Serenity Digital Ltd - web design & web development specialists based in Portsmouth, Hampshire


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Powering forward

Date: 29-01-2014
Source: Serenity Digital

For many of our clients, one of the key factors in choosing to use Serenity Source, our licence free content management system (CMS), was the roadmap of future updates we provide for free. A key benefit to closing the Serenity Digital office over Christmas, was that it allowed us to concentrate on developing our primary software platform and over a 14 day period we've been able to implement some of the best ideas from our clients and our staff in order to improve this product.

Serenity Source benefits from a single, core code base, which in lamens terms means that all our clients can benefit from new functionality, improvements and bug fixes for free, and all at the same time. In the last week, clients may have noticed an update to their installation of the CMS which now benefits from the following improvements.

Comprehensive Help System

As all our current clients are aware, we always include a half day training session as part of any Serenity Source powered website project we undertake. And, we also provide comprehensive technical support via the phone, email or dashboard of the CMS.

But sometimes, you just need a reference manual you can refer to, to jog your memory. As a result, we've built a help system for Serenity Source which provides a step by step guide for clients, to remind them how to complete certain tasks.

When clients login to the CMS, they are provided with credentials on the Dashboard which will allow them to login to the help site and see all the guides available. The general public have access, but only to a summary of the functionality which lies within.

We'd really appreciate any client feedback on this system and for future users, if you'd like to find out more about Serenity Source please get in touch.

Automated Tasks

For larger websites, it's very important to have a good content strategy and an efficient timetable detailing when new content will be published on your website. And, for those familiar with this approach, they are liekly to understand that crafting content for the following week or fortnight, in one session is a much more efficient use of time, than writing each page separately throughout that period.

But once you've created all these new pages, you need to remember to keep coming back to the CMS to publish them. From now on, this approach is a thing of the past.

Serenity Source, now benefits from an automated task facility. From many places within the system, you are able to create timed tasks to promote or pull down content from your public facing website. This means that you can now create many articles to launch over the coming weeks and use these facilities to launch them at unsociable hours, whilst you're on holiday, in meetings, or simply whilst you need to focus on other tasks.

If you're really hot on your social network posts too, you'll setup automated tasks in software, such as Hootsuite, to run alongside these page launches to promote them to your friends and followers.

Global User Rights mechanisms

For sites which provide login functionality to private areas, at times it can become a nightmare to manage the access rights of the menus and pages within your website.

So to help adminstrators of Serenity Source, we've added in a new section within the Content Manager to allow you to select individual user groups, control all the pages and menus for that group and all from a single place.

This top level view, also allows you to immediately spot menus and pages which have been setup incorrectly and therefore might be showing content to the wrong users.

Global Output Variables

Put simply, this new feature allows us to work with you to provide you with access to edit parts of the website, which you previously couldn't.

This could be content, links and imagery within the header, side bars or footer of your website or simple variables designed to store information about how the website will perform. If you're interested in learning more about Global Output Variables, please get in touch.

Dashboard improvements

Linked to the new help system, the dashboard now features a help panel designed to give you access to step by step guides for all the most common tasks undertaken within the CMS.

The dashboard also benefits from additional Quick Tasks which can be used to quickly gain access to the best and most used features of the CMS.

Access to the Image and File Manager

One of the client requested improvements to the system, was to provide access to the image and file manager from a central location.

Images and files can now be uploaded, modified, managed and deleted accordingly from the common tasks panel of the Dashboard and from the control panel of the Content Manager. These links allow regular users to gain access to upload libraries of images prior to creating new pages, providing more flexibility and control from multiple locations within Serenity Source.

User Interface Improvements

We're committed to constantly improving the user interface of Serenity Source and look to our clients and users to let us know of any bugs they encounter or any ideas to improve the usabilty. Our development roadmap is constantly changing as we add new ideas and improvements, so get in touch if you'd like us to add your idea.

To ensure the brevity of the information shown within the CMS, we have added in facilities to a range of locations so that lists of 10 or more items will be paginated to reduce the length of the page. We've also reviewed the user experience of the CMS on tablets and mobile devices, removing and improving functionality as appropriate and we've added in links to the help system in prominant locations to ensure that access to the step by step guides can be accessed from any section within Serenity Source.

Our clients should get in touch if they'd like to find out more information about any of these improvements. If you're not a user of Serenity Source but think you might like to be, please get in touch to organise a demo.

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