Well, well, well… it’s been awhile, huh?

Maybe we bumped into some of you at any one of several journalism camps we were a part of this summer. Or maybe some of you stayed active and in touch with us in other ways over your break. Either way, we hope you’re settling into the new school year and ready to bring your news sites back to life after a long slumber.

At SNO, we’ve been busy all summer preparing to bring a variety of updates to our clients, including new FLEX features, enhanced support resources and refurbished site security.

So, enough of the small talk. We know you have other things to do. Let’s get to what matters.

Updates to FLEX: Good news, designers! With the latest updates to your FLEX theme, you now have added flexibility with your site’s width and staff page layout.

We’ve added measurements from 1100 to 1400 pixels to your Full-Width Browser Options, to enable you to take your site’s width to the edge of any size browser window. Then, with one of the new options selected, your site will dynamically adjust as your readers shrink and expand the size of their window — like magic!

For your staff pages, we’ve added options for using vertical photos on the snazzy-looking Photo Blocks setting. There, you can also set margins between blocks and adjust column settings for how many photos show up in a single row. Need a staff page to copy? Check this one out.

Finally, a reminder: your sites are entirely widget friendly. That includes full-width areas. So, we encourage you to start going away from the old settings for Teaser Bars and Showcase Carousel and build carousel and grid widgets in full-width widget areas instead. Need help? Submit a support ticket.

SSL Conversion: To put this in layman’s terms, we’ve made your site more secure by converting all SNO sites to SSL. There’s nothing you have to do and you shouldn’t notice any changes in your site’s functionality. The mark of an SSL site is the “https://” before your URL. Look up there — yours has it now. Techies, rejoice!

Unlimited Training Subscription: Ever find yourself needing more training but limited by the $75-a-piece price tag? Ever find yourself overwhelmed by all the information dumped on you within the usual hour-long session? For $200, schedule as many training sessions as you and your staff need in a year, with our Unlimited Training Annual Subscription.

We’ll still give you traditional sessions up to an hour, if that’s what you want, but with unlimited access there’s no harm in a 15- to 20-minute session on a specific topic, and then call it a day.

It’s a good deal. Order three single trainings at $75 each ($225) or the unlimited subscription for $200. Plus when you order three at once, we’re automatically converting you to the subscription, saving you $25 for your next tank of gas.

Sandbox Sites: Consider this your own, private online playground. Purchase a sandbox site for $10 per month ($120 for a whole year), and finally, have a place to let your designers’ imaginations run wild without consequences on your live site. It’s a testing ground to try new things, learn how to build something through practice, decide if you like it, and then take it to your live site to create the finished product.

Stay tuned. Some big things are happening at Best of SNO and the SNO Help Site. More on that next week.