This past weekend we installed the biggest ever CMS (Content Management System) upgrade on your website, which we did completely free-of-charge as part of your hosting and maintenance package with Primary Image. So want to know what’s new?
Firstly, the most obvious thing when you login is a completely new-look interface on the back-end of your website, giving a fresh style to the CMS (click on the image on the right to see it in action!). On the Dashboard you’ll notice few changes, including quick access links to key areas of the CMS and marketing tips.
Tip: You can rearrange these boxes up and down, left and right, so just drag these to your preference!
The CMS is also designed to be used on both your desktop computer, tablet or smartphone, with the screen adapting to whichever device you choose to use. See the example on the right-hand side, which shows the menu button being accessed on an iPhone 5.
Social Media dashboard
Social media is of course really important nowadays and can help direct a lot of visitors to your website. So we’re really proud of this new feature – an integrated dashboard, developed for Primary Image customers, showing the number of mentions or “likes” your news posts have had on the main social networks.
Remember news stories are a great way to keep in touch with your audience, but also search engines (e.g. Google) rate websites more highly when regular, good quality content is added. To boost your rankings, content should be unique and approximately 300 words or more, with your chosen search engine keywords mentioned within your paragraphs.
Just click the “Update all social stats” button to see your latest counts. As the CMS needs to wait for each social network to return information about every single article, it may take a minute or so to update the results, so we’d suggest opening this in a secondary browser tab that you can keep running in the background whilst it updates.
Ever been frustrated by your browser crashing, losing power or dropping the internet connection, only to find you’ve lost your CMS edits? Well you’ll love this next feature! From when you start typing, the CMS will now be auto-saving your page on the web server and also simultaneously in your browser’s offline cache. It means your content should now be safer and there’s less risk you’ll lose your work.
This was one of the most requested features – a way to access previous copies of a page when you’ve accidentally deleted or changed something you didn’t want to! Until now, we’ve been able to roll-back changes for you, but now you have full control yourselves!
Once edits have been made, you’ll see this new option appear on the right-hand side of the page. Clicking on it brings up a new window, allowing you to easily browse through recent saved copies of the page. This way you’ll never need to panic – confident that any mistake can be rolled back in just a click! Open the thumbnail to see how this works.
Always know who’s editing your website at the same time with the improved post locking feature. New alerts make it easy to see what’s happening and you can also take over editing a page from another user.
Ever hibernated your computer and been away for a few hours, only to come back and found your browser window still open and in the middle of editing a page? When trying to Publish those changes, the CMS would then redirect you to the login page and you’ll lose your edits. Well no longer – if you ever get logged-out whilst on a CMS page, a popup login window will appear, which means you won’t lose your place anymore!
Embedding from Third Party Services
Want to have media content shown directly in your website? Simply paste an URL (on its own line) to a YouTube, Vimeo, Spotify, Instagram or Flickr file, and the media will be embedded directly into your webpage automatically! You can also embed Tweets into your site by pasting in the Tweet URL (i.e. click “Details” underneath your Tweet on the Twitter website and copy that address). For the embeds to work, ensure that you copy just the URL in plain text (i.e. it shouldn’t be hyperlinked) and it must be on a new line all by itself.
In all over 700 tweaks and improvements were put into the new CMS. We also put in place enhanced security measures, updated various modules (including the contact forms on every website), and upgraded the server PHP installations.
During this round of improvements, we also optimised the MySQL database on each of our customer’s websites. Basically the database holds all the page content and site structure, as well as your login details and virtually everything needed to run your website. In some cases, through careful optimisation, we were able to reduce the database size by over 50% – which means a faster loading website!
If you need any help using your new CMS, or experience any issues, please get in touch with our Primary Image team.
We’re already planning and starting on the next round on improvements, including looking at how we can give you better information on your visitor stats. Is there anything you would like to see in our default CMS installations – let us know!
Remember these upgrades are inclusive in our customers’ annual hosting and maintenance packages – one of the many benefits of hosting with Primary Image!
Mike is the founding director of Primary Image. He specialises in the WordPress website platform and speaks regularly at national web design conferences. Mike became a member (MCIPR) of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2015. Outside of work, his interests include photography and politics.