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SamC

Profields - to buy or not to buy

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Hi everyone,

I've been going back and forth trying to decide whether or not to buy the profields. I find myself being dictated by the fields which then ends up in the overall design on the page on a website, if that makes any sense. I want more freedom, to be able to pen out a design, and know I've got maximum flexibility and being able to re-use fields as much as possible (I'll go into this). The user experience (i.e. client editing pages) is paramount. It's no good if I'm the only one who understands it. For example, I want a page:

---LOGO - MENU---

Main image (image field, allow 1 only)
Title (text field)
Short summary/or something (text area)
Body text (text area ckeditor)

---FULL WIDTH BAR---
Title (text field)
Body text (text area ckeditor)
---END FULL WIDTH BAR---

---FULL WIDTH BAR---
Title (text field)
Images (a gallery or something - image field, multiple array, unlimited)
Body text (text area ckeditor)
---END FULL WIDTH BAR---

---FULL WIDTH BAR---
Body (text area ckeditor)
Quote (text area)
---END FULL WIDTH BAR---

 

So it seems it doesn't take long to start requiring fields that don't quite cover each other (and need multiple titles for example). So I start doing things like:

title - text field
summaryTitle - text field
galleryTitle - text field
postBodyTitle - text field
body - text area (ckeditor)
postBody - text area (ckeditor)
galleryBody - text area (ckeditor)

 

It's a mess, and a nightmare. Will profields allow me to reuse fields much more efficiently than the above? Or is there simply a better way to do this using existing fields? i.e. how do I handle having more than one title on the page, or multiple body text areas? I came from Drupal, then Craft CMS, and the matrix field in craft was the business. This was exactly the type of scenario that it was made for. Seems the profields repeater matrix may solve a bunch of my problems in one fell swoop but after a few insights first as it's £100 and I'm on a very tight budget. I 'can' buy it, but need some good reasons to do that first as I don't have the luxury right now of being to buy it just to experiment.

Any extra information (read: persuasion) is appreciated. Thanks.

 

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I don't want to live without ProFields anymore!

If your fields have all the same requirements then ProFields Textareas is your friend. The name a bit misleading, because it covers more than just Textareas. Also oneline inputs and more(Email, Datetime...). Imagine 10 or more input type text with different sizes, titles and notes, all grouped together but just a single database field!
My clients love it! And so do I.

RepeaterMatrix is a work of art in itself.

Those two fields alone are worth every Penny/Cent/CurrencyOfChoice!

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TLDR: Buy ProFields

10 hours ago, SamC said:

So it seems it doesn't take long to start requiring fields that don't quite cover each other (and need multiple titles for example). So I start doing things like:

title - text field
summaryTitle - text field
galleryTitle - text field
postBodyTitle - text field
body - text area (ckeditor)
postBody - text area (ckeditor)
galleryBody - text area (ckeditor)

 

It's a mess, and a nightmare.

I don't understand why that brief list of fields is a "mess and a nightmare". I know the general advice given is to reuse fields where possible but I think people sometimes take this suggestion a bit too seriously. Create the fields you need and forget stressing about whether you have perfectly optimised the reuse of fields. If you have less than, say, 100 fields in your site you really have nothing to worry about. I think I saw a post recently where Lost Kobrakai was talking about a site of his with over 800 fields.

But ProFields... You mention client editing experience, so I take that to mean you (like me) earn an income from developing websites. With that in mind here are some things to consider when making your decision whether or not to purchase ProFields...

Have you thought about how lucky we developers are that we can earn an income with virtually no overhead costs? With so much fantastic open-source software made available to us at no cost we are in a very fortunate position. We could design and develop websites entirely with free software if we so choose. Hell, if we wanted we could go to the landfill and probably pick up a free old computer that would be perfectly adequate to develop a website on. Now think about the carpenters and dentists and all those other professions that must purchase real physical tools (that wear out) in order to earn a living. £100 doesn't go very far if you need to buy a table saw.

On the topic of open-source, think about what Mr Ryan Cramer has provided us with in ProcessWire. People with his level of skill do not need to be contributing their time for free to open-source projects - they are in very high demand for all kinds of lucrative work. Purchasing a Pro module from Ryan is a way to show appreciation for the generous work he puts into PW.

PW is not just great free software, it is great software full-stop. You mention previously having worked with Drupal and Craft CMS. Time is money, so think of all the money you have saved by the quick development workflow that PW allows vs Drupal. And Craft CMS costs USD$299 per website and is still not as powerful as the PW core.

Ryan's Pro modules are insanely good value for money. The price that you can purchase a dev license that allows you unlimited use of the modules is more than reasonable. For comparison, here is one of the most popular addons for Concrete5: http://www.concrete5.org/marketplace/addons/block-designer-pro
There is no unlimited license, and a license for 5 installations costs USD$276.25. And it requires "Block Designer" so that's another USD$120 for 5 installations, bringing the cost to USD$396.25. I haven't used it but it looks like it is basically the equivalent of Repeater Matrix. But probably not as elegant. And with ProFields you get another four modules bundled in. For unlimited use. For USD$129.

Hope this has helped make the decision a little easier. :)

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The  "mess and a nightmare" bit refers to this list expanding and becoming more difficult to manage. But it seems I shouldn't be too concerned about this :)

I don't earn an income from making websites, I'm a charity worker 3/4 days a week so web stuff has to get squeezed in evenings/weekends and 1 or 2 days a week. I've been doing it since about 2004 off and on, made a go of it self-employed in 2012-2015, made some £££ with Drupal (websites plus consultancy on responsive design) but couldn't continue because of working full time, balancing family life and doing a computer science diploma at the same time drained me. Just not enough hours in the week!

I have a part time job now (so more time to give self employment a decent shot) so this is another reason why workflow has to be fast (and why I have enjoyed PW so much), although it hasn't 'saved' me any money so far because I gotta make some first.

I'm striving towards doing this full time, although 'custom websites' seems quite a difficult niche to carve out because if all the templates available online. Still debating whether to offer 'all bespoke' or have a cheapo option where I plug in a template of their choice. Of course, PW makes this easy and I did exactly this for my stepson, grabbed a static template, converted to PW, job done.

I've made three PW sites so far, my own (work in progress) and two freebies for local charities, but I've already heard the dreaded "why not use a free wordpress template, then I can install plugins as required". The influence is strong with WP.

<?php define( 'WP_USE_THEMES', false ); get_header(); ?>

<?php if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
	<p>Bang head repeatedly against the wall</p>
<?php endwhile; else : ?>
	<p><?php _e( 'Sorry, better get back to the codex.' ); ?></p>
<?php endif; ?>

Anyway, thanks for the advice people, I'm also off to the store to buy profields.

--EDIT--
Installed and ready to go, pretty excited :) 

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17 hours ago, SamC said:

I'm striving towards doing this full time, although 'custom websites' seems quite a difficult niche to carve out because if all the templates available online. Still debating whether to offer 'all bespoke' or have a cheapo option where I plug in a template of their choice.

Do you do design websites as well as develop them? If you do then my experience has been that there is plenty of work available from businesses and organisations who care about and understand the benefits of high-quality bespoke design and development. Yes, there are many out there who think that a $40 Wordpress theme is good enough and don't want to pay above the minimum - if job satisfaction is important to you, you don't want those people as clients. You'll hate the client, hate the finished website, and end up hating your job.

You say you also work in the charity sector - I think that is a good sector to target as a specialisation and maybe you can make use of your contacts there to get started. Most of my clients are not-for-profits, mainly environmental organisations. I have found them to be excellent organisations to work with - friendly, sensible people, happy to take advice and willing to let you get on and do your work without a lot of interference. Another benefit is that these organisations often fund their projects from grants. This makes them less price-sensitive. To be clear, I'm not talking about gouging them on price - just that you can quote a fair price and they base their funding application on that and there's no grizzling and bargaining over cost like you can get in the for-profit sector.

I live/work in the middle-of-nowhere rural New Zealand, I have never advertised or done any kind of promotion, and have been fortunate enough to always have a steady stream of work. And believe it or not, in the ten years I have been doing web work I have never had a client request a Wordpress site. I think positive word-of-mouth is key, and the great thing about it is that good people tend to know other good people so you generally avoid those Clients From Hell. To get good word of mouth you need to exceed expectations - set yourself high standards, have meticulous attention to detail, and deliver that bit extra.

Best of luck with your career! :)

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@Robin S thanks for the advice. I design sites from scratch with my own small sass boilerplate for typography etc, including the awesome @include-media for breakpoints, best solution I've seen. My CSS skills outweigh my JS ones but I'm working hard on JS at the moment to catch up a bit (although the syntax bothers me somewhat).

My charity work is the mental health/learning disabilities sector and it is a field I'd like to stay close to. I feel they make an actual difference to people, rather than the 'design studio look at our new ad for pepsi' stuff. Worth millions but all it's good for is giving people bad teeth.

My PHP skills are ok (as long as I have the manual close...) but this is why I like the PW API so much, grabbing stuff out the database just couldn't be simpler.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I just love making websites basically! Have done for over a decade, it never gets old for me, my enthusiasm probably outweighs all my skills combined :)

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Hey gents. I've been asking myself this question for quite a while now and even though I've completed some projects purely and entirely out of PW core + free modules, I've been always envy of the simplicity in code and to minimize the database/website load. As it appears, in times when I had to revise some of the profiles code I was finding a better and simpler approach based on some shared recent or good old (but not forgotten) tricks by all the smart persons presenting this amazing ProcessWire community. The more I analyze the code, the more strong need I feel to get the ProFields module for several reasons: 

a.) All the advice and help that have lead me to my present skills were kindly given absolutely for free with no questions asked and no matter if the answer was helping me generate some revenue. I am 100% convinced that I "owe" back to the community and its major developers the support (my 5 cents back 😉 )

b.) Being a bit selfish - I would really like to spend less time on a project while still delivering the same if not much better and simpler solutions. To achieve all this, I would need the tools kindly included in the "ProcessWire toolbox" called ProFields. Initially my plan was to build a few profiles, generate some revenue and then spend some of the finance to purchase the tools needed, however most of the profiles I've built were for personal or close friends/relatives from which I did not generate much out of respect. But I've learned that with the proper tools, even when I am "working for pennies" I can complete the project faster/easier and move on to the next of kind.

c.) As it was previously mentioned, everybody is in a need of a stable financial position as otherwise no matter how good is the will, everything seems to be doomed to an end of a failure. By buying the ProFields module, I would not only support the respectful development team, but also the community itself as the new releases, modules, tweaks etc. would keep on going. To me - this seems like a healthy recipe of success.

d.) Not sure about others, but at least in Canada I am allowed to claim some work related expenses while working as a self employed, so I have a choice to either give/share my money with the developers team or to give them to the government in the form of taxes. Well, let's just say I got tired of paying taxes 😉

e.) The words: "free for life" or "use on as many websites you want" got me by surprise. Most of the platforms I am aware of are selling their licenses per user, per device, per website etc. but I have not seen a single one stating that I can use a bunch of modules to sell websites etc. and that can go on and on to as many users as I can convince of my skills.

I have some pre-sale questions, but I am sure that everything is as well covered as it is with all the freebies so I will not pose some, wait for answers and waste more time on this. I am about to start working on a new project where I clearly stated that without the tools I need, I won't be participating so I am very much eager to start "playing" soon with all the masterpieces included in ProFields. 

I just wish that the price was in Canadian dollars or at least I've bought the license at the time when CAD to US was 1.04 to 1, but hey - it is an economy driven situation so there is no one to blame on this other than myself waiting for so long.

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Posted (edited)

Hello for all.

In my projects I use my custom modules, but watch videos and read about Profields and my opinion is that Profields provide rich and elegant solutions to solve task in first post. Also what I like about Profields are "rights and permissions" and agree with @MilenKo .

Thanks to ProcessWire, there are always many options how something can be done using only existing fields. As "free-solution" example (for the first post task) is to use independent page tree with small content blocks ("partials") and on desired page using existing PW field to select "partials" (eg. just 1 page reference field, or repeater, or page table). Sorry because I don't write more about this "free solution" example but I don't want to go to off-topic.

Differents are how elegant would be final result (UI and UX), flexibility, resources (db tables), is it free or need to pay, or time needed for custom development module(s).
Regards.

Edited by OLSA
off-topic
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On 6/25/2019 at 12:05 AM, MilenKo said:

I am 100% convinced that I "owe" back to the community and its major developers the support (my 5 cents back 😉 )

Buying ProFields for this reason only should be enough 🙂 After all, without Ryan there is no ProcessWire so we need to support him.

Anyway, I think ProFields really shines when one needs it for Repeater Matrix. The other modules can also come in handy sometimes but with other free modules and/or other built in modules similar functionalities can also be implemented mostly without too much effort.

What I find not powerful enough is Table. The features of Table are quite limited. I understand that implementing such an inputfield is quite time consuming, so developing a much more powerful ProTable module as an independent paid module would make sense. For example, @bernhard has been working on his on his modules (#1 and #2 and maybe more?) and we also have the not-really-worked-on-anymore ProFields: Page Table with lots of lucking features as well (eg.: pagination). All this development effort towards an independent Pro module based on tabulator.info would be welcome. I imagine a "ProFields: Page Table" based on Tabulator which would be a big hit...

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1 hour ago, szabesz said:

All this development effort towards an independent Pro module based on tabulator.info would be welcome. I imagine a "ProFields: Page Table" based on Tabulator which would be a big hit...

Already in the works and making good progress 🙂 

On 3/9/2017 at 10:47 PM, Robin S said:

Have you thought about how lucky we developers are that we can earn an income with virtually no overhead costs?

On 3/11/2017 at 3:18 AM, Robin S said:

Best of luck with your career! :)

Great 2 posts, @Robin S! Thank you for all your contributions and always positive and helpful comments. It's really great having you here! 🙂 

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9 hours ago, bernhard said:

Great 2 posts, @Robin S! Thank you for all your contributions and always positive and helpful comments. It's really great having you here!

Thanks 🙂

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Hello - I'm going to buy profields later today or tomorrow, but does anyone know if it ships with a site sample are other examples? I've searched and it seems like usage examples are pretty few and far between. Thanks!

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@Jim Bailie You'll find plenty of examples in the dedicated pro forum threads, once you buy it. And people are happy to share their own code-snippets / advices in those forums.

"site sample": not sure if you think of it as a special installable site-profile. If so, then I would guess no. 

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Just adding my 2 cents as an encouragement for anyone considering buying pro modules.

I am NOT a developer, but have very gladly worked with developers from this wonderful forum.

I have bought 5 pro modules so far, also ones I do not use on any of my sites. All of my sites use procache, form builder and repeater matrix.

Anybody out there who does not use procache, you are leaving money on the table by not speeding up your site.

I try to make a living from my sites, and mostly succeed, and increased speed of my sites so far always translated to more sales, so procache is a must in my book.

I bought promailer but do not use it, also prodevtools which I don't even understand what it does, but if Ryan makes it, and I can even slightly understand what it does, I'll just buy as my means of showing appreciation for this incredible piece of art we call processwire, which makes me money every day.

I also bought padloper which I do not use, but I bought because I like the idea of a good shopping cart being developed for PW.

Sorry for the rant, but I love this thing called Processwire!

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Now I haven't done any development for a number of months now, just kinda lost the mojo. Maybe it'll return, maybe not, but I still like to check out the forum once in awhile.

I used repeater matrix a lot on one site. I think it's not only useful, but essential. If you have a page that has a lot of content in the form of title > paragraph > image > paragraph > quote > image > paragraph etc... good luck with doing that in either a huge single text field or multiple fields all cobbled together in a specific order that's awkward to change. I can't say I used the other included goodies as much, but repeater is worth its weight in gold, plus buying it supports an amazing project.

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3 hours ago, OllieMackJames said:

Anybody out there who does not use procache, you are leaving money on the table by not speeding up your site.

Yeah, I am eager to use ProCache. After having built some fairly complex caching functionality with Nginx/Openresty/Lua for a high traffic, public facing site, it would be nice just to let the framework take care of most of the heavy lifting.

Most of my work now is for internal CRUD and content management, but as soon as we get an opportunity to build something public facing with PW, we'll whip out the credit card 🙂

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