Version 5.0 release
Released on April 19, 2014
While the focus of Version 5 is the introduction of a new content management system (CMS), there have been a number of other enhancements as well.
A CMS, or website builder as it is also known, is a module used to set up and customize website pages. Wild Apricot’s new CMS represents a complete redesign of the entire site setup process. Our guiding philosophy throughout the design and development of Version 5 was to make site design both simpler and more flexible.
Page layout now inherited from page templates
- Previously in Wild Apricot, all pages shared the same layout, which was inherited from the website theme. Now, page layout is now inherited from page templates, rather than the website theme.
- Each page can be based on a different template, and multiple pages can share the same template.
- Pages templates are modified using the same tools as you use for page design. Within the template, you can divide the page into different content areas, and add content such as logos, taglines, menus, and contact info. Any content you add to the template will automatically appear on all pages that are based on that template.
- Page headers and footers are no longer set up separately.
Page templates are based on theme-specific master layouts
- Page templates inherit their layout from master layouts.
- Master layouts are theme-specific and can be modified through theme overrides.
- Master layouts provide a broad outline of a page, along with graphic elements that define the theme.
- Page management and page design now take place on the same screen – the Site pages screen.
- Page access restrictions are now set as part of page settings. Restricted access section pages no longer exist.
- Page settings can also be used to set the position of the page within the site menu. Using the Not in menu setting, you can now exclude a page from your site menu.
- Page order can also be set via drag and drop from the new Reorder pages screen. From there, you can drag and drop pages to the desired location within the menu, and create multi-level menus.
- The limit on menu sublevels has been removed. You can now have as many subpage levels as you want. Any page can be made the home page by dragging it to the top of the page list.
- Each time you make a change to a page or a page template, a separate version is saved. You can view the previous versions of any page or page template, and restore any version.
- Deleted pages are now moved to the trash, instead of being completely removed. From the trash, you can view deleted pages and templates, and restore them or empty the trash.
- A copy of the page or page template you are editing is saved every 10 seconds, so you can resume your work if your browser crashes before you have a chance to save your changes.
Page design: gadgets and layouts
- The distinction between functional and content pages has been removed. All pages can now combine a mix of static content – what appeared on content pages – and dynamic functionality – what appeared on functional pages.
- All content is now added as gadgets. Functional pages have been replaced by corresponding gadgets. Static content – e.g. text and graphics – is added as a content gadget. New gadgets have been added to display Google maps, slideshows, sitemaps, and social media links, among other new functionality.
- The behavior and appearance of most gadgets is controlled through gadget settings. The appearance of content gadgets is controlled using the content editor.
- To provide control over the positioning of gadgets, you can insert layouts to create sections consisting of multiple rows and columns. You can add any number of layouts to a page or page template. Gadgets are dragged and dropped into, above, or below layout cells.
- Layouts also have settings that you can modify to control its appearance (e.g. background color or image).
- System pages that perform routine functions such as authentication and event registration can now be customized, including the Authorization required message.
Content editor changes
The content editor, used to modify content gadgets as well as emails and event descriptions, has been enhanced.
- You can use layers to provide even more control over positioning of content within content gadgets.
- Links can be formatted as buttons, not just text or graphics. While formatting a link, you can choose from a number of theme-specific button styles.
- Text styles and text formatting can be copied to paragraphs or selected text.
- Enhanced HTML editor now features line numbers, autocomplete, and tag matching, while retaining code structure and indenting.
- The Colors and styles screen has been completely reorganized and simplified.
- Through the Colors and styles screen, you can set a background color or image for your entire site, or for sections within the site.
- Through theme overrides, you can customize the available gadgets and add your own.
- Several new website themes, with a more modern look and feel, have been added.
- Switching themes – even to older themes – now results in permanent changes to your site pages, which cannot be undone simply by switching back to the previous theme.
- The Whitespace theme set features simple, clean layouts that makes it a good starting point for total site customizations.
- New themes can be made more scalable – aka responsive – on mobile devices.
Navigating Wild Apricot
- You can now jump to most admin screens simply by selecting a pull-down menu option.
- Options previously found only under Settings can now be found under the appropriate menu.
- You can now set up events and accept registrations without having to set up a publicly accessible events calendar.
- So you can provide people with a direct link to details for a particular event, a URL is now available for each event. You can copy the event URL and share it through social media or email.
- Access to events can now be restricted by membership level or member group, or limited to administrators only.
- You can now choose which common fields appear on the registration form for each event.
- You can now archive a filtered list of contacts from the Contacts module.