Table of Contents
- What's the difference between the two template systems?
- How to identify what template system your site is using
- Referencing the correct Help site articles
- How to upgrade from Zen templates to Flex templates
BLOX CMS utilizes two front-end template systems, "Zen" and "Flex". A BLOX site's templates are what makes up the front-end user experience. This article will help you understand the differences between the template systems.
What's the difference between the two template systems?
The initial front-end templates, which were available when BLOX CMS launched, were the non-responsive templates titled "Zen" templates.
These front-end templates offered the end user the desktop viewport experience on all devices. If a customer desired a different user experience for tablet or mobile devices, an additional/separate set of templates would be required; a product setup TownNews.com called "Touch 5".
INFO: According to data released by StatCounter ...
San Francisco, CA and Dublin, Ireland; 1st November, 2016: Internet usage by mobile and tablet devices exceeded desktop worldwide for the first time in October according to independent web analytics company StatCounter
Its research arm, StatCounter Global Stats finds that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3% of internet usage worldwide in October compared to 48.7% by desktop.
“This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly. Many older websites are not,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter.
“Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results.” He pointed out that Google recently launched a tool where businesses can test their website mobile performance.
TownNews.com realized the growth of consuming content via smartphones was inevitable, and in 2015, released it's "Flex" templates.
TownNews.com's responsive design templates were named "Flex", due to the templates' ability to respond, or "flex", to provide the best possible experience across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). Utilizing Flex templates also offers additional customization options, which make controlling aspects of page design and user experiences easier.
For more information on Flex templates, see: Flex Overview
How to identify what template system your site is using
TownNews.com started building all new sites on Flex templates as of 2016, so if your site was built in 2016 or later, you're using Flex.
If your site was built earlier than 2016, or you simply want to know how to identify what template system your site is using, you can take the following steps:
- Within the BLOX admin, navigate to "Settings > URLs"
- Identify the settings after the URL map name
You'll notice in screenshot A below, that the name of the URL map (which contains your site's URLs/pages) is named "default". After the name default is a grouping of settings.
<template library> :: <application intended for this URL> :: <URL skin>
ex. Site templates :: Editorial :: Base
- Determining the templates based on the settings
If the URL map has "Site templates :: Editorial :: Base", the site is using Zen templates.
If the URL map has "Site templates :: Editorial :: Flex", the site is using Flex "site" templates.
If the URL map has "Flex :: Editorial :: Flex", the site is using Flex "system" templates.
Screenshot A (example of Zen templates)
Screenshot B (example of Flex site templates)
Screenshot C (example of Flex system templates)
Flex "site" templates versus Flex "system" templates
Flex system templates were released in late 2015 to help the overall efficiency and speed of our partners' websites. System templates benefit our partner sites in several ways:
- Front-end template releases can be deployed in near real-time to add new features, fix bugs or address emergency issues.
- Template files are now stored in a way to improve local file cache, which may improve performance in some cases.
- Files will no longer need to be transferred from site to site, improving disk space on servers and reducing server workload.
- The new deployment system makes it possible to build tools that will help decrease page load time in the future.
Most sites using Flex site templates have already been contacted and migrated over to Flex system templates. Contact Customer Support if you're interested in finding out more about Flex system templates.
Referencing the correct Help site articles
Within the Help site, especially when searching for articles, you'll find that the titles of articles may include (Flex only) or (Zen only), as shown in the screenshot below. This is to help you reference the correct article for your site's templates.
Articles which do not have these distinctions in the title are written for both template systems, meaning they are either based on software instead of templates, or the article may include information about both Zen and Flex templates in a single article.
Searching only for Help articles specific to your templates
If you want to filter your search results to only Zen or only Flex templates, click on Advanced Search within the search bar...
And select your templates within the Templates dropdown menu.
How to upgrade from Zen templates to Flex templates
If your site is currently using Zen templates, upgrading from Zen to Flex requires a complete rebuilding of your URLs and all the elements (blocks, customizations, etc.) on each page.
Contact your sales representative today to ask about a Flex redesign.