Easy website development: manager update 3

On 25/06/2010

In New and updated features

In this, the third installment of our series exploring the updated doomby site manager, we'll be checking out one of the central pillars of our website builder: the redesigned free website development tools. The changes we've been making have been motivated in large part by a desire to make it easier than ever to make a website. As a result, we've spent a lot of time reworking the general manager layout and the individual menus to ensure you spend less time looking for things and more time getting on with the business of website creation.

How do we know you're going to find it easier to use doomby's website builder? Because these are changes you've suggested!

Among the different website creation menus having undergone a complete redesign is the Page menu. Though we've reworked the design of all of the different forms and content creation zones within the site manager, the web page creation tools have been the object of some pretty serious attention. Aside from reworking their visual appearance, to bring them into line with the rest of the site, we've also regrouped the page creation tools in an entirely different way.


Web page creation tools


The new page creation tools are a lot clearer, and more user-friendly, whilst still giving you direct access to all the powerful web creation tools you'll ever need. In order to simplify page creation for beginners, we've made the visual editor the default page creation option, ensuring new doombians spend less time trying to decide how to make a web page, and more time making them. Experienced users won't be disadvantaged – we've moved the page creation tool selector buttons to the top of the page editor itself, enabling you to easily switch from, say, creating a webpage with the WYSIWYG editor, to a PayPal page, or coding from scratch in HTML and Javascript. You'll find other examples of these relocated buttons throughout the manager, giving you an easier access to the tools you need, when you need them.


Website manager controls


We've spent countless hours reworking the manager lists, such as that found in the page manager. In response to your feedback, we wanted to harmonize the look and feel of the different site manager lists, and to rework the drag and drop lists (used for rearranging items) and the fixed lists, making each type easier to use. Part of the work on making lists more user-friendly has been a site-wide color scheme, with three action colors now clearly applied throughout the site manager: green for publishing, red for deleting, and orange for editing. You'll find these colors applied to list elements whenever – and wherever – applicable, so you can tell at a glance which link to use (and get your work done quicker!).


Website extensions management


The central pages for each of the content management sections now contain redesigned, clear, simple buttons. The redesign ensures you have instant access to the tool you need. If you're still just starting out, get help with each of the tool buttons by just leaving your mouse pointer on it – a pop-up help box will explain the purpose of the tool. One of the best examples is the Add-ons page, which now provides access to all add-ons on the one page, with a clear separation of currently enabled and inactive add-ons. You'll notice the same attention has gone into reworking the Add-ons tool menu, with currently-enabled add-ons appearing, ensuring the menu is less cluttered, and that you find what you're looking for faster.


Website development help

Redesigning the way you use your website manager also means providing better access to our various help services, and that the kind of help that's available is contextual, meaning you get the answer that you need, when and where you need it. In addition to the existing links to the support services at the bottom of the page, such as links to our online email support and phone support, you'll also find contextual links now appear to relevant webmaster tutorials and questions from the website development FAQ. You'll find these links throughout the manager, at the bottom of each page (the central section reserved for tutorials, and the right-side for FAQs).


Website settings


If you're already familiar with the doomby manager, you'll notice that the Site menu has now disappeared. To streamline the site manager interface, we've incorporated the options previously located in this menu into others. Most of the Site manager elements are now combined with the former Configuration menu items in the new Settings menu. The Settings menu provides quick access to the site settings, via a series of clear sub-menus. Regrouping the various settings features under the one menu means you'll get on with setting up your site quickly, and will know where to go when next you need to change something.

That pretty much wraps up our look at the features of the new site manager. We've really been inspired by your input to rework the site manager, ensuring it's best suited to how you'd like to make a website, and to make your website creation as simple, efficient, and fun as possible. But you don't just take my word for it – see for yourself next week just how much easier, and better, it is to create a website with the new doomby website manager. And don't forget – it's going to be a whole lot more magical, too. So stay tuned ... the best is yet to come.