LightCMS for Designers

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After you have signed up for a free account at http://www.lightcms.com, the first thing you will want to do is login to your new site. When you sign up, you choose the name of your site, and will start off being somethinglikethis.publishpath.com. You can always decide to use a custom domain name whenever you are ready. To login, simply type “/login” at the end of your URL, and enter your user name/password credentials. The user name will be the email address you inserted upon sign up. When it’s time to add another website, don’t create a new account, but add the site through your account settings. This way you can manage all your sites with one login.
Now, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the graphical user interface and the administrative toolbar options. In this article, the goal is to fast-track your learning curve, but for a more in depth understanding of what LightCMS (asp .net cms) has to offer, you will want to set up your free 3 page website. They will provide you with online support sites, and a forum for more advanced users to congregate and share knowledge of the system.

You can always return to your home page administrative view by clicking on “My Website.” Just to the right of this, you will see the “My Account, Help, and Log-out” options. Below that, you will find the buttons “Content, Designs, Users, Settings, Pages, Stats, and Billing.” One more level below those, you will see “Page settings, Preview page, and Add a new page.” These tools are invaluable to you as you focus on the design of your website.

Take a moment to locate the Design Gallery where LightCMS offers over 75 template designs that you can customize and make changes to at no additional cost. This is a remarkable feature because in just a few short minutes, you can literally add new content to your live site right away, or even change the overall design in seconds.

First, click on the “Designs” button. On the next page, click on “Design Gallery” tab and take a look at all the web design templates LightCMS has to offer. Click on any template and from within the pop-up window, you should select “Add to My Designs.” Click “Ok” to continue.

Welcome to the “My Designs” area! This is the section where you will administer changes to the .html and CSS template files, add Google Analytics, or add LightCMS tokens. I’ll mention more about tokens in a moment. Click on a template and select “Apply” to load the design to your site. To enter the Design Manager where you have all the control over the code and style sheets, just click the “Edit” link after selecting a template within your “My Designs” section. All your files will be on the right, and the text editor will be on the left.

If you would rather take some time to design each page before the site is officially published, you will need to access the “Page Settings” of that page, click on the “Advanced” tab, and mark it as “hidden.” This feature allows you to focus on the look and feel of our page prior to it showing up on the main navigation bar. You can easily publish hidden pages by un-checking the hidden option.

To set your default template for the site, click on “Settings” and select a template file from the drop-down menu beneath, “Which template should this website use?” You can also choose this at the “Page Settings” level, but will need to find the “Advanced” tab and select either the “home” or “inside” template. You can always add more template files to choose from by using FTP access to upload your additional template files or custom design templates.

Don’t worry about making any mistakes in the Design Manager area because with LightCMS you can always “select a previous version to load.” Every saved version of your template files are archived, and these save states can be called to revert your template back to a prior state. You can also re-apply the template from the design gallery, or re-upload the custom design if necessary.

Tokens are system specific code blocks that perform special operations within the system. LightCMS.com defines them in the following way.

“Tokens are the key to integrating dynamic content management functionality with your custom website designs. Tokens are small bits of code that our servers replace with dynamic content and functionality when the site is run on our system. The content that each token outputs can often be styled through your CSS files to meet your design objectives.”

Tokens allow for the creation of navigation items, editable content regions, search functionality, breadcrumb trails, login status, page titles, and more. These tokens will be highlighted yellow within the Design Manager Text Editor to help you locate them easily.

LightCMS makes it easy to upload a business logo, and this is likely one of the first steps you will take when you begin branding your website. Click on the “My Account” button on the middle toolbar, and then go to the “Account Settings,” and upload an image of your logo.

Adding a logo to any site is just as easy. Click “Settings,” go to the “Advanced” tab and upload a website logo in seconds.

There are many more features that I just don’t have the time to go into them all. Here are some further links to help you get started with LightCMS. I highly recommend giving this product a test drive. Having the opportunity to help others create and develop web pages has been a great joy for me, but best of all, I’ve been able to bring a deeper understanding of LightCMS to users who need a little guidance. We don’t hold your hand, but rather, we point you to the resources that will make you independently proficient with the product.

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