Thanks to some quick feedback from users testing 0.9, we've found and fixed a handful of issues and packaged them up as a new maintenance release (0.9.1) that is now available. To upgrade, simply sign-in to your installation and click the update button.

Thanks again for your dedicated testing and feedback. If you see any other issues or have questions for us, don't hesitate to drop us a line.

Categories: Updates

Koken 0.9 released

It's that time again, folks. Out and now available for download is Koken 0.9, a new update that includes over 50 improvements to the system. To upgrade, simply sign-in to your installation and click the update button. There's a whole lot of behind-the-scenes stuff you can read about in the full release notes, but here we're going to cut to the chase and highlight the things you should know about. Here we go.

Focal points

Cropped images can sometimes use an extra bit of finesse to look their best. To help make that possible we've added a Focal Point utility to the Library. It provides an easy, simple way to show Koken what the most important part of an image is so it looks better when cropped.

Featured images for essays/pages

Essays and pages may now have their own visual preview. Simply add or upload an image to an essay or page and it will be assigned as the article's featured image. Should come in handy for tabloid style theme layouts that incorporate essays on their home pages, like our updated Repertoire theme.

Featured essays

Draw attention to your best work by featuring essays. We've updated the default themes Axis, Boulevard, Madison and Observatory to support featured essay lists on essay pages, as well as the the home page of Repertoire to (optionally) display featured instead of recent essays.

Improved HTML editor for essays/pages

Coders will appreciate the new HTML editor for essays and pages. It offers syntax highlighting, code completion, and can be used alongside the rich text editor to preview edits in both editors simultaneously.

Tumblr sharing

People share a lot of photos on Tumblr, so we added it as a share option to all the default themes as well as the Library inside Koken's console. This allows you to publish images to your personal Tumblog without leaving the Library.

Reverse order button

Sometimes content can be unintentionally added to an album in the opposite order of what you intended. To help save time and effort we've added a reverse order button to the bottom of the Library that flips the manual order of any album.

Titles and captions for embedded slideshows

Slideshows inserted into essays and pages can now display titles and captions underneath just like inserted images can. The text automatically updates as each image appears in the slideshow.

sets.lens template

New Lens template added to display all the top-level sets from the Library.

Sort by filename

Filename has been added as a sort option for site templates. This allows you to display content in ascending or descending order using content filenames.


If you'd like to read more, dig in to our release notes to see the full list of fixes and improvements. If you've never upgraded Koken before, simply sign-in to your installation and follow the prompt. The upgrade will download and be applied automatically.

As always, a special thank you to all the beta testers who've provided exquisite feedback and bug reports. Every day Koken gets better with you on board. And please remember to share your sites with us! We'd love to see what you're building.

Categories: Updates

Koken 0.9, our next major console update, will offer a range of new features, enhancements and improvements. Here's a sneak preview of a few new features that will be coming your way soon.

Focal Point

Cropped photos sometimes need an extra bit of finesse to look their best. If the subject of an image is off-center (common with portraits) a photo could appear like this when cropped by a site theme:

Koken 0.9's "Focal Point" utility will allow to you fine-tune how crops are handled by designating the area in each uploaded photo you'd like to retain. Simply drag the new focus ring to the most important area of an image, then release. Here's a screenshot of a focal point being edited in the Library:

Here's what the same image would then look like on the web site:

All focal point data is saved in the Library, so if you ever switched site themes your images would be re-cropped using their assigned focal points.

Featured images for essays and pages

Essays and pages will be updated in Koken 0.9 to support featured images. This will allow you to insert or upload a representative image for both types of written content.

How a featured image is displayed on a published site is dependent on the theme being used, but most designers use them for tabloid-style layouts where excerpts and titles of essays appear on a home page or as part of an essay archive page. Koken's built-in Repertoire theme includes essays on its home page, and will be updated in 0.9 to support featured images. Here's a preview of what that'll look like:

Featured essays

In addition to featured images, Koken 0.9 will include featured essays as well. This will allow you to editorially feature a select group of essays on your site. Like featured images, how featured essays appear will depend on your chosen theme, but we foresee theme designers displaying featured essays in essay side columns or as part of home page layouts.

New HTML editor for essays and pages

Editing the source of an essay or page is about to get much better. We're migrating over the same editor and interface Custom CSS in Site uses. This will provide syntax highlighting, a better interface that can be docked or expanded upward for a complete view, plus the ability to make edits in both the rich and HTML editors simultaneously (and preview changes in both). Here's a screenshot of what the new HTML editor will look like:

More to come

Those are the highlights of Koken 0.9. We're also working on a few other features and improvements for this release, which we'll provide info on later. Expect to see Koken 0.9 land sometime late June or early July.

Photo credits: "Focal Point" and "Featured images" portrait images by Mike Monaghan.

Categories: Updates

Fresh from the oven, Koken 0.8.4 is now available for upgrade. This is primarily a bug fix release, but we've also enhanced a few small things here and there. To see a complete list of everything that's new check out our release notes. If you've never upgraded Koken before, read this tutorial for instructions.

And by the way, thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write in with their comments, criticisms, and constructive feedback. Koken improves every day through your direct involvement. We're delighted to have you on board.

Note: This update was originally released as 0.8.3, but we found and fixed a few minor issues and re-released as 0.8.4.

Categories: Updates

We've been steadily expanding our Help Center with additional tutorials to help you get more out of Koken. Here's a list of new tutorials we've recently posted.

Console tutorials

New tutorials that focus on using Koken's administrative console.

Add new site sections

The Add new site sections tutorial explains how you can add additional index pages to your site to present filtered content. For example, you might consider publishing a list of uploaded content from a particular year, albums that are featured, essays marked with a particular tag, or anything else you'd like to call attention to. View tutorial

Add topics to essays

Topics allow you to write essays about one or more albums in your Library. For example, you could publish a behind-the-scenes story about a particular collection of images, feature some of your favorites, then link to the full album so readers may browse the entire shoot. View tutorial

Edit links and labels

Links and labels are a new feature in Koken 0.8 that allow you to edit how links are formatted as well as how content is labeled. You could edit these settings to use (for example) "Projects" instead of "Albums" to label your work. Or "Blog" instead of "Essays". However you edit content labels your edits are reflected in site urls, page links, titles, and anywhere else necessary. View tutorial

Replace uploaded original

Chances are you've found yourself in situations where you'd like to replace an image you've already uploaded (and linked to on your site). Koken makes this incredibly easy by permitting you to replace any image that's already in your Library with a new version without affecting its site link, assigned data, or anything else. View tutorial

Upload directly to an album

Did you know you can upload media directly to an album in the Library? You can. Koken allows you to target a particular album as part of the upload process so that newly uploaded items are automatically added to your selected album after they've finished uploading. View tutorial

Theme design tutorials

For those designing their own themes:

Assign a template as the front page

You can decide which template in your theme should be used as the front page of a publisher's site. This means you don't have to include index.lens and may substitute a different template in its place. View tutorial

Create a custom page

Custom .lens templates are now easier than ever to incorporate into a theme. Simply name a HTML document with ".lens" as its file suffix and Koken will support it. View tutorial

Create a new section template

Section templates allow you to add additional layouts for index templates so that publishers have additional presentation options when publishing content. View tutorial


Expect to see more tutorials like these in the months ahead as we continue to update and improve Koken.

Categories: Support, Tips

Last week we released Koken 0.8, a notable update that included a range of new features, enhancements and fixes. Today we're following up with Koken 0.8.2, a small point release that fixes a range of issues that were discovered soon afterward. Check out the release notes to see what's included, as well as our upgrade instructions if this is your first time upgrading.

Categories: Updates

Today we're releasing Koken 0.8, a notable console update that includes a wide range of new features, fixes, and enhancements. There's a lot of stuff in this release, so we're going to walk through each of the things you should be aware of, starting with what's new.

Better link formatting

Koken 0.8 introduces major changes to site link formatting. Before, all links to site content used IDs for their slugs (the unique identifiers at the end of a url). The links worked of course, but they weren't optimal for readability or SEO purposes. Koken 0.8 changes this so that new installations use titles and dates for slugs instead of IDs. Existing installations will continue using IDs after upgrading to 0.8, but you may change to the new link formatting in the Settings > Site publishing section of the console after upgrading.

Custom content labels

As part of the link formatting update we're also including support for custom content labels. By "labels" we mean how your content is classified: "Albums", "Content", "Essays", and so on. Labels may now be edited through the same setting (shown below) that handles link formatting.

Links and labels editor in Settings

Editing a label will change not only how links are formatted but also change any applicable page titles or links in a site theme. For example, if you changed "Albums" to "Projects", your links would use "/projects/" in their path and site links like "All albums" would appear as "All projects". All of the default themes that come with Koken have been updated to support these custom labels wherever appropriate.

Set covers, improved cover management

Cover images for albums and sets have undergone a complete overhaul. Covers now appear at the top of the "Inspector" column (see below) when an album or set is selected. You may then click, drag and drop the covers into the order you want. Dragging a cover to the first slot automatically makes it the primary cover.

Ordering album covers by drag and drop

Cover assignment is also easier. Simply drag and drop images onto album and set titles in the left column and the image will be assigned as the collection's primary cover.

Dragging an image onto an album to assign cover

Last but certainly not least, images may be assigned as covers for sets. Before, set covers were automatically generated using the covers of the albums they contained. Koken 0.8 drops all that so that set covers may be edited just the same as albums.


GPS info in image metadata is quickly becoming the norm with today's cameras. Koken 0.8 takes advantage of this data by displaying a special button at the top of the right column of the Library (see below) whenever a selected image contains GPS data.

GPS button that appears when an image is geotagged

When the button is clicked a map is displayed that pin-points the exact location where the image was captured.

Map showing where the photo was captured

Social sharing and Twitter Cards support

All of the default themes have been updated to include content sharing links for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. These links (which may be hidden if you don't want them) make it easier for visitors to share your site content with their followers.

Each theme incorporates the links a little differently (depending on their design), but here's a screenshot of the share menu Madison now includes:

Share menu that appears on content hover in Madison

As part of this update we're also rolling out support for Twitter Cards. These are tweets that use special layouts for media. Cards are attached to tweets whenever someone tweets a link to a page on your site that includes Twitter Card information. For example, if someone were to tweet a link to an album on your site their tweet would include the album title, summary and covers as illustrated below:

Twitter is currently testing Cards, so for now you have to submit your site for approval in order for them to appear. Or, you can wait. Once Twitter rolls this feature out for everyone your site will be ready and ahead of the game.

Disqus plugin and discussions

Alongside Koken 0.8 we're also releasing a free Disqus plugin to publish comments on your site. All of the default themes have been updated to support the plugin, so once you've setup a free Disqus account and enabled the plugin site visitors will be able to leave comments on your published essays and content.

External image embedding in essays/pages

Need to link directly to an image at an outside site in an essay or page? Koken 0.8 now allows you to paste absolute image paths into the body of an essay or page. Koken will recognize the image link and format it appropriately.

Improved Madison navigation for mobile devices

Madison's navigation on mobile devices wasn't optimal, so we completely changed its design. The theme now displays a fixed menu button (circled below) at the top of every page which -- when clicked -- slides the page to the right to reveal navigation links. This creates more room for page content and makes the theme easier to navigate as well. Below is a screenshot of Madison's layout on an iPhone.

New side mobile menu and button in Madison

Easier custom templates

Koken 0.8 completely changes how custom templates are added to themes. If you're designing your own theme, all you have to do is drop a file with ".lens" as its file suffix into your folder to create a custom page. So your theme could include "contact.lens", "about.lens", or whatever you like and publishers will be able to add the page to their site navigation (see below).

Custom .lens template in the Add Links sheet

Essay autosaving

Losing your work by accidentally closing a browser or losing power can really suck. Koken 0.8 helps out by automatically saving draft essays whenever changes are made so nothing is lost.

Code embedding in essays/pages

Inserting custom Javascript or embed code from an outside provider is now easier. Simply create a new line in the editor, click, then choose the code button at far right (see below). Paste your code into the sheet that appears and you're done.

Embed code in an essay or page by clicking the new code button

Lens template tag and variable updates

Theme developers have some new and updated template tags and variables to play with. We've documented them all in the "What's new" help center article.

Upgrading to Koken 0.8

Upgrading is easy. Simply sign-in to your console and an upgrade notification will appear at the top. If you don't see a notification right now, wait a bit and try refreshing your browser again a little later.

Full release notes

Along with everything listed above, Koken 0.8 also includes a number of bug fixes and general theme updates. Check out the release notes to see everything.

Moving forward

Our goal with Koken 0.8 was to pack as many new features and fixes into one big drop as we possibly could. But we're anything but finished. A whole new round of features and enhancements are on our list for Koken 0.9, which we'll begin working on next.

As always, if you have any questions or issues with Koken you may contact us anytime for support.

Categories: Updates

Our friends at MediaTemple are offering a great deal for Koken users: 20% off their Grid Service (gs) hosting package. Grid Service meets all of Koken's system requirements and is backed by one of the best web hosting companies around (seriously, we've used them for years). This offer doesn't have an expiration date, so whether you need hosting for Koken now or later you can take advantage of it anytime. Thanks MediaTemple!

Koken 0.8 preview

Work is underway on our next major point update (0.8). As part of this release we'll be rolling out two major new features: custom urls and improved album/set cover control.

Set covers, improved cover management

Album and set covers are assigned automatically through the console's Library interface. They are used when publishing preview images for albums and sets on your web site.

Album covers are currently editable, but set covers are not. Set covers are automatically assigned using the covers of the albums added to them. Koken 0.8 will improve this by allowing set covers to be editable just like album covers while also improving the methods for adding, removing and ordering cover images.

Koken 0.8 will display assigned covers in a grid at the top of the Inspector panel whenever an album or set is selected. The order in which the images appear is the order in which they'll appear in site themes that support multiple covers. Themes that display only a single cover will use the first "primary" image.

Ordering covers will be as simple as drag and drop. Moving an image to the first position will make the image the primary cover.

Removing covers will also be handled by the new interface. Simply mouse over the cover you want to remove and click the "x" button at top right.

Adding covers will be simplified by allowing you to drag and drop images from the middle column onto album and set titles in the left. Assuming the image is part of the album or set you're dragging it to, the image will be assigned as the collection's primary cover.

You'll still be able to assign album covers through the Library's "Edit" menu, but these enhancements should make covers easier to add, remove and order.

Custom urls and labels

Koken 0.8 will dramatically improve site url formatting. For example, Koken currently publishes album urls like this:

That works, but doesn't tell us anything about the content the link is pointing to. Koken 0.8 will publish album urls like this instead:

That's better.

But wait...what if you'd prefer "albums" in the url to be something different, like "work"? Taking that a step further, you'd probably then also want "Work" in your navigation and page titles as well. Koken 0.8 will handle this by allowing you to edit data labels like "Content", "Albums", "Sets" and "Essays". This will produce urls that look like this:

The navigation link to the Albums page would then be labeled as "Work". References to that label -- including the page header in the default Boulevard theme -- would also display "Work", as illustrated below:


Koken 0.8 will also include the usual round of fixes and enhancements, but cover management and custom urls will be the highlights. Expect to see this release made available in about a couple of weeks.

Categories: Updates

Site: Cephas

This is the first in an ongoing series where we feature web sites published with Koken. Kicking things off in style is the portfolio site of Taiwanese fashion designer Cephas.

Designed and developed by sliiice, this site uses a custom theme that takes full advantage of Koken's responsive media publishing and Retina/HiDPI image quality. Large, tack sharp photos are scaled to the browser window and are seamlessly navigated using clever preloading and hover/touch controls. Cephas' diamond-shaped branding is carried through in the form of masks applied to album covers and loading animations, while the web fonts Abel and Capsuula lend a unique style to the typography.

Be sure to check out the site if you own a relatively new iPad or tablet with a HiDPI screen to see its (already stunning) photography in even higher definition.

If you've created something using Koken we should consider for a future feature, contact us anytime. We can't wait to see what you've built.

Categories: Sites

Koken 0.7.1 released

Koken 0.7.1 has been released. This release includes a range of fixes and updates to both the console and the default themes. To see a list of everything that's in it check out the release notes.

We recommend that all users update their consoles by signing-in, then clicking the "Update now" button that appears at the top. If you don't see a button immediately, wait a bit and try again.

Categories: Updates

Tip: Replace original

We know how it is. You spend a late night tweaking a photo's exposure, white balance, contrast and other properties, then upload it to your web site before signing-off for the night. Next day you wake up with a fresh set of eyes, view the uploaded photo on your site and notice a range of things you'd like to fix.

But the photo has already been published, so you don't want to delete it and break its url, but you really need to update the image. What do you do?

Koken resolves this common scenario by allowing you to replace any image in the Library with a new original. Simply select the image you need to update, then select "Replace original" from the Edit menu (see below). Select the updated version on your local drive, and you're done. Koken will replace the original image file, retain all metadata assigned to it (titles, captions, etc), and publish the new version in place of the old anywhere the image appears on your site.

Categories: Tips

Koken 0.7 released

Koken 0.7 is now available for download. This release includes a range of console interface improvements, bug fixes, theme updates plus a few new things we'd like to point out.

Image quality, sharpness and cache

We've split "Publishing" in Settings into two sections -- "Site publishing" and "Image publishing". The latter includes settings related to image publishing only, including a new "Quality / Sharpness" option. Koken's default values for quality and sharpness are fine for most publishers, but you may now fine-tune these values for each image size Koken generates by unchecking the "Use default settings" option and dragging the sliders that appear underneath, as shown below.

Also new is a handy "Clear image cache" control. This is a troubleshooting utility that makes it easier for those experiencing an image cache issue to delete all generated images. Much easier and faster than using an FTP client.

New template tags: has_tag and has_category

Some designers asked if it's possible to check whether an album, image, or other item is assigned a particular tag or category to conditionally include styles or other markup in their template. This could be used, for example, to apply a different design to an album template if an album is assigned a particular tag. So we're including in this release new conditional tags for has_tag and has_category to make this possible. Check out Lens tags for more info.

Theme drafts

One thing that's easy for new users to overlook is that drafts of themes are saved anytime the current theme changes. Some users, instead of selecting a saved draft to change back to a theme they used previously, would select the theme again in "Themes"; causing any modifications made to the theme previously to be lost.

So in this release we've implemented a new utility to prevent this from occurring (see below). It pops up anytime you try to apply a theme that's already been saved as a draft. This should hopefully prevent publishers from accidentally overwriting their saved drafts.

Check out the release notes to see everything else that's in this update. To upgrade to 0.7 with an existing installation, sign-in to your console and look for the upgrade prompt at the top. If you don't see one, wait a bit and you should see it appear soon.

Categories: Updates

We've received a few questions asking how to edit content order on a published site. Our Help Center contained this info already, but in two separate documents, so we combined the information into a single tutorial to help explain the process better. As usual, feel free to post a question or contact us through the help site if you need clarification or additional assistance.

Categories: Support

Since the launch of our public beta people have been asking to see examples of the themes included with Koken. Today we're following through on that request by launching, a site where you can not only switch between each of the eight default themes (Axis, Regale, Boulevard, Elementary, Chastain, Observatory, Repertoire and Madison) but also change screen size to mimic how each theme behaves when viewed on tablets and mobile devices.

Koken 0.6.2 released

A new point update is available that addresses several issues found since the release of 0.6 last week. Included fixes cover several sections of Koken, from themes to the Pulse slideshow player to image processing and just about everything in between. For a full list of the changes, see the release notes for 0.6.2.

As always, you can update to 0.6.2 by signing in to your Koken install and waiting for the update banner to appear at the top. If it doesn't show up right away, try waiting a bit or clearing your browser cache. If you run into any problems, feel free to contact us.

Categories: Updates