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March 2015
March 2015
Clone-Records-2
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Bulk Website Deployment System

Gutensite has built a really great system to deploy websites in bulk, using Master Sites that are cloned to create starter content for the new website. This is how your new website had default content when you first got started. Now we've made this tool available to our partners.

We've been working with partners who need to provide websites to a network of clients, e.g. Real Estate Brokers that need websites for hundreds of Real Estate Agents, or Churches that need thousands of websites for all the churches in their denomination, or Design Agencies that need websites for all their clients. So we let our partners build one or more Master Sites that represent all the default authorized content for their agents, and then they provide us with a spreadsheet of new sites (or sign people up one by one from their partner page) and the new websites are automatically filled with all their content.

A website with great and useful content can take weeks to gather and write the content, gather all the assets (images, files, videos, etc), and then put it all together. So by cloning a Master Site, the agents get an instant website that they can begin using immediately, and everyone saves thousands of dollars and a lot of time.

Dynamic Updating of Cloned Sites

But the deployment system was just the beginning. We have now extended the Master Sites to allow dynamic updating of all the sites that were cloned from the Master Site. So the Master Sites are not just content templates anymore, it can actually be a syndication publishing platform.

This is really powerful in a lot of use cases. For example, when a Real Estate Broker creates a Master Site they want to add neighborhood pages for the 40+ different communities they work in. Every agent then gets these neighborhood pages on their website for their visitors to reference (awesome).

But now when the brokerage grows into a new neighborhood, or they want to update photos or stats about a neighborhood, they can update their Master Site, and all the agent websites that were duplicated from that Master Site will get the new content instantly. The Master Site publishes the new content, adds, edits, or deletes content from the syndicated site.

Customizing Cloned Content

The website owner (e.g. the Real Estate Agent) can edit the content if they want to customize it. It's their website and they may wish to inactivate neighborhoods they don't work in, or change the about page, or add their own content. That's totally fine. The Master Site updates will only affect content that hasn't been edited.

As soon as you edit cloned content, you take that page out of the queue for updates. All cloned content is marked as green in the content lists, and has a message at the top of the edit page that indicates that it is syndicated content, so you can tell what was cloned. When you edit it, the green disappears in the list and the edit page lets you know that the content is no longer receiving updates from the Master Site.

But if you change your mind, you can click a button to "Revert to Original Version" and your customizations will be removed and you will again receive the content from the Master Site.

Get Your Own Master Site

If you need a way to bulk create/deploy multiple website from a Master Site, or you need a way to keep multiple websites in sync with the latest content, give us a call and we can tell you more about our partnership program. We can provide reduced bulk rates and all the support you need.


March 2015
March 2015
Ptengine - a User Friendly Web Analytics and Heatmap Platform
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Gutensite has added integration for a new user-friendly website analytics and heatmap platform called Ptengine. Analytics can be a really powerful tool to help you get more out of your website, but platforms like Google Analytics can be hard to learn and even harder to decipher what you should do with all this data. So other companies like Ptengine are trying to make a product that is much more user-friendly and actionable. Give them a try and let us know what you think. One of the greatest features is their heatmap, where you can see exactly what parts of the website people are clicking on. See the rest of their features to learn more.

If you want to try Ptengine, you can sign up for a free trial. By using Gutensite's special sign up page, and entering Gutensite's "BFF" promo code you can get a bonus features free for 3 months, and after that you can keep using the free version for as long as you want.

After you sign up for your free account at Ptengine, copy your "Profile ID" from Ptengine, and then login to your Gutensite Control Panel and go to: Admin > Tools > Anayltics and add a new analytics account (select Ptengine and paste in your profile ID). That's it.

Let us know what you think.


January 2015
January 2015
Personal Property Pages from the MLS IDX Feed
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In order to display your properties as a beautiful brochure, we always recommend entering your properties manually into our property tool. That lets you upload gorgeous full screen images, videos, and special information to create a compelling "Single Property Website" for each property. You can even assign a unique domain or friendly URL to each property. Another advantage of uploading your own properties is that you can keep a long list of your sold properties, as a portfolio (and include exclusive pocket listings).

However, if you are too busy to take the 5 minutes necessary to maintain a list of your own, you can enter your official Agent License Number to create a Property page that shows all your properties that are available on the MLS.

This is easy to accomplish by creating an MLS Property Page. When defining the filter for MLS Property Page there are two fields:

  • Listing Agent License (represented the seller)
  • Selling Agent License (represented the buyer)

If you want all properties you had anything part in selling, put a your Agent License Number in both fields, and select the property sale status you want, e.g. Active, Pending and Sold.

If you only want the properties where you were the one representing the seller, only enter the license in the "Listing Agent License" field.

If you want to show all the properties for more than one license number, you can separate them with a comma (e.g. for an office or multiple partners).

NOTE: By default the property page at least requires that enter a "Location" (e.g. city, county, zip, neighborhood, etc). But if you enter an agent license number in either of these fields, a location is not required.

This makes it super easy to instantly launch a Realtor website that is populated with all your properties!


January 2015
January 2015
MLS_IDX_Feed_Neighborhood_Search_Filter
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We've updated the Real Estate property search for MLS IDX feeds, so that if the MLS provides the information, you can now search by neighborhoods in the normal "Location" field. That means the location field is smart enough to parse searches for:

 

  • City
  • County
  • Zip Code
  • Neighborhood (e.g. Haight Ashbury)
  • Street Address
  • Street Name

 

For convenience, the Neighborhoods auto-complete as you type any portion of the name (to make sure you spell them right), just like city and county have always done.

We've also added a few other new fields to allow more granular property searches for MLS IDX feeds, e.g. horse property, pets allowed, stories, etc.


September 2014
September 2014
shellshock-bug
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For those that pay attention to security issues, we were alerted to the "Shellshock" vulnerability on thursday (9/25/14) and we applied the security update to our server as soon as it became available. So our servers are secure from this vulnerability.

This is a huge security event. The bug allows anyone to issue any commands as the Apache web server user (with their permissions). Within a couple hours of the announcement, commercial servers and personal computers around the world were already being scanned for this vulnerability and infected with malware to scan for other computers and do who knows what else. The good news is that with Open Source software there is a huge community of geeks that find these vulnerabilities and report them so the development teams can issue patches. So if server administrators respond quickly it is easy to fix.

[UPDATE: 09/29/14]

We applied new security patches that were released for related vulnerabilities.


September 2014
September 2014
Stripe_Pricing
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We've just completed a fantastic new upgrade to our online store, which allows you to setup an ecommerce store and instantly accept credit cards without any additional monthly credit card processing fees. This is facilitated through Stripe, a refreshing new service that acts as the merchant account and payment gateway, all in one, which accepts payments from all the major credit cards with no additional hassle. You can create a new account instantly and have your store up and running in minutes.

Traditionally you would have to establish a relationship with a bank merchant service, and then setup a third party payment gateway at Authorize.net. Each of these costed hundreds of dollars in application and setup fees, and $35+ per month in service fees, statement fees, etc. This made setting up a store or accepting donations not cost effective unless you were doing large volumes of sales.

But now, with Stripe, setup is instant and free, and there are no monthly costs. The processing rate is a flat 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, which happens to also be cheaper than most traditional bank merchant accounts. It's a win win for everyone.

Stripe also has web and mobile payment options for accepting credit cards as a mobile point of sale tool, and can power marketplaces to facilitate payment between buyers and sellers.

So if you want to sell your products, or accept donations for your non-profit, wait no longer. If you have a Gutensite Pro account, the store is already included for free, or you can add on the store to your existing site. Then create an account at Stripe, and copy/paste your secret key into your new store (we'll help) and that's it. Call or email us with any questions.


September 2014
September 2014
 
 
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We have updated our multimedia players to rely solely on the browser's built in HTML5 player. This ensures greater compatibility across all browsers and devices, desktop or mobile, and less glitches.

Long Time Coming

This is a move we initiated several years ago, but at the time we were unable to fully transition to an HTML5 only-player because not all browsers support the HTML5 audio and video tags. What also complicated the transition is that not all browsers support the same media formats. For example, Firefox still doesn't support the most common video format MP4 (H.268), due to license restrictions.

Video Player

Since there is no single video format supported by all browsers, a couple of years ago we changed the video feature of our CMS to require an embed code from Youtube, Vimeo or any other online video service. This allowed you to upload the video file to one of those services, and then those services kindly create multiple versions of the file for every different format and different playback qualities that will work on every device. They also have multi-million dollar product development budgets that allow them to create sophisticated video players that can detect your browser's capabilities and serve the best video. And you don't have to pay for the bandwidth! Since video is their entire business, they do it much better than we ever could, and overall this was a much better solution.

In order to ensure support for older clients who previously used FLV video (the previous standard flash player format), we do still provide the old Flash player to ensure these videos still play on browsers that support Flash. But it's highly recommended to upgrade these videos to Youtube embed code, so they are viewable on all devices.

WARNING!

There is a possibility that you may have uploaded MP4 videos before we made the transition to video embed codes. The problem with this, as mentioned above, is that Firefox does not support MP4. That is why we require you to use embed code for video in the first place, because the old Flash player is not compatible with mobile devices. So in order for your videos to be viewed on all browsers, you need to use embed video from a service like Youtube.

So you should check the videos on your website, and make sure they are using a third party player embed code like Youtube or Vimeo. If they aren't, you will want to upload those videos to Youtube and get the embed code, then update the multimedia record on Gutensite. Otherwise, the videos will not play on Firefox browsers. If you don't have the original video, you should be able to download the video from the Gutensite CMS Multimedia List page, and then upload that file to Youtube. And then copy the embed code from there.

Audio Player

Audio files are much easier since MP3 is supported across all browsers, and all HTML5 compatible browsers can play MP3s in their native browser.

Let Us Know

We are sorry that this is complicated and inconvenient for some, but it is just the reality of contantly changing and incompatible standards that make up the internet. We do our best to provide you with the best solutions that will work for the maximum amount of visitors. And that will inevitably meant that older formats that worked a few years ago, may no longer work.

If you notice problems, other than the Firefox MP4 video issue, please let us know ASAP.


September 2014
September 2014
MLS-Mobile-Example
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Great news, we've updated the MLS pages to be more beautiful and optimized for viewing on mobile browsers!

We are excited to announce that we have redesigned all the MLS pages so that they have a fresh look that is beautiful and also optimized to look and work great on Mobile devices. There are still the same options to display the properties in a grid, list or map view, and all display beautifully on Mobile devices. And we have added larger photos for MLSs that have HD images, a much nicer slideshow, and many other great enhancements.

Samples

To see a live example of the new designs, visit an MLS list page on the new Alain Pinel Investment Group website in San Francisco or a property details page on the Gullixons website in Menlo Park.

When Will These Updates Happen?

Because we believe this is an improvement for all Realtors, we will automatically upgrade the default MLS pages to this new design in two weeks, on October 2.

But you can opt out if you don't want your MLS pages to be responsive on mobile devices. Just let us know ASAP.

Will My Website Be Effected?

The MLS pages on your website will only change to the new mobile responsive versions if you have a mobile responsive website design (e.g. one of our new free designs or a newer custom design that was created within the last year). If your website is not yet responsive for mobile devices (test it on your phone if you aren't sure), you can convert to use one of our free templates or request that we redesign or reinstall your current design so that it is responsive.

The MLS pages on your website will not change if you have customized your MLS pages in the past. After the switch, if you aren't seeing the new Mobile Responsive designs and you want them, you will need to request that we switch you back to our core files instead of your custom files. Then you will get the new designs. If you need more customizations at that point, we can do anything you need.

If you already have a responsive design, but you do not want the new MLS design, you must notify us in the next 2 weeks and we can create custom files for you, using the old design. But you should be aware that any pages that aren't responsive, will look bad on mobile devices. So we highly recommend you accept this beneficial upgrade.

If you have any questions, please call or email and we would love to help.


August 2014
August 2014
Automated Website Duplication
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One of our new agency partners is working in a very specific niche to provide fitness clubs with a bundled package which includes a Gutensite website that is carefully integrated with another common third party industry platform. This integration requires a lot of expertise and work to setup on a case by case basis, so he turned to Gutensite to help him automate the process of setting up new websites in an efficient and scalable way so he can serve hundreds and even thousands of clients.

Fortunately we already have a great automated setup process. When someone creates a new website, they select an "emphasis" (e.g. business, church, realtor, health & fitness, etc) and we are able to prepopulate their new website with default menu structure and content that makes sense for that type of website. This is really helpful so that new users aren't overwhelmed and forced to start from scratch. It's easier to edit an existing structure than to try to figure out where to even begin.

We're happy to announce that now our design and agency partners can also create their own master websites and custom niche emphasis. These will show up on their custom sign up page, and when new sites are created for their custom emphasis, the website will be duplicated from the partner's custom master website template.

Along with the existing ability to create custom design templates for their clients, Gutensite really helps save our partners a lot of work setting up new websites. Our goal is to streamline the workflow so our partners can serve more clients and be more profitable.


August 2014
August 2014
Calendar_Event_Map
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We've released a great new feature for the calendar which lets you turn on a map that sits above the calendar or event list. The map shows the location of each event. The markers are clickable and will either open up the event details in a popup window or go directly to the event details page. This is particularly useful if you have several events spread across the community and you want to help people find the gather that is closest to them (e.g. community groups).

This feature is activated by turning on the "Display Map" option on the calendar category, and then simply entering an address for each event. Any events that do not have an address will obviously not appear on the page.