Sitemason's New Homepage: A Case Study
We could have announced our new website with a press release and been on our way, but instead we wanted to take the opportunity to show off some of our Sitemason tools. Specifically we'll show you how using the News Feed tool can accomplish varied website functions and features.
Rotating Slider with jQuery and the News Feed
Sliders are becoming somewhat ubiquitous on the web these days. The rotating panels offer a great way of highlighting more than one feature with a little spiffy animation to boot. Most often this is handled by Flash.
News Feed as a Blog
Web publishing has long been a staple for the Sitemason CMS, but there are a few features of the News Feed that allow it to be translated easily to a traditional blog. Namely, the tags system and comments.
Tags have become a boon for categorization and relational search, and have become a cornerstone of what moved the web forward to it's current "2.0" monicker. Using tags allows you to quickly and easily find similar postings across multiple categories and listings.
Recently, in addition to its own comments, Sitemason gave its customers the option of integrating third party comment systems Disqus & JS-Kit. This pretty much answers any need anyone would ever have for comments in their website, and makes blogging that much more interesting.
The Sitemason News page uses blog-like formatting in the XSL template to deliver a traditional blog to the new Sitemason web site for delivering our News, Events & Announcements for our customers.
Just a News Feed or a Development Platform?
The flexibility of the News Feed lends it to all sorts of uses. So much so, that it can often be used as it's own development platform. Our new Featured Projects section of our website is a great example of how we can use a standard News Feed tool to develop complex applications for the web.
By combining a customized XSL template with the News Feed and it's tagging system, we've built a Featured Projects application that is just as easy to update as adding an article in Sitemason.
Using the News Feed to tag each project in a new article allows visitors to quickly navigate through our work and look up projects by what Sitemason tools they are using, what industry they're apart of, or by a Sitemason partner's work.
We can then use those tags to parse out the projects in any number of navigational ways such as a drop down menu, alphabetically, or by category (service, industry, tools, etc).