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CMS Made Simple

Hello from the Editor

Hi! Once again, it has been a busy few months for CMS Made Simple. There’s so much going on. We in the Dev team are delighted to have welcomed a number of new members recently – all of whom have thrown themselves into the CMSMS project with great enthusiasm.

As you’ll see from our news – with a new 1.11 maintenance release, the next beta of 2.0 and news about the upcoming Geekmoot – we’ve been very busy, to say the least. So, without further ado, here’s the…

CMS Made Simple News

CMS 1.11.11

As part of our commitment to maintain the 1.11.x series of CMS Made Simple during the development of 2.0, the Dev Team is pleased to announce that we have released 1.11.11.

This release includes some minor core module improvements, including an upgrade to MicroTiny to improve IE11 support, Module Manager help & about display fixes, and a fix for sorting by category in the News module.

Core improvements include module loading, installer timezone handling, and various minor security and performance updates and bug fixes. Specific fixes are listed in the changelog.

You are encouraged to update any installations as soon as you have the opportunity to take advantage of the fixes. As of this release, the only officially supported releases are 1.11.10 and 1.11.11. It is our plan to continue support for the 1.11.x series for one year (365 days) after CMSMS 2.0 is released.

You can download this version here

CMS Made Simple 2.0 Beta

The Dev Team would like to thank all those members of the community who have put in so much hard work beta testing 2.0. We have addressed many of the bug fixes and requests that came to light through that testing. We are thus delighted to have released CMS 2.0 Beta2.

Many of the improvements for Beta2 involve fixes to issues which may have prevented you from installing Beta1. If you weren’t able to test Beta1, please give 2 a try (download it here) and let us know how it goes. Specific changes can be found in the changelog and include the “NLS not found” issue, plus an installer attempt to disable all opcode caches, among many others.

Other improvements in Beta2 include fixes to locking, permissions, Admin buffering, and previews. JQuery has been upgraded to 1.11.1, and the Tinymce library in MicroTiny has also been upgraded.

With regards to installation: In most cases, we suggest using the packaged (pharred) version of the installation assistant, and will continue to encourage this as the default install method upon release. However, in some specific environments, the packaged version will not work (see The Installation Assistant page for more details). Therefore, we are also releasing the un-packaged version concurrently. If you decide to use the un-packaged Installation Assistant, please note that it must be uploaded to a directory other than the target installation directory (e.g. a child of the target installation directory).

A note to module developers: now is an excellent time to begin updating/fixing your modules. Translators should also try their hardest to catch up on translations before the official release.

We hope that you’re as excited about CMS Made Simple 2.0 as we are! We look forward to hearing your Beta2 feedback.

Additions to the Dev team

We are delighted that we have welcomed a number of new members to the development team in the past few months. As with all of our team members, their help and expertise is invaluable to help CMS Made Simple continue to grow and improve.

We asked some of our newer devs: “For you, what’s the single most useful tag or module you use in your own CMSMS sites?”

Fernando Morgado (JoMorg) – Core development, Support Team, Translator

“That question got me thinking! The one feature I need with 99% of my sites is multi-language support. Over the years my favorite module for the job has changed. I loved ‘Babel’ but it is now unfortunately stale. More recently, I’ve used MLeCMS, but it has a large memory footprint if you end up with too many languages. So, recently, I’ve started to develop my own fork of Babel. So soon, that will be the most useful module for me!”

Ruud van der Velden (Velden) – Support Team, Translator, (Module) tester

“Simple! ListIt2!”

Editor’s note: I know a lot of people like ListIt2, which has now been discontinued. That’s why I was delighted to see that a fork of it has been created ready to work with 2.0. I for one will be getting a copy and testing with my 2.0 beta!

Gregory Prosser (Geepers) – Documentation Team, Marketing

“UsersGuide module is on every installation of CMSMS that I work on. A fantastic way to post step-by-step instructions for clients who are easily intimidated. I include videos and screenshots as part of the mix. CGExtensions and CGSimpleSmarty are also on every install. That being said, my favourite module is CompanyDirectory.”

GeekMoot 2015

Some of you might have noticed already, but the GeekMoot 2015 website is now online. Check it out to learn everything there is to know about the 2015 GeekMoot! You can subscribe to the GeekMoot RSS feed to stay informed about future updates.

New Dates

We have moved GeekMoot from its original proposed dates in October 2014 to March 2015. As tickets had not yet gone on sale, we felt that this would not impact any visitors.
On the 20th, 21st, and 22nd march 2015, we will be hosting the GeekMoot in Ghent, Belgium at a genuinely interesting and unusual venue – a converted medieval monastery!

Early-Bird Tickets Now Available

Early bird tickets are available for those wishing to save some money!
Regular tickets will be on sale once we announce the presentation schedule.

Click here to buy your Early-Bird ticket now!

Call For Presentations

Get a free daypass to GeekMoot

Would you like one of your GeekMoot days for free? Why not give a talk? We want to hear your ideas for presentations! We are delighted to offer a free day pass to anyone on the day they give their presentation – and that includes a free lunch!

Find out more on our call for presentations page.

20% Lifetime Discount

Website Round Up

Global Athletics

Global Athletics

A great responsive site popped up in the CMS Show Off forum recently. We spoke with the developers, ‘At Design’ . Here’s what they had to say:

“Our friends at Global Athletics & Marketing challenged us to create a highly customized CMSMS website for them to easily profile athletes they represent, their news and media. We worked together with Wishbone (Wayne O’Neil) to develop a tagging system allowing the editor to tag athletes to content created in CGBlog and Gallery for display on their front-end profile pages. Additionally, we incorporated the tagging system into a communications and scheduling system for their athletes to access competition information using FEU and CGCalendar.

GA&M content editors are always traveling so having a responsive website they could update anywhere, even from their smartphone, was crucial. We used the Bootstrap framework with the responsive default admin theme to accomplish this capability.”

Michael Munoz, At Design (


Why CMSMS Is Great For Designers.

I was recently asked why I think CMS Made Simple is great for designers. This led me to thinking about just what is defined by the term designer and is there actually such a thing as a stereotypical “Web Designer”? The common consensus seems to be that there are two types: The more traditional graphic designers who prefer to create mock ups in a program such as Photoshop and perhaps code up the pages in Dreamweaver, and those whose first instinct is for coding and prefer to create in the browser.

However, things have become a little blurred in recent years with the advent of more powerful design tools, and frameworks such as Bootstrap and Foundation. So I would suggest that it is probably a little more complicated than putting people into nicely defined boxes and that designers will use the various techniques at their disposal to achieve the desired end result.

Hey, I’m a designer not a coder!
Whichever method is used, ultimately a web page will boil down to good old HTML and CSS to determine its layout and style. One of the things I love about CMSMS is that you don’t need any advanced coding skills to transfer an HTML page into a fully functional template. Armed with only the most basic knowledge of Smarty, it is very gratifying to see just how quickly a static page design can be translated into a system which is easily updated by the end user.

Other Content Management Systems require a more intense degree of coding in order to incorporate the basic HTML and CSS into their various templating systems. One popular CMS, for example, requires several different files to be created with each one having its share of PHP statements inserted at various points within. Miss a semicolon or forget to nest things properly, and all sorts of problems will arise. I’m willing to bet that there have been some who have thrown their hands up in frustration at the challenge.

In comparison, CMS Made Simple is a true designer-friendly system which simplifies the templating process and allows the designer to concentrate on creating beautiful and functional websites which users love. Every page can have its own template if required, and even the most crazily complicated layout is easily achieved with a little knowledge of Smarty.

Design Manager
If you haven’t tried CMSMS 2 yet then I urge you to try a test installation. I know we’re still in Beta, but the new Design Manager is a thing of beauty and simplifies template management even more by bringing everything together in the one place.

Instead of the separate Menu Manager and Global Content Blocks in previous CMSMS versions, we now have one Design Manager section with five tabs: Templates, Categories, Template Types, Stylesheets & Designs. Together they unify the control of our page layouts and enable creating, editing and organizing of any type of template. A set of related templates are organised into a ‘Design’ and, for particularly large or complex designs, templates can be further grouped into Categories if required. There is also a clever filter for isolating templates and stylesheets from a particular Design or module which makes working with complex set ups a whole lot more manageable.

So it can be seen that with a website built on the CMSMS platform, consideration has been given not only to the functionality of managing content by its end users, but also to the creation and management of a website by its designers and developers. The clue is in the name: CMS Made Simple.

I’m always banging the drum for simplicity and anything that makes my life easier can’t be a bad thing in my opinion. And that is why, compared to other Content Management Systems out there, I can confidently say that CMS Made Simple is great for designers.

Tony Williams

News from our hosting partner Arvixe!
Protect Your Website with 6Scan

Great news! In our effort to provide Arvixe customers with more out-of-the-box security for their websites, we’ve enhanced our partnership with 6Scan. As you may know, 6Scan is a website security service that scans your website and can automatically fix security vulnerabilities and compromised sites.

We have now made it possible for ALL Arvixe customers to receive their Vulnerability Patching Service, for free! There’s no catch and it’s easy to get started. All you have to do is log into cPanel and click the 6Scan Website Security icon located in the “Security” section, click the ” Protect My Site” link if you haven’t already registered your site(s). You will then be taken to your 6Scan Dashboard.

To upgrade to the Vulnerability Patching Service, simply click on any upgrade link, and you will see the option to upgrade to the Vulnerability Patching Service for FREE. You will then need to add your FTP credentials into the 6Scan Dashboard to take advantage of this service. This service will scan your site every month for security vulnerabilities and active Malware. Whenever security vulnerabilities are found in your site (or within Plug-ins), those vulnerabilities will automatically be patched so that they cannot be used to compromise your site.

For those site owners looking for a more comprehensive solution that provides daily scans, automated fixes for vulnerabilities AND Malware, and a Web Application Firewall, you can upgrade to 6Scan Professional for just $3.99/month!

We have created a blog post to help you get started, Protecting Your Website with 6Scan – Getting Started. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be on your way to protecting your website!

Take advantage of of our 20% Lifetime Discount offer with Arvix. Click here and use the coupon code “GEEKMOOT15”.


My Ten Favourite Smarty Tags

This time around I wanted to go a little bit ‘Top of the Pops’ on you all. Now, unless you are a British child of the sixties to early nineties, that will mean nothing to you. So to try and be a little more international I am also going a bit Mega Top 50 (thanks ‘The Netherlands’) and a little Top 40 (thanks ‘Canada’ – try to be a little more imaginative).

Ok, so now I have likely confused you all thoroughly, what I am actually doing is giving you run down of my top ten Smarty tags. Those tags that without which, I couldn’t use CMSMS to its fullest potential. Those golden bits of code that mean I can design, develop, and deliver the exact site that the client wants, time and time again.

Of course, I’m going to cheat – I will be including CMSMS-specific tags as well as Smarty tags, plus of course a couple of core module tags. Something tells me no one will mind.

So, without further ado…

At 10: {cms_breadcrumbs}

Ok – it’s an old classic and it’s simple, but still, without it, there’d be many more aimless souls wondering the Internet. Essential.

At 9: {cmsms selflink}

Oh the trouble I got into in the early days when I didn’t use this. Such a simple tag! Using it means that you link to the page alias rather than hard coding an HTML link. For me that’s a big help because I switch pretty urls on at ‘go live’ so any hard-coded, in-page links would need changing. By using cms_selflink (and I tend to use it with the href=”” modifier to make it grab the just the url in a normal link), problem solved.

At 8: {get_template_vars}

For those regular moments when you think ‘darn, what variables do I even have in this page?’ This is how you find out.

At 7: {redirect_page}

The redirect page is a little star. I often use it with the {if} tag (see below). One way I often use it is to extend the login redirect of the Front end users with ‘if’ and the custom content module. Simply put, I’ll add a base member portal and then redirect different member groups to their own homepages within it e.g.

{if ccUser::memberof(‘members’)}{redirect_page page=’members-home’}{elseif ccUser::memberof(‘advanced_members’)}{redirect_page page=’advanced-members-home’}{/if}

At 6: {literal}{/literal}

Curly brackets, or braces – what happens when you need them in a non-Smarty way? For that little in-template jQuery, or the Google Analytics code, for example. With the literal tags, the problem is solved. Everything within them gets ignored by smarty. Add curly brackets to your heart’s content! (note: {ldelim} and {rdelim} are another option to echo curly brackets.)

At 5: {global_content}

Don’t leave home without it! I use this in all my templates. Heck, I use this everywhere. At the very least, splitting out header and footer areas of a template into a global content block means no having to go in and edit the headers in all templates (Laughing? – Chuckle away! I did it for about a year back in 07 when I first started using CMSMS). And that’s one of a myriad of uses.

At 4: {menu}

How can one not love menu? Coupled with some simple additions in the menu templates, the output from this module tag can be anything from the simplest of unordered lists to a single page scrolling site with anchors. An incredibly powerful module – so much so, that next time I’ll be concentrating on an article to deal with some of the menu tips and tricks you can use.

At 3: {news}

News is like that kid you went to school with who was really good at sport, but also good at maths and art: Sickeningly versatile. If news was an actual friend, you may well have throttled it for being too popular. Seriously – news can turn its hand to so many different tasks with a few basic CMSMS and Smarty skills. If you have anything which needs a summary and then more info – news in the core is a good place to start.

At 2: {assign}

Both a tag in its own right (e.g. {assign var=”squirrel” value=”nuts nuts nuts”} – now you have the variable {$squirrel}) and a modifier for a host of other tags ({content assign=”main_content”}. For me, the most useful feature is once a CMSMS tag is assigned to a variable, I can test to see if the variable has any content. Great for creating things a one or two column layout template, depending on which content blocks get filled in.

And at 1: {if}{else}{/if}

I’d argue this is more of a bit of programming than a tag, but as it’s Smarty that’s not possible! Either way, it’s the door to a world of possibilities. The lowly ‘if’ tag is the starting point to making your sites think, so your clients don’t have to!

So there you have it. Of course each to their own – this is simply my most used tags. There are plenty more tags in the  tags section of the admin (extensions menu), in the modules that you install, and, of course, that are coded into Smarty (browse the Smarty website for more enlightenment). So what do you use? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to know!

Written by John Scotcher


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