Blog

The Universal theme now has 21 ready-made styles
Today 5 new styles have been added to one of the most popular Bear CMS themes - Universal. You can easily apply them and customize the background images (we've discussed this in detail about a month ago), fonts, colors, etc.
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This update is focused on:

Personal websites
This type of website usually contains only a few pages and their goal is to introduce you to your audience. A fullscreen background image of you is a great way to achieve good looks.

Wedding websites
The goal here is an introduction too. This time the focus is the wedding day and all things related. The website will be useful to a small audience and a few selected images can create the emotion you are looking for.

Portfolios
Photographers, artists, craftsmen can greatly benefit by creating their own portfolio website. High-quality images on the home page can create a lasting first impression. Publishing blog posts about the latest project can help build engagement.
Let's talk about the fonts at Bear CMS
About a month ago we've discussed in detail the images editing experience in the Bear CMS theme customizer. Today, we'll take another deep dive into this component of your website.

Bear CMS has this clear separation between content and presentation. The elements Heading, Text, Comments, etc. do not have options for fonts and font sizes. These options are available only in the theme customizer. This means you can change the look of your website easily without manually updating every page and every single element.

Today we'll focus on the font option. It's powerful enough to help you create a unique appearance without investing in design and a logo.

The text style option can be seen at a lot of places in the theme customizer. Here is how it looks like:
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The font option shows the name of the currently selected one (or "Default" if there is none selected). When clicked a list of the default fonts will be shown. The "Other" option (the last one) provides access to the rich Google Fonts collection that you can use for free. Currently, there are 977 fonts.

The default fonts

These 13 fonts are available pretty much everywhere (smartphones, tablets, laptops) and can be used effortlessly. You may have encountered them at your favorite word processing application (Notepad, Word, etc.). Here is how they look like on your device:
Example text using Arial
Example text using Arial Black
Example text using Comic Sans
Example text using Courier
Example text using Georgia
Example text using Impact
Example text using Lucida
Example text using Lucida Console
Example text using Palatino
Example text using Tahoma
Example text using Times New Roman
Example text using Trebuchet
Example text using Verdana

Google Fonts

You can preview this vast collection of free fonts at fonts.google.com, and you can easily compare them by entering your own text and choosing font size.
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The font of choice can be added to your website by entering its name in the "Other" option (mentioned above). Bear CMS will make it work automatically.

Keep in mind that adding additional fonts may slow down your website. Just like images, fonts are files that need to be downloaded before shown to the visitors. We recommend using one custom font for the header and the titles and sticking to one of the default ones for the majority of the text content. Too much "design" can harm your website and provide a bad user experience.

We hope we've excited you a bit more about the theme customizer. You can easily try new fonts today and experiment. The changes will not be visible by the visitors until you save them and make them public.
Bear CMS highlights (January 2020)
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A brand new year, a brand new decade and the time flies just as fast. Another 31 days have passed and it's time to highlight once again the most interesting things about Bear CMS in the last month.

PHP 7.4 was officially released in late December of the last year and Bear CMS now supports it. All websites running the standalone package are automatically updated.

We've talked in detail about the images and the theme customization experience in Bear CMS. There are a few options that will help you achieve the look you desire. We would like to encourage you to take a closer look at this part of your website.

There is now a download button for every image you've uploaded. You can find it at the Image and Image gallery elements, at the theme customizer and your website's icon setting. You can now easily download the original file, modify it and upload it back.

The comments and the forum posts now load much faster in the admin tools, especially if there are a lot of them. We're passionate about providing great user experience and fast interface, so if you've encountered slowness somewhere in the CMS, please let us know.
PHP 7.4 is now supported
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We are happy to announce that you can now run your Bear CMS powered website on the latest PHP version. PHP 7.4 brings slight performance improvements and some developer goodies. You can learn more about this release at php.net.

The update has been pushed to all websites running the standalone package,  and it's available for download if you are running the Universal package or the Bear Framework addon package.
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.

Repeat
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.

Fixed
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.
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