New features: blog post auto-summary and more

As a part of this week's LightCMS upgrades, we’ll be pushing out some new features. We wanted to give you a heads up on these so you’ll be aware of what’s coming.

Blog post auto-summary

Auto Summary for blogs

We’ll be implementing a new auto-summary feature for blog posts. You’ve always had the ability to specify summaries for blog posts, but up to now, you’ve had to manually create them. The new auto-summary feature will automatically create summaries for every blog post by using the first three sentences of the post in the summary field. You’ll still have the ability to override the auto-summary and specify your own summary if you wish.

Don’t worry, this won’t change anything on existing blog posts. We'll disable auto-summaries for posts in the system prior to the launch. But, auto-summary will be turned on by default for all posts you create after we launch the feature. You will find the controls related to the auto-summary feature on the advanced tab of each blog post (see the image). If auto-summary is enabled, it will update the summary every time you save the post. Checking the "Disable auto summary" box will allow you to see the summary editor and customize your summary. If auto-summary is disabled, your summary will not be updated unless you manually update it.

Keep in mind that blog post summaries are currently only visible if you choose the “list with summary” skin for your blog element. If you do not have any blog elements using the “list with summary” skin, the auto-summary feature will not affect your site in any way.

Force new password

We’re also adding a security feature which will give website administrators the ability to force users to create new passwords the next time they log in. Simply check the box on the user’s settings screen and the user will be required to enter a new password before accessing the site. This is ideal for setting up new users. You can now give them a “placeholder” password knowing that on their next login they will have to set up their own unique password.

New look on user settings and website settings screen

Last week, we began rolling out the new look of system settings screens. The look is currently visible on the user settings screen and tomorrow’s release will add the new look to the website settings screen as well. This is all a part of our ongoing effort to improve and unify the user interface across the system.

Estimated launch time

We're planning for these features to launch on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 around noon CST (GMT -6). We do not anticipate any downtime related to this upgrade.

Did you know you can get even more details about each of our software upgrades by following @aLightCMSserver on Twitter? Check out the server that tweets today.