LightCMS Rolls Out New Design Editor

LightCMS Design Editor

Announced a few days ago, LightCMS has now begun to roll out its new Design Editor. The new tool aims to make design customization accessible to non-technical users through a what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface.

The design editor lets users change background colors and borders, font weights and sizes, as well as margin and padding settings.

For designers, LightCMS promises full code access, FTP access and the ability to code designs from scratch using standard HTML, CSS and JavaScript technologies. Designers can download the source code for any of LightCMSs standard designs, and use those as a starting point for their creations.

Quick Review

It takes a couple of steps to get to the design editor. We need to click on Design, then Make changes to an existing design, in the next screen we click the design we want to modify, and finally click on Edit.
A supersmooth animation slides a panel in on the left-side of the screen, which lists all available editing options.

LightCMS Design Editor screenshot

Designs in LightCMS are based on templates for certain types of pages. Most designs have a Home and an Inside design, used for the site homepage and inside pages respectively. When we load the editor, the appropriate template for the current page is preselected. We can switch templates from a pull-down menu at the top of the editor panel.
Each page has a set of Styles that can be selected from a pull-down menu immediately below the template menu.

Each style has a set of properties, which can be different from style to style. In most cases they include Background color, font size and typeface settings for titles, headings and body content, and individual color settings for titles, headings, body and footer text.

While this level of granularity gives great flexibility, it also makes it hard to maintain a uniform look across different blocks of content and different page templates. Lots of properties will have to be set multiple times and the chances of ending up with slight variations between different styles are not imaginable.
We found the lack of a way to copy, paste or clone entire styles inside the new design editor also somewhat limiting.

While LightCMSs new design editor scores high on ‘look and feel’, it does somewhat less when it comes to hard functionality. The options for customization are somewhat limited and, frankly, LightCMS is far not the first hosted sitebuilder platform to offer this level of design customization.

If these options are all you need, then the LightCMS design editor is a pleasure to work with.

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