August 2011 » Top 5 New Features for Designers in Kentico CMS 6.0
Aug 28

Top 5 New Features for Designers in Kentico CMS 6.0

In this blog post series:

  1. Top 5 New Features for Developers in Kentico CMS 6
  2. Top 5 New Features for Designers in Kentico CMS 6 (this post)
  3. Top 5 New Features for Content Editors in Kentico CMS 6
  4. Top 5 New Features for Site Administrators in Kentico CMS 6
  5. Top 5 New Features for Internet Marketers in Kentico CMS 6

 

This is the second post in a series about the newest release of Kentico CMS. If you have not done so, please be sure to start out with reading the introduction to the Top 5 New Features for Developers in Kentico CMS 6.0. Then jump right back here.

1. Layout Webparts

More than once, team members at BizStream have asked me why they need to create so many Page Templates just to define or control the layout of content. It’s something that I never had the best answer for, until now.

Kentico CMS 6.0 gives us the new ability to have webparts or widgets that define containers on the page however the CMSDesk Designer wants. The screen shot below has a layout webpart on the page template. It is setup to have 3 columns. Notice the buttons to add or remove columns? Now reusing a Page Template becomes even easier utilizing this layout technique.

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Generates this:

 

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My favorite is the Accordion Layout. For some reason I am a sucker for Accordions.

 

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Generates this:

 

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Clicking on the Options header swaps the active pane:

 

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2. CSS for Components + Theme Editing

The new feature list states that with CSS for Components you can now have the ability to define the styles directly within components to make them more reusable without the need to cut and paste CSS code from the main site stylesheet. The components include CSS Stylesheets, Transformations,
Page layouts, Web part containers, Web parts, and Web part layouts.

Notice the tiny little Add CSS Styles link button at the bottom of the Transformation editor window.

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Clicking on the link button gives you a new input box.

 

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The class RedBorder will now be automatically rendered out with the main stylesheet, and you don’t need to render out any inline style tags.

 

3. XHTML/CSS Validation Tools

The Preview mode of the CMSDesk UI has been enhanced to also include a Validate tab. On any page you can click the HTML or CSS sub-tab’s Validate green check mark button and the system will call out to validator.w3.org/check or jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator and presents any errors or warning right in the UI. This was previously a free add-on to 5.5, but it has now been fully integrated into the product.

 

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I hope this little feature helps the Kentico community write more standards compliant CSS and HTML markup.

 

4. Upgraded Image Editor

The Image Editor that was always included with Kentico CMS was helpful, but not great. This version of the Editor blows the old one out of the water. Designers can now work with their files right through the product itself. If they need to crop a background image or perform other image maintenance tasks they can.

 

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Probably the best part about the new Image Editor is that undo and redo ability. This has bitten me more than once in the past. It’s a lot nicer to undo as opposed to close and reopen.

 

5. Support for HTML5

HTML 5 adds many new elements into the HTML standards. Kentico is starting to support it with media tags (audio and video) only right now.

 

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Full support is not there due to more of a .Net Framework reason. There is an HTML 5 update for ASP.NET version 4.0, but that needs to be handled a little bit better, is my guess before Kentico integrates it any further. Still, it’s nice to see Kentico being an early adopter.

 

Conclusion

Not bad at all if you are a Designer who uses Kentico CMS. Next up is my post that focuses on the new features targeted towards Content Editors in Kentico CMS.

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