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Additional Templates

Discussion in 'Web Presence Builder' started by Jayson, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Jayson

    Jayson Basic Pleskian

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    Hello,

    I had downloaded hundreds of extra templates for my Sitebuilder 4.x install. Does parallels offer additional templates for download in Web Presence?


    Regards,
     
  2. custer

    custer Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Jayson,


    There are no additional templates (design or content) available for WPB now. Everything that's available is already added to the product. Thank you.
     
  3. LEGERM

    LEGERM New Pleskian

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    Hello,
    is there any way to add templates or will it be possible to add own template in future?
     
  4. hugosnel

    hugosnel Basic Pleskian

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    Same question already posed by me on webseminar

    I posted the same question on yesterdays webseminar.
    What I understood from Lowell Anderson was that it should be possible.
    Hope that the question will be answered here by Custer or one of his collegues!
     
  5. custer

    custer Administrator Staff Member

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    Hey guys,

    If you want to create your own Design Templates, it will be possible in 11.1. Website administrators will be able to save current website design (all data in Design tab plus all modules in site-wide areas), and import/export it. We're also planning to add the same possibility for hosters -- you should be able to create a bunch of website designs in WPB, import them to external file, upload them to your server and make them available to everyone.
     
  6. JonathanRockett

    JonathanRockett New Pleskian

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    That's fantastic news custer, as this issue (in my opinion) has been the fatal flaw of an otherwise fantastic CMS/site builder, and is at the very top of the list for most of us in terms of future versions.

    I have a suggestion:

    First, I feel that Parallels was a bit too ambitious with the evolution from SB 4.5 to WPB when they tried to make 'Topics' - industry and subject-specific content templates for the user (notice I said 'content' templates, not 'design' templates). As has already been addressed elsewhere in this forum, I am aware that WPB does not (or intend) to contain 'Templates' - meaning professionally designed, graphically significant website templates. Many of us hosters and web designers using WPB for our clients are perfectly capable of creating great-looking designs ourselves using WPB (jackgravina.com - legendarylocalswestford.com - marilynrockett.com). I, for one, wouldn't want Parallels responsible for my clients' graphic design. You guys are software developers, and make an awesome product - it should stay that way :)

    ...But here's where (in my opinion) Parallels half-assed things by trying to offer 'Topics' specific to certain business types or subjects for which people might create a website. I guess the idea was to 'get users started' by having a few pages set up already (About Us, Our Services, Contact, etc.) and a bit of text content on each page, correct? But unless the website copy is well-written, engaging, SEO friendly, etc., then it looks to the end-user like a very poor product (even though I, and I'm sure others, feel it is a fantastic product, and a great site-building engine in terms of it's simplicity and capabilities). But unfortunately, each 'topic' contains little more than a couple lines of poorly written English and a 'header' image (most of which are very tacky).

    SO... Here's my suggestion:

    I think Parallels would be better off to simply offer TWO OR THREE starter 'templates' with Lorem Ipsum placeholder text in each, to get users started in terms of layouts (1-column, 2-column, etc.) and get rid of the 'Topics' (leave the copywriting to the writers). It seems silly to make the user go through such a long list of 'topics' (including categories, a search feature, etc.), only to find upon loading them that there are only a few lines of content and a randomized (often very ugly) color scheme. It can be quite insulting to the end user.

    If v. 11.1 will have the ability to allow us to create our own templates and make them accessible in the Editor, then that's great! - end-users could have the CHOICE of starting with a blank canvas (just choosing from a couple layouts with no content to start) OR starting with a full-blown, professionally designed template provided by us (the hosters, designers, etc.).

    Since Parallels is already developing the ability for us to provide custom templates, I guess all I'm suggesting is that they scrap the 'Topics' idea - because it's TERRIBLE.

    Sorry this post is so long, but on a final, related note, one of my favorite features of WPB is the unlimited 'version control' possible via the download/upload of the .ssb snapshot files. In my opinion, that makes WPB better than any other hosted, wysiwyg site builder product available. It was my intention to get around the current 'lack of design templates' issue by creating some nice-looking sites on a dev domain of my own, then providing the .ssb's to my customers for use on their own WPB account. The problem I encountered was that when you load an .ssb file into WPB on a domain other than the one on which it was created, the images are not carried over (although they are visible in the editor, when you publish they are not on the site). So I've had to manually ftp the images to the customers' domain when they are ready to publish for the first time (/attachments/image/).

    Is that a bug, or was it never intended that a snapshot could be uploaded to a different WPB domain?

    Thanks so much,

    -Jonathan
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  7. LEGERM

    LEGERM New Pleskian

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    Hello, do you when version 1.1 wil be released?
     
  8. custer

    custer Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for such a detailed and thought-out reply, it was very informative.

    You have to keep in mind that our customer base is pretty diverse, so what works for you might not work for somebody else. We have a lot of positive feedback about our pre-written website topics, so we'll be working on improving their quality and adding more of them as our customers continue to request particular topics.

    However, if you do not want to use website topics, you can get rid of them pretty easily -- use snapshot2wst utility that allows you to create custom website topics, and hide all topics you don't want to see. I guess you'd want to leave Generic Website topic and maybe General Blog & Generic Store topics, or you can add your own topics that suit your offering.

    Website designs you've created in WPB are very cool -- thanks for sharing them! We will offer the ability to save your website design to a file and add it to the list of design templates in 11.1 (out in ~Q1 2012). Note that design template selection is available for website owners once they've chosen their website topic (that is, it's in the editor -- see attached screenshot for reference).

    We also plans on improving the snapshot functionality -- our idea is to split it into actual full website backup and more dynamic website revisions. The problem you describe with not saving documents from Document Manager or images from Image Gallery is not really a bug -- it's a known limitation of current implementation. Snapshots save website state from the WPB database, and these documents/images are located on hosting, not in the database. It's possible to save them in snapshots as well, though, we plan to fix this later.

    Let me know if you have more questions or suggestions, Jonathan, and thanks for your feedback, it's very appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. JonathanRockett

    JonathanRockett New Pleskian

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    Very cool, Custer. Thanks for the 'sneak peek' screen shot. I think it's great that v.11.1 will allow us to add our own custom templates into the editor for our customers... Nice work!

    I'd like to go ahead and customize the Topics section per your suggestion above. Can you provide more specific info on running the utility you mentioned? Also, will our customizations remain in place in the future when software updates are installed (i.e. upgrading to v.11.1)?

    Thanks again,

    -Jonathan
     
  10. custer

    custer Administrator Staff Member

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  11. JonathanRockett

    JonathanRockett New Pleskian

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    Thanks for the update - Looking forward to the release of 11.1... We're mere days away from the end of Q1, any info on a release date at this point?
     
  12. custer

    custer Administrator Staff Member

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  13. JonathanRockett

    JonathanRockett New Pleskian

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    Thanks for the quick replies - So are there plans to release 11.1 in the integrated bundle with Plesk Panel (that's what I'm currently using with 11.0)?

    Or perhaps a better question: If I were to use Presence Builder 11.1 stand-alone version and Plesk Panel/Business Manager as my hosting platform, do they interact in terms of auto provisioning accounts etc.? (That would actually solve the issue surrounding customers who we want to give only access to WPB, and not access to their hosting panel)...
     
  14. JonathanRockett

    JonathanRockett New Pleskian

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    UPDATE:

    OK, I just found the target release date of v. 11.5 for May 2013, and the beta/trial participation starting in April - I submitted my email and will wait...
     
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