Webvanta Blog: Creating Effective Websites

New Asset Manager, Menu System, and Control Panel Debut

Last night we deployed several new features that are the beginning of what we’re thinking of as our Beta 2 release, which will be rolled out in its entirety by the end of January.

Here’s some highlights:

  • Asset manager redesign: the way uploaded files are managed and accessed has been completely reworked
    • Simplified access: You no longer need to use an asset tag (<w:asset name='asset_name' />) to access an image; just use the filename as you would normally
    • Easy batch uploading: You can now upload a zip file, and we’ll extract all the folders and files automatically
    • Upload once and get multiple sizes: You can now request that uploaded images be automatically rendered into a series of sizes (e.g., thumbnail, medium, large)
    • Tags for organization: Use tags to associate groups of assets with each other and with database items
  • New control panel: the entire admin side of the system has been redesigned
    • Consistent navigation: A status bar appears at the top of your site when you’re logged in, giving easy access to the Control Panel
    • Drop-down menus: The control panel has drop-down menus, for single-click access to every function from anywhere
    • Workflow and help text: Features are organized according to workflow and introductory help text is integrated
  • Page hierarchy: set parent page for each page
  • New menu system: define any number of menus
    • Multiple menus: You can now define any number of menus, and choose which pages are referenced in each
    • Hierarchical menus: You can nest menus to any depth
    • Complete markup control: You have full control over the menu markup

There’s lots of small enhancements as well:

  • You can control the formatting of date and time strings, such as when showing the date of an article or comment
  • You can exclude certain database categories from the general navigation
  • Pages are automatically refreshed after editing a pod

We’ve also refined some of the terminology to make things easier to understand; what we had called “layouts” are now templates, and the construct we had called a “podcontainer” is now a region.

And this is just the start… in the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a series of powerful new features that extend the database capabilities into new areas.

Happy New Year!

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