gpEasy CMS Review 2.4

gpEasy 2.3 & 2.4 are more of a progressive evolution than what we've seen with the major changes in the 2.x series. Much has been refined in gpEasy CSM 2.4. With major changes coming to the plugin management system. A couple minor features that users might enjoy are hierarchical permalinks and the ability to rename special pages.

The only "shocker" for me in 2.4 is found in how gpEasy now names files. Previously files were named as the page slug. This was problematic with certain languages and was limiting certain features. Therefore, Josh (gpEasy's developer) chose to encrypt file names. Now to locate a file within gpEasy's data folder you will first need to go to the page manager and look at the new "file info" when you click on a page. There you will see "data index." That will tell you the ending of the file name. However, all previous files created pre 2.4 will still have their original file names unless you change the file name via the rename/details by changing the label or page slug in gpEasy 2.4.

All in all the changes aren't drastic but they have helped refine gpEasy to be an even more flexible, easier to user, very fast, and a very stable CMS.

While many changes in 2.3 and 2.4 may not be obvious on the front end they are significant and upgrading is highly recommended.

2.0 2.1 2.2 2.x Review

It's taken me a while to get around to playing with gpEasy 2.x. There's a few big changes in 2.x. The three most notable are inline WYSIWYG editing, multiple "sections" in the content area of a page, and the revamped page manager that allow for multiple custome menus.

You can now add multiple unique menus very easily, editing of pages is very seamless, and the new sections for content area add a whole host of new abilities and functionality not to mention ease of use.

All in all gpEasy CMS 2.0 makes a very big leap forward for usability, flexibility, and ease of use. Certainly one of the top CMS you can find!

After working on this site to change it over to gpEasy 2.1 and moving the many gallery pages into sections I've found that I really like the new sections feature a lot. It makes creating complex pages much easier.

The upload manager for images is also a big plus. Now you can batch upload as many images as you like--a great time saver for me.

Inline editing is definitely a big plus especially for anyone that is making pages that need to have a very specific look. Now you don't have to save, view the page, make adjustments, etc. Just edit and you will see almost exactly what you will get. It may be a couple pixels off but it's very close.

All in all I'm really liking 2.1. I've looked at a lot of flat file CMS out there and I don't think there's another one that comes close to gpEasy now.

Of course there are a few bugs to be ironed out, as always happens with major changes. Bugs usually get fixed very very quickly in gpEasy.

gpEasy 2.1 is a must have for anyone creating small to medium sites imo.

What's new in gpEasy 2.0 & 2.1

  • True inline WYSIWYG editing
  • Multiple page "sections" including Custom Content Types
    • Editable Text
    • Image Gallery
    • File Include
      • Include other gpEasy page within a section in a page.
      • Include gadgets from plugins that you want to run only on that page--PHP gadget is available.
      • The old File Inclusion still works if you want that.
  • Multiple custom menus => unlimited flexibility with menus.
  • Improved upload manager => easy batch uploading.
  • Server side combine & compress JavaScript & CSS files for faster sites.
  • Install plugins & themes directly from gpEasy.com

 

1.7 Reviewed

gpEasy v1.7 beta should be out any day now, and it looks like the features are pretty well set now final has been released. So, I figured it's as good a time as any to write up a little review on what's to come with gpEasy 1.7.

First, if you haven't figured out that I like gpEasy then you aren't looking around this site very much. I started playing with gpEasy at version 1.6.3. That version was uber simple to use; however, it lacked certain features that I needed, specifically features that would allow me to move form WordPress to gpEasy such as the ability to define the page slug. After all no one wants a bunch of broken links or dead links coming into their site. Luckily, soon after I started getting to know gpEasy the first alpha version of 1.7 was released and it was clear that the features I needed were coming soon. Since then I've been playing with the 1.7 alpha versions and even running a couple sites with them. I've moved from WordPress to gpEasy and I'm very happy I did. For me gpEasy has gotten me back to actually working on my site. With WordPress I just ignored it.

So, what got me hooked with gpEasy in the first place? The ease of use! Not just the ease of use for managing a web site but for developing themes and site maintenance. After setting gpEasy up on a local install and synchronizing it with my server life is great working with gpEasy. All my work is done on my local install on my computer--no slow connections or crashes when the server has a hiccup, my site is always backed-up right on my computer, it's uber easy to change servers, move sites, etc. and synchronizing between my local install and the server with WinSCP is a snap. A lot of that's due to one simple reason, gpEasy doesn't use a database. Everything is contained in a handful of folder at ~ two megabits.

The first few times working with gpEasy was a little odd. It took me a little time to get accustomed to the admin pages but after that everything just flows, and now I'm actually spending time working on my site and that's what a CMS is for.

What's new in gpEasy 1.7

The soon to be released gpEasy CMS 1.7 will introduce several major enhancement ranging from a new way of handling themes and layouts to custom menus and SEO features.

Custom Menus

A major feature addition in gpEasy 1.7 is the custom menus. You can now specify how you want a menu to display. For example, I want only links below level one and above level 3 and I want them expanding below level one. Basically, you can have the menu of your desires. Furthermore, this feature also introduces the ability to separate menus, like what you see on this site. You can now have a different menu for one theme than you have on another; however, this isn't a true "multiple menus" feature. It basically allows you to section off your menu into groups thus, like what you see on this site I have different menus for each "group" or "mini site" that I have. If you haven't noticed this just check out the main links at the top of the page. You will see what I'm talking about.

Theme Layouts

gpEasy CMS 1.7 changes the way themes are handled. Now you can add a single theme to the "layouts" as many times as you wish. What this does is, it allows one theme to act as multiple themes. This site takes advantage of that feature. There are several "mini web sites" within the trueacu.com domain; however, each one looks somewhat different but really they are the same theme just with different layouts applied. The new layouts lets you rearrange "extra areas" such as the header, side menu, side bar content, footer, etc. . . thus you can make an infinite number of layouts with one or more themes.

Just as in previous gpEasy versions you can apply a theme, or rather layout, on a per page basis. In this way you can customize any page with different headers, footers, sidebar areas, etc. . . This is a very flexible feature and only your imagination will limit you.

Missing Links & 404 Error

1.7 adds a much needed built in redirection system and a proper 404 error page. Called the "missing links" in the admin pages, gpEasy CMS 1.7 no allows users to add redirections for pages that no longer exist. It will automatically add a redirection for pages when you change their name/page slug if you check a little box on the rename dialog. You also have a customizable 404 error page.

SEO

Up till 1.7 gpEasy lacked a little in SEO ability. Now you will have all the SEO features you need to optimize your site and pages. The new version introduces custom setting on a per page basis for page slug, title tags, keywords, descriptions, menu text, and "pretty" permalinks. Everything you need to have full control over SEO and the way your navigation menus look.

Auto Complete Links

A new plugin has been added to the HTML editor, CKEditor. The plugin allows you to search your gpEasy pages and automatically completes the relative link. This is a great addition to the HTML editor.

Other Features

gpEasy still retains features from past revisions. Nothing has been lost, only gained. It's still based on the WYSIWYG principle, ease of use, drag n drop, fast, and simple to figure out, built in gallery manager and HTML editor. While gpEasy is still a very young project it's coming of age rather quickly. There are plugins to utilize gpEasy for multiple sites with one installation, a simple blog plugin for those who wish to tag on a simple easy to use blog onto their site; however, gpEasy's current strength is in managing "static" web sites. Sites like what you see here at trueacu.com. Nonetheless, for those looking for a simple easy to use CMS I highly recommend giving gpEasy a try. I checked out a lot of them and this one leads the pack.

Checkout the gpEasy Tutorials to learn how to get gpEasy going and read the gpEasy CMS page to learn more about the particulars of gpEasy and to find resources.
 

gpEasy B2sq Theme by CS @True Acupuncture