Over the past year there have been almost 100,000 posts on the various Affino forums, which makes them by far the most active part of Comrz’s support and of the Comrz website. There are lots of other ways users can find the answers to their questions faster and more effectively.
Below are the key ways you can answer your questions in the fastest way:
The Application Bar (which sits at the base of every one of your web pages when you’re logged in as an Editor) is the most useful tool you have in your arsenal. A good 10% of questions we get involve things that can be found right on the page. The Content, Design and Text tools allow you to go right to the appropriate settings and profile screens for most elements on your live page.
The Live Design mode does the same for aspects of your page design. It means that you’re rarely more than one click away from the settings or creating new content within the part of your website you’re in. Get familiar with the Application Bar, click on the various links, see how you can instantly copy your article to create a new one, or tweak and regenerate your Skin (page design).
The Control Centre Super Navigator (the navigation menu on the left-hand side) can immediately take you to whatever management interface (and answer 20% of your questions), content or media item, or your personal favourites at a click. If you’re not certain where to find how to export content, simply type ’export’ on the Control tab and you’ll see all the different types of export you can do from Affino.
Likewise, if you want to find a specific article, or media items, or section then simply go to the Content tab and type out the name, then hit the Search icon. You’ll get a list of all the items with matching titles. Between these two options you can quickly track down pretty much anything. The My tab is also incredibly useful as it will show you your content stream and allow you to instantly go back to any of your recent content.
You can always turn on the in-line help when editing in the Control Centre. This will provide (usually pretty useful) information on what a specific field is for. It can be especially useful for aspects such as import and export formats and for when filling out help information or when there are automated values involved. Using the in-linen help will answer another 5% to 10% of your questions.
When starting out on Affino, one of the first things you should do is to go to the Site Tree, fully expand your Zone to show all the levels. This will show you your entire website and give you great insight into what’s there, and how your site is structured. Save this to your Favourites using the button on the upper-right menu. You should then go and refresh your favourites using the icon at the base of the Super Navigator and you will then always have this within easy reach. This will answer a lot of your questions when you’re starting out in terms of your site structure and how the navigation is working on your site.
The Affino Featuers pages offer great insight into how each area of Affino works and are a great starting poing when you approach new Affino aspects.
Your starting point for Comrz support should invariably be the Support Centre. Many of the key support tools and materials are contained here, the most important of which are the Forums and Affino Manuals.
The Affino Policy Manual, Quick Start Guide, Affino Design Centre Guide and Affino eCommerce Guide are what you’re introduced to in your initial Affino training. You can always download the latest versions here and use the as excellent resource guides when you’re setting out with Affino. The Design and Ecommerce guides are essential reading when you start with these aspects.
A great way to use them is to have the PDFs open on your desktop when you’re working on something and you can use the Adobe Acrobat document search to find the relevant parts of the guides for what you’re working on. It’s not necessary to learn every part of the guide, what is essential is that you have a good idea of which guide has what so that it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
We have a number of Rough Guide videos which introduce each of the Affino Control Centres. These are also accessible directly from each Control Centre page. We also occasionally do release videos with new Affino releases and these provide great insight into the latest functionality.
For Specific tasks such as setting up the Affino to Facebook and Twitter integration the best place to go to is the Affino Help Guides. There are guides for many key tasks and having them handy means you get things done in a fraction of the time it would take if you were having to figure things out yourself. Especially for advanced aspects such as Webservices and integration.
Always read the Affino release notes when you upgrade to a new release. They are very detailed (which can be off-putting for some, but believe me we’ve summarised things to the tune of 99.9% compared to all our project and working documentation). These guided provide key upgrade guidance and let you know what’s changed between releases. They also give you many ides for how you can improve your site based on the new features available.
You can always check out the Affino Help Forum, we answer a lot of questions there and the answers are readily available to everyone. If you know the answers to some of the questions being asked by your fellow Affino users then help out. We really appreciate when users help each other and you get a lot of credit for it, with benefits.
When you’re working on your designs it’s essential that you take a look at the Affino Design Elements page which showcases most of Affino’s Design Elements in a single view.
If you have ideas you want to see in Affino or if you think something is sorely missing then post it to the Affino Feature Request Forum. Quickly search first to see if someone is already asking and add your voice to the thread. We do Two out of every Three feature requests asked for, so there’s a very high chance that what you ask for will be in a future Affino release.
Feature Requests are always prioritised based on demand, so even great ideas may be pushed back if only one customer is asking for it, whilst three are asking for something else. So get the community behind you. Network on Comrz.com and push for your ideas.
At the top of every page is the great predictive site search which is very good at finding what you’re looking for. A quick search might highlight a new blog post which is relevant or a guide in the Support Centre. If you don’t immediately see what you want then click on the Advanced option and filter on what’s relevant for you.
We’re constantly Blogging on new aspects of Affino and on the best strategies to take when building up your online business. Subscribe by email or RSS or both and you’ll always get the latest ideas coming your way (like this post).
Last but not least: Check out the other Affino sites, including Comrz.com to see what’s possible with Affino. We provide a number of key references directly from the Comrz.com homepage and we’re continually blogging on the latest site launches. We won’t necessarily blog on every new Affino site, but if you want us to showcase your site let us know.
If there are other approaches we should be taking, or more of something you want to be seeing then post in the comments below.