An Introduction to Synergy 8

For web designers, developers & digital agencies

First of all, welcome to the exciting world of developing and designing websites for use on the Synergy 8 platform! Synergy 8 has been in development for the past decade, spreading organically through word of mouth to emerging as an intuitive, powerful solution for creating and managing a website.

Our software platform is divided up into five main components, all of which integrate seamlessly and negate the need of installing multiple external software solutions;

  1. Content - The CMS side of things, responsible for managing website content, pages, blog / news posts and website designs.
  2. Community - The component responsible for managing and grouping a database of community members, performing and analyzing e-mail marketing campaigns and managing contacts.
  3. Commerce - A fully featured eCommerce component with no transaction fees, no limit on the store catalog size and complete flexibility and scalability.
  4. Control - A component which displays insightful website analytics, allows the setup of administrator users and security roles, tracks all changes made on the website, allows integration with third-party solutions such as the Xero Accounting Suite and SimPro Job Management, and lastly manual website backups.
  5. Configuration - Hides the functionality included in a certain industry standard hosting control panel behind a less intimidating, easy to use control panel which allows domain registration and parking, account payment management and e-mail account setup.

A Secure, Hosted Solution Maintained by us

Why is Synergy 8 a hosted solution rather than open source?

We are in complete control of the architecture and security of our platform. Synergy 8 servers are independently owned and maintained by our team, who proactively develop and test new features and maintain a 99.98% up-time guarantee.

We realize that a number of agencies and developers rely on CMS maintainence and hosting referral rewards as a source of income, so we have an approved Synergy 8 reseller scheme which rewards agencies who support our platform with monthly referral commissions and a reseller control panel.

Read more about becoming a Synergy 8 reseller.

Mobile Friendly

Our platform plays well with most responsive CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap and the Golden Grid System. However, we also offer an alternative solution;

Synergy 8 can detect mobile devices and serve the same content, wrapped in a mobile friendly design. The mobile website is served from the same domain name and developers have the option of either specifying an alternate stylesheet, an alternate external stylesheet or a completely different design.

To see this technique in action you can view this page on a mobile device, or view it on your desktop browser by passing a "?mobile_design=1" query string as follows:

http://www.synergy8.com/kb/designer-guide/creating-a-new-design/an-introduction-to-synergy-8/?mobile_design=1

An Example Synergy 8 Home Page

Click here to see an overview of a Synergy 8 powered website.

Some of the main elements in the above overview which are common across Synergy 8 websites include;

  • Primary, dynamically populating website navigation which is controlled through the "Pages" section of the admin dashboard.
  • A content rotator which retreives and displays post articles of a certain post category.
  • A page content area which is easily editable by the website owner.
  • A latest news, or blog post feed.
  • A newsletter sign-up form which adds a user to the website member database for e-mail marketing and tracking.
  • Secondary footer navigation which automatically retreives all child pages of certain nominated parent pages.

The Inner / Content Page layout

It's common practice to use a different layout between the home page and other pages on the website. The design used for other pages on the website is usually referred to as the "Inner" or "Content" layout. There are two main methods for implementing an inner / content page layout;

  1. Use a conditional statement in the main website design; ie "If the current page is the home page, use layout X, otherwise use layout Y". This method will require that a web designer defines which layout applies to the different pages on the website.
  2. Use a different design for alternate page layouts. This method allows admin users to change the page layout throught the admin panel. Every new child page inherits the design of its parent page, this can be overriden on each individual page. Use this method with caution, when updating a design you'll need to remember to update each design layout, including the mobile design for each layout (if appliciable).

The techniques involved in implementing each of these methods are discussed further in other knowledge base articles.