OK, that's quite a long list! :-) I can see from the site that you've already got to grips with the basics of design
- I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'product highlights'. There are toolbars you can use to change text colours, embolden etc. The general principle is that the toolbar in the Details panel of the Content tab changes the individual item, whereas the one in the Design tab changes the appearance of the selected element throughout the site. For things like adding a border around a product entry, you would need to create a different Product Layout and select that layout for the individual product
- Cleaning the code and css is actually a huge job. We are undertaking it ourselves for version 12.
- Hard to comment on text vs products without something more specific, and hard to be very specific in a forum. You can interleave products with fragments, which is a good way of adding more text if you need to.
- You can add one link into any product or section description, similar to putting a link in a fragment; and a fragment can comprise a link and doesn't need to include anything else. If you want multiple links in the description field, the only way is to use HTML
- Again, we have some big improvements to the search lined up for v12. Otherwise the only alternative is to use a different search script instead of the one provided. I've used the Fluid Dynamics search in the past. It's quite sophisticated, there's a free version, and it's not to hard to install
- You can enable searching on custom variables in the Search Settings. You can create custom search forms by copying the search layout from the Search page, and replace any Input or Select field with a Hidden field with a hard-coded value. The only limitation is, the options presented are universal across the site. V12 will be a lot more flexible and will allow category-specific searches.
- You could potentially use blocks to insert page content at upload, but you would have to do that in PHP. If you create a block in the following format, everything inside it will be processed as PHP. You can include Actinic variables. If you have v10, there is a basic example in the Mega menu section of the default style sheet.
- A 404 page is an interesting request. I'm going to add that to our wish list - surprisingly, I don't think we've been asked for that before. I will give it some thought. IWHT it could be done using a Brochure page, if I can think of a way of excluding it from the menu.
- You can export data in csv files, they come out in a hierarchical format that can be edited and reimported. In the Actinic v11 folder there is a utility FlatFileConverter.exe that can convert standard .csv files to the same format (there are sample files in your Site 'Common' folder). Or if you have Actinic Business, you can link dynamically to an external database or spreadsheet and update the data in that.
I hope this helps a little anyway. If you need more, the Actinic design training course is very good.