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July 2015
July 2015
 
 
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You may have heard that Google recently updated it's ReCaptcha spam filtering plugin to be more user friendly.

Their ReCaptcha plugin is meant to be a "Turing Test" to determine if the entity filling out your forms is a real human or a computer "spambot". And in a stroke of genius, Google used that opportunity (all those human eyes and brains answering the question) to scan and interpret old books (or streetview addresses) with hard to read words and numbers that their "reading" software couldn't figure out.

Unfortunately (and amazingly) computers have advanced to a point where they were better at reading the obscure text than humans, solving the puzzles with 99.8% accuracy. Whereas humans can only solve the image problems about 70% of the time and the audio problems 31% of the time.

So Google improved their ReCaptcha system to be better at stopping robots and also easier for humans. For most people, now you just have to check a box! At worst, if Google can't tell who you are, you'll be asked to click on images of kittens or other easily identified things.

We're glad to announce that we've integrated the new ReCaptcha into our forms. Head over to our contact form and drop us a note to try it out!

This change is automatic if your website is accessed through your preview domain, e.g. foobar.gutensite.net. But unfortunately, unlike the previous plugin, the new ReCaptcha plugin only works with an API key that specifies the exact domains that it works on. So you'll have to fill out a form to get your own API key, and enter it in your Gutensite control panel.

Getting an API Key

  1. To create an API key, go to Google's ReCaptcha admin page and create a new API.
  2. Enter the domains that this Key is valid for.
  3. Copy your "Site Key" (public) and "Secret Key" (private).

Adding your Google ReCaptcha

  1. Login to your Gutensite Admin
  2. Go to Admin > Tools > Third Party Settings
  3. Find the section for Google ReCaptcha and Paste in your Public and Secret key into the right fields and save.

July 2015
July 2015
 
 
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As we continue developing the next 2.0 version of our platform, there are a lot of features we wish we had all along in 1.0. In general, we are trying to spend all our time developing 2.0, but if the features are easy to implement we've try to add some basic version of them to 1.0 as well.

One of the new features that is really important in 2.0 is the ability to visually select the layout of your page, from a lot of beautiful alternative layout options. For example, you may want your content showing up in list page design that looks like a landing page with slideshow and modules, or in a 1, 2 or 3 column image grid, or a text list, or in a calendar, or on a map, etc. Or you may want your profile to have a large photo across the top of the page versus a smaller photo embedded on the right. You'll have that flexibility.

For 1.0, we have just added is the ability to select a few alternative layouts on some of the popular content types.

Now for Profiles, you can select the standard layout or a Two Column Grid. For Properties, you can select One, Two, or Three Column Grid.

When an alternative layout is available, you will see it under the "Page Settings" tab on the edit page. Usually this will be for "category" pages, but some content types may have this option (e.g. the "Basic Pages" has had this alternative layout for a while).

Additional layouts can be made by you (or your designer) through the Design Files section. Or our design team can create something custom for you, if you need some alternative layouts for special purposes.

This can really give your website a flexibility to display content just the way you want. Happy Layouting!


July 2015
July 2015
 
 
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We've launched two additional new free design templates called "Fantôme" and "Sken", which are described by our designer as:

Polished and sexy with an epic full-width slideshow and a home page profile area that places your profile image and contact info front and center.

These two templates are similiar, except the Sken is light while the Fantôme is dark.

These new designs are fully responsive and mobile friendly, with a collapsable side menu drawer that hides the menu and slides out on smaller devices. There are also nice touches of CSS animations and transitions that give the site a polished UI.

To experience the new designs, definitely click around the Fantôme Demo site as well as the Sken Demo site and view the different color themes for each.

Maybe you'll consider upgrading your own website to this new beautiful free template if you need a refresh and want a design that is really engaging.


June 2015
June 2015
 
 
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We have designed a bunch of new free and limited edition design templates that we're rolling out over the next few weeks. Checkout our Design page for a list of new designs that are available or coming soon.

First to be released is the our "Bild" template. This is characterized as:

An engaging, investigative news style design with a full-width slideshow. Primarily black & white with small powerful color accents.

But a picture is worth a thousand words, so look at the demo site and click around the options.

This is our first template with a floating menu. And of course it features a lot of nice CSS animation touches to make the links and buttons come alive.

If you haven't updated your website design in a while, or if you are still using a custom design that isn't mobile friendly and "Responsive", consider updating to this new free design.


June 2015
June 2015
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Great news, Google Maps now provides border outlines of cities and neighborhoods. We've converted the maps on our community detail pages (where this is most relevant) to show the borders. We hope you like it!

For those of you interested in embedding maps on other pages, Google has a great tool for this.


May 2015
May 2015
Server-Upgrade
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Over the past few weeks we have upgraded our entire server infrastructure to new, faster, more powerful machines, solid state drives, more CPU and RAM and upgraded software. That means faster web servers, database servers and new load balancers. These changes should improve performance for your website and also give us more flexibility to scale and respond to future server failure scenarios.

To take full advantage of these changes we require 5 minutes of work on your part. We need you to point your Domain's DNS to a new IP address. This is urgent because we will be phasing out the old servers as soon as possible.

Below are some instructions, which can also be found in your control panel: Support > Domain & DNS.

 

How are we already helping?

If are subscribed to Gutensite’s Premium Domain & DNS Management, you don’t need to do anything. Your domain DNS has already been updated and your domain is now pointing to the new updated servers. You can confirm if you are subscribed to this service by looking at your subscriptions list in your control panel, click on: Admin > Billing Info > Subscriptions.

If you control your own Domain DNS, you will need to login to your Domain Registrar (where you purchased your domain, e.g. godaddy.com) and update your DNS to point to the new load balancer IP. You can either do this the Easy or the Expert way, depending on if you want to update the dns in the future. And remember, you pay them a yearly fee for support, so ask them to help if you have any problems. If you still can’t figure it out, ask us to subscribe you to our Premium Domain & DNS Management service and we’ll take care of all the details.

 

Migration Deadline

The old servers and IP addresses will be deactivated on Wednesday, July 1.

 

Instructions

Select which DNS setup you want, based on how much control you want over your DNS and whether you want to make these changes again in the future.

Easy DNS

Type

Name

Data

A

yourdomain.com

96.126.120.54

CNAME

www.yourdomain.com

yourname.gutensite.net

If the IP of your server changes, we will update our DNS and your domain will keep working. This works because instead of pointing the A record for your basic domain to your server IP directly, you will point the A record to the fixed IP address for our "www" forwarder (which will redirect domain.com to www.domain.com). All traffic to www.domain.com is controlled by the CNAME, record which points to your preview domain (e.g. yourname.gutensite.net). And since we control the DNS for your preview domain, we can keep that updated if your server IP changes. NOTE: this option is only available for websites whose primary domain uses the “www” subdomain.

 

Expert DNS

Type

Name

Data

A

yourdomain.com

104.130.145.55

CNAME

www.yourdomain.com

yourdomain.com

If the IP of our servers change, you will have to update the DNS records. This is the “recommended” setup, but it requires more manual work on your part.


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.