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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    I have a client that wants to make some updates to their site and upload files on their own. Not an easy task with Xara, it wasn't designed for that.

    In my search, I came across PHPjabbers scripts. I played around with their demo and it looked good. At $29 for the developer version, it was reasonable to give it a try. My client's site is actually built with WYSIWYG Web Builder so I tested that first. It works just fine. Gee, wonder if this will work with Xara? There are two options to embed in a website; PHP or javascript. The PHP was a no go due to where the three pieces of code have to be placed on the page. But there is a js version that you just put the code in a Xara placeholder that Simple CMS calls a Section. Ten minutes later I have a test page up and working. Pretty psyched. There is a simple online dashboard where you make edits.

    Here is a shortlist of what I have figured out it can do so far:

    -Allow clients to edit a text headline
    -Allow clients to edit an article (text box)
    -Allow clients to change out pictures
    -Allow clients to upload files
    -Allow clients to create links so visitors can download the files that are uploaded
    -Restrict the "Sections" on a site the client can edit
    -Have multiple client staff members with different access to different sections to edit

    Here are some of the real-world sites where I am looking to use this:

    -Election results site
    * Clients can upload a pdf with election results and edit the link on their site for the latest results
    -Small restaurant client
    * Client can edit the "Today's Special" section and/or upload a pdf with Today's Special
    -Client can upload new banners to the seasonal section (They have an image they change out for Christmas, Thanksgiving, St Paddy's Day, Spring is Here, etc...

    I am only 2 days into testing but it looks promising - definitely at 5 Stars!. If I run into serious issues I will update this post.

    https://www.phpjabbers.com/simple-cms/

  2. #2

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    Sounds interesting. At first, I thought this was "CMS made Simple", a relatively well-known free CMS, but no. There are so many scripts around that it is very difficult to keep track of them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    Quote Originally Posted by lex View Post
    Sounds interesting. At first, I thought this was "CMS made Simple", a relatively well-known free CMS, but no. There are so many scripts around that it is very difficult to keep track of them.

    Right you are lex.

    And CMS is everything from an entire design platform to tools that work with your existing platform. I have looked at and tested a number of them. This one is as close to what I was looking for as I could ask. I want to use my existing design tools, Xara and WWB, and offer a simple to install and simple to use way for my clients to update designated sections of their website. This one does just that.

    I downloaded and studied XT-CMS as a solution designed to work with Xara. I think it has some great promise and certainly does more than Simple CMS. But I had Simple CMS installed and working in less time than it took me to watch a single how-to video on XT-CMS. And I still didn't fully understand how to implement it.

    If you have similar needs to mine give it a try. The single-use license is only $19 while the developer license is a mere $29. (with the developer you can use the software on multiple websites)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    Yes, I had a similar experience with XT-CMS. A solution that can complement Xara without taking it over is the way to go.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,486

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    @Onlye, is there a way you can put together a youtube tutorial on this? Also once the client does their changes, can the xara designer load the xara file and work on additional design, text, pic etc...?
    www.designfacet.com
    Owner/Creative Director at DesignFacet

    Xara Designer Pro



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    11,076

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    Quote Originally Posted by onlye View Post
    -Allow clients to edit a text headline
    -Allow clients to edit an article (text box)
    -Allow clients to change out pictures

    -Allow clients to upload files
    -Allow clients to create links so visitors can download the files that are uploaded

    -Restrict the "Sections" on a site the client can edit
    -Have multiple client staff members with different access to different sections to edit

    Here are some of the real-world sites where I am looking to use this:

    -Election results site
    * Clients can upload a pdf with election results and edit the link on their site for the latest results
    -Small restaurant client
    * Client can edit the "Today's Special" section and/or upload a pdf with Today's Special
    -Client can upload new banners to the seasonal section (They have an image they change out for Christmas, Thanksgiving, St Paddy's Day, Spring is Here, etc...
    onlye, I have had a quick look and the CMS delivers what you advise. Potential developers must realise that access to PHP server scripting and installation is needed for all such products. The second point is a Xara Desktop application republish would wipe out any customer changes unless you know better through your testing.

    The top three of your CMS capability can be done within Xara Cloud for free.
    Uploading of files could be engineered into a Documents folder and naming conventions established ahead to ensure your Xara design maintained linking without the need for a republish.
    Xara Cloud can have locked elements. For multiple users' access, Xara Cloud for Teams () would be effective although I would partition my Xara design into different files and provide separate access to each to match the staff's scope.
    Banner changes could be pre-prepared with some simple client-side JavaScript date range comparisons with images, again with defined names into a separated folder, Seasonal Images.

    I am impressed the CMS can handles Xara's Text Areas as these are a clutch of SPANs.
    Images would have to have the same scaling as otherwise stretching or object overlap would occur. I don't know what would happen for Web animation but Photo pop-ups would fail.

    Personally, I am reluctant to allow a client any intimate access. Instead, i fin it better to inculcate them into placing ephemera and notifications into WordPress or Facebook and using the static Xara design as a stepping stone into blogs or other social media. I then use Placeholders to present the dynamic elements.

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: XDPX (current, v15, v12 & 11 (64-bit)), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7; lots of licences back through time (to CC's Artworks). If your Post identifies a Xara software fault, please raise it directly with Magix --> support2.magix.com.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,304

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    Personally, I am reluctant to allow a client any intimate access. Instead, i fin it better to inculcate them into placing ephemera and notifications into WordPress or Facebook and using the static Xara design as a stepping stone into blogs or other social media. I then use Placeholders to present the dynamic elements.

    Acorn
    For Xara users I think that's the best approach. The problem with users updating their website is that

    - they inevitably don't understand what that involves
    - they will come to you for free support when they can't do what they want to do, or they screw something up

    Paul

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,486

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    I agree with Pauland. For that reason before i take on a new client, that is what I tell them. Either have me update it or I am not taking on the job.
    www.designfacet.com
    Owner/Creative Director at DesignFacet

    Xara Designer Pro



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    onlye, I have had a quick look and the CMS delivers what you advise. Potential developers must realise that access to PHP server scripting and installation is needed

    The top three of your CMS capability can be done within Xara Cloud for free.

    I am impressed the CMS can handles Xara's Text Areas as these are a clutch of SPANs.
    Images would have to have the same scaling as otherwise stretching or object overlap would occur. I don't know what would happen for Web animation but Photo pop-ups would fail.

    Personally, I am reluctant to allow a client any intimate access.

    Acorn
    Acorn, all valid points taken without disagreement.

    *There are 2 options to embed sections into a website; PHP or Javascript. PHP is a problem placing the 3 snippets of code to the proper spots in the page code as well as the issues of not working with multiple variants. The PHP worked fine for me with WWB (WYSIWYG Web Builder) but not Xara. The js seems to work fine with Xara and works with multiple variants. Probably some issues of js being turned off by some people on their browsers.

    *I have a Xara Cloud account and tested it in the past but have not ever used it. Much enhancement has been done since I last used it. Can I restrict the client access to only specific areas of text or images?

    *Righto on the images. There is an ability to define the dimensions and constrain the proportions but no images editing inside the program. Clients just assume any picture just naturally works in any space with no changes.

    As both you and pauland point out I too target clients that allow me to do the updates. But in the effort to address the occasional SIMPLE request I came across this. To both your points allowing a client access to the entire site is a sure way to get mucked up. With the Simple CMS I am giving access to a very limited and specific "section" on the site. So their breaks should be limited to small sections. But I never underestimate the ability of a client to outsmart me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Simple CMS - GREAT new tool I found that works with Xara

    Quote Originally Posted by behzad View Post
    @Onlye, is there a way you can put together a youtube tutorial on this? Also once the client does their changes, can the xara designer load the xara file and work on additional design, text, pic etc...?

    Sorry, I read your question previously but didn't reply.

    The way the Simple CMS works;
    1) Put a Placeholder in your Xara page.
    2) In the Simple CMS online interface, you create Sections. A section can be a single line of text (Headline), Text area, image, video. There is an HTML editor provided to create and edit your section content.
    3) Each section provides you with a snippet of javascript to paste in the Xara Placeholder.

    You can then edit the text or image in the section via the Simple CMS interface.
    You can have multiple placeholders/sections in a page or site
    You can use a mobile device to edit a Section
    A single install of Simple CMS will work with multiple websites

    So you can update and republish your Xara website and not break the CMS sections. You can even move the CMS sections in your Xara website (just move the Placeholders) and then republish and it all still works.

    If you would like to try it out I could set up a user login for you and you can create a couple of sections to test in a Xara website. Your feedback would be appreciated.

 

 

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