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Posted March 15, 2007 by signex
One important thing when running websites in corporate environments is the secure feeling that updates will work and be compatible. But when your biggest fear becomes reality and websites break down after updating to the latest version here are some step you could follow. You should, ALWAYS, have back-ups, not only because it could crash when updating but also if you experience a HD failure or whatever. If a website is critical for your business and down-time is not done, you can also restore a back-up in a sub dir on the same server with the same settings, and test the update before you apply it on a live website. If you have updated your website and it breaks down you can do the following; If errors occur on the front-end, and you cant fix them within an hour or so, restore a back-up, make a test dir and try again, if it al works well something in the update process went wrong, and you should try again. If it doesn't and you cant get it to work, get help on the forums, and just keep you live website un-updated for the time being. If the errors only occur on the back-end (admin) part of the website, you can take some more time trying to fix it because regular visitors wont notice, and if you cant work it out, the forums will probably help you out. Also make sure that modules you are using are compatible with the new updated version, you can, most of the times, see based on the Php error what file and path is causing what error, if the path is from a module, disable the module and see if everything works well. So what would be nice to see in CMSMS 2.0 for updating problems. If all hell breaks lose and no one else can help you, you can, apart from calling the A-team, make a clean install, export and import your theme, but if you have about 100+ pages and maybe 300 news items, it wont be fast job rebuilding the content. Regular page content and news items is probably the most used CMSMS content, I know lotsa websites have modules and such but they are restored pretty quick most of the times, and if updating really fails you, you have no choice. So it would be nice to see in 2.0 that one can export pages and news items like you can do with themes, this would make complicated updating errors allot less fearful, since in most cases you could be up and running within one hour if you dont have any special modules which are hard to restore content for. I you have more ideas on what people can do when having updating problems, or have an idea on how to make the updating safe/easier in the future and reducing forum topic about updating problems please comment.
Posted March 2, 2007 by Tatu Wikman
Today we will start a new article "Featured Site of the Week" which will show you some of the sites created with CMSMS usually found from "CMS Show Off" forum. This weeks site is brought to us by forum user kovver. I had the pleasure to interview him a bit about the site. tsw) Who are you and where are you going to? kovver) My name is David De Beukelaer and I'm studying in Holland for Waldorf teacher. Currently I live in Belgium and have studied art in Ghent. I work as a freelancer every once in a while, mostly making artwork for myself, but sometimes making sites for friends and relatives. I also do book illustrators and writing but only in dutch. tsw) So what is this site all about? kovver) Its the artist portfolio for me and a friend. I designed the whole concept in photoshop after styling the color palette. We will have regular updates on the site, mostly with links, archive products, etc... Me or my friend will do the updates. I did the design for this version. Another large project of mine is: http://www.anthros.net which is mentioned in eight CSS galleries tsw) Why did you choose CMSMS? kovver) I discovered CMSMS a half year ago. I work with it when applicable and useful. Sometimes i write extras on it or fix bugs, etc. That makes me think that i should mention them more often, end even help on the development. If needed... tsw) How do you create your designs? kovver) Its very useful to make the design completely offline, in photoshop, with guides, color codes and separate layers. tsw) What have been your major problems with CMSMS? kovver) The largest problems are currently the bugs between IE opera safari and mozilla. tsw) But aren't those problems more CSS related than CMSMS? kovver) Mostly it is a horror experience for every designer, included the ones not using CMSMS, but. So to answer the questions above: no problems that can't be solved. tsw) How did the site launch go? kovver) I did not yet get pointers or opinions from others, because the site is only redesigned for three days now. I don't really know how much traffic I receive daily, some 3500 a month I suppose... tsw) In your own opinion what's good about this site and what's bad? What would you do differently? kovver) Iâ€™m recently developing an own style in web-designing which leads me to simplicity! I was wondering what makes a site worth looking at and in the meantime proudly presenting a clear overview, with valid XHTML. This is a new episode in my search for it. tsw) Thank you very much on taking the time to answer these questions. Now, what would you like to say to fellow CMSMS'ers. kovver)
- Focus on your CSS skills, they are the basis
- Try, if capable to contribute to the CMSMS development.
- Make your designs in photoshop, know what you want before you change the css.
- Post your designs, take a look and learn form others. Never copy, it might not satisfy!
- I question the overload on css-galleries! So I'm looking for serious volunteers to make one board to connect them all, but how?
Posted February 13, 2007 by chead
Development / DesignDuring development and design, you'll spend a lot of time on the same few templates and stylesheets, and adding new content. Speed access to those functions with these shortcuts:
- Edit Stylesheet / Edit Template Most sites have a few key page templates and CSS stylesheets, and you'll probably find yourself editing them frequently during development. Add one-click access to these frequently-accessed templates and stylesheets for quick direct editing.
- Collapse & List Pages If your site has a lot of pages or complex hierarchy, it can take several seconds for the page list to display completely. Add a shortcut to the "Collapse All Sections" link on the page list, and your page list will display in a snap, ready for navigation.
- Module Help Working with a particular module frequently? Link to its "help" page for fast access to reference on its syntax and features.
- Add Page You'll be adding a lot of pages when you first build your site. Get right to it with a shortcut to the "add new page" option from the page list.
Site MaintenanceOnce your site has been developed, the focus shifts to content. You can streamline the process of keeping online information up to date, and reduce the need for user training by focusing editors directly on their content. Give your page owners and editors quick access to the areas they're responsible for with these shortcuts:
- Edit Key Content Your site probably has a few pages or global content blocks that change more often than others. Make a shortcut directly to these key pages and editors won't have to navigate the pages menu to get there.
- Instant News / Events Add a shortcut to "Add Article" and "Add Event" links in the News and Calendar modules to add new items with a single click.
- "Edit My Pages" If your site has multiple page editors, add shortcuts to the pages they can edit for each editor's account. You'll have less to explain and they're less likely to get lost.
- "Change My Password/Email" Give users one-click access to basic account login information by linking directly to the My Preferences/My Account page.
- Site Standards / Documentation Link directly to any site documentation, standards guides or cheatsheets you've developed for your users.
General Tips / Tricks
- Open Shortcut in A New Window/Tab Add '" target="_blank' to the end of the URL in your shortcut to make it appear in a new window. Include the double-quotes, but exclude the opening and closing single-quote, and note the space after the first double-quote and before "target." You can also right-click any shortcut link and select the option to open it in a new window or tab.
- Use Relative Paths For Portability If you want shortcuts to work even if the host changes (such as a development site that will later be migrated to another host), use relative paths instead of absolute paths. You can delete everything through "\admin\" on the left side of the path. For example, to add a page, all that's needed in the URL is "addcontent.php".
- Sort Shortcuts Shortcuts are sorted alphabetically by name (in ASCII order). Add punctuation or numbers as prefixes to display items in your preferred order.
Your ShortcutsHave you found other handy shortcuts? Share yours in the comments!
Posted February 8, 2007 by Ted Kulp
CMSMS 2.0 is the largest project I've ever taken on. Not only that, I've basically signed myself up to do this solo. Well, at least the first large bits of work to the undercarriage will be/were done by me. Here is what is done so far:
- Versioning on an object level
- Totally restructured API
- Function caching
- Full page caching
- Started installer
- Rewrite of content
- Smarty tags for module api functions
- Smarty tags for admin functions
- Rewrote how admin themes work (smarty templates) and how menus are loaded (xml file)
- Rewrote News to take advantage of module api changes
- Finish installer
- Versioning interface
- Overhaul of language handling -- addition of the language manager to download translations
- Total rewrite of translation center to be database centric and able to create language files for download on the fly
- Admin interface overhaul -- especially content and permissions
- New block types, especially image
Posted February 7, 2007 by signex
As a designer I love cmsms, its simple, its easy to use for editors, its stable and pretty clean. I found cmsms back when version 0.10 was introduced, now I loved it ever since but there is one thing that keeps bugging me. Cms Made Simple, by default, is pretty small but I for one don't like that the search module is shipped with it, in my opinion not even the news system should be shipped within. The install system (module manager) for modules is so easy that I don't see a reason why modules like news and search would be shipped with it, same goes for allot "user defined tags" off course I mean the ones not used in stock templates. When I build a small website I don't need most of these functions, and if I did I would just import them with the module manager. Most people with speed issues delete all unnecessary modules and functions to increase speed. Why not have it that way by default, its only a matter of seconds to import a module if you need one. This way cmsms would keep getting known as a simple system and easy to expand if needed. So for CMSMS 2.0 I would make the following changes to the module managing system. Make some changes to the module manager and get 3 tabs like.
- One list of top 10 most used modules. Which could be news, search, FEU, FCKeditor, etc.
- Functions list, all tested and stable functions ready to be imported for user defined tags.
- All other modules the same way it is now.
Posted January 25, 2007 by signex
In Part 1 I wrote about choosing a hosting package (shared/VPS/Dedicated) this part I`m writing about how to choose a webhosting company. In my country(Holland) hosting prices vary allot, I've seen a couple USA hosts and it isn't much different, only difference is that bandwidth is way cheaper in the US then it is in the Netherlands. One of the problems with choosing the right company is that you cant always see who is behind the beautiful corporate looking website, because it just could be a 16 y/o just trying to make a quick buck, not caring about his costumers at all. Which makes it even harder is that prices vary so much, and off course nobody wants to spent too much on something that you can get way cheaper. The first thing for you to decide is how important is your website for you, or how much is your client willing to spent. You can get a shared hosting package for 10$ a year, but the same package costs 100$ a year somewhere else, so where is the difference? here's a small list of things that could make this difference.
- Do they make backups on a second server
- Do they use an A brand for their hardware
- Are their spare parts on the spot in case off hardware failure
- Which datacentre are they located in, try to find reviews or opinions
- What Control panel do they use, Directadmin is cheaper then Cpanel
- Do they have phone support, or only mail support
- Do they have a 24/7 phone support when your server is down
- What is their write-off period for a server, 3 or 5 years can make a big difference
- Find reviews from other costumers
- Ask about the hardware they work with
- Ask how long they exist
- Try out mail and/or phone support, is it fast enough for you
- Guaranteed uptime? then what is the compensation when they fail
- Prices to good to be true? ....they are
- Ask uptime reports from the last 6 to 12 months