- Template is a predefined collection of a layout, colors, design, menu position and menu style. It is a starting point only; each of these elements can be individually customized.
- Layout controls the position of various elements on the page, including content boxes and in some cases, the Login/Profile panel.
- Colors presents various color schemes, a palette of complimentary colors used on various elements of the website.
- Background controls the background of your website (outside the layout.) You can select from colors or more than 400 pre-loaded images and graphics, or upload your own.
- Watermark controls the background color and texture of the content area within the layout. You can control color, transparency and gradient, or select from a special library of pre-loaded images, or upload your own.
- Width allows you to control the width of your website and its various elements.
- Fonts will allow you to customize the fonts and text properties of headings and normal text. (This option is not quite ready, so it has been disabled in this initial release.)
- Design allows you to select a design “scheme”, specifically the appearance of heading elements.
- Menu Style allows you to control the appearance of menu elements, including separators and sub-menus.
- Custom CSS Allows you to enter custom styles to control the appearance of the website and its various elements. As before, this option is for experienced website designers only.
While you are in Preview mode, you can navigate to any page on your website to see how it looks. You can also use the Look and Feel Site Editor from anywhere in the website. Remember that only you are experimenting with different appearances; everyone else still sees the current design. When you are ready to switch over to this new scheme, click the Apply
button on the Site Editor.
: once you click Apply, you are switching permanently over to the new scheme; there is no going back to the old design. The website will immediately appear to everyone with this new look and feel.
Important Note 2
: these new templates are much stricter than in the past about the overall width of your website. Our old templates would expand to fit the content placed on the home page or custom pages. This often resulted in websites that were very wide on some pages but narrow on others, with page headers that didn't seem to fit properly. But we've received strong feedback from clubs that you want us to take more responsibility for helping you to create an elegant and modern website. So these new templates will not
expand to fit the content placed on them; instead, content that is too wide will be clipped off! You always have the option of shrinking photos and other content to fit within the available space; you also have the option of making your website wider using the Width tool of the look and feel Site Editor.
Important Note 3
: if your website is using a custom template, these new capabilities do not apply. You can certainly experiment with the new tools but if you click Apply, your custom template will be replaced by the new model. If you are interested in converting your custom template to the new model, please contact us (a programming fee will apply.)
Another powerful new feature can be found on the Control Panel - Website tab - Setup section: Fonts
. When you select this option, you will have the ability to browse a library of more than 80 unique fonts that you can add to your website.
Once you have added fonts to your website, they will be available in the Content Editor for use on the home page, custom web pages, event descriptions, emailings, etc. In the very near future, you will also be able to use them for headings and even normal text.
The third major change, which applies to these new website designs only, is a redesigned login and Member Profile panel. When members login, the new login panel will look like this:
There is no longer an explicit Logout
link, just the member name and a down arrow. The two red icons will only appear if the member needs to renew or if he or she has a pending payment. Clicking the renew icon launches the Renewal Wizard; clicking the dollar sign icon jumps to the payment page.
When members hover over their name or the downward pointing arrow, a panel will immediately appear (clicking is not required.)
This panel contains the links to a member's Profile and Bio screens and the Logout link. If a member is in the renewal cycle or has an unpaid transaction, he or she will also see the appropriate entries.
With this new design, we are following a convention that many websites have adopted, especially popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. It's a convention that should be very familiar to users, but even if they have not seen it before, the functionality is inherently obvious at the first attempt.
Clicking this link
downloads a PDF extract from the updated version 6.0 administrator manual, describing just these new features.