Sneak Peek: Interspire Website Publisher 5.0 (Coming Soon)

Hi everyone. I thought I’d take some time to blog about the new features in the upcoming release of Interspire Website Publisher 5.0. We’ve been working on version 5.0 since March 2008 and it’s easily the biggest upgrade we’ve ever worked on.

Most of the core engine has been rebuilt from the ground up, the entire system is modular and if you thought design mode was great you’ll love the new features we have that allow you to create and position items on your website.

Content Types

Content types allow you to create your own forms with configurable fields. Of course there are built-in content types such as articles, blogs and news, but you can use the drag and drop designer to create as many content types as you like, each with their own tabs, field groups and fields.

Creating Content

You can choose from one of the built-in content types (which are of course fully customizable) or you can create your own. In the screenshot above I’m creating a new blog post from the “blog” content type I created above. Notice the fields and tabs are exactly the same?

If you look closely you’ll notice that we’re now using TinyMCE as our default WYSIWYG editor. After testing all of the commercial and open source WYSIWYG editors we felt that TinyMCE had the best performance, the best support for customizations, undo/redo, etc.

Uploading and Managing Images

The built-in image manager is separate from the WYSIWYG editor and includes a nifty flash component which allows you to upload multiple images at once. As you can see above, images are listed in grid format and can easily be renamed just by clicking on the name.

Menus and Lists

Menus and lists allow you to easily create a group of items (such as a list of web pages or recent press releases) and position them anywhere on your website. You can choose one of the default positions (such as “on the left of my website”) or you can customize the exact location of the menu/list using the new and improved design mode.

In this example I’ve created a list which contains the 10 latest blog posts. I’ve also created another list which contains the top 20 most recent posts from an RSS feed:

Design Mode

Now that I have two lists, I can use design mode to place them on my web site. In the example above I’m editing the layout of my home page. I’ve selected a 3 column layout for the home page but I can just as easily change it to a 1 or 2 column layout.

Notice the list of available “blocks” down the left of the page? I can simply drag and drop them onto any page on my website. If a specific section of my site is locked (notice the padlocks in the screenshot) then it will inherit the layout of the master template, which is also editable.

Modules

As I mentioned earlier, everything in the upcoming release is modular. As you can see above, the modules section allows you to toggle and configure specific modules such as podcasts and attachments. You can even write your own modules if you know PHP.

New Templates

Of course along with a new release there are new templates. The new templates only contain 1 HTML file – no more panels or snippets. Anyone can customize an existing website design to work with the new version in about 20 minutes. If you’re a designer then I’m sure you’ll appreciate this.

Conclusion

So there you have it – a quick overview of what to expect in the upcoming release of Interspire Website Publisher 5.0. Of course I’ve only skimmed the surface with the features I’ve mentioned above, and we will be releasing a sneak peek video in a few weeks to show off the other new features. We’re in final testing stages at the moment and we’re hoping to have a release for you soon.

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50 Responses to “Sneak Peek: Interspire Website Publisher 5.0 (Coming Soon)”

  1. Daniel says:

    Hey Mitchell, this is exciting — I'm really looking forward to this release! I've worked with various CMSes with varying degrees of success, and it's always been a dream of mine to have a CMS built in the extremely usable Interspire style!

    I've got a few big questions that I'm hoping you can answer for me about this upcoming product:

    1) Can you create different "views" for custom content types? In other words, if I create a custom content type called an "Event", can I control how these are displayed in an "Event listing" module (summaries) and how they are displayed in a full page view of the event (including CSS styles and positioning for each field of the content)?

    2) Can the form fields that are created for custom content types be filled in with HTML that is rendered upon display (instead of shown as just text)? Example: a custom "blog entry" content type has a "body" field. Can this field include <p> tags, <br> tags, <span> tags and even <img> and <embed> tags to show images or Flash content inline when a user views the piece of content (blog entry)?

    3) Is there any way of setting relationships between pieces of content or content types? For example, if I want to create a custom "article" content type, and a "comment" content type, is there a way that new "comment" content instances can be associated / related with a specific "article" so that I can specify a view of the article that show related "comment" items?

    4) This is probably possible if question 3 above is implemented, but is it possible to create a module that shows, for example, a thumbnail and description of a product in my store, but specifically a product that is related to the particular content item being displayed?

    5) Will this include a user / security / permission system, so that different users can log in to my site and have access to different content and can have editing rights on certain pieces of content specified by me?

    6) Any workflow system for drafting / submitting / approving content based on which content type it is?

    7) Last question – what's your guesstimate of what percentage of the functionality of a CMS product like Plone, Drupal or Joomla the new Website Publisher will cover? 70, 80%?

    Thanks very much – please let us know if you need any beta testers ;)

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Daniel. Let me give a very quick reply to some of your questions:

      1) Yes

      2) Yes

      3) Yes – comments are a module and you can drag and drop them onto your content type when creating it so they will be related.

      5) Yes – version 5.0 has the most powerful permissions system out of any CMS available – open source or commercial. There is a full allow/deny and inherited permissions system.

      6) Yes

  2. Looking good, like a lot of users i have been eagerly awaiting this release.

    Can you clarify one thing:
    The current version only supports two levels of categories, will the version support more? If not please add this feature, its can

  3. Looking good, like a lot of users i have been eagerly awaiting this release.

    Can you clarify one thing:
    The current version only supports two levels of categories, will the version support more? If not please add this feature, its can

  4. Akash says:

    I’m still holding my breath… Kepp up the good work guys!

    Can’t wait for the release now. :)

  5. Jeff says:

    This looks like its going to be fantastic! Really looking forward to seeing more!

  6. Interested Party says:

    Looks nice. If we have an existing homne page, and do not want to use Website Publisher for that home page, will we be able to pull content from Website Publisher onto that page?

  7. Guilherme says:

    Wow! This is pretty much what I was looking for in a CMS… When do you guess it’ll be ready? Will there be any price changes relative to current pricing?

    Thanks

  8. Batsirai says:

    Jackpot! Will there be media (audio/video) content types too?
    eg some resident mp3/video player – or a place we can place an embed code from a video site – youtube, etc.

    Fantastic – will we be able to upgrade – given the core is so different…

    By the way our church site (http://www.theembassyofgod.com) built on IWP is won a design & function award…

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Batsirai. Yes, you can embed any type of Flash/media (YouTube, etc) and the podcast module makes it easy to publish podcasts on your site, through iTunes, etc.

      • Batsirai says:

        Sorry – I meant – will you have a player that comes with IWP?
        With the new content types – will it be a straight upgrade or will we need to do a bit of work to upgrade? Or perhaps a way of exporting content form version 4 – and importing it into v5 – mapping fields to the new content categories.

  9. Pete says:

    I must say this looks fantastic – the ultimate flexibility with the custom content types and really flexible menus to boot.

    What would make the menus that bit better (if it’s not already been implemented) is an option to make them expanding javascript menus, so they fly out when rolled over. Also, with menus created from content types, the ability to drag and drop menu items to change the order instead of having to sort on page ID or page title as in the example above would provide yet more flexibility.

    Really looking forward to those custom content types.

    Any hints as to the type of licenses that will be available? Are you carrying on with the single-user and 5-user licenses? Also, do you have an idea of costs yet? And, of course, any hint of a release date would be appreciated even if it’s very rough.

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Pete,

      Menus are fully expandable using JavaScript and can be positioned anywhere on any page of the website.

  10. Sola says:

    Mitchell, thanks for this. Can you give us an idea of upcoming changes to the commenting system? Right now, responses to specific comments get a tad confusing. And the system does not retain whatever formatting you input. No paragraphing whatsoever. I love IWP, but as I have said in the Help area, I have articles with more than 100s of comments. A 500 page comment page goes on forever. Will the comments be broken into pages or something that works? Thanks.

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Sola. The commenting system is threaded, retains formatting and is configurable on a per-visitor basis as well. I'll be posting more as soon as we're closer to a beta.

  11. Jurgen says:

    Wow! I’m REALLY looking forward to this! The best features are the custom content types, and leaving the bloated panels/snippets structure that currently makes customizing a nightmare. Great stuff!

    Questions:
    1. Will it be possible to create custom forms, or will there only be the default contact form?
    2. Will there be a GD image resampling feature? You know clients: they upload their multi MB pics straight from their cameras, and don’t have a clue about resizing first. It would be nice to let the script resample them (not just visually resizing) and delete the originals after uploading.
    3. Can you post more info and a picture of the way the content items lists and category lists are set up in the admin? I mean what’s now the article and category list. The current positioning system with priority numbers is awkward. I hope it will be replaced by drag/drop.
    4. Will categories (or content containers) actually hold their content items in the admin, in a tree menu? Or will it still be a long unsorted list with their container name as a column. That’s not very handy when you have hundreds of articles.

  12. Jurgen says:

    Another question: can the dimensions of the fields and buttons that you create be customized? I mean for example the WYSIWYG editor field in the picture above is very small. There is enough empty space around is to let it be much bigger.

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Jurgen. It's TinyMCE so you can just grab the "hook" at the bottom right hand corner and drag it to be as big as you like.

      • Jurgen says:

        Hi Mitchell, thanks for the reply, but would you mind responding to my 4 questions in the post just above this one as well? The same goes for the question by “Godfather” below, about an easy way of linking to internal pages. Thanks in advance!

  13. Been waiting for this from you guys – Just in time as i was about to launch offering SEO'd websites to small businesses using WP 2.7.

    I have a number of clients using IWP is there any way to upgrade them using their current designs?

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Jonathan. Version 5 has a fully modular import wizard. Initially you will be able to import from version 4.5 and below, however over time we will add support for WordPress, Joomla, etc.

      • sisay says:

        Hi Mitchell Harper, would you add b2evo in the import wizard modular support just like wordpress and joomla? as I have a 2 year worth work of b2evo article archive. I would love to buy the new V5.0 interspire website publisher if you do so?

        • Mitchell Harper says:

          This will be coming ASAP after the first release – importing from WordPress, Joomla, etc is already on our list.

  14. i've had to come back as the sheer weight of this has just hit me like a ton of bricks and I want to make sure I'm getting this. Mitchell – Let's say I sell cars and need a category with a specific layout and specific fields, can I now just creat a new name like Cars For Sale and then assign price, type, model etc. as fields to fill in for this type of information?

    If that's the case – this is a dream come true as the variations are just mind-boggling.

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Exactly. We have re-engineered everything from the ground up to work across as many scenarios as possible. During initial IA and UI mockups we had about 10 sites in mind that version 5 could be used for – and we built features with the idea that in the end all 5 sites should be able to run on version 5 – and they can. Possibilities are infinite.

  15. Godfather says:

    Hey Mitch!

    This looks outstanding, thanks for the sneak peak!

    I have two major questions:

    1) Regarding upgrades from version 4 to version 5, will that be relatively seamless? All client content (pages, articles, configuration) will transfer over?

    2) The #1 nagging "problem" my clients have with version 4, is that there is no easy way within the Link Manager, to create links to other internal web pages. The only way seems to be by manually pasting the URL, which is a challenge for some users (as they have to first locate the internal page by way of Site Map). Please tell me there will be a way to point-and-click for internal linking (as there were in previous versions of Website Publisher/WebEdit).

    Thanks!

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Upgrading is a simple matter of using the import wizard which is identical to how it works in Interspire Shopping Cart – choose the software to import from, type in the URL of your existing site, click next and import everything or only certain things such as blog posts and/or comments.

      • Godfather says:

        Thanks Mitch. Any thoughts regarding my #2 question, referring to internal page linking? Or maybe I wasn't explaining myself very clearly?

        Also: How in the world do you manage to get so much done each day, Mitch?! You are everywhere, man!

        • Mitchell Harper says:

          You will be able to link to internal resources, sure. I'm not really everywhere – I just have a massive team here and in our Austin and London offices who do all the hard work :)

  16. Roy says:

    Hey guys this is going to be awesome!

    I have a suggestion that will make this thing ROCK REALLY BIG with SERIOUS Internet Marketers.
    Allow, at least Home Page A/B Test that will tie into Googles A/B test system. That would be a serious addition that will get a lot of attention, like I say with serious marketers.

    Looking forward to the release and trying it out.

  17. Murry says:

    Awesome, I've been waiting for this to happen and am quite excited yet worried at the same time. Excited with the new features and system and worried about the upgrade process, if the links will still the same etc… I'm quite sure I'm not the only one, but I have promoted my site quite a bit and wonder if I can upgrade with some ease. My question is, will this be the system from now onwards because my website crashed when I did a 1.0+ upgrade and it was devastating. I couldn't find anyone to upgrade the system and had to reinstall.

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Murry. An upgrade wizard is built right into the new control panel. You just specify where your current website is, and it does the rest – including importing all articles, blogs, images, comments, etc, so no need to worry – we've got you covered.

  18. Uri says:

    Hi Mitchell,

    I would love to see integration with Gallery 2 or 3 and a forum system, perhaps Vanilla.

    This will take IWP to the next level.

    Thanks
    Uri

  19. Let me join in the fun, if you want spanish translations let me know.

  20. Marthus says:

    Hey guys!! What can I say except for WOW!!

    I would just like to know…

    1. Would you be able to restrict access to certain pages or areas of a site based on a selected user groups, and….

    2. Could you maybe include a way that you can hook up a payment system where users first pay/subscribe to your site before viewing the member’s area?

    (It would be appreciated if you could make it easy to add any type of payment gateway, and not just some service like paypal, as we in South Africa can not provide payment with paypal for our clients. Would this be possible?)

    3. Is it maybe possible to add easy dowloadable files to areas of one’s site with the new version?

    Looking forward to it…!

  21. Doug says:

    Can you integrate the new Web Site software with the Interspire Shopping Cart system?

  22. Angus Macdonald says:

    Realistically, whats the ETA on this? also, would it be possible to accommodate commercial adverts in the side column for example. I mean can they be classed as a content type? Some companies want to pay us for advertising.

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Angus. That's easily possible. There are "content blocks" which you can place anywhere – they can contain text, HTML, images, JavaScript etc – so you can run AdSense, OpenAds, etc.

  23. Praveen says:

    Wow!! i cant wait for this release :)

    btw, will the current templates work fine? or we need to change the templates?

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Praveen. There's a new, one page template design for version 5 so the current templates wont work. Having said that, it would only take 1-2 hours to create a version 5.0 template from ANY design.

      During development I was adamant on templates only being one single HTML file and the IWP team came through. I'm sure you'll appreciate how easy it is to create new templates.

  24. Tony Jansson says:

    Hi Mitch, i was planing to buy version 4.0 but now im waiting for 5.0 instead. How long is it left for the release? And please answer this question: In version 4.0 the news have one colums like this:

    Article1
    Article2
    Article3
    Article4,

    But i wonder if the new version can have 2 colums like this:

    Article1 Article2
    Article3 Article4.

    Im planing to build a newssite, and need more content on the wide.

    Tony=)

    • Mitchell Harper says:

      Hi Tony. In version 5.0 you will be able to customize the number of columns on the page for a particular content type (such as news) so that should help you there.

      No release date yet. We're in the testing stage at the moment and want to put out the best product we can, so it will be released when it's as close to rock solid as we can get it.

  25. Tim Daviss says:

    No more panels or snippets and a single HTML file for a template is a god sent. The custom content types, menus and granular permissions are unique to Interspire – I’ve used a lot of CMSs and haven’t found them anywhere. All of my clients are moving to version 5!!

  26. Sola says:

    I’m so impressed with the flexibility of this version, and the total control over the commenting system. And it looks like there is much more to come, based on the modules concept. Good work.

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