16 01, 2018

Hannon Hill Introduces an Accessibility Plugin

By | 2018-01-18T12:24:14+00:00 January 16th, 2018|Categories: Beacon News, Cascade CMS|Tags: , , |

As if security and dependability were not reason enough to use Hannon Hill’s Cascade CMS, its newest, innovative plugin makes it a must for Higher Ed, business and content creators of all kinds.

Teaming with Siteimprove, Hannon Hill has introduced a great new plugin that checks for content and accessibility issues as part of the editing process. Unique to Cascade 8.7, it is a significant step forward as the user can identify and correct accessibility issues as soon as the page is published (and before your legal team hears from unhappy site users).

This new plugin makes it easier for content creators and editors to add and check new content with greater efficiency. In addition to accessibility issues, the new plugin also cross-checks spelling, broken links, SEO and more. It’s a comprehensive plugin that one should never have to do without.

In conjunction with Hannon Hill’s Accessibility Webinar, this new plugin gives you everything you need to stay on top of your content issues – especially for those who have had to grapple with vague and hard to find accessibility issues. The aforementioned webinar, scheduled for Feb 8, emphasizes the front end of the process including key maintenance strategies, planning for new site elements and considering accessibility in everything you do. Sign up HERE.

For Cascade users, it’s Christmas in January thanks to Hannon Hill and Siteimprove.

29 08, 2017

CMS Super Powers: Top 5 Underused Features in Cascade

By | 2017-08-28T09:30:55+00:00 August 29th, 2017|Categories: Cascade CMS|Tags: , |

Superheroes possess super powers that enable them to do the unimaginable with speed and precision. Similarly, the Cascade Server CMS enables it’s users to do things that other content management systems cannot. In both cases, these unique, underused or underappreciated features warrant further examination.

Accordingly, I’ve created a list of Cascade Server “super powers”. These features that are often overlooked but can give unworldly abilities to the Cascade users who possess them.

Personalized Dashboards

Judge performance at a glance thanks to a dashboard with widgets that can be re-arranged and/or removed to suit your informational needs. Your dashboard can include Google Analytics performance metrics, too. Within this dashboard, you can view Pageviews and Unique Visitors without having to enter a GA account. There are widgets for History and a Link Checker, New and Stale Content, just to name a few. Many of the features below can be reviewed through Cascade’s personalized dashboard.

Superhero equivalent: Arm Fall Off Boy (DC Comics). A superhero from the 30th century, Arm Fall Off Boy can rearrange and/or remove his arms. He can even use them as weapons. Never has there been a more malleable superhero. Kinda like our dashboard.

Stale Content

Within hundreds of website pages, it is so easy to lose track of old content that requires updating. Located under the dashboard, the stale content feature enables one to find stale content and change it so as to ensure a better user experience. The administrator can set defaults that specify folder, time lapse, etc.

Superhero equivalent: Diaper Man (Terrytoons). An animated superhero conceived by legendary animator Ralph Bakshi, this superhero uses his bottle to bludgeon bad guys into submission. He’ll never grow old, much like your website content if you’re in Cascade.

Content Review

With the Content Review feature, one can send new content to a colleague for review in advance of the scheduled publish date. An email goes out to the specified party while the article is still in draft. The recipient just clicks the link, reads, reviews and responds. Catastrophe avoided.

Superhero equivalent: Doorman. (Marvel Comics). Doorman is a living portal. However, he can only travel to adjacent rooms. If you need to reach your colleague in the office next door, then he’s your man.

Remove Formatting

This feature is part of the Cascade WYSIWYG. MS Word doesn’t translate well into HTML, yet many people prefer to do their drafts in this format. Remove Formatting to the rescue! With a click of a button, it translates any out of date or inaccurate code into the correct HTML code.

Superhero equivalent: Type Face (Marvel Comics). With his sidekick SpellCheck, Type Face defeats the bad guys by hurling letters a them. He’s a living, breathing WYSIWYG.

Saved History

Your entire session history is saved so you can easily navigate from one page to another, edit and migrate content. History is saved between logins so you can easily pick up where you left off before you were so rudely interrupted by whatever super-villains lurk within your office space.

Superhero equivalent: Martian Manhunter (DC Comics). An original member of the Justice League of America, Martian Manhunter had an eidetic memory.

As a long standing partner of Hannon Hill, we’ve got more experience with the Cascade CMS than just about anyone. If you’re searching for a content management solution and want to talk about what Beacon and Cascade Server can do for you and your organization, feel free to contact me with your questions or comments. If it’s urgent, pick up the phone and call one of our Cascade experts at 855.447.8276.

And remember. With great power comes even greater responsibility.

10 02, 2015

Cascade Server Help and Training Resources

By | 2017-08-07T16:00:13+00:00 February 10th, 2015|Categories: Cascade CMS|Tags: , , |

Those that have worked with Beacon Technologies on Cascade Server projects know that our experienced staff is available for “as needed” content management help through our Preferred Client Services department as well as for customized training sessions and user manuals specific to the site designed for your organization. However, did you know that Hannon Hill, the developers of Cascade server, also offer a wide variety of training and help resources? Here are a few that you might find helpful:

Hope you find these resources helpful and please add your own in the comments below!

7 10, 2011

Designing Your Navigation

By | 2017-08-11T16:26:34+00:00 October 7th, 2011|Categories: Cascade CMS|Tags: , , , , , |

Cascade ServerHere’s a very nice article about website navigation from our partners over at Hannon Hill, the developers of our preferred content management system Cascade ServerDesigning Your Navigation – Hannon Hill Corp.

I’ll also add a content matrix template that I use to record a site’s current and redesigned structure during the analysis phase of the project, before development begins.  There are two tabs in the spreadsheet– one for “current site” and one for “redesigned site.”  The redesigned site is pretty self-explanatory, but the current site information is often neglected in anticipation of starting the new project.  While it may seem superfluous to annotate a site that will be redesigned, documenting the current site ensures that no sections are “lost” during the transition (note that unless the current site map is maintained dynamically, these are rarely kept up to date).

I have seen time and time again that the success of a redesign can often be determined in the first few weeks of a project by how carefully the site is cataloged in advance.  As Kat notes so well in her article:

I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to map out the structure of your website prior to designing the navigation, especially if you are implementing one of the most powerful capabilities of a content management system, namely content reuse in the form of dynamic navigation.

Happy mapping!