NOTE: The new section editor ha been released with v4.0 – Read more here.
We here at Metro Publisher have been very busy lately. Currently we are working on the long awaited conversion of location types into fully customizable tags(v3.0). But, following that, we are planning to release for v4.0 a massive upgrade to the entry pages (homepage and sections/subsections) for your website.
We've had a stream of ideas and comments via the support site, which enabled us to specify what we believe will be a much more flexible and robust system for managing the entry pages to your website.
While we have specific technical requirements that are a little too complex to explain in detail here, our goals are pretty clear:
- Consolidate the homepage and section pages into one template with a variety of configuration options
- Create variable page layouts
- Allow more automation
The main idea here is that we'd like to make it easier for you or your editors to create variety on the homepage and section pages quickly and with less effort.
Current State of Affairs
Limited Layout Options
Currently, the entry page templates have fixed columns that define the layout of those pages. While there are differences between what is available on the homepage and the options available for section pages, there is generally either a two column or three column layout.
Additionally, there are some fixed elements:
- Headline Stories
- Feature Stories
- Sprockets (right rail only)
- Featurettes (manually managed on Section pages)
Sprocket-based Entry Page Editor
Over time, we've seen that users prefer to have the flexibility that sprockets give them to show content dynamically by a variety of criteria such as tags and to be able to rearrange things easily. As a result, one of the primary features of the new system is that entry pages will be entirely sprocket-based.
Varied Layout Options with Sprocket-based Section Manager
This new system will reduce or eliminate the rigidity currently found when managing entry pages by allowing editors to create complex layouts using only sprockets.
- Sprocket-based Editing – Allows limitless variety of layouts and options to feature content by a variety of criteria.
- Sandbox Editor – Draft version of all entry pages so you can work on your changes before making them live.
- Combined Editor – For greater consistency, homepage and section pages will have the same editor.
- Scheduling – Set a future date/time for changes to your entry pages to go live.
- Sprocket Inheritance – Distribute sprockets throughout your website more easily by allowing sections and subsections to "inherit" sprockets from their parent.
- Drag and Drop Reordering – Easily move around sprockets by drag and drop.
As part of these changes to entry pages, we will also be releasing new sprockets designed to make editing entry pages easier.
- Carousel Sprocket – A new Carousel Sprocket will be introduced that will adapt to a variety of widths and positions within the page.
- Headline/Lead Stories – Headline and Lead Stories will be converted to the new Carousel Sprocket.
- Featurettes – Featurettes will be converted to list sprockets.
- Gallery Sprockets – New gallery sprockets with options for different views will be introduced.
Migration for Existing Users
If all these changes are making you nervous, don't worry. Existing users will have the option to upgrade to the new entry page manager at your leisure and on a per section basis. This will allow you as much time as you need to understand the changes and create your own schedule for updating your website.
If you'd like to know more, click the button below to get a schematic view of the proposed changes.