Several people wrote in concerning a recent development where sites are loading without text when viewed in the latest release of Google Chrome (v33). We've been researching the issue and it appears a recent "fix", as noted in this post from Typekit, is now causing this separate but related issue. From what we gather the issue has been resolved in their latest Canary builds (beta versions of the browser), so a fix for the standard version of the browser should be released soon. The only way to avoid this bug currently is to change the typefaces your site is using from a webfont to a system-based font like Helvetica, Lucida Grande, Arial, etc, which may be selected through your theme's settings. We'll update this post when we hear anything more or see an update released.
Providing a storefront to download themes, plugins and other items has been part of our development plan for Koken since the beginning, for we believe a great publishing platform isn't defined by the core application alone but the variety of ways the application can be extended and enhanced to meet the needs of all types of users.
We will soon be taking our first steps toward realizing that goal by launching the Koken Store, a marketplace that will serve as an important backbone for all our future expansion efforts. The store will launch with new and existing items developed by us, but will expand later this year to include items created by third parties as well.
We could have developed your average e-commerce site and called it a day, but you deserve better. Koken Store will include these key features:
Built into Koken - The store will be accessible through all installations of Koken. Click "Store" in the main navigation and an entirely new section will appear for you to browse all the themes, plugins and add-ons the store offers.
Themes and plugins install automatically - Put down that FTP client! Store themes and plugins will automatically download and install to your Koken installation. No mess, no fuss.
Convenient updates - You're busy enough. Last thing you need is to keep track of when an update for a theme or plugin is available. Koken Store will provide a dedicated Updates screen displaying convenient upgrade links for anything your installation is using.
For new installations of Koken, Elementary (one of our current themes) will now be the default theme. All other themes will be available separately through the Koken Store. Existing installations of Koken will retain all themes currently installed.
At launch, Koken Store will include completely rebuilt, 2.0 versions of two of our most popular themes: Regale and Madison. Both of these themes will be separate paid themes, so you may continue using their current free versions or upgrade if interested. The current versions of all other themes — Axis, Boulevard, Chastain, Observatory and Repertoire — will remain free.
Madison has been completely redesigned from top-to-bottom. It will still have its classic fixed side column and scrollable main area, but will now incorporate a fluid layout for larger photos, optional mosaic grid content layout, side column right alignment, albums index page, splash page, lightbox overlays, plus far more customization options than before.
Regale will also be updated along similar lines to include more customization controls, a completely revamped, hand-built mosaic grid layout engine (codenamed "Pillar"), lightbox overlays (instead of individual photo pages, if you want that), customizable image loading animations and more.
Koken Store will incorporate all of the free plugins currently available for download at our Help Center plus a handful of new premium plugins:
Vimeo Import will make it possible for videos published at Vimeo to be imported to the Koken Library. You'll be able to browse, select and import videos from your Vimeo account, group them into collections, and manage them like any other Library asset. The videos are then published to your Koken site using Vimeo's HTML5 video player. Speaking of Vimeo's player, you'll also be able to modify the player's color, text, and other standard embed options.
Operating in similar fashion to the Vimeo plugin will be a new Instagram Import plugin. This plugin will...you guessed it...import your images from Instagram. You simply copy/paste the page url of the image you'd like to import and Koken will retrieve the image, copy its title and (optionally) create tags from the #hashtags in its title.
Image Protector will provide obfuscation and blocking to help prevent image copying. This will prevent browser drag-and-drop and replace the browser's right-click menu with a configurable copyright message. You'll also have the option of preventing images at or above a particular dimension from being indexed by Google Images, Bing, and Yahoo. Pinterest pinning will be configurable as well.
Another security related plugin will be Image Watermarks. This plugin will apply watermarks to all site images or only images above a particular dimension (so thumbnails aren't affected). Watermarks will scale in proportion to their target images so they'll always be the same relative size. Placement, opacity, scale, offset, and tiling will also be editable.
We're super excited about Koken Store and expect to be launching it and all the items above very soon.
Also, we should mention that it was exactly one year ago today we made the first Koken public beta available for download. We think Koken has grown and improved a great deal since, but there's always more to do. Expect to see plenty of Koken improvements and new features all year long.
Today we've released a quick console update (0.11.3) to address an issue that affected the most recent version of Google Chrome. If you were affected by it you'd know it, for Chrome would suddenly display its infamous "Aw, Snap" blue screen of death when accessing the Library. Upgrade to 0.11.3 and the snapping should cease.
This fix also resolves a responsive sizing problem with YouTube videos embedded in essays/pages. They should now scale to the full width of their container as expected.
First time upgrader? Check out these instructions.
Now available for download is an updated version of our Lightroom Publish Service plugin. Version 1.2.0 features the following improvements:
- Improved set management to avoid collection structure issues in the Library.
- Smarter asset tracking to prevent duplicate images from being created in the Library.
- "Go to published photo" link in Lightroom now goes to the image's public URL on your site.
- Tags are no longer sent with uploaded images if the metadata export option is set to anything other than "All metadata."
Out today is Koken 0.11, our latest major console update. If you have an installation of Koken, sign-in and click the Install now button at the top of the console to get the latest. Most of the themes have been updated as well, so while you're in there click over to Site > Themes to update those too.
For this release our team decided to take a couple of steps back, pop open the hood and dig deep into the core of the application. Instead of adding new features we focused all our attention on what's been developed thus far to find ways to improve and optimize. We not only improved general application performance, but also fine-tuned the app for each of the most popular web hosting providers where Koken is typically installed.
Our to-do list also contained a number of small bugs and quirky things we'd been meaning to get to, so we rolled some of those in as well. If you'd like to read all the details, or are just having a hard time falling asleep, check the release notes.
With 0.11 out the door we'll now be focusing all our attention on the launch of the Koken Store, which we'll be publishing more information about soon. We'll also be releasing a series of major console upgrades over the next few months, each containing new features and functionality.
As always, thanks to our community of users who help support and recommend Koken to their friends, clients and colleagues. If you have any questions or issues, post a question here. Happy new year!
Before everyone scatters for the December holidays we wanted to take a minute and say THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who took the time to give Koken a whirl this year. We recognize the fact that content management systems are typically not the easiest products to install and troubleshoot, not to mention the inherent learning curve of acclimating yourself to an entirely different system. It takes time, patience and personal commitment, and we're humbled by the attention, enthusiasm, and constructive feedback you've provided us with every day of every week this year. We've tried our best to reciprocate by fixing what's broken, clarifying what's confusing, and improving what's half-baked. With your help, Koken has greatly improved since the the first public beta, and we couldn't be happier with where we are today.
We had initially planned on releasing a major console update (0.11) before hitting the road, but as it happens during the holidays, plans changed. This release will include some notable under-the-hood changes to optimize Koken's performance and usability across all web hosting providers, and our team simply needs more time to test it out. You can expect to see that release sometime in early January.
Speaking of 2014, part of the reason why we've been relatively quiet the past couple of months is because outside of the CMS we've also been working on a major new initiative -- the Koken Store. We'll be sharing details with you early next year, but for now know that soon you'll have a central place to browse Koken themes, plugins, and related add-ons. We're also developing some new items to help launch the store in style, which we'll tell you more about soon!
So in closing, we've had a great year. Thousands of people from every corner of the globe have not only installed Koken to give it a look but are also actively using it every day to publish their sites. That, for us, is the greatest indicator that we're on the right track, and we can't wait to see what comes next.
All the best, and we'll see you again in 2014!
While working on some great new stuff for Koken (we'll be sharing that with you when the time is right), we're also keeping a close eye on bugs reported by our ever-growing throng of beta users. We've just published a new maintenance release that resolves many of the issues you've brought to our attention over the last few weeks. Thanks again for your diligent testing and feedback.
A new maintenance release for Koken is now available that resolves several issues reported by our fine beta testers. The main fix is a rather annoying upload issue that would cause the file browsing window to reopen several times in some cases when trying to upload.
One of the interesting bits of user feedback we received about the timeline in Koken 0.10 concerned published timestamps for Library content. As developed initially, uploaded images/videos appeared as timeline events the day they were uploaded. Or in the case of albums and sets, the day they were created. This wasn't an issue when uploading, creating and publishing content all on the same day, but some users temporarily set their Library content's visibility to Unlisted or Private to make edits before taking them live. This would cause old timestamps to be used when their Library content was published.
So in Koken 0.10.3 (out today) we've added an editable "Published" date to all Library items (albums, sets, images and videos). This date captures the day/time the selected item appeared on your public web site. Unlisted and Private content aren't public, and thus display "Not published" instead of a timestamp. Change an item's visibility from Unlisted/Private to Public at any time and the Published date reflects the current day/time.
The net result? All Library content now display accurate timestamps when appearing as timeline events.
One more timeline related change while we have your attention. We've also tweaked our timeline event filtering to be a bit smarter when it comes to images/videos added to albums. There were certain situations where uploaded images/videos would still appear as individual content events, but Koken 0.10.3 resolves this by ensuring that any image/video that is part of an album never appears as its own event. Only uploaded images/videos that aren't part of any album now appear.
New in Koken 0.10 is an "Expand" option for Pulse (our configurable slideshow component). This option allows Pulse slideshows to automatically expand and contract their height to display every image at their native aspect ratio without shrinkage.
Here's how Pulse slideshows are typically sized. By selecting 3:2 (the default), a slideshow scales 100% wide to fill its container, then assigns a height equal to the opposing ratio size. In the screenshot below, the slideshow's column is 600px wide, which creates a slideshow 600px wide by 400px high. When a 3:2 image is loaded it fills the entire area of the slideshow. Load a portrait image and the image is the same height as the landscape, but contains fewer pixels comparatively with a width of 267px and height of 400px.
Now we'll change the size to "Expand". When the portrait image loads, the slideshow expands down to display it at a height that matches the width of the initial 3:2 image. This displays the portrait image 150% larger than it was before for a new dimension of 400 x 600px.
This option can be turned on with any Pulse slideshow, but we only recommend using it on pages where the slideshow is the main feature as opposed to essays, for the expansion and contraction of the slideshow's container will cause content underneath to move downward and upward.
Photos by Mike Monaghan. Creative Commons.
The recently released Koken 0.10 includes an update to our popular Regale theme that incorporates a new full screen slideshow template. Designed to be used for site splash pages, the slideshow loads featured content from the Library and cycles through images when clicked. Here's a screenshot.
The slideshow uses our Pulse slideshow component so you can adjust its speed, duration and other properties. Simply click the slideshow's options button in Site to open its edit panel.
Speaking of settings, we created a separate set of header and footer color settings just for the splash page. That way you can change the text colors to a style that's most appropriate for your photography without affecting the rest of your site.
How to add the template
If you're a Regale user, follow these steps to make the template the front of your web site.
- Add images to "Featured content" in the Library. Arrange in whatever order you'd like.
- Click on "Add links" in the left column of Site.
- Click on the "Add" button next to the "Full screen splash page" template.
- Name the page whatever you'd like, then click "Add link".
- Hover over the new splash page link in the left column of Site, then click its options (gear) button. Select "Assign as front page".
- To then remove the page from your navigation, hover over the link again and click its options button. Select "Hide Link".
- Click the "Publish changes" button at the bottom right of Site.
If you then need to adjust the colors of the text or apply a background color to the top/bottom, open the theme's settings, click on "Template", then modify any of the settings you see in "Splash".
There you go! A new splash page of your featured content you can update anytime in the Library to update your live site.
Photo by Luis Hernandez. Creative Commons.
Koken 0.10 includes some fundamental changes to how site content is paginated and viewed when using tags and categories. Here's an overview detailing what's changed.
Let's begin with an example. The content.lens template has always served as the permalink page for individual images and videos. Its baseline url looks like this:
Include the image/video in an album and it can then be viewed with a url like this:
If the theme you are using includes the necessary template tags, content.lens would note that the image/video is being viewed in the context of an album and provide the necessary pagination to view sibling images/videos in the same album.
But what about tags and categories? In Koken 0.9 and earlier if you were viewing a content archive page (archive.content.lens) and clicked on an image/video, the baseline url (displayed above) was used. This caused context to be lost, so if you clicked on pagination links (eg, "Previous", "Next") in content.lens you'd no longer be viewing images/videos within the tag or category that originally brought you there.
Koken 0.10 rectifies this by ensuring that all individual assets don't lose their context. So now instead of the baseline content url, navigating to an individual image/video through an archive page now looks something like this:
Click on pagination links in content.lens and you'd then see more images/videos within
So if content can be accessed through more than one url, how do you keep search engines from indexing each url and generating duplicate links? We've taken care of that by automatically publishing "canonical" link tags in any theme you choose. Example:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://kokensite.com/content/image-title/">
What these tags do is instruct search engines to always use a particular url when indexing a page. Other urls pointing to the same content are ignored. That ensures not only cleaner search results for your site but also prevents broken links should an image/video be removed from an album, tag or category.
Essays and albums
We've only talked about images and videos, so what about individual essays and albums? The answer is yes — we've extended the same linking behavior to them too so you may browse sibling albums and essays assigned the same cateogy or tag.
So there you have it. At the end of the day our goal was to ensure that tag and category queries were just as powerful as albums for deeper, more contextual archives of content.
Koken was designed for creatives to publish their work and words under the same roof. The platform publishes images and videos, images and videos grouped into albums, albums grouped into sets, and essays and pages to capture the written word. Each content type has its own particular section of a published site.
But what about browsing everything together? A page on your site where visitors can see everything you've published recently, together, without any extra work on your part?
That's the idea behind Timeline, a new template type in Koken 0.10 that displays your latest albums, album updates, essays, and uploaded images/videos on a single page. Everything you publish is folded together and intelligently grouped by day.
There are four actions that publish events on the timeline:
- A new image/video is uploaded.
- A new public album is created.
- An older public album is updated with new images/videos.
- A new essay is published.
Here's a example screenshot of the timeline displaying each event published across a series of days.
Multiple events in a single day
When more than one event transpires in a single day Koken checks the events to see if any are related. If they are, Koken excludes redundant events for a cleaner timeline. Here are the scenarios where this would occur within a single day:
Event 1: A new image or video is uploaded.
Event 2: A new public album is created incorporating image or video from Event 1.
Published: Event 2
Event 1: A new image or video is uploaded.
Event 2: A new essay is published that incorporates the image or video from Event 1 as its featured image.
Published: Event 2
Event 1: A new public album of content is created.
Event 2: A new essay is published with the album from Event 1 assigned as its topic.
Published: Event 2
Featured albums, content and essays
If an album, image/video or essay is marked as featured, that content "sticks" to the top of the timeline day. That way a site visitor sees at the beginning of each day the content you feel is most important. Theme designers can detect whether content is featured inside timeline events and make style changes if they'd like to. Here's a simple example from Elementary's timeline template that assigns a star to featured events.
The timeline development offered the perfect opportunity for us to begin testing a new Lens template component — Mosaic. Mosaic is a responsive grid that displays cropped images across a series of configurable rows and columns. The gutter is also configurable, allowing you to insert however much negative space you need (or none at all) between each image. Mosaic sizes itself automatically and adapts to mobile screen sizes just like you'd expect it to.
If there aren't enough images to fill the number of assigned columns and rows, Mosaic increases the width of the remaining cells so images always appear flush. All of the themes that incorporate the timeline view (see below) use Mosaic to present new albums and album updates. Our plan is to eventually wrap it up as a single Lens template tag, similar to our Pulse slideshow component.
The default themes that currently use the timeline include Elementary, Observatory, Madison and Repertoire. Elementary has the most extensive timeline implementation with the timeline plus archive pages for browsing all content by date, tag and category. Going forward we plan on using the Timeline view more prominently in new themes while also expanding its publishing capabilities.
Updating your site
If you are using one of the aforementioned themes for your site, click on "Add Links" in the left column of Site. Scroll down until you see the "Timeline" template, then click "Add". Everything you've published since you first started using Koken will appear.
Timeline also has its own RSS feed, so you can use it with syndication services or however you want. Add "Timeline RSS" through "Add links" to get the URL.
If you're a designer and would like to incorporate timeline templates into your theme, check out our updated theme design tutorial. It includes a new page that shows how to incorporate timeline.lens plus the optional date.lens, tag.lens and category.lens templates should you decide you want an archive.
Mosaic photos by Luis Hernandez. Portrait images by Mike Monaghan. Creative Commons.
Koken continues to push forward with the release of Koken 0.10 — an update that introduces lots of new features and improvements. We teased these already in our sneak preview, but here's a quick list of what's in the bag.
- Timeline — New template and data source that displays a unified stream of your latest albums, essays and individual images and videos.
- Content browsing by tag/category — Albums, essays, images and videos may now be paginated and browsed within the context of a tag or category.
- Featured essay images from Vimeo, Flickr, Instagram and more — Insert a video or image from outside of Koken's Library and a featured essay image will be created and assigned for you.
- Updatable plugins — Official plugins now remotely update just like themes and the console.
- Drafts for published essays — Edits to published essays may now be saved as drafts.
- Independent content filter — Display Library uploads that aren't in an album.
- Pulse slideshows that expand/collapse - Pulse can now expand and collapse its height to display slideshow content at their native dimensions.
- Splash slideshow template for Regale - Displays a full screen slideshow of your featured images.
For a detailed list of everything (and we mean everything) changed in Koken 0.10, check out the release notes. Expect a series of follow-up posts that take a closer look at some of the new features in this release.
Koken 0.10 will be our next major console update. Scheduled to drop in early September, this release will incorporate a bunch of great new features. Here's a few highlights you can expect to see soon.
Timeline new — Timeline is a new Lens template that displays your latest images/videos, albums, and essays in a unified stream. Create a new album, publish an essay, upload an image, or add content to an album created a month ago — each action automatically publishes a Timeline event so visitors may browse everything that's new on a single page.
Below is a Timeline example from the Elementary theme. Visitors may click on the album, image or essay for a closer look.
Improved site browsing by tag and category new — Koken 0.10 will also add new Lens templates for Tags and Categories. This will include index pages that list them all, plus detail pages where site visitors may view all content — images/videos, albums and essays — that are assigned a particular tag or category. We're also greatly improving content browsing within tags and categories so that context is always retained.
Featured essay images from Vimeo, Flickr, Instagram and more new — Featured essay images were a new feature in Koken 0.9. Koken 0.10 will take them a step further by extending support to videos embedded from Vimeo, YouTube, Hulu as well as images embedded from Instagram and Flickr. Simply embed a video/image like you normally would and Koken will automatically create a featured image for the essay.
Auto-updatable plugins new — Just like site themes and the console itself, plugins will soon be updatable as well. You'll be able to instantly download and apply new plugin versions as soon as they're released.
Draft saves for published essays new — Everyone knows the feeling of losing their internet when they're right in the middle of editing something (hint: it sucks). Koken 0.10 will mitigate disaster by auto-saving edits made to published essays so you can safely make changes without losing your work.
Independent content filter new — We're making it easier to see which uploaded images/videos haven't been included in an album by adding "Independent" to the Library's Filter menu. This will make it easy to catch uncollected content which may then be edited however you want.
More to come! — We'll be explaining all of these features in greater detail plus a round-up of other fixes and additions in the near future. We'll keep you in the loop.
In user interface design, addition is easy. Subtraction is difficult, if not downright impossible. As we work to improve the creative publishing power of Koken we're also keeping a watchful eye on complexity, redundancy, and targeting areas on the front and back end that can be combined or simplified. Here's a recent example of this practice at work.
The "Add links" sheet in Site is where publishers toggle on/off content in their site navigation. For example, a link to a single album, all their albums, etc. Overall we think it's a simple, effective way to build a site navigation.
But then things got...well, complicated. We asked ourselves, what if a publisher wanted more than one page of albums? For example, a page displaying all albums assigned a particular category? And another displaying featured albums? How could they create those pages and add links to each?
The solution we originally came up with was to offload the creation of those page links to a different interface. A button labeled "Add link to new section" was added to the bottom of "Add links", as shown below.
Clicking that button closed "Add links" and spawned a new, similar-looking sheet containing the templates new pages could be created from.
Did we solve the problem? Yes. Was it executed well? No.
For one, it introduced the phrase "section" into the interface language. What exactly does "section" mean? In terms of functionality it meant to add a new template, but on face-value it could be interpreted to mean a new area of the site, or who knows what else. So we knew that had to go.
Second, by displaying a secondary sheet to add those pages we implied (visually) that its templates were different from the templates on the "Add links" sheet, when in reality they were not. They were the same.
So we took a step back and looked at this from a different angle. How could we eliminate the "section" button and sheet without losing the functionality?
Our solution, new in 0.9.3, is simple. First, we killed the "section" language. Second, we grouped all templates -- both standard and custom -- under a single "Templates" header. Third, and most important of all, we allowed for additional page links to be created by adding a plus button alongside each template's on/off toggle.
Net result? A single "Add links" sheet and template list where a publisher can toggle on/off what they want and create additional copies of each template from the same interface. This eliminated the section button, sheet, and visual separation of templates for a more unified user experience.
Expect to see more case studies like this down the road as we continue to poke holes in our work and improve.
Today we're releasing Koken 0.9.3, a console update that improves a range of existing features and fixes a few issues that have popped-up in recent weeks. Sign-in to your installation and click the Update that appears at the top of the console to get the latest.
We initially planned on 0.9.3 being a small bug fixer, but ended up incorporating a number of updates and improvements. Here are a few highlights we're excited to share.
Hide the "Home" link
The front (a.k.a. "Home")" navigation link may now be hidden in any theme. This comes in handy for those who'd rather use their site title or logo to direct visitors back to their home page. Simply look for the link marked as "front" in the left column of Site, toggle open its settings, then click hide.
Smarter video scaling
Everyone loves videos that scale to fill responsive layouts, but to a point. Once a video starts to expand past its original dimensions its quality begins to decrease. Images don't have this problem (for we simply grab a larger image), but videos don't have that luxury.
Koken 0.9.3 makes uploaded videos smarter by preventing them from scaling past their original dimensions when embedded in a page. This creates better looking videos and fewer problems incorporating images and videos together in the same page layout.
Improved multi-select content editing
Assigning tags, categories and other data to multiple selections in the Library has been greatly improved. The Inspector column now displays the tags, categories and other data that are common to each selected item. Pop open the edit panel for tags and categories and Koken will delve deeper by including partial matches next to indeterminate [-] checkboxes. You may then check the indeterminate box to assign the tag/category to everything selected or uncheck to remove.
Easier process for adding additional templates
We're going to write a separate blog post to explain this in greater detail, but in 0.9.3 you may notice a subtle change to the "Add links" sheet in Site. Templates that can be re-used to create new page links now incorporate a small [+] button. Click the button and you may create a separate page displaying albums assigned a particular category, or a content page of images assigned a particular tag. This greatly simplifies a process that once required an entirely different interface.
There's a whole lot more on 0.9.3 to read about in our release notes. Check it out.
Alongside this update we've also been working on a number of new features for our next major console release, 0.10. We've got some nice stuff brewing, which we'll share as part of a sneak preview blog post soon.
Heads up Lightroom users. Our free Publish Services plugin has been updated to version 1.1.0. This release includes the following fixes and improvements:
- Basic exporting - In addition to syncing you may now export photos directly to Koken. This is helpful for when you just want to upload an image instead of syncing it as part of a collection. Select File > Export from Lightroom's main menu, then "Koken" from the drop-down to make the magic happen.
- Keywords fixes - An issue where keywords assigned to a photo in Lightroom wouldn't be assigned as tags inside Koken has been resolved.
- Last upload - The "Last upload" menu in the left column of Koken's Library now reflects uploads that have been committed using the Lightroom plugin.
- Synchronous publishing issues resolved - Additional work to prevent photos from ending up in the wrong albums when multiple collections are published at the same time.
To upgrade, head over to the plugin page and click the download button at the top. Scroll to the bottom of the page for upgrade instructions if necessary.
A handful of new tutorials have been added to the Help Center to help you get more out of Koken. Check them out:
- Add a favicon to your site - Favicons are those little graphics you see in browser tabs, bookmarks and other places. We explain here how to add custom favicons to any site theme.
- Insert a slideshow into an essay or page - Slideshows of Library content can be inserted into essays and pages. In this tutorial we walk you through the basics as well as explain the configurable options that are available.
- Styling slideshows - Slideshows embedded in essays/pages and elsewhere are configurable through the Site editor. We explain here how to change your slideshow's behavior, dimensions, transition and other options.
- Assign an image focal point - Focal point is a major new feature in Koken 0.9 that allows you to control how images are cropped on your site. This tutorial demonstrates focal point by editing the crop of a portrait image that has been assigned as an album cover.
Have a suggestion for a future tutorial? Feel free to contact us anytime.
We're closing out the week with one last update that fixes a few minor things discovered after 0.9 went live a few days ago. Check out what's included in 0.9.2 by visiting the release notes.