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Issue 073 - Feb 12, 2008



1. Try CMS Builder for 100 days risk free!
Try CMS Builder for 100 days risk free!
CMS Builder... Nothing Compares

Customer support is out of this world. I never saw a software company work so close with their customers. They listen to suggestions for making the software work with everyone's needs. It is the easiest program to install and learn.

My customers love the ease of updating their sites without any downtime and confusion. I would recommend this product to everyone.


Glenn Rauchut (Owner) - emergencydesignz.com
CMS Builder gives you everything you need to set up your own custom content management system in five minutes. Still need more than five minutes? You now have a total of 100 days to test things out, risk free. :)

I know, 100 days risk free sounds crazy, but we're committed to making it as easy as possible for you to get started. Without spending a dime you can get started with a 10-day free trial, and if you decide to purchase you'll be backed by a 90-day money back guarantee, giving you a total of 100 days to test CMS Builder.

So how do you get started with CMS Builder?

1. Watch the video and find out how powerful CMS Builder really is. You'll learn how CMS Builder lets you set up a content management system to manage any section of your site in under five minutes!

2. Sign up for the Free 10-Day Trial. This takes only a few minutes and you can cancel any time before your 10-day trial ends. You'll even have free access to our support team. When your free trial expires you'll be rebilled at a monthly subscription of only $19.95. At any time you can credit your previous three months of subscription payments towards a lifetime license.

3. Start using CMS Builder to manage your site and make changes to your content. You still have 90 days to make a decision. During this time you'll have unlimited free access to our team of product specialists, ask them any questions you have, they'll be there to help you every step of the way. If for any reason during those 90 days CMS Builder isn't what you need, you can request a full refund - No Questions Asked!


If you haven't done business with us before it's hard to know who to trust, take a look at the refund testimonials to see how easy it is to get your full money back, all you need to do is is fill out a simple one page refund form.

I really believe you'll find the value of CMS Builder's features to be well worth the price paid. Give CMS Builder a try, you have a total of 100 days (10 day free trial + 90-day guarantee) to find out if it's exactly what you're looking for. If it isn't the right fit for your site you can cancel your free trial or request a refund for your full money back.

Build your own custom content management system quickly and easily! Get started now with a 10 day free trial or purchase CMS Builder here.
2. CMS Builder Case Study: skiinskioutwhistler.ca
CMS Builder Case Study: skiinskioutwhistler.ca I admit: Ever since the concept of CMS Builder was first tossed around, I was nervous. One of the things I've always liked about our software is that it didn't require any complicated programming. This really appealed to me because... I hate programming. To be honest, that's not strong enough: I loathe programming. I've been working in this industry for over twelve years, and if I've learned anything about myself it's that I can't program my way out of a paper bag. I'm pretty darn good with everything else, but programming? Gah!

So, a new product that was based in PHP with a dynamic main page? Eeek! I was getting pretty scared. Can't I just stick with Article Manager? I get Article Manager...

Well, I should have known better and trusted our programmers to make a great piece of software that doesn't require any programming... but can be extended even further if you happen to be a good programmer. Turns out, CMS Builder is pretty easy to work with, even with my neurosis about programming. Since the best way for me to learn something new is to try it, I decided to redesign a site I've run for my family for a while -- a site advertising a condo they own in Whistler, BC. I've long used Page Publisher so that my dad could update the prices on the site himself, but the last time the site was re-designed was ... oh, '99 or so, and it was starting to look pretty dated.

So, let's kill two birds with one stone, and create a whole new site... and use CMS Builder to do it.

My goals were this: Create a good looking site that my dad -- not always the most technical of people -- could update easily and quickly. And this time, not just the prices, but all of the non-style content, including an image gallery. And most of all, make it look slick.

Here's the finished product, so you can follow along with how I created the site: http://www.skiinskioutwhistler.ca/

Well, the "make it look slick" part was pretty easy. I'm not the worlds greatest designer, so I headed over to Styleshout.com and picked a template I liked. Without realizing it, I'd picked the same one Ross chose a few months ago when creating his first CMS Builder site. Oops! Well, I had to make a few modifications to suit my needs, so it doesn't look too much like the original anymore. I removed the sidebar, part of the footer, edited what was left of the footer with my own details, and updated the header image to one a bit more relevant to my needs.

Here's a tip if you need some stock photography: Try Flickr! You can search based on the license applied -- I found one that had a Creative Commons license allowing commercial use & modification as long as I attributed the copyright owner -- this is an important step, don't grab just any old image! Make sure you respect the licensing restrictions, and it's generally considered good form to let them know you're using their image as well.

Once I had the design done, it was time to start with the content... and CMS Builder. The first step was to create some "Section Editors" in CMS Builder. While there are only a few pages on the site, each of them had slightly different content, so I ended up creating three single page sections (Home, Features, and Prices), and one multi-page section (Contact). If your pages were all virtually the same layout, you could even just setup one section with multiple pages to handle everything. Next, I took the template I'd already setup, and created a new page in a text editor called "index.php". From the "Home" section, I copied & pasted the generated code from CMS Builder, and stuck it into the site. Without changing anything else, I uploaded it and ... huh. It works. Nice. Ok, so the style of the generated content is a bit off, and I don't really need the name of each field there, but wow. I've got a working index page and all I really had to do was copy and paste some generated code once. Maybe this won't be so hard after all...

I quickly followed suit with my features & prices page, and had the beginnings of a workable site. Then I went back and cleaned it up again, applying styles to each section, and updating the navigation links to point to each of my created pages. My index page, for example, has a "title" text field, and a "content" wysiwyg field. To display that, my code looks like:



Gee. What was I so worried about?

I pretty quickly had the other pages setup as well. The last thing I needed to do to get the basic framework setup was the contact page. Sticking with the theme of "I hate programming", I found a contact form generator. I inserted the fields I wanted on the page, and it spit out the code for me -- all in PHP, so it works seamlessly with my existing pages. The only reason the contact form is a "multi-page" section is because I also wanted a "confirmation" page once the form was complete. Now, if my dad wants to update that bit, he can just go into the "Contact" section and update either the "Contact Us" page, or the "Thank you for submitting your information" page.

I also added a gallery to the bottom of each page. To do this, I added an Upload field to each of the section editors. I restricted how many images could be uploaded to each page, set the image size settings I wanted, and because I'm using LightBox for the display, I made sure to include a "Title" field (in the "Info Fields" found under Advanced Options).

Then, following the instructions from LightBox, combined with the generated code from CMS Builder, I was able to easily create a slick looking image gallery that users can click on the left or right side to navigate through the images. And best of all -- my dad can replace those images at any time himself. Here's what my image gallery code (with the Lightbox modifications) looks like:



Most of this is from the automatically generated code, so all of that php stuff was done for me. (Phew!) All I did was add in the rel="lightbox[Homepage] and a bit of formatting so it displays the way I want it to.

At that point... all that was left was to create a user account for my dad (I don't want him to be able to muck about with the settings he doesn't need to worry about) and drop him an email to see if he liked it. Good news! He's a fan.

Without too much trouble -- really, most of the skills required were "how to copy & paste" -- I have a slick looking site and my dad can update any of the dynamic content whenever he feels like it without too much trouble. And hey, if you want to rent a condo in Whistler? Tell them I sent you!

Cheers,
Donna - donna@interactivetools.com
3. CMS Builder v1.09 released
CMS Builder v1.09 released We've just released CMS Builder v1.09, which mainly included some quick fixes for a few PHP 4 users.

In our last newsletter we announced even lower requirements for running CMS Builder, you can now install CMS Builder on servers running PHP 4.3.0+ and mySQL 4.1.7+. These PHP and mySQL versions are several years old, so regardless of what server your website is on you should have no trouble installing CMS Builder.

If you're running v1.08 without any problems, there's no need to upgrade to v1.09. However, if you're several versions back, now would be a great time to upgrade and make use of several new features that have been added over the last couple of months.

For a full list of changes, visit the CMS Builder changelog or click here to upgrade by donation.

Keep your feature requests coming in! Every single release we've done is packed full of user requested changes. Post to the forum or send an email to Dave at ceodave@interactivetools.com.
4. Developer Resources
Developer Resources Here are a couple of useful resources for web developers and designers. Send me an email with YOUR favourite resources - I might be able to feature them in a future newsletter.
8 Web Design Mistakes that Developers Make
An excellent website takes a particularly savvy blend of both great design and great code. This article points out eight mistakes that developers can make when designing a website and how to avoid them.

10 Principles of Effective Web Design
This is a great read if you're looking to improve the usability of your website. The article points out that usability, not the visual design, determine the success or failure of a web-site. After all, if someone can�t use a feature, it might as well not exist.

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