Posts in Category: Site Design

mojoPortal 2.6

mojoPortal 2.6

Today, we're pleased to announce the release of mojoPortal 2.6. We had planned on releasing this version much sooner but we kept adding features! In the future, we're planning on releasing about once per month. Larger features will take more time but our community shouldn't wait for smaller enhancements.

With this release, we're introducing SuperFlexi and the Blog Post List modules. We also have a lot of enhancements and new features for existing modules. Finally, we've made some improvements to Framework and we're releasing a new free skin called "Scout", which can be downloaded from the mojoSkins project.

Where to Get It?

Head over to our GitHub Releases Page.

SuperFlexi

The SuperFlexi module is intended to serve as an easy templating system that works as a go-between for front-end developers and users. Developers can easily create "Solutions" that determine, to a large extent, the module's uses; controlling both what kind of input users can store in the database and what markup is created on the page. Users can then simply select a "Solution" in the module settings, and create their content with straightforward easily-understood forms, which will then be rendered as determined by the developers defined markup.

SuperFlexi aims to give end users much easier control over their content, even when that content might normally be quite complicated (as in the case of sliders, tables, structured or gridded HTML, and many other things). Possible uses for SuperFlexi are virtually limitless and we're really excited to be adding it as a core module in mojoPortal 2.6.

With mojoPortal 2.6, we're including 8 solutions; Accordion, Banner Slider, Icon Blocks, Image Blocks, Personnel List, Quick Links, Social Media Links, and Tabs. Each of these is demonstrated on the mojoPortal Demo Site. Please note, SuperFlexi does not currently support SQLite and PGSQL. We should have support for those database platforms in a couple of weeks.

To learn more about SuperFlexi, check out the documentation. We've also created a new Forum, just for SuperFlexi.

Blog Post List Module

So, for a very long time, the official guidance for showing a list of blog posts on pages other than the page your blog is on was to use the Feed Manager to consume your blog's RSS Feed. This meant that the Feed Manager had to make an http(s) connection back to your site, consume the feed, cache the feed contents in the database, and then query the database for the cached contents. Granted, the connection and subsequent caching only happened on a set interval but it was very unnecessary. We decided to cut out the middle-man (Feed Manager) and create a module which connects directly to a chosen Blog module and displays the posts. We went a step further by creating a Razor View Engine for this new module. Yes, you read that right, Razor. You can create Razor views to control the display of this new module.

To learn more about the Blog Post List module, head over to the documentation.

Blog Updates

We spent some time on the Blog and besides the wonderful new Razor-enabled Blog Post List, we have added Post Featured Image, Blog Featured Post, and automatic Meta Content creation for Facebook, Twitter, and Schema.org.

Post Featured Image

You can now easily add a featured image to each of your blog posts. This image will be used in the meta elements added to the page for Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets. The image is also treated a bit special by the Blog in that it is shown at the top of posts. More on the Post Featured Image.

Featured Post

This feature allows you to set a single post in your blog as "Featured". That post will always be at the top of the post list, even when using the Blog Post List module. More on the Blog Featured Post.

Automatic Meta Content Creation

Sharing posts on social media is a lot easier now because the special meta content markup that is necessary for sites like Twitter and Facebook to show correct titles and post images is now automatically added when you create a post. You can even edit the meta content that is created by editing the post and clicking the "Page Meta Data" tab (we're gonna change that to "Post Meta Data" in the next release).

Other Blog Updates

  • Added Display Settings for the Blog module to allow for easier skinning via CSS classes
  • Updated to actually move the blog navigation in markup instead of changing places with CSS * floats for easier styling
  • Cleaned up a lot of the default markup
  • Panels with no child elements will no longer be rendered
  • Added option to include comment body in comment notifications
  • Added SkinID="Blog" to CommentsWidget
  • Removed "Feed Links". These were links to old MSN, Yahoo and other defunct feed managers.
  • Added option to allow Post Title to be used as Page Heading when the PageHeading (or PageTitle) control is used in the layout.master for the skin

ASP.NET 4.6.2

mojoPortal now requires ASP.NET 4.6.2, which was released in August of 2016. Most hosting providers already support 4.6.2 so you should be fine upgrading your site. If your host doesn't support it and you purchase a hosting plan with i7MEDIA, we'll move your site for free.

TLS 1.2

mojoPortal will now enforce using TLS 1.2 for outgoing connections. This is important for connections to payment processors like Authorize.Net, WorldPay and PayPal.

Site Settings

The Site Settings page has a lot of options for configuring your site. We're actually working on moving more stuff from the web.config to the UI so it'll be easier to configure your site. Knowing that we are going to be adding even more to Site Settings, we implemented a few changes and reorganized some things to make using the Site Settings page easier. In the future, we plan on breaking this single page up into several smaller and more task oriented pages. In this release, you'll notice the following:

  • "Site Title" field moved to the General tab
  • "New Site" link removed (to add another site, go to Administration > Site List)
  • Skin options grouped on the General tab
  • Content Editor options grouped on the General tab
  • Registration options grouped on the Security > Main tab
  • User Account options grouped on the Security > Main tab
  • "Avatar System" option moved to User Account group under Security > Main tab
  • Password options grouped on the Security > Main tab
  • Security > OpenID tab renamed to "3rd Party Auth"
  • OpenID options grouped on the 3rd Party Auth tab
  • Windows Live options grouped on the 3rd Party Auth tab
  • "Host Name Mapping" and "Folder Name Mapping" moved to a single tab called "Site Mappings".
  • "SMTP Settings" tab renamed to "Mail Settings"
  • "Mail Settings" tab is always visible with information on how to enable the fields there. New sites will, by default, use this area for SMTP settings. You can enable this on your site by following the instructions here.
  • "Default Email From Address" and "Default Email From Alias" moved to "Mail Settings" tab
  • Reordered Recaptcha Site/Secret keys to match order on Recaptcha site
  • Added several contextual notes throughout the Site Settings page

Change Log

This change log isn't exhaustive because a lot of changes are already listed above. If we didn't list it above, it should be listed below.

Core

  • Updated mojoPortal to ASP.NET 4.6.2 and C# 7
  • Updated mojoPortal source code to use latest NuGet package management
  • Added RazorBridge method to allow use of MVC Razor Templating in Web Forms controls
  • Added MVC HTML Helper for internal Avatar and Gravatar use in Razor templates
  • Added Link control for inside/outside markup of the link
  • Added AutoEscapeStringForCsv method for exporting data in CSV format
  • Updated Gravatar in Forums to link to mojo user profile by default
  • Fixed File Manager/Page Picker for folder sites and sites running in a virtual directory
  • Moved First Name and Last Name fields to the General tab in the User Profile.
  • Added option to include comment body in notifications
  • Added ExportDynamicListToCSV method to ExportHelper
  • Added ImportHelper with GetDynamicListFromCSV method
  • Removed calls to jQueryFileTree and removed from ClientScripts
  • Removed calls to jQueryLayout
  • Removed call to greybox from Contact Form
  • Fixed possible XSS bug in help dialog
  • Removed WebStore from core (will be available as a separate download from the AddOn store)
  • Cleaned up user.config.sample file
  • Standardized on "Login" instead of "Sign In" (both were used before now)
  • Added Security Protocol information to "Security Advisor" (Administration > Security Advisor)
  • Added CombinePath method to DiskFileSystem file system provider.
  • Added FolderVirtualPath property to WebFile
  • Added NameProperty and ContentProperty to ContentMeta. This allows for creation of meta elements with custom names <meta property="foo" value="bar" /> instead of only allowing for <meta name="foo" content="bar" />

Skinning

  • Added FormGroupPanel control for settingrows to control their classes
  • Updated Site Settings page to use new FormGroupPanel control
  • Updated the Layout.Master.cs to expose SiteSettings (siteSettings), PageSettings (currentPage), isCmsPage and isMobileDevice to the Layout.Master for richer skinning functionality (Check out the layout.master in the Nature theme)
  • Updated CSSHander to allow for "https://" and non-http-specified ("//my-domain.com/") url calls
  • Updated Avatar.cs with new ExtraCssClass property
  • Cleaned up markup of CommentsWidget
  • Added themeable properties to CommentsWidget to help with skinning
  • Added themeable display settings for Contact Form
  • Cleaned up markup of the RelatedNewsletterSetting control
  • Cleaned up markup of HTMLCompare feature (used by version history)
  • Fixed Inline Editing in HTML Module for selecting files/images
  • Fixed CSSHandler for HTTPS URL calls
  • Fixed missing CKEditor Image2 Alignment Classes
  • Added InsideTopMarkup to replace LiteralExtraTopContent in BasePanel
  • Added InsideBottomMarkup to replace LiteralExtraBottomContent in BasePanel
  • Removed the .LESS CSS Utility from the Administration area. We recommend using a tool like Prepros for LESS management.

mojoSkins Project Release V1.0

Making mojoPortal Beautiful

Our team at i7MEDIA have been developing mojoPortal skins for a long time, and we've done a lot of fine-tuning of our skinning process over the years. Now we want to make the fruit of our labor, the Framework skin, available for the whole mojoPortal community, for free! In light of this, we've just launched our new mojoSkins project with a version 1.0 release. This first release comes as a package of 5 skins: Framework v3.3.7, and four skins created out of Framework using Bootswatch.

Expect Much More to Come!

Framework was always intended to be a very basic skin which we would then build our designs on top of. With this new project, we're going to have to change that direction a little bit, making improvements for its use by all of you. For instance, because it's been a very long time since any of our clients used the Webstore feature in mojoPortal, the current version of Framework in this release doesn't include styles for it. We will be fixing this, as well as adding styles for all of the Pro modules in the near future, fixing any bugs that arise, and making quality-of-life improvements for the end users where we can.

We want to ensure that everything is as good as possible while also keeping the skins as small as possible, since after all Framework is intended to be a base that you use to build your own design on top of, which is why we are also going to be adjusting mojoPortal's core code to better suit being used with skinning systems like Bootstrap and will adjust the Framework skin as needed to reflect those changes. We believe we can greatly reduce the amount of CSS needed in Framework by doing this (though it is already reasonably small).

While the skins in this first release are primarily targeted at other developers, who we want to provide with a solid foundation for skin creation in mojoPortal, we believe they will work well for anyone, developer or not, who wants to create a very clean mojoPortal site.

How Can I use it?

Using the new skins from this project is incredibly easy, here's the step-by-step:

  1. Download the skins from here.
  2. Extract the zip file you just downloaded.
  3. Each of the skins is included in the root of the zip in their own folder. Choose which skin(s) you'd like to use, and copy those folder(s) into the Data/Sites/1/Skins directory in your mojoPortal installation.*
  4. Sign into your mojoPortal site as an administrator.
  5. Click "Administration", then "Site Settings", and on that page, scroll down until you find the select input labeled "Skin".
  6. Your new skin(s) should be visible in the drop-down, select it and hit save.

That's it, you should now see the skin on your own site!

* Note: If you have a multiple site install, change the /1/ in the path described in step 3 to be /#/, where # is the site number of the mojoPortal site you'd like the skin to appear on.

How can I contribute?

We have already begun tracking issues in the project's GitHub repo, and look forward to community involvement as the project evolves. Please report any issues you notice, and feel free to do a pull request if you've managed to fix an issue yourself.

You can also create your own Bootswatch skins out of Framework, and submit them for inclusion in the project, which would be an awesome help.

mojoPortal Sightings for May 2014

For this month we have 5 sites all with nice professional designs by our friends at Evolve Creative Group in Akron Ohio. 

Buckeye Veterinary Clinic

Buckeye Veterinary Clinic website

Columbiana County Dept of Jobs and Family Services

Columbiana County Dept of Jobs and Family Services website

Towpath Credit Union

Towpath Credit Union website

Wiremen's Credit Union

Wiremen's Credit Union website

Controlled Access Turnstiles

Controlled Access Turnstiles website

Show us your stuff! We'd love to hear about the sites you are bringing online with mojoPortal. If you have a high profile site or a design that you're particularly proud of, or a site showing custom features you've built on mojoPortal, let us know, maybe we'll feature your site(s) in a blog post.

Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

mojoPortal Sightings for October 2013

We have two sites to share this month. The first one Backup Power Solutions, was designed by our friends over at i7MEDIA.

Backup Power Solutions - Website Designed by i7MEDIA

Next we have Altogether Better, designed by our friends across the pond at DMSQD Creative Marketing Communications.

Altogether Better website

Show us your stuff! We'd love to hear about the sites you are bringing online with mojoPortal. If you have a high profile site or a design that you're particularly proud of, or a site showing custom features you've built on mojoPortal, let us know, maybe we'll feature your site(s) in a blog post.​

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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

mojoPortal Sightings for April 2013

We've got 3 sites to mention this month.

Boy Scouts of America - Heart of America Council website was designed and implemented by our friends at i7MEDIA

Boy Scouts of America - Heart of America Council

Boost Marathon provides a world wide marathon calendar and sells training programs for both half marathon and full marathon. The site is used in 150 countries and in 20 languages. Traffic after only a couple of months is evenly distributed among US, Europe, South America and Asia. A cloud based hosting ensures quick response times everywhere.

Boost Marathon

Salary Solutions was designed by DMSQD

Salary Solutions

We'd love to hear about the sites you are bringing online with mojoPortal. If you have a high profile site or a design that you're particularly proud of, or a site showing custom features you've built on mojoPortal, let us know, maybe we'll feature your site(s) in a blog post.​

Follow us on twitter or become a fan on Facebook

follow us on twitter become a fan on facebook

Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.

mojoPortal 2.3.9.5 Released

I'm happy to announce the release of mojoPortal 2.3.9.5, available now on our download page. This is a significant update with many improvements.

UPDATE 2013-02-14 We have found that our .NET 3.5 package for this release is broken under medium trust due to an error generated by Lucene.NET. We are looking into a solution to this but for now, those hosted under .NET 3.5 medium trust should not upgrade. The best solution is to move to .NET 4/4.5 hosting since we are approaching the end of support for .NET 3.5.

UPDATE 2013-02-14 We were able to use conditional compilation to make the .NET 3.5 builds use the older version of Lucene.NET and this fixed the medium trust error for the mojoportal-2-3-9-5-mssql-net35-deploymentfiles.zip package. So it is now safe to upgrade .NET 3.5 installations.

What's New?

Recent Content Feature

Lots of people have asked if there is a way to show recently created or updated content. The challenge with this has always been that features are self-contained and pages are just containers for feature instances so the don't have knowledge of the feature content so there was not an easy way to list new content except at the feature level. For example features like the blog and forums expose RSS feeds so one could pull recent content from those feeds into a feed manager instance, but there wasn't a good way to do it for the HTML Content feature which is the main content feature. However, we recently revamped our internal search index to keep track of created and modified dates so that searches could be filtered by date (also new in this release). Once that was completed we realized that one way to get recent content in a feature agnostic way is to retrieve it from the search index based on the created or modified date. This is exactly what the new Recent Content Feature does. You can set a maximum number of days old to include, which features to include and whether to use the created date or modified date. So this now works with all features that support search. The Recent Content feature can be placed on a page like any other feature and configured as you wish. There is also now a Recent Content RSS feed that can be enabled and then used with the Feed Manager feature to show recent content. I'll be documenting how to do that soon but the stand alone Recent Content feature is probably more user-friendly for most people.

Search Engine Improvements

As mentioned above the internal Lucene.NET search engine has been revamped. In addition to the created and modified dates it can also store the author name and this can be optionally shown in the search results for features that populate it. We also upgraded to the latest version of Lucene.NET (3.0.3). As a result of these changes, after upgrading it is recommended to rebuild the search index so it gets populated with the new fields. There were some breaking changes so developers who have implemented their own custom features that support search and use our internal search engine should see the notes in this forum thread.

There is also a corresponding update to our Event Calendar Pro product to be compatible with the search engine changes. This is a free update for customers who already purchased Event Calendar Pro.

Blog Improvements

Previously the map settings for the blog were at the feature instance level which meant that all maps in all posts had to use the same settings. These settings are now per post so you can get more creative with maps in your blog posts. There is also a new setting if you want to show a search input in the blog.

Forum Improvements

There is a new setting if you want to automatically close threads older than a certain number of days. Individual threads can now be left out of the google site map for the forums and/or marked with a NOINDEX meta tag if you don't feel that the thread has any content of value. There are also new settings to allow showing the CMS page side content on the forum detail pages which is useful for ad placement for example.

Miscellaneous Improvements

  • Content Style templates can now be imported and exported thanks to Joe Davis of i7MEDIA
  • Upgraded to CKEditor 4.0.1
  • There is a new menu control named FlexMenu included in this release. Unlike the ASP.NET Menu and Treeview controls it does not add any javascript so you can add your own if needed and not get any conflicts that those menus are prone to.
  • Updated the CDN settings to use jQuery 1.9 and jQueryUI 1.10.0. Also updated included plugins to compatible versions. However, if you are using any custom plugins or javascript that is not compatible with the new version of jQuery we have a way to include a compatibility script. See the important skin changes article for details.
  • Bug fixes for things reported in the forums since the last release.

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Gravatar Joe Audette is the founder of the mojoPortal project and was the primary developer until February 2017.