Everything listed under: features

  • 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%.

    Enhancements

    • 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 partner 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.
  • 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.

    Enhancements

    • 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.
  • New Features: Free Shipping, Stripe Enhancements and More!

    As the old adage says: There is no such thing as a free lunch. But we say: Who needs a free lunch when you have free shipping! This release includes two new free shipping methods for your LightCMS online store plus more available currencies for Stripe and a whole lot more. Take a look below at all the details and the release notes for Release 2014.7.

    Free Shipping: Discount Code

    You can now create free shipping Discount Codes. Normal discount codes give your customers a set amount or a percentage off the total order, but the free shipping discount code gives the customer the option to choose a free shipping method at checkout. 

    Here's how it works: When a customer enters the free shipping discount code in the shopping cart's discount code field, the free shipping method is automatically selected for the order, and no shipping charges are assessed. 

    However, the customer still has the ability to choose a different shipping method at checkout. For example, they might wish to select two day shipping instead of the free shipping. All that's required to choose a different shipping method is to select the preferred method from the shipping dropdown list on the checkout screen.


    Free Shipping: Product Variant

    You can now also offer free shipping for a product variant. This results in no shipping charge for a particular product on an order, rather than no shipping charge on the entire order as the free shipping discount code provides. When a customer purchases only the free shipping product, there is no shipping charge on the order. However, if the customer purchases multiple products and only one of those products is available for free shipping, the weight of the product with free shipping is excluded from the total weight of the order, and the shipping charges are calculated on the weight of the other products. 

    One thing to keep in mind is that if you use a flat rate shipping charge and the customer buys multiple products where at least one product does not offer free shipping, then the total flat rate shipping charge is still assessed on the order.

    Gold and Silver Support

    In the past, LightCMS partners had to directly navigate through multiple clicks in order to access Priority Support (now known as Gold and Silver support). With this release, options for Gold and Silver support now appear on the LightCMS Partner’s user menu on the top toolbar. This provides easy access to the priority support screen from anywhere in the admin interface.

    Additional Currencies for Stripe

    For this release we've also updated the Stripe library which adds features not available in the older library. One of these features is support for additional currencies. Previously, Stripe was an eligible Payment Gateway only when the store currency was set to US Dollars. The new Stripe library also supports the following currencies:

    • USD (US Dollar)
    • GBP (British Pound)
    • CAD (Canadian Dollar)
    • EUR (Euro)
    • AUD (Australian Dollar)
    • CHF (Swiss Francs)

    Stripe Credit Card Authorization

    The updated Stripe library also enables you to authorize a credit card transaction without actually charging the transaction. To authorize a transaction without charging it, you must select "Wait until I approve the transaction" in the store Settings under Payments > Checkout . With this setting, the card will be authorized, but you must manually process the charge when you fulfill the order.

    Increased Blog Post Title Length

    Before this release, blog post titles were limited to 90 characters. Now blog post titles can contain up to 150 characters.

    Flickr Social Icon

    Sharing your photos is now even easier with the addition of Flickr to our Social Icons. To link to your Flickr account, go to the Advanced tab in your site settings. In the Social Media section, select the Flickr icon and add the link to your Flickr page. 

    If you haven't discovered them for yourself, these enhancements have already been rolled out and are live today, July 8th. Enjoy and watch for even more exciting enhancements and new features still to come.



    Release Notes for 2014.7

    New Features

    • Added the ability to offer free shipping through the use of discount codes.
    • Added the ability to define a product variant with free shipping.
    • The user dropdown list now provides direct access to Gold and Silver Support options for LightCMS Partners. Previously, links to these options were available only by direct navigation through multiple pages on the site.

    Enhancements

    • Updated the Stripe library to enable the use of Stripe as a payment gateway for a broader range of currencies. The new library supports the following currencies:

      • USD (US Dollar)
      • GBP (British Pound)
      • CAD (Canadian Dollar)
      • EUR (Euro)
      • AUD (Australian Dollar)
      • CHF (Swiss Francs)
    • The new Stripe library also enables you to authorize a transaction without charging it. This option is controlled by the Transactions settings under Store > Settings > Payments.
    • Meaningful messages were not always displayed when a credit card was declined at checkout. The system now provides more detailed authorization failure messages when a card is declined in your store.
    • Previously, blog post titles were limited to 90 characters. Blog post titles can now include up to 150 characters.
    • Social Icons now include Flickr.

    Resolved Issues

    • Form submission was sometimes slow when it was configured to email the website owner or the form submitter. Modified the method used for sending email to eliminate the slow form submission.
    • Made changes to improve search indexing when text elements are updated or removed.
    • If a website was configured to use a custom domain name and the customer used PayPal Express at checkout, the shopping cart screen was empty when redirecting back from PayPal. The redirect screen now displays the correct information for the shopper.
    • Blog posts are exported in the BlogML format, and the summary of the post is included in the export file. However, when user imported the file, the summaries were omitted from the import. Modified the blog import feature to fully import the BlogML formatted file.
    • The credit card payment option did not display when the customer had to pay only the shipping costs. Updated the checkout page to properly calculate shipping so the billing information panel is displayed.
    • Shipping amounts calculated by some carriers were not rounded to two decimal places. As a result, when the total order was calculated, the final order amount may not have been rounded to two decimal places. The system now rounds the order total to two decimal places before passing it to the payment gateway.
    • When users configured their websites to use Stripe for processing payments, the accepted credit card settings were left blank. Modified the system to now default the accepted cards to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and Diners Club.
    • The account owner was used as the "from" address in any email communication regarding digital downloads. Made changes to use the store email address as the "from" address in digital download email communications.
    • If the store customer used a discount code which resulted in a free order and there was also free shipping and no taxes, the system did not save the customer's first and last name. Modified the system to save the customer's first and last name when there is no charge for the product, no taxes, and free shipping.
    • Firefox's recent update to version 30 caused z-indexing issues that resulted in element menus rendering behind element content when editing sites with Firefox v30. This issue was resolved.
  • New Features: Blog Enhancements and More!

    We're excited to announce several highly-requested blog features and we know you're going to love them as well! These features add functionality to give you greater control of when blog posts are published as well as customization ability and additional SEO related enhancements.

    Here's more detail about each of the features coming in our 2014.6 release.

    Publish Time

    Want to write a blog post that goes live on your site at noon on Friday? Previously, the publish date was your only option for controlling when a blog post went live. You could write posts in advance, but those posts went live at 12:00am on the publish date. With the addition of the Publish Time on the Blog Post Basic tab, you now control the date and time of when a post goes live. If you want a post to go live on Friday at noon, all you do is set Friday’s date and enter 12:00pm as the publish time. If the publish time is not important to you, then simply leave the default time of 12:00am. The publish time is based on the time zone in your site's settings.

    Meta Tags Description

    The blog post Meta Tags Description now automatically defaults to the text of the blog post summary. In the past, if you did not enter a Meta Tags Description, then none was used for your post. By defaulting the Meta Tags Description to the auto summary text, we're taking an even more proactive approach to your SEO activities for blog posts. But what if you don't want to use the auto summary text? No problem. Simply enter your own Meta Tags Description as you have done in the past.

    Custom HTML Head Field

    You can now enter custom HTML Head information for blog posts. Previously, you could do this for pages but not for blog posts. This enhancement opens the door to many exciting possibilities for your blog posts, including JavaScript or styles specific to the post, easy addition of analytics code, or even post-specific Meta tags or open graph tags for sharing on social media.

    Read More…

    One popular display option for blog posts is List with Summary. This display option presents a list of blog posts in descending date order. Each entry includes the title, summary, and publish date. With this release, the List with Summary display now includes an option to place a “Read More” link at the end of each summary. The link text can be user-customized, so if “Read More” is too verbose for your tastes, you can change the link to simply “More…” or any other text that fits your style. The link displays in-line with the summary, and clicking the link displays the full blog post.

    Look for these new features on Tuesday, June 10th.

    Release Notes

    You're used to reading about new features in blog posts just like this one. We're pleased to now expand on this practice and also begin providing you with more formal release notes beginning with this release. These notes are a short summary of the new features, enhancements, and resolved issues in each release. In addition to seeing these notes at the end of the features blog post, you can also see them on the Release Notes page. Accessing them there lets you see a history of past releases and the items included in each. 

    To help organize and differentiate releases, we have adopted this release version numbering method: year.sequence. We are starting with release 2014.6 (since we are currently in the sixth month). Each subsequent release in 2014 will increase the sequence number by 1, so the next release version will be 2014.7, and so on. We may have more than one release per month so the sequence number won't necessarily always correspond to the month of release. When the calendar rolls over to January 2015, the first release version will be 2015.1.


    LightCMS 2014.6 Release Notes

    New Features

    • Added a Publish Time for blog posts, making it possible to write posts in advance and schedule them for publication at a future date and time.
    • The Meta Tags description for each blog post now automatically uses the post summary by default.
    • Added an HTML Head field for each blog post, allowing you to enter custom header content such as JavaScript, CSS, or additional meta tags for blog post. This functionality was previously available for pages but not for blog posts.
    • The Blog List with Summary Display option now includes an optional "Read More" link. This user-customizable text displays at the end of the summary, and clicking the link displays the full blog post.
    • Enhanced server security by adding support for FTP Secure transfer of files to the server.

    Enhancements

    • Files with the SVG extension are now allowed in file uploads.

    Resolved Issues

    • The Import Products list now reports any erroneous records in the import file. Records with errors are skipped, and valid records are imported.
    • Copying a website now creates the new site as a trial.
    • Copying a site now assigns the site to the correct pricing scheme.
    • The Copy Website dialog now populates with the default name.
    • In some situations, upgrading a subscription failed, and users had to call support. Upgrade subscription no longer fails in these situations.
    • The Form Builder did not allow users to clear the Reply to this Email box once it had been selected. Users can now clear the box.

  • New Feature: Improved Website Security Through FTPS

    We’re pleased to announce a major security enhancement coming to the LightCMS platform. On June 2nd, we’ll roll out the FTP Secure protocol for connecting with your LightCMS website via FTP. LightCMS has always provided FTP access to ensure you can work the way you want when designing websites on our platform. Now, those FTP connections will be even more secure when you connect via FTPS.

    This new feature will roll out alongside our previously-scheduled Datacenter upgrades on June 2nd. You can get full details about these upgrades here on the blog. Once the upgrades are in place, all FTP connections will need to be made via FTPS. This will change a few of the settings you use with your FTP clients when connecting.

    To help you, we’ve put together new documentation on connecting with LightCMS via FTPS. This documentation includes specific instructions for FTP clients such as FileZilla, WinSCP and Transmit as well as generic settings that should work for any FTP client that supports the FTPS protocol. As always, if you have any questions, please contact our support team at support@lightcms.com any time.

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