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News & Updates > New features in ExSite 3.6

New features in ExSite 3.6

posted on 7:11 PM, July 10, 2009
A lot of new features appeared in version 3.6, and there hasn't been time to document them all.  Here is a quick survey of what is new.

Appearance

  • Webtop
    • new design, and new plug-in icons
    • plug-ins self-organize into categories
    • you can define your own categories
    • has a favicon for quick recognition in bookmarks and browser tabs
  • Home Buttons
    • green home button on control panels returns to the entry screen for that control panel
    • ExSite button on webtop takes you to the main website home page

Content Management

  • Menu Management
    • you can now easily reconfigure your menus by dragging and dropping pages into their proper positions in the site map, using the SimpleMenu control panel.
    • menus can optionally include links to subsections, as well as pages.
  • Dynamic Page Titles
    • plug-ins can re-title pages if they choose to, which makes for better tabs/taskbar labels, history lists, and SEO
    • useful for plug-ins that handle many content objects with their own names, such as news articles or catalog products
  • Search
    • advanced search options:  put a '+' in front of a search term to require it in the results, and a '-' in front of a term to exclude it from the results.
    • search indexes are more efficient
    • can search within a plug-in module's data, instead of across a whole site
  • Keyword Tags
    • webmaster can tag any site, page, photo, document, or article with keywords
    • the system will automatically generate a keyword index allowing you to find all content related to a keyword
  • File Server
    • maintain a large archive of downloadable files, with varying degrees of access for your website members
  • RSS
    • secure member-only RSS feeds
  • Images
    • images can automatically be given titles/tooltips to match the image name or description
  • Automated Publishing
    • pages can be configured to publish automatically at set times, or at hourly, daily, or weekly intervals
  • Browser Support
    • Safari added to list of browsers that can run the HTML editor

Web Forms

  • Client-side Form Validation
    • Forms will now detect that they have missing data before you submit them, so you don't have to go back if data was missing
  • Date selectors
    • date fields on forms can optionally have drop-down day and year selectors
  • Content Filtering
    • You can enable a censorship option that will try to catch and filter bad words that users enter into your site.  (Useful for forums or other content that is being received from untrusted sources.)
  • Captchas
    • available on more forms and plugins
    • more features to block robots

Internationalization

  • Mutilingual system messages
    • it is possible to translate all system messages (text that is not your content but is printed automatically by ExSite and/or plugins) into any language, and support any number of languages at once
  • Emails
    • improved support for emails in other languages

Productivity

  • ToDo
    • plug-ins can add items to the system to-do list, if they can detect that work needs to be done
    • use the ToDo plug-in to view your to-do list and see what work is waiting for you
    • makes it easy to see all your tasks at once, rather than visiting each plug-in separately
    • not all plug-ins will necessarily make use of this feature
  • Task Scheduler
    • some plug-ins can schedule tasks to be performed at set times or intervals
    • for example:  scheduled publishing, scheduled emails, daily digests, etc.
  • Installation
    • new quick installation program

Miscellaneous Plug-ins

  • E-Zines
    • daily and weekly digests of updates to your e-Zines can now be e-mailed to your members
    • accepts document attachments
  • Catalogs
    • New add-ons to Catalog + Shopping Cart system allow you to set up multiple options for your products and optionally specify additional costs for each option. Options can be previewed through an inline image gallery.
  • Membership
    • Membership management tools have been upgrade to improve configurability, and tracking of membership status.
  • Logs plugin
    • a plug-in tool to inspect your ExSite log files
  • Location Finder
    • new plug-in to search for different geographic locations, eg. stores, agents, etc.
  • Login
    • can correctly generate login and logout links on static pages

Performance & Security

  • Caching
    • new persistent caching tools provide higher performance
    • more efficient caching of website content, to reduce memory use
    • improved caching of specialized database queries
  • Load Sensing
    • when your website is under high stress due to a spike in traffic or an attack by robots, the system can automatically disable some features to reduce the load, and re-enable them automatically when the traffic subsides.
  • Logins
    • persistent logins ("remember me")
    • alternative login methods

Technical Standards

  • Markup generation
    • including support for XHTML and XML code generation
  • URL management
    • new tools for handling URLs and links, for improved standards compliance
    • cleaner URLs for simpler links and better SEO
    • optional secure URLs use encrypted, tamper-proof parameters