Everything listed under: features

  • New Features: 10 New Responsive Design Templates and More!

    Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve added ten new, responsive designs to the LightCMS system. As always, these designs are available to be used on any LightCMS website at no extra charge. They are customizable through our built in Design Editor and advanced users can even download their source code to use them as starting points for their own designs.

    10 New Template Designs

    The best place to check out the new designs is on the LightCMS Design Viewer. Here are links to see a preview of each of the ten new designs:

    New Feature: Custom Domain Check

    We’re also rolling out another nifty, new feature called Custom Domain Check. The LightCMS system now automatically checks all the custom domains you register on our platform to determine if their address records are correctly assigned to LightCMS’s IP address. When you view your custom domains on the Advanced Tab of the Website Settings screen, you'll see a yellow icon with an exclamation point if there are issues that need to be addressed with that domain (see image below). Hover over the icon and you'll find details about what's wrong and what needs to be corrected.

    Custom Domain Check Screenshot

    Remember that DNS changes can take 24-48 hours to propagate completely, so if you recently made updates to your DNS you may need to wait a bit for our system to detect those updates.

  • New Feature! Sell Digital Goods with LightCMS

    We're excited to announce another major feature addition to the LightCMS platform. We're calling it Digital Goods and it's one of the features most requested by our LightCMS customers. We know you're going to love the seamless integration of Digital Goods with LightCMS's robust and simple-to-use online store functionality. Take a look at the details below.

    Sell Physical and Digital Goods with a Single Platform

    Digital Goods integrate seamlessly with LightCMS's existing online store features. This means you can add digital products to your store in the same way that you add physical products. It also means that you can list digital and physical products in the same storefront and customers can purchase any combination of physical and digital goods in a single checkout experience.

    An example of the new product variant screen with options for goods that are physical, digital or both.

    To facilitate this, we've created a new concept of Variant "Type." For each product variant, you can choose a type of Physical, Digital, or Both. For example, you could create a product for a music album you're selling. The album might have three variants — one variant for the physical CD, another variant for a digital download of the album, and a third variant to purchase both the physical CD and the digital download. You can offer your customers all of these options through a single product listing on your website.

    When you select the "Digital" or "Both" variant type, you'll be asked to provide the digital file you wish to sell. You can upload a file, provide a link to a file elsewhere on the Internet, or choose a file that you've previously uploaded as a digital good. And here's some really great news — files uploaded as Digital Goods don't count toward your website's storage limits. So, no matter the size of your website you can take full advantage of this amazing new feature!

    Automatic Fulfillment and the New Order Receipt

    One of the many great things about Digital Goods is that order fulfillment happens automatically. You don't have to do a thing. LightCMS guides your customers through the process of accessing and downloading the digital products they have purchased.

    To accomplish this, we're introducing a brand new Order Receipt. Every customer now gets access to a permanent, online order receipt for every order they place, whether the order is for physical goods, digital goods or both. A link to the Order Receipt appears on the order confirmation screen after checkout and is also emailed to each customer immediately after their purchase.

    The new Order Receipt with download links for digital products.

    For each digital product ordered, the Order Receipt contains a "Download" button, allowing the customer to download their purchased items. The download button can only be used three times or for 24 hours, whichever comes first. After that, it is replaced by a "Request Download" button. When a customer clicks a request download button, the store administrator is alerted and given the opportunity to re-enable downloads for the item if they so choose. Download requests show up on the store administrator's dashboard with handy inline buttons allowing them to approve or reject each request.

    Store administrators can also access the download history for each file through the order history screen in the store admin interface. A file's download history shows the number of times the download button has been accessed, the date and IP address of each access and whether or not the download was a success.

    Store administrators can view the download history for every digital asset on every order.

    Generate Free Downloads for Promotional Purposes

    Digital Goods also include the ability for store administrators to generate "Free Download" links. These one-time use links can be provided to customers for promotional purposes. The LightCMS Store tracks all generated free download links and whether or not they have been redeemed.

    Provide New Versions to All Who Have Purchased

    Want to provide automatic, free upgrades to customers who have purchased your Digital Goods? The LightCMS store makes this simple. Any time you update the file for a digital product, LightCMS not only makes the new file available to all new customers, it also automatically emails all customers who have previously purchased the product informing them that a new version is available. The download limits for this new version are reset, allowing the customer to download it at no extra cost.

    Streamlined Product Editing

    As a part of this release, we've also made some improvements to the store in general. Product editing screens are now divided into three tabs — Basic, Advanced and Images — making it easier to navigate the options when setting up your products. In addition, we've made some big improvements to the way variants and options work. These changes improve the user experience for selling all products on the LightCMS store including both physical and digital goods.

    Premium Features at No Extra Charge

    Digital Goods and all of the features described above will be added to all LightCMS websites at no extra charge. As you know, our pricing is based on the size of a website and not on features. We believe that every website deserves the very best and we're so excited to bring this Premium Digital Goods service to all LightCMS customers.

    This release is currently scheduled for Tuesday, August 6th. Thank you all for your continued support of LightCMS. We look forward to bringing you these amazing new features!

  • Announcing New LightCMS Plans with No User Limits and No Transaction Fees

    We're excited to announce some changes to the LightCMS pricing plans that we know you're going to love. These have been in the works for many months and we're pleased to finally bring them your way. There's a lot to cover here so please take a moment to read all the way through this announcement to discover everything that's new.

    No User Limits. No Transaction Fees.

    That's right, all of our new LightCMS plans offer unlimited users and no transaction fees! Now you'll be able to set up user accounts for as many people as you wish, even on our lower-tiered plans. Plus, you'll save money when you sell products online with no LightCMS transaction fees. Keep in mind, you'll still be subject to the fees charged by your merchant account providers, but LightCMS will no longer collect any additional transaction fees on products you sell through our store.

    Plan Name Changes

    As you can see on the image above, we're changing our plan names as well. What were previously known as Basic, Plus, Advanced, Pro, and Premier will now be called Personal, Standard, Premium, Professional, and Unlimited.

    The 14 Day Trial with Full Access

    We're also moving away from the limited trial accounts we've provided thus far (free up to three pages) to a Free Trial model where new websites get full access to as many resources as they need at no cost for 14 days. After 14 days, websites will need to submit payment at whatever level their website requires based on the pages, storage, and products used.

    One big advantage of the Free Trial model is that it will enable us to offer copy website functionality, a very highly-requested feature. Read more about this below.

    Copy Any Website with a Click

    The ability to create a new LightCMS website by copying an existing one has been a highly-requested feature for years. We're happy to announce that this new feature will be going live alongside these plan changes. The copy website functionality is dependent upon the implementation of a free trial model. Our previous model limited all new websites to only three pages so it was not possible to copy existing websites that had more than three pages. Now any website can be copied in its entirety with a click!

    To copy a website, you'll visit Account -> Websites and choose the website you want to copy. Then, from the menu at the upper right, choose "Copy," and give your new site a unique name. That's it! The entire site with all of its content will be copied to create a second, identical website under your LightCMS account. This is great for using one website as a starting point when you're building out a new site.

    Other Changes

    Outside of what's mentioned above, all of our plans stay the same with two exceptions. Our Professional Plan ($69/month) will now have a limit of 100 pages (previously unlimited) and a limit of 5,000 products (previously 10,000). Our Standard Plan ($29/month) will now get an extra GB of storage for a total of 3GB. Also, resellers should note that the loss of LightCMS Transaction fees also means the loss of transaction fee profit sharing through the LightCMS Rewards program.

    Opt In or Stay as You Are: the Choice is Yours

    We're very excited about the advantages these plans and features offer to our resellers and customers, but we also know that some of you may prefer to stay with the plans you have now. So, we have built this release in a way to give our existing customers the option of whether to keep the plans they have currently, or to opt into these new plans and features.

    As a result, if your LightCMS account exists before this release goes live, nothing will change for you unless you opt into the new plans. If you take no action, you will be able to keep your current line up of plans indefinitely. You'll still be able to add new websites that are free up to three pages, but you won’t be able to utilize the copy website functionality and all websites under your account will retain their existing characteristics including their user limits and transaction fees.

    How to Opt In

    If you want to take advantage of the new plans and features we're releasing, you will need to manually opt into the new plans. To do this, you'll need to follow these steps once the plans are live:

    1. Log in to your account.
    2. Choose “Account” from the User Session Menu at the upper right.
    3. Click the “Websites” tab.
    4. Select any of your websites.
    5. Click the “Upgrade” button (you won’t be required to upgrade if you don’t want to).

    After following the above steps, you’ll be presented with a page describing the new plans with an option to enable them. Once you enable the plans, you’ll be presented with the new plan change page, showing which of the new plans the selected site is on currently. From there, you can upgrade/downgrade your site, or simply return to editing by clicking any of the buttons on the toolbar.

    When you opt into the new plans, all websites under your account will be migrated to the new plans automatically. User limits and transaction fees will disappear from all websites under your account. You'll gain access to the copy website functionality and any new websites you add or copy will enjoy unlimited access to the system during a 14 day trial period.

    When you opt in, we’ll also grandfather any existing free websites. You’ll be able to keep them under your account at no cost indefinitely (please note that free websites will retain their existing limit of one user). Also, existing "Pro" plan websites will retain their Unlimited Pages and their 10,000 for as long as they remain on the Professional plan.

    Launch: Week of April 15, 2013

    We look forward to bringing you these new plans and features. They are scheduled for release during the week of April 15th. Stay tuned to our website, forum, and social media channels for more specific information on when they are live. Again, this update will have no affect on your LightCMS account unless you manually opt in to the new plans. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time at support@lightcms.com.

  • Introducing One-Step Credit Card Setup for Your LightCMS Store

    Ever since we introduced our store functionality in 2011, LightCMS has been working hard to simplify the challenge of accepting credit card payments on the web. Today, we're announcing another big step forward with one-step credit card set up through Stripe.

    It's no longer necessary to establish a merchant account outside of LightCMS. Now, LightCMS customers can activate a Stripe account and begin accepting credit card payments instantly, right inside the LightCMS store settings. Here's a quick look at how it works.

    Log in to your LightCMS website and choose Settings -> Payments from the store toolbar. Right at the top, you'll see information about Stripe. Click the "Activate Stripe Account" button and you'll be taken to the LightCMS Stripe set up page. If you already have a Stripe account, you can choose to use it. If you don't, you'll simply fill out the bit of information requested on this page, then click "Authorize Access to this Account" at the bottom. 

    That's it! Your store will be ready to accept credit card payments and income from your sales will be automatically transferred to your bank account. Stripe charges 2.9% + 30 cents per successful transaction and allows you to accept all major credit cards. There are no other fees associated with using Stripe.

    One note -- Stripe is currently only available in the US and Canada. If you are outside of these countries, or if you prefer to use one of our other integrated payment processors for any reason, you may still do so by selecting the "use a different gateway" link next to the Stripe account button.

    We hope you and your clients enjoy the new one-step set up for accepting credit card payments on the web. This feature is up and running on every LightCMS website. Check it out inside your account today.

  • New Feature: Twitter Card Integration

    Twitter recently released a new opportunity for website owners to enhance the way their content is displayed when it is shared on Twitter. It's called Twitter Cards and today we're announcing automated integration of Twitter Card tags for every website on the LightCMS platform. Get more details below.

    How It Works

    Twitter Cards work in much the same way as Facebook's Open Graph. That is, they look for special tags included in the headers of your web pages and use the information included in those tags to construct visual representations of the content on your pages. When people include a link to a page of your site in a tweet, Twitter includes the Twitter Card along with the tweet so people get a nice summary of your page right inside their Twitter feeds.

    Enabling Twitter Cards on your website can increase the visibility and visual appeal of your content when it is shared by others on Twitter. It can also encourage more people to follow you if you highlight your own Twitter account by including the appropriate tag (more on this below).

    The Required Fields are Automatic

    The first step in setting up Twitter Cards is to place the required tags on your website. Fortunately, we've already done that for you. The tags are active on your LightCMS websites right now!

    Most of the required pieces of content are already specified by LightCMS's Open Graph tag integration. Twitter uses Open Graph content if no Twitter-specific content is provided. They do this so that site owners can avoid duplicating all of this information. We have relied on the Open Graph tags already present as much as possible, but there are a few Twitter-specific tags we had to provide, as follows.

    This tag is specific to Twitter so there is no Open Graph equivalent to fall back on. LightCMS sets the card type for every page to "summary" by default. This is by far the most common Twitter Card type. There are only two types of cards besides summary -- photo and player. These additional types can be used in specific cases where your entire page is dedicated to featuring a single photo or some type of playable media. If you want to set a specific page to a different card type, you can do so by including your own tag in the "Additional Header" field for that page, and that tag will override our automated tag.

    Facebook allows for multiple Open Graph image tags to be included and generally uses the first one included on your page as the default. Wouldn't it be great if Twitter would also use the first Open Graph image? Sure it would! But alas, they don't. Twitter uses the last Open Graph image on the page. Why can't we all just get along? Anyway, to fix this issue, LightCMS adds a Twitter-specific image tag that essentially tells Twitter to use the first Open Graph image on the page (if you'd like to review how our system generates Open Graph image tags, see our blog post about Open Graph).

    Description is an optional tag for Open Graph, but it is required by Twitter. So, we generate a Twitter description for every page, if possible. We first look for a meta description. If there isn't one, we look to the first text element in the main content region or the first text element elsewhere, if needed. For blog posts, calendar events, and product pages we use the summary or, if there's no summary, we use the body / description. In all cases, the Twitter description is truncated to 200 characters, as required by Twitter.

    One Tag to Add Manually

    There's one more optional tag you might want to add to your site. Twitter lets you specify the Twitter account to associate with your website content. When you do, Twitter includes your username and gives people the chance to follow you right from the Twitter card. Generally, you'll want to use the same Twitter account across your entire site, so you can drop one tag into your website settings and it will work for every page. LightCMS can't generate this tag for you automatically because we don't know what Twitter account to use.

    You can use your Twitter User ID or your Twitter @username. The @username is easiest. The only downside is if you ever change the username on your account, you'll need to update your tag. Using your account ID will keep the link intact no matter how many times you change your username.

    To add the information, log into your LightCMS Website and click "Settings" on the top toolbar. Select the Advanced Tab and scroll to the "Google Analytics" box. Put the following line of code into this box:

    <meta name="twitter:site" content="@lightcms" />


    <meta name="twitter:site:id" content="24586843" />

    Of course, you'll want to replace our username or account ID with your own. If you need help finding your Twitter ID, try using this tool.

    You Have to Apply!

    As opposed to Open Graph, which is used by Facebook for every webpage that includes their tags, Twitter Cards are only used on sites that have been approved by Twitter. Once your tags are in place, Twitter requires you to fill out their submission form for consideration.

    If you want, you can submit your site right now, because we've already included the required tags for you. But if you want to check things out first, you can use Twitter's preview tool to see how a particular page's Twitter Card will look once approved. Twitter claims approvals generally take between 5-10 business days. Reports from users vary on how long it actually takes.

    See It in Action on LightCMS.com

    This very website (lightcms.com) has already been approved for Twitter Cards already. So, why not share a link to this post on Twitter? When you do, you should see our Twitter card associated with your tweet!

    Get the full specs on Twitter Cards here on their reference documentation.



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