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Best practices, success stories and software updates from the desk of school experts you trust.

Software Update, September 2
Justin Ober

This week's software update has a number of upgrades throughout the Composer software.

We are shifting site search to run on a new platform. There are a couple of motivations for doing this, all generally centered around the fact that the current Google solution is built on an ad-supported platform, which brings some inherent limitations. The new Algolia-based search tool goes way beyond the public content-indexing method that Google uses, and will give site admins more control over what site content is searchable. We're also looking to roll out some new search features like auto-complete and the ability to search Private content in the near future, so watch for announcements about that.

We're also dropping a bunch of updates for Posts. Email alerts are here! They can be activated per-Board. Because of this update, we've simplified the editor in the Summary section to prevent it from accepting HTML content that might break email templates when included in Posts email alerts. We've got a few other updates below, so be sure to keep reading for more details.

Look for these updates on your site early next week as the release goes out over the course of this weekend.


  • We are moving sites from Google Site Search to the new Algolia-based site search platform. This should be transparent to admins and site users, although admins will see new "hide from internal site search" and "hide from external site search" checkboxes in Page Settings:


  • The new content editor has been updated to the latest version. You can currently find it in Posts, and it's available for use throughout your site by making a request to Support.
  • The new editor now works exactly the same was as the current one when editing Content elements.


  • Email alerts are now available for Posts. Alerts can be turned on per-board, and users can sign up for alerts even if they don't have an account on the website.
  • The editor in the "Summaries" section has been simplified. Summary is included in email alerts that are sent out for Posts, so it's important to ensure that the Summary fields contain only email-friendly content (with no HTML to wreck a responsive email template).
  • Posts (and Post List screens) will now default to sorting in descending order by Start Date (as opposed to the Created Date, as we had been doing). This should make creating Post lists more intuitive for admins. Featured Posts will display in descending order all together, followed by non-featured Posts in descending order.
  • We've added a "Ignore Role/Group Display Settings" checkbox to all Post element subtypes. This allows admins to configure elements that let visitors see ALL recent Posts, not just the ones that are targeted at their roles/groups, without having to logout.
  • Email notifications about comments to Posts will now include the commenter's email address; this will make sure that commenters can be identified even if they are not logged in.
  • On a related note, the Subscriptions window (where end users edit their alert and mailing list subscriptions) has been updated to ensure that it will always show users' most up-to-date email addresses.
  • The News > Posts migration tool has been updated to be a little sturdier.
  • Posts RSS feeds will now include thumbnails associated with each post.
  • The "Issue Tools" element is now available for Posts Publications pages. Right now the Tools element can be set to give readers on Publications pages a Keyword Search field. This search would only apply to Posts within the date range of the Issue currently displayed.


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