Easier management of complex websites with Netgen Layouts 1.3

By Ivo Lukač -

We are happy to announce a new version of Netgen Layouts - 1.3! The biggest news is a revamped layout mappings section and the introduction of mapping groups. This will make it easier to manage bigger sites with many mappings as well as multi-site and multi-language use cases. 

Power of groups

The new version of Netgen Layouts 1.3 brings important improvements for complex projects. The main new feature is a grouping of layout mappings which provides easier management of mappings and better control when there are many mappings.

As mapping groups are not necessary for smaller sites, but really provide value for bigger sites, this new feature is available only in the commercial version. This new grouping feature combined with refined role and policy management (which is also only available in the commercial version) gives very precise control on what each user can do. For instance, a user can be limited to manage layouts that are mapped under a certain group of mappings. This group could be used for a specific sub-site or a section of a site.

Groups are not just folders that contain mappings on the interface level. They have conditions like mappings which means that you can set the condition on the group and this will be applied to all mappings in that group. 

Group depth is limited to two levels as we don’t see the need to have the groups as a deep tree cluttering the interface making it harder to use. All scenarios we have encountered in real projects can be managed with two levels of groups, but if it proves to be valuable we can enable more in the future.

Creating a sub group and moving an existing mapping to it.

Other improvements

Alongside the introduction of groups for mappings, there are also few UX improvements:

  • Mappings editing is now a more comfortable slide-in on the right side
  • Duplicating mappings offers an option to duplicate the layout too

The open-source version got the UX improvements and face-lifting. Also, important changes happened under the hood, Layouts now requires PHP 7.4 as PHP 7.3 is currently only supported with security fixes and will EOL by the end of this year.

Installations and upgrades

The upgrade should be very straightforward:

  • Upgrading PHP version
  • Updating Composer dependencies
  • Running database migrations

Details in the upgrade documentation.  

Once you have the new commercial version, you can group your mappings according to your needs :)

For example, you can create groups like this:

  • Frequently changed landing pages 
  • Other landing pages
  • Campaign pages
  • Full view pages
  • Other

 Or something like this:

  • Main site
    • Special mappings
    • Landing pages
    • Full views
    • Other
  • Sub-site 
    • Landing pages
    • Full views
  • Other sub-site
    • Landing pages
    • Full views

This is simple to arrange according to the needs.

Netgen stack for eZ Platform / Ibexa updated

We of course updated our stack for eZ Platform / Ibexa. It now includes:

  • Layouts 1.3
  • Ibexa 3.3 (in Netgen stack 2.2)
  • Cookie consent redesign

Try it out from this link: netgen/media-site installation documentation

Sylius support

The Sylius + Layouts installation is updated and now supports the latest Sylius version:

  • Layouts 1.3
  • Sylius 1.9

Try it out from this link: installation documentation.

What’s next

Our next focus is to implement a wizard for creating ad-hoc pages like landing pages or campaign pages. Currently, there are a lot of steps involved, from creating the layout to creating and configuring the mapping, etc.

What we want to do is to have a simple wizard that could be provided to a common editor which will handle all complexity. The editor will not need access to mappings management, just invoking the wizard. The created mapping will then end up in a specified group, hence the grouping feature introduced in version 1.3 was a prerequisite for implementing this wizard.

Alongside this feature, we will also work on more integrations. We’ll keep you posted on this with more updates - soon.

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