Recent updates to SiteNinja CMS are invaluable to moving towards a future where your website is no longer desktop-specific; focusing instead on giving you the tools you need to manage content from anywhere and ensuring that it can be viewed comfortably by your users no matter their device.
Recently, I wrote an article on Responsive Web Design and Content Management Systems, focusing on why responsive web design and mobile first are important to the future of the web (and content management systems in particular), and how I was planning on addressing these issues with SiteNinja. If you haven't given it a read yet, take a look. Don't worry, I'll wait.
Done? Good. Now moving on to current matters: I'm proud to announce two major new features that strongly support our position on the importance of responsiveness: Mobile CMS Administration and Responsive Content Previews. These two innovative new features offer entirely new levels of control over managing the content of your website.
A quick glance back
We have always focused on providing easy-to-use tools that enable our clients to manage robust, unique websites. That said, our focus has been giving clients this control through a desktop-oriented administrative platform. As I strongly support responsive web design and mobile first approaches to delivering content to all devices, it only made sense that I promoted these concept as core values moving forward with our content management system.
A couple of weeks ago, I promised to add features to SiteNinja that will enable clients and users to manage and experience content in ways we have not previously supported. The rollout of these features has started.
Mobile CMS Administration
SiteNinja now provides tools to manage your site content from mobile devices. Presently, only Pages and Blog modules are currently supported, with other modules planned in the near future.
This feature completely opens up the possibilities of where you can add content to your site. SiteNinja users can post articles regardless of what device they are accessing their administration tools from, as well as update the content of pages. In fact, believe it or not, this article is presently being written directly on an iPhone (see: screenshots as proof).
The mobile administration tools are still in their early stages, but I didn't want to keep these capabilities from our users. I am exploring more ways to further enhance the mobile experience, and am still investigating how to best approach management through tablets. Many people prefer to compose emails and write documents on tablet devices, so it only makes sense that we focus on enhancing the capabilities of that platform.
Responsive Content Previews
Previously, SiteNinja provided a preview button that popped open a preview how your content will appear on the site. To better enable you to prepare content for the multitude of devices it will be consumed on by your users, SiteNinja now features responsive previews.
These previews currently consist of 4 sizes at pretty standard breakpoints: "Mobile", "Tablet", "Narrow", and "Wide". "Auto" snaps the preview to the full width allotted, and an upcoming "Custom" option will allow you to input a specific width.
These previews are presently only available for the desktop experience, but we are currently working on ways to give you a similar preview option from mobile devices.
The Responsive Content Previews do come with a catch, however. Old site designs were not developed responsively, so these responsive previews won't actually change the view of that content. We will be offering our clients the option to use this as an opportunity to move to a responsive design, or adapting their current design to respond better with different devices.
In working on SiteNinja's website to make it more responsive, I opted for an adaptive layout as a temporary solution until we are ready to roll out a complete redesign. While it is not the direction we will be taking with new designs, this solution ensures that you are at least taking steps toward making your content more readily available to your users, no matter what device they are using to view it.
If you are a current SiteNinja client, these updates have already automatically rolled out. For clients on our older platform (single site per app), we will be happy to update your site with the latest features.