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New Features: Add Cells and Rows, Change Cell Types

Dec 5, 2019 8:00:00 AM

The Church360° Unite team is excited to announce some big changes to the Edit Page experience. Not only has the Rich Text Editor been upgraded, but we are introducing the ability to add rows and cells, as well as the option to switch the type of cells to change the type of content that is displayed.

Add Rows and Cells

When we first introduced Church360° Unite, we included six page layouts with up to four cells. Over the years, we've heard feedback that our users would like more options, but there was no consistency in the layouts that were requested. Rather than try to find layouts that we think would work best, we've built it so that you can create your own.

Now when you are in Edit Page, you will see "+" buttons to the top, right, and bottom of a row. By clicking on these buttons, you can add a row above or below that row or add additional cells to the row from the right. You can add as many rows as you would like and up to four cells per row.

You can also drag and drop cells from one row to another, just make sure there is no more than three cells already in the new row.

With these changes come some changes to the side panel:

  • The old layouts have been removed.
  • The Save button is now Publish.
  • The Cancel button has not been replaced with Reset.
  • To close the tray users will now use the "x" at the upper right.

Change Cell Types

Previously, Church360° had one type of cell for all purposes: rich text. Now, in addition to an improved rich text experience, users can also choose Carousel, Feed, and Calendar.

Improved Rich Text Editor

The new rich text editor is similar to the previous one but will work better with today's browsers and has added layers of security to prevent bad code from breaking your site. 

Since a single click will now cause a cell to be selected to drag to another row, we've added an Edit button to each rich text cell. By clicking this button in the top right corner, it allows you access to edit the contents of that cell.

In addition to some better options for inputting pictures (watch the video to see more), you still have all the common options that were previously available. The one exception is Source, which would let you view the source code of a cell.

This new editor cleans up the code in a way that makes it more readable and efficient for browsers, so the code is protected from editing. However, if you would like to add code to a cell, you may still do so by adding a block of code as a cell element.

When you have edited a cell but not yet published the changes, there will be an orange dot in the top right corner to indicate there are unpublished changes. 

Carousel

One of the most requested features is the ability to add rotating images to your site. The new Carousel cell type now makes this an option!

To change the cell type from Rich Text to Carousel, click the setting cog in the top right corner of a cell, click "Edit Cell Type," and when given the option, select "Carousel." Then click change. Please note that this will delete any contents of the cell that already exist. You are now ready to edit your Carousel cell.

  1. Click the Edit button.
  2. Choose if you want the images to auto-advance and if so, for how long.
  3. Choose the height of your carousel. It's best to select the height of the tallest image and utilizing images of the same size is always a good practice.
  4. Click Add Image, then Select to begin selecting your first image.
  5. Select an existing image or upload a new one. After selecting an image, always click "Add."
  6. Choose a Heading and Caption to overlay on the image or leave blank.
  7. If the image should link to another page, click the checkbox next to "Linkable?" If you wish to link to an internal page, select Unite Page and select which page; if you wish to link to an external page, select URL and type in the full URL (include the http://)
  8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 with as many images as you would like.
  9. Click Save, then Publish the page.

Your cell will now display the banners with handles on each side for switching to the next or previous image.

Feed

The Feed cell type allows you to display a list of posts from a feed.

To change the cell type from Rich Text to Feed, click the setting cog in the top right corner of a cell, click "Edit Cell Type," and when given the option, select "Feed." Then click change. Please note that this will delete any contents of the cell that already exist. You're now ready to edit your Feed cell.

  1. Click the Edit button.
  2. Select your desired Feed.
  3. Type the number of posts you wish to show.
  4. If you would like to show the Feed title, select that checkbox.
  5. Click Save, then Publish the page.

Your cell with now display a listing with links to the most recent feed posts from the selected feed.

Calendar

The Calendar cell type is like the Feed cell type, but it allows you to display a list of events from a calendar or multiple calendars.

To change the cell type from Rich Text to Feed, click the setting cog in the top right corner of a cell, click "Edit Cell Type," and when given the option, select "Calendar." Then click change. Please note that this will delete any contents of the cell that already exist.  You're now ready to edit your Calendar cell.

  1. Click the Edit button.
  2. Select which calendars you would like to display. Please note that your calendars must be set to be visible for Users or Everyone in order for them to be options on the list.
  3. Click Save, then Publish the page.

Your cell will now display the events the current week, including date, time, location, calendar, and of course, title.


We hope you enjoy these changes! If you have any questions about this new feature, please contact our software support team at support@cts.cph.org or (800) 346-6120.

Peter Frank

Written by Peter Frank

Peter Frank serves at Concordia Publishing House as the Senior Manager of Marketing Technology, which includes leading Concordia Technology Solutions (CTS), the church management software division. A graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin, his background in theology, business, and computers gives him a unique perspective on technology in the church. Married and the father of two children, he is frequently humbled when his young children teach him something new about technology.