New Feature: filter and order in vae() and vae_find() May 21, 2009

Vae's PHP integration just got a lot better with the addition of 2 features ported from VaeML's tag: filter and order.

Now you can filter and order (sort) entries when using Vae's PHP integration just like in VaeML.  This feature has been requested for a while and we're happy to finally bring it live on all sites.

Here is an example of the new feature in use:

$posts = vae("posts", array('order' => "DESC(post_date)"));

For more information, please see the documentation for vae() and vae_find():

New VaeML Tag: <v:rss> May 20, 2009

We are proud to announce the immediate availability of a new VaeML tag: <v:rss>.  Previously, customers looking to build RSS feeds of their site's content have had to roll their own.  Of course, this was made quite easy by Vae's fantastic XML integration, but we knew we could do better.  So we did.

Now, all that's required to create an RSS feed of any of your data is to create a file called rss.xml and put this tag in it:

<v:rss title="My Site" description="My blog feed." path="posts" title_field="title" description_field="content" />

You may specify an additional parameter to order the entries in your feed, and you may include multiple collections within the path.

We are using the <v:rss> tag to power this very blog, and it has already been rolled out on other sites as well. For more information, please see the documentation page at

Redesigning Your Site? No Problem. May 19, 2009

Vae allows you to define structures in a way that makes sense semantically, without getting tangled up in the design of your site. This has some powerful implications. For your clients, it should make it simple for them to navigate your structures in order to update their content. As a designer, it means that your content isn’t tied to the layout of your site.

With many other content management systems, you’ll find yourself organizing your content based on where it’s located on your site. In these systems, if you change your site, you have to update both the design and content structures. With Vae however, a site redesign doesn’t necessitate an overhaul of content structuring. We separate the content from its presentation completely.

The <v=> Tag May 18, 2009

Vae’s shortcut tags are well documented in our Documentation and Integration Center, but we’d like to take a moment to remind you just how useful the <v=path> tag can be. While the tag can be used anywhere in your HTML/XML, it’s used most often to insert content into a tag’s attribute. This property of the shortcut tags makes it possible to solve many problems that traditional CMS platforms do not address.

One example of this is injecting Vae content into a Lightbox image viewer. Lightbox is one of the many JavaScript libraries that make it possible to view your pictures in pretty modal popups. Once you have the Lightbox JavaScript libraries included in your document, the code to display a picture with Lightbox looks like this:

<a href="image.jpg" title="my caption"><img src="image_small.jpg" /></a>

With’s Vae’s shortcut tag, we can easily insert the path to an image that is managed by Vae. Here’s what it might look like:

<a href="<v=picture>" title="<v=caption>"><v:img path="picture" width="50" height="50" /></a>

No problem! Vae’s shortcut tags can make your life easier, so it’s worth reading up on them. If you want the full list of capabilities (like accessing Permlinks or injecting PHP), see the shortcut tags' documentation page.

What's A Permalink? May 15, 2009

Permanent links, or “Permalinks”, were first popularized in the world of blogs as a way to link back to individual blog posts. In Vae, designers use permalinks to link to individual entries in a collection.

Why use them? One reason is that they can keep your address bar looking much prettier. Instead of a confusing address with a long string of identifying characters, your address can look something like:

Permalinks are also a good practice if you’re concerned about SEO. Search engine spiders give value to addresses that your links produce. Creating permalinks with meaningful names could result in your site appearing higher in search engine results.

For more information on how to use Permalinks in Vae, see our documentation page on Permalinks.

Introducing Your Client to Vae May 14, 2009

Every designer that builds a website on Vae will eventually have to show their clients the Vae interface.  Here's a checklist of things you might want to do before introducing your clients to Vae.

  1. Prepare Vae for them. Under the Users tab, create a user account for the client to login to their site’s Backstage. When creating the user account, Vae will allow you to restrict what the user will have access to. If you know a user will never need to use a certain area of their Backstage – like if their site doesn’t have any eCommere, so they won’t be using the Store Tab – you might want to uncheck the applicable checkbox when creating their account. This makes the Vae experience more straight-forward for your user.  Generally, clients will not need access to the Site tab.
  2. You might also want to hide or freeze data that they’ll never need to update. You can hide or freeze a Collection or Structure under the Site tab. This ensures that no important content is edited by mistake.
  3. Create External Structures that reference any other websites they’ll need access to. If they have an external Wordpress blog, create an External Structure that points to the login page for that site. Creating these Structures makes it so your client needs to keep only one link bookmarked – their site’s Backstage. 
  4. Show them the Usage/Billing tab. Make sure your client knows where to update their credit card information, how to change their plan, and where to keep tabs of their usage.
  5. Introduce them to the Content Tab. This is likely the tab that they’ll frequent the most, as it’s where all content changes take place. Explain what each Collection and Section contains and any validations that you’ve created. If it’s relevant, make sure you show them how to enable, disable, and schedule Collection Entries.
  6. Don't forget to show them the Newsletter, Store, and Customers tabs, if their site utilizes those features.

These steps should ensure that your client loves Vae as much as you do.

Our Support Is Awesome May 13, 2009

Our current designers can attest that at Vae we make designer support a priority. Confused about paginating a collection? Choosing between credit card merchants? Don’t scratch your head for too long; In addition to our documentation, our Account Managers are there to help you work through every issue.

Vae Account Managers have helped designers construct many sites, so they can also make suggestions. If for example you’re creating your first blog with Vae, and you’d like to see some example code, our Account Mangers can code that kind of stuff up for you quickly. We’re committed to helping you get your sites up and running ASAP.

As we like to say, there’s no problem too big – or too small! – for the Vae support staff to help you with. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Who's Using Vae? May 12, 2009

At Vae, we’re committed to giving designers powerful tools to develop with, while at the same time giving them complete design freedom. To some, a CMS and design freedom might seem like opposing forces. At Vae, we solve this issue with our carefully thought-out presentation language, VaeML, as well as an incredibly robust PHP API.

The proof is in the pudding, though. Let’s take a look at a few of our favorite sites that are utilizing Vae.

Flying Point Surf
Flying Point features a sleak surf shop using Vae’s eCommerce. Notice that they sell more than surf boards; Vae makes it especially easy to categorize your content on sites like this.

Gin Lan Media
Gin Lane Media is top-notch web design firm who consistently produce beautiful sites, often utilizing Vae in the process. In fact, when it came time to design their own site, Gin Lane opted to use Vae to make their site easy-to-update as their company’s portfolio grows.

Green Owl Records
Green Owl Records is a Brooklyn-based record label that believes “great music can be sustainable—both economically and environmentally.” Having their site designed with Vae means they can manage their artists, albums, and blog posts all in one place.

Tom Sachs
A great example of an effective portfolio site made with Vae.  Notice also the added store. Vae’s fair pricing plan along with its easy eCommerce integration make it possible for even small sites to have a shop.