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Content auto-linking for better SEO and increased conversions

Links are one of the core elements of the web. Links within body content are not only good for user experience, but also for SEO, engagement, and conversion. As we read, for example, a sports article, there might be links on the athlete names pointing to their biography pages. Or, when reading an author's bibliography, the book titles contained therein might be linked to the book pages. Adding and maintaining such in-body links can be very time-consuming; systems that auto-link the text can be a great help for content publishers.

Saved searches

Saved searches and e-mail alerts in eZ Publish

A powerful addition a normal site search is for registered users to be able to save their searches, share the searches with others, and create customized e-mail alerts. This adds a deeper level of interactivity with the site and encourages users to regularly return to the site.


Building employee training quizzes with eZ Publish

We recently added "quiz" functionality to eZ Publish by extending the eZ Survey extension. The purpose of this functionality is to enable companies to create "on-boarding" quizzes for new hires to learn about company policies and benefits.  This was part of a larger intranet implementation.

Selecting multiple eZ Tags

New features in eZ Tags: tag reordering and tree menu

The eZ Tags extension by Netgen is a great solution to the problems of managing large or ad hoc taxonomies. It especially solves problems around editorial user experience. 

Recently, Mugo has added a bunch of improvements to the extension. This post talks about 2: allowing users to reorder tags by assigning priorities, and to select tags from a tree menu.

NextBus SMS

SMS services still deserve attention despite the rise of smart phone apps

Countless presentations are made daily about the ubiquity of smart phones and the new, groundbreaking uses of smart phone apps. However, in many cases, humble text message services can be more useful and efficient.

Disqus comments

Integrating Disqus comments onto an eZ Publish website

Disqus is one of the most popular third-party commenting tools that can be integrated onto your website. There are a few special considerations when implementing Disqus onto a website where an article might have multiple locations and/or the article's URL might change. In this post, we'll walk you through a basic but robust implementation within an eZ Publish site.


Running contests within a content management system to engage visitors

Rasmussen Reports runs a contest where visitors have to guess what an upcoming public opinion poll result will be.  Participants get points depending on how close they are to the actual result.  A new question is asked every week, making for a fun, recurring way for visitors to interact with site content. Here's how we developed the contest on top of an eZ Publish extension called eZ Survey.

Laptop editing

10 ways to improve editors' lives in eZ Publish

Optimizing the editorial experience in a Content Management System is a continuously evolving task. The challenge is to make the CMS an enabling tool to help editors publish content as efficiently as possible. In many organizations, specific requirements at each publishing step can be complex and dynamic. Here are 10 built-in tricks, ways to extend the interfaces, and ready-made custom extensions to unleash the power of eZ Publish content management.


Keeping URL clean aliases

I noticed a while ago on a client's website about Canadian books that some of the book nodes would have their url_alias broken and the url /content/view/full/<node_id> would be shown instead of the nice url. Running the updateniceurls.php would not solve the problem so I had a look at it and tried to see what could cause the problem and realized that the two tables ezcontentobject_tree (containing the node information) and ezurlalias_ml (containing the url_alias path parts) had different data for the same node.


Fixed positioning of page elements while scrolling

We recently implemented two different designs where the menu remained fixed to the edge of the screen as the user scrolled. One case involved vertical scrolling and the other involved horizontal scrolling. Each had a subtle challenge and both were fun to work on!


eZ Flow case study: landing page for Rasmussen Reports Election 2012

For many media sites, news changes fast, and the timely updating of content is key. Landing pages are the main information funnel, and it is important for editors to be able to update the content shown on landing pages as easily as possible. Where relevant, content should also update itself. The Rasmussen Reports Election 2012 page is one such example, where we've empowered editors to make content and layout changes in a graphical user interface, without having to contact a web developer. In this article, we will show you how various areas of the Election 2012 page are updated using the eZ Flow extension for eZ Publish.


Read Local map: user interface design and optimization

Recently, we built a map interface for The 49th Shelf's Read Local: The 100-Mile Book Diet website project using the Google Maps API. The website is an online book community focused on Canadian books. Users can visit the map section to find Canadian books by geographic location, and they can also pin books on the map, selecting locations that are meaningful to the books in some way. 

Allowing anybody to participate in the evolution of the Read Local map means that we have to pay particular attention to the "Add a Book" user experience. If the user experience is intuitive and pleasant, people will be much more willing (and able) to pin a book and help make the map more useful and fun. On the other hand, a confusing interface can hamper the accuracy of the pin data (in the case where books are pinned in the wrong location) and turn people off from participating.

Here's a look at two main considerations regarding user interface design and optimization in the "Add a Book" workflow.