Edinburgh Web Development

New version of the Blot CMS

by Iain Wilson

20 February 2008

Over the last six months, we've been working on a new version of the Blot Content Management System (CMS). The enhancements are a mix of things we've planned and items you have requested.

The overriding considerations for all the improvements have been (and always will be),

  • keeping things as simple as possible for our users
  • making it as hard as possible to do anything wrong

As usual our rule of separating presentation from content applies throughout.

Here's some of the key enhancements:

User interface

CMS menusOverall, we have introduced a more graphical look to the user interface, using icons wherever possible in menu options and in the page/property/event editing pages.

Content editing

page categoriesOn your system you may have many page categories. In the past we listed all the pages and on a large system, finding the categories could take some time. Now the list is grouped by collapsable sections for each category, so you can see the pages you want, when you want.

CMS tree interfaceThe information available for editing pages/properties/events/products is now so comprehensive that we needed a better way of getting to the information to be edited faster. We've now got a tree-type interface that gets you to the areas you want with one click.

However, if you still prefer to see all the field information as per the old interface, you can still do that - again with just one click.

Images

All pages can now have unlimited images assigned to them - perfect for providing an image gallery for a page or product

Access control

It's now possible to control access to any part of the CMS for a user. In the new system area, access rights can be assigned to any user. When they logon, those rights are enforced on their use of the CMS. For example, you might let a user update a page, but not delete pages, or be allowed to edit pages, but not products.

Context help

CMS help functionIn all the major menus, screens and screen areas, we now have context help, which will pop up a help window outlining what the function is for, and clarifying any of the information that should be keyed at that point.

The documentation area still exists, but we think that people will use the context help much more because it's there, where and when you need it.

Blot CMS

The Blot CMS is used in all our web applications including

  • Web page content management system
  • Property sales and letting system
  • eCommerce system
  • Event system
  • Projects system

and we also use it whenever we are building a bespoke system for individual clients.

If you would like to know more or would like to discuss upgrading your current system, just get in touch.

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