It's time to pay tribute to the innovators.
In the past year, there have been hundreds of blogs and forum posts from developers and designers on ways to solve various technical issues, but this time I wanted to highlight improvements for the user experience.
These are tweaks that make the UI cleaner, more intuitive and more powerful, for the editors working with content.
In fact, Episerver would be wise to adopt many of these right into the core product.
The following are some of the top improvements from the past year.
MenuPin by David Knipe
Every time you enter Edit or Admin mode, the Episerver global pull-down menu auto-hides into the top of the page. Clicking that tiny little button to pull it down is a chore (and near impossible on smaller screens!). Don't you wish that little sucker would just stay expanded? David's MenuPin tweak takes care of that for you.
Update: MenuPin was added as a core feature in CMS UI 11.1.0.
Disabling the "Create new block" option by Grzegorz Wiecheć
Within a Content Area, by default Episerver allows editors to drag-n-drop certain content, or create a new block directly (which will end up in the "for this page" folder.) Sometimes though, we don't want editors creating blocks left and right. Grzegorz dives into the Dojo necessary to disable it.
Thumbnail for image properties by Ted Nyberg
Whenever you're picking image assets for a page property, only the image file name is shown as the property value. For editors working on large, image-heavy sites, telling images apart by names alone can get difficult. Images are a visual thing, so why not show a thumbnail to ensure the correct image was picked? Ted's got your back.
Customize "suggested page/block types" by Alf Nilsson
Ever wished you could get rid of that "suggested content types" list when creating new content? The suggestions are picked from which types are set as available in code, and which types have been recently used in that part of the page tree, but sometimes they are just plain annoying and in the way. Alf has found a way to present smarter suggestions - or disable the list entirely if you wish.
Return 404 instead of login for expired pages by Dejan Caric
When a published page in Episerver has an expiration date, that page becomes unpublished for anonymous visitors. It's still available within Episerver, but viewing it now requires an editor login. This can be annoying for visitors and search spiders, as it doesn't correctly mark the content as "no longer available". Dejan remedies this by intercepting requests to expired pages and returning a proper 404.
Update: 404 on expired content was added as a core feature in CMS Core 10.0.1.
While many of these tweaks are used in production sites with no problem, you should always verify their stability for your own sites in a test environment. These are not official add-ons - they often require development and adaptations for your specific needs, many override core functionality in Episerver CMS, and may stop working in a future Episerver update. Contact the individual developers for any support questions.