Blog items tagged with "file-manager"
I've worked with Exponent CMS in a variety of roles since 2007, from being merely a user/customer of OIC Group, Inc., to becoming a project manager for OIC Group, and now as a SEO consultant for my own business in Atlanta.
While Exponent CMS doesn't have the community following of Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, etc., I've had experience with all of these top CMS platforms, but Exponent is always the one I come back to.
In terms of SEO friendliness, Wordpress has several plugins that work quite well for optimizing websites, but what I love about Exponent CMS is that the markup is highly flexible and all of the SEO tools needed for to optimize your website are built in – no plugins necessary.
Over the last several weeks, I've been working with the lead developers on the Exponent CMS project – Phillip Ball and David Leffler – on enhancements to the CMS that make Exponent even more SEO friendly than it already was. In the coming weeks, we'll be adding even more features that I personally believe will make Exponent the most search engine friendly CMS platform in the open source marketplace.
So, aside from being able to control basic Meta Data on a page by page basis, what are some of the other built-in SEO friendly features of Exponent CMS?
When you're working with a CMS that allows for dynamic content publication and display, you're going to run into problems with long, nasty URL strings that include parameters for views, actions and sources that aren't friendly for either users or search engines.
Such is the case with most of the dynamic content modules within Exponent CMS such as news, portfolio, blog, ecommerce, etc. Luckily for SEO enthusiasts such as myself, Exponent has built in an awesome feature called Router Maps that allows you to clean up that nasty URL strings with a cleaner, more search engine friendly version of the URL.
For example, the dynamic blog module URL below is performing the “Show All By Tag” action, where a user can view every blog post that is labeled with that specific tag. The Exponent CMS site will dynamically pull up and display each of these posts, which is essential functionality for a blog, but as you can see the URL isn't exactly user friendly:
By configuring the Router Map function in your Exponent theme folder with the appropriate rule, you can change that nasty URL to a cleaner one such as this:
Flexible URL Structures
Since SEF (Search Engine Friendly) URLs were integrated into Exponent in 2007, they've evolved to become more and more flexible for SEOs.
The benefit of SEF URLs, aside from being easy for users to read, is that SEOs can craft custom optimized URLs with keyword inclusion to make their clients' websites more friendly for organic search.
Exponent allows administrators to assign a variety of URL extensions to their SEF URL field such as .html, .php, .htm, etc., based on their preference.
Historically, all pages within Exponent CMS would display URLs at the root level.
Recently though in Exponent's 2.2.0 stable release, the SEF URL field has become even more flexible. The system now allows for nested URL structures that are preferred by some SEO consultants that allow URLs to look like this:
The flexibility of how SEOs can execute their URLs within our system makes Exponent a very powerful platform for websites focused on SEO and search engine placement.
Another new feature added in the 2.2.0 stable release is support for Rel=Canonical URLs on a page by page basis.
For SEOs dealing with large websites that have potential duplicate content issues (having the same exact content appearing in multiple places on your website, or if your site is receiving syndicated content), the Rel=Canonical tag configuration allows SEOs the ability to easily assign credit to a preferred source URL in the event that duplicate content needs to be avoided.
Rel=Canonical tag fields have been integrated throughout the system in the page manager configurations, and in specific dynamic module types such as Exponent's news, portfolio, blog, and ecommerce modules.
File Manager Image Meta Data
The final feature that makes Exponent CMS a SEO friendly CMS that I'll discuss in this post is related to Exponent's file manager and attachable files functionality.
Certain modules within the system utilize “attachable files” functionality to display images in certain views/layouts.
For example, Exponent's ecommerce, blog, portfolio, and news modules use attachable image files to display images related to that product/portfolio piece/post:
The SEO friendly feature related to this functionality is how the image is optimized for organic search engine value.
Rather than simply inserting image files into the WYSIWYG editor for display on the website as you would using a text module, you can assign your Image Alt Text and Image Title tags for attachable files within Exponent CMS' file manager.
So as you've optimized your attachable file, your image Alt text and Title tags will show up in the HTML markup just as if you had inserted your image into a WYSIWYG editor and optimized the image that way:
Future Exponent CMS SEO Friendly Feature Enhancements
As the CMS continues to evolve, I've made it my personal mission to ensure that we work in every SEO friendly feature possible into Exponent CMS.
In future releases, we'll be working on such enhancements as allowing administrators to configure “No Index, No Follow” type robots tags on a page and post level.
We also plan to enhance the Exponent CMS tagging system so administrators will be able to assign unique SEO friendly meta data on a tag by tag basis, as well as add link title attributes to the Exponent CMS link manager module configuration.
If one thing is for certain as we continue to make Exponent CMS more and more Search Engine Friendly, it's that our system is incredibly powerful and its future is very bright.
About the author
Chris Everett is a contributor to the Exponent CMS project.
Chris is a search engine marketing consultant based in Atlanta, Georgia, and he's the founder of the Captivate Search Marketing SEO Company.
To learn more about the SEO friendly features of Exponent CMS, feel free to connect with Chris on Google+.
As a general rule of thumb, any images that will be placed into text modules should be resized using an external image editing program such as Microsoft Picture Manager or Picasa before it is uploaded to the Exponent CMS File Manager.
Resizing your images to the exact pixel dimensions that they will appear on the website helps:
- Reduce the amount of time it takes to upload the image to the File Manager
- Optimize loading time for the page the image(s) is on
- Control the amount of disk space and bandwidth that is being used by the website
Example Image that Needs Resized
The image below is a prime example of an image that should have been resized before it was uploaded to the File Manager and inserted into the text module. The image looks slightly distorted and hangs over the side nearly into the next content module beside it.
By right clicking on the image and selecting “View Image” the image will open up in a new tab and show the actual size of the image.
As you can see in the image above, is the actual size of the image is substantially larger (1085px wide by 695 px tall in reality) than how it appears in the text box that is only 273px wide. This image should have been resized to 273px wide by 185px tall.
To properly resize the image you must first open it up in your picture editing software. For the purposes of this Blog Tip, I'm using Microsoft Picture Manager.
Once you've opened the image in Picture Manager, select the “Edit Picture” button at the top of the editor.
After you've selected “Edit Pictures,” on the right side you can select to “Resize” the image.
Once you select "Resize" on the right hand column, you have the option to type in the new pixel dimension size that you want for the image, or you can reduce the image size by percentage until you reach the dimensions that fit the space that your image will be placed in.
Once your image has reached the desired size, you can choose to save over the existing image or save a new smaller version of the image.
Once you've re-saved your image to the size it needs to be on the website, you can then upload it to the Exponent CMS File Manager and place it onto the site. Read more on uploading files to the Exponent CMS File Manager.
As you can see below, the new resized image is crisper and no longer hangs outside of the boundaries of the text module. Read more on Inserting Images into Text Modules.
This is the proper way to manage images on your Exponent CMS website!
To insert an image from the Exponent CMS File Manager into a Text module, you must first click the edit icon on the text module to begin editing the module.
Once you've clicked the edit icon, you will be directed to Exponent's text editor:
To insert an image into a text module, you must first place your cursor before the sentence in which you want the photo to flow.
Once you've selected where in the text you want the image to flow, you can then go and select the image you want by clicking on the Insert/Edit Image button in the text editor tool bar.
Once you've clicked the Insert/Edit Image button, you will be prompted with an Insert/Edit Image dialogue box. To select the image you want to insert into the module, you must then click the “Browse Server” button.
After you click the “Browse Server” Button, the Exponent CMS File Manager will open, allowing you to navigate to the image you want to insert (Read more information on how to upload new files to the Exponent CMS File Manager):
To select the image you wish to insert into the text module, you must find the image in the File Manager and then click on the Green arrow next to the image underneath the “Actions” Column of the File Manager:
After you've selected your image, the Exponent CMS File Manager will automatically close and your image will be inserted into the Insert/Edit Image dialogue box where you can select positioning, linking and padding for your image as well as giving your image an Alternative text title:
The Image properties dialogue box also has two tabs called "Links" and "Advanced" where you have other image configuration options. If you want to embed a link into the image, click on the "Link" tab. Here you can define the URL you'd like to link to and also determine whether that link should open up into a new window.
On the Advanced tab, you have the option to type in a pre-determined CSS style class for your image such as "border" if there has been a CSS style sheet created that puts a border around your images. Here you can also add an Advisory title for the search engines to let them know what the image is that's being displayed.
Once you've finished configuring your image, click the “OK” button. You will now see the image pop into your text editor in the position you've defined:
After you've clicked save, you're all done! Your image has successfully been inserted into the module and will appear on the page:
The first in our series of my How To tutorials for Site Administrators starts with the process of how to upload files to the file manager on an Exponent CMS website.
To get started, the Exponent CMS administrative tool bar at the top of the page has a tab called “Files”
If you click on “Files” you have two options. If you want to immediately upload files to the file server, you can select “Upload Files”. The other option is to select the “File Manager” button which allows you to view all the files on the file server in the File Manager.
If you've selected to view all of the files and clicked the “File Manager” option, you can see a paginated listing of all the files on your site's file server.
The Exponent file manager gives you the option of being able to search for a particular file based on keywords. For example, if you are looking for a particular file on the server and you know that it has the word “presentation” in it then you can type in “presentation” into the search box and the file manager will filter all files that have the word “presentation” in the file name or in the Meta Title or Alt Text Title of the file.
If you want to upload new files to the file server, there is a button in the upper right hand corner of the File Manager that says “Upload Files” ... You can also access the “Upload Files” page by selecting “Upload Files from the administration tool bar as well.
Once you've selected “Upload Files” you must select the files from your computer that you wish to upload to the file server. To do this click on the “Select Files” button in the upper right corner of the “Upload Files” page.
Once you've clicked on the “Select Files” button you will be given a dialogue box to navigate to the files you want to upload on your computer's Desktop. From there, you can select as many files as you want to upload. In the Exponent CMS 2.0 codeline, you're no longer limited to uploading just one file at a time! Click “Open” once you're done selecting your files.
Once you've selected your files, you will now see them listed in the files queue to be uploaded. To finish uploading the files, now click on “Upload Files” in the upper right hand corner.
Once your files are done uploading, all of the bars underneath “Upload progress” will be red.
And now you know how to upload new images, PDFs and word documents to your Exponent CMS website!