Deep dive into theme customization with images
Hello, and happy new year!

We're so glad to start the new decade together. We wish you all the best in 2020 and a lot of fun progressing towards your goals and dreams. One of the goals we've set for the new year is giving you more knowledge and tools, so you can make the most of what the Internet offers.

In this article, we're going to talk about images on your website's theme.

You're already familiar with Bear CMS's content editing experience, and you know it's easy to add an image or an image gallery. You can place them in columns, and wrap text around. The image gallery provides even more ways to present.

Do you know that it's just as easy (with a few more clicks) to customize your website's theme with images? You can add a logo or specify background images on almost any part of your website (depends on the theme you've activated). You can set background images on the whole window, the headers, the navigation, etc.

Let's focus on the background option that you can find in the theme customization screen of your website.
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You can use this option to:
  • Specify a background color
  • Upload up to 5 background images
  • Specify custom style when the element is hovered or clicked

Specifying a background color

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A nice color picker is provided to easily select the desired background color. You can also specify transparency. The selected color's code can be copied and pasted on to another element. Delete the code to remove the selected color.

Adding background images

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Here you can upload up to 5 images and their order matters. The image that is at the top will be shown above the image that is lower in the list. This enables big images to be visible even if there are small images (or images with transparency) above them. The arrows next to the images will help you rearrange them. The background color is always at the bottom.

Clicking on a background image will show you it's options:

Horizontal and vertical position
They define the position of the image relative to the styled element. If the "Left" and "Top" values are selected, the image will be placed at the left-top corner of the element. The "Centered" values will place the image at the center of the element.

Background images can be multiplied and used to create a pattern. If you add an image with a snowflake, you'll automatically get a lot of snowflakes.

This option is mostly useful for the window's background. You can fix it even when the user is scrolling.

Full screen
This option will shrink the image so it's always visible inside the element. This option is useful for elements without fixed size, like the header and the footer - they will have a different size on small and large screens.

Hovering and clicking

The tabs named "Over" and "Click" will enable you to specify different styles for the element when the mouse pointer is over it or when it's clicked/tapped. They can help you indicate better what is clickable on your website, and what's not. Please, be careful to now overuse them and overdesign your theme.

Preparing the images

The need to prepare an image for upload is not so uncommon. We'll actually recommend this if you want to achieve the perfect design. Resizing and cropping images is not too difficult too. You can use free programs like Paint (if you are on Windows) and GIMP to do this.

Please pay attention to the size of the image you're about to upload. Bear CMS automatically optimized images that are uploaded in the content part of your website, but this is not the case for background images in the theme. When you take a photo with your phone it's usually bigger than 1MB, and this can be too much for a background image. The mobile visitors will have to wait a long time to see "the frame" of your website.

We would like to encourage you to spend some quality time and experiment with your website's theme. Let's start the year with a more beautiful website.
Bear CMS highlights (December 2019)
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Happy New Year! We wish you a lot of happy moments into this new year, and the years ahead.

And now, we'll once again take the opportunity to highlight the most important things around Bear CMS in the last month.

Websites with a lot of text content now can take advantage of the new Search box element. Adding it to your website enables your visitors to easily find the information of interest. Every content change you make will be automatically indexed in just a couple of minutes.

Bloggers will love the new related blog posts feature. When enabled, the readers will see links to other posts after the current one they are reading. This way they may stay longer on your website and you'll have a greater chance to leave a strong first impression.

Thank you for the great years we've been together. We'll be glad to be by your side in 2020 too.
Related blog posts feature is now available
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Today we are launching a small, but a very valuable update, for those of you who blog regularly.

Blog posts are a great way to build an audience and authority. In most cases, they are the pages that welcome the visitors to your website (they've clicked on a social network link or found your content in a search engine). These posts have the opportunity to create a strong first impression, and today we are going to talk about how we can improve on this experience.

Right after your blog post's content, the visitor will see the comments section. Below there will be links to other blog posts that can capture their attention and make them stay a bit longer on your website. This way you are getting a bigger chance of building a stronger connection.

This feature is automatically enabled for new Bear CMS powered websites. You can also enable it from your website's settings. To work properly you must specify a category for each blog post. The related posts shown will match the category of the current post.

This update is being pushed to websites running the standalone package, and it's available for others to download too.

Please, share your thoughts about this new feature in the comments below. There, you can also find more posts from our blog to read.
Add a search box to your website
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A new element is available for your Bear CMS powered websites. You can now add a search box and improve your visitors' experience.

Addon description:
Add search functionality to your website with this addon. You will be able to add a search box element in the content zones of your website. Every change you make will be visible in the search results in a couple of minutes.

You can install the search box addon for free (Bear CMS Pro required) from your website's administrator's menu.
Bear CMS highlights (November 2019)
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We say goodbye to November and turn our attention to the last month of the year. But before jumping into the holiday season we would like to highlight the most interesting things around Bear CMS in the last 30 days.

Just 2 weeks ago we added support for websites with multiple languages. Now you can easily add second (or third, fourth, etc.) language to your website and adapt the header, the main navigation and the footer to match. You will be able to add independent elements in these content zones.

The Universal theme now has 3 new styles, that are specifically made for mobile content. Mobile browsing is the majority these days and we would like to point your attention to this aspect of your website.

The Audits tool now reports pages with short titles (less than 50 characters). Google (as the most popular search engine) automatically optimizes such titles in the search results, but we think you can do this better.

The forum posts pages now have automatically generated meta description tags. That good when they are listed in the search results and you will not see warnings about this in the audits tools.

We've also made improvements to the browsing performance of your websites. Website speed has a big impact on the user experience and we take this very responsibly. But there are cases when the content or the theme customizations can have a negative impact on the website speed. There is a tool called PageSpeed Insights (run by Google) that can give you some useful information and speed improvement ideas.
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