payment was authorized but not captured, the status on the order showed that the payment was made. Updated the system to record the status of an authorized payment as Authorized instead of Paid.
  • Seven Easy Steps to Setting Up a Web Design Business on LightCMS

    In nearly every circumstance, simplicity is better than complexity. Luckily for those in the web design business, LightCMS makes it very simple to start or grow your business with the new LightCMS Partner Platform. Here’s a quick and easy guide to help you get started.

    Build Your Web Business with LightCMS

    1. Get a Partner Platform Account. 

    First, you’ll need to sign up for the new LightCMS Partner Platform. The Partner Platform gives you access to all of LightCMS’s reselling tools, plus a free website for your own company and 80% off the base price of the LightCMS Unlimited Plan. Learn all about the new Partner Platform and sign up for a FREE product tour on our Partners Page.

    2. Add the Signup Element. 

    The Signup Element is a feature of the Partner Platform that lets your customers sign up for 14-day trial websites under your LightCMS account through a form on your own site. You can upload your own design to be used on these websites and even use a custom sub-domain for the sites that are created.

    3. Use Our Designs. 

    LightCMS offers a selection of free responsive web design templates that you can sell to your clients or use as starting points for custom designs. Showcase our selection of built-in designs by using our handy Design Viewer.

    4. Create Free Trial Sites for Your Clients. 

    Since websites on LightCMS have a 14-day trial, you can create demo sites for all of your potential clients. They can sign up through the sign-up element (mentioned above) or you can create sites for them through your account dashboard. It takes just a few seconds to create a new site. With the Partner Platform, all of your websites can be managed under one single account.

    5. Use Your Own Domains.

    Even on trial websites, you can use your own custom domains. Just add a domain in your website's settings and then point the address record for your domain to our IP address.

    6. Never Pay Until You're Ready to Launch. 

    With the Partner Platform, you can continue developing and building your client websites even after the free trial has expired. Simply log in to build and manage your sites and then, when you’re ready, upgrade them to take them live to the public!

    7. Bill Your Clients at Prices You Set. 

    The LightCMS Partner Platform offers you a base price of $19/month for each website under your account, but you can bill your clients any amount of your choosing. With automated client billing, we can even do the billing for you at prices you set. What could be easier?

    That's it! You can see why we call it quick and easy. With the LightCMS Partner Platform and all of its included features, it’s easy to begin building and growing your web design business.

    Need more information? See for yourself how these design agencies are using LightCMS to grow and easily manage their successful web design businesses.

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