Thinking about building an "easy" site profiletemplates newbies
Posted 15 February 2012 - 02:47 PM
Over the weekend, a friend showed me a temp site he'd set up for an academic project. He had spent all afternoon wrestling with Drupal to get a few pages up, and while I was quick to suggest that next time he try a more appropriate CMS for a five-page site, I wondered what the best suggestion would be.
I suggested GetSimple because it's the simplest I've used, but that got me thinking about my favorite CMS: ProcessWire doesn't really have a true default template like you get with GetSimple, WordPress or Drupal, only an example site. It makes sense, as PW isn't really geared toward projects that would use a default site theme, but I wonder if there might be some benefit to having an "easy" site template that would let someone start a simple site with PW but grow into something much bigger if they ever needed to.
I'm thinking I'd probably build the template with some hidden pages to configure parts of the template that are hard-coded in normal bespoke templates, such as the site title (or maybe an image upload) in the header, footer info, and so on. Does this sound like a good idea? Any suggestions?
 I really shouldn't be calling this a "template" because that term in PW refers to the individual page templates, and not the set of them. It's not really a theme, either, because it's also page content in the admin. Is this technically a site "profile" that I'm describing here?
Posted 15 February 2012 - 03:31 PM
I was also thinking that it would be nice if there was some profiles to share in PW website. But even better would be to create a PW community driven profile, maybe a blog, or a tumbleblog with everything that could make it very simple to use and really great (posting by email or bookmarklet, user being able to change background color, image header, logo, text typeface, simple widgets, etc etc etc). Would be great publicity for PW, and encourage non developers to also try it.
Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:52 PM
Encouraging your average WordPress user to try ProcessWire for their next site is definitely one of the potential benefits of this idea. I wonder, though... If PW attained a certain level of popularity, would the profile format work as an off-the-shelf setup in the ThemeForest vein? Or is it too bespoke-oriented? Are the people who need a quick website and buy from ThemeForest better served by WordPress anyway?
PW is such a powerful system that it feels like it's way more than your average quickie site admin needs, and yet it's almost easier to create a new page in PW than it is in WP (and honestly much easier than in Drupal). So it seems like there really is room to grow into the less-technical user market, at least from my perspective.
Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:02 PM
I think it's not a bad idea to have a profile like you mentioned. Though I think PW's appeal is really to the designer/developer audience that can appreciate what ProcessWire does (relative to something like WordPress). But I'm all for expanding the audience. If having such a profile broadens our appeal, seems like a good thing.
Posted 15 February 2012 - 06:55 PM
Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:33 PM
I actually started on this this afternoon as I had some free time at work, and quickly realized I need to learn more about the admin system. Currently, I have fields for site name, tagline, and footer content. Originally, I had intended to just drop these fields into a page and set it to hidden, but—d'oh—of course, I could just create a new page in the admin. So I did that, but I'm not sure what to do with it next: do I need to select a process for it? How do I get those fields onto this new admin page?
Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:26 AM
Posted 19 February 2012 - 12:00 AM
I'm hoping to have an alpha version ready in the next few days, but here's a preview:
The goal here is a versatile, one-stop theme that looks good enough right out of the box that people would be proud to use it as-is for their site (like some of the great premium WordPress themes like Khoi Vinh's Basic Maths or iA Japan's iA3, only free ), but also a site profile that does two things: Has a few "advanced features" that aren't so effortless with other popular CMSs such as footer pages and switchable image slots, and demonstrates that these features are built using nothing more than PW's field system and a few lines of PHP.
Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:38 AM
I think you're definitely right about the goals of such a profile - showing off enough to entice someone to learn more, wonder how it can be this easy, and actually be able to use it as their site (or rapid prototyping for a project or whatever they want ).
Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:46 AM
Even though I think I have got over the earliest teething troubles of using ProcessWire, I look forward to downloading this profile when it is released. I am sure I will learn loads more from it!
Posted 21 February 2012 - 01:12 PM
Are you thinking of including a blog section statestreet? A blog with categories is a bit more time consuming to build and probably a bit confusing for your average user starting out with PW - at least that was certainly the case for me. Once you get the page based paradigm in PW it's a breeze and showing this in profile should really help.
Great work so far!!!
Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:01 AM
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