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Knubbi

Processwire badly needs a modern Website template preset

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Please take this suggestion, based from the view of a decision maker which framework to use:

I hear you saying: "Processwire can do everything. It is not limited to web sites."

Sure, it's true and we all got it. However, you canot target "everything". You have to market to specific demand.

The success of WP and Bootstrap is their totally overwhelming "out-of-the-box" instant gratification. Click.. Click.. AWESOME website. "Done!"

Of course, it is not done. However, users are hooked enough to dig deeper, study, try thing out, extend. And bam, they invested additional time and are captured in that ecosystem.

While the Processwire installation technically is flawless, it spits out newbies into the desert (or alternatively into nah sort of website template). The gap between the Processwire post-installation situation and something WP provides with their modern templates is too high.

We almost skipped Processwire, because we just didn't know how to get to a first success. It is only, that WP exploded after installing two incompatible plugins, that we came back.

We now work with a Processwire Pro to do the website for us but not everybody is willing to invest into the blind.

Processwire is totally awesome - I felt that with my very first look. It is so clean, fast, tight, professional, secure and flexible, that I want to see it thriving.

Please get users hooked with an awesome general startup experience, people can start working on. it doesn't take more than a beautiful modern website template and ideally with a page builder module preset.

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@Knubbi - i think you may be missing the fact that there are already some awesome profiles available that are out-of-the box very usable sites.

I haven't done the dare yet, but i **think** if I needed a complete site real quick, like a one pager, or a simple blog, i'd guess it could be completed quickly and easily.

Guess I'll have to try it to find out, and take the "how fast can you setup a (preconfigured profile, generic, no additional custom fields) processwire site" challenge. Will report back when done..

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i'd guess it could be completed quickly and easily.

No doubt. What I mean is, that the gap to get there is too wide for newbies.

 

Quote

please not again . . .

My apologies for any offense created. I am just enthusiastic and wanted to share my thoughts as someone who had a first contact to PW.

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Hi, 

ProcessWire does not compete with the WordPress market... Thank the lord. ProcessWire is for developers with basic to advanced knowladge who need a tool to make their vision a reality, easier. A framework. Much like jQuery. You must have some knowledge of JavaScript to fully understand jQuery.

Just like if you were to develop for WordPress, you'll need PHP knowledge. Well, unless you are looking to sell themes. I don't know why a PHP developer would touch WordPress. ProcessWire's API is so much easier.

So to answer your question, in ProcessWire you start here - http://php.net/docs.php then here - https://processwire.com/docs/
In WordPress you start here - https://wordpress.org/plugins/ then here - https://codex.wordpress.org/FAQ_My_site_was_hacked

Edit:
Notice how the 'My site was hacked' question was in the Frequently Asked Question section... Should it really be a frequently asked question? Because I don't think I've seen it asked once on the ProcessWire forum.

Edit2: 
Most people here just use the blank profile and see the other profiles as bloat.

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This is a conversation that comes up quite a bit in our shop. It's a valid point you make especially from the perspective of first-timers. I have ran into this a lot of times with people new to PW or even just in general web design dev conversations where PW comes up. I preach PW to all my fellows (of course) and I am often met with the same reaction... something along the lines of "we would have chosen PW because it seems perfect, but we needed to get something done [fast, easy, simple, etc.]..."

I am fully in the camp of the reason I love PW is that it doesn't force me into some frontend hell like other platforms (not mentioning any names). Of course, this is ideal for me as I am a frontend design/developer. So I see how there is this big gap in perception. I think there could be a strong market for prebuilt PW site profiles that are robust and full-featured. Especially if they focus on a specific demographic or genera (for lack of a better term) like real estate or business sites or hotels. 

With tools like the Repeater Matrix, we almost always build a WYSIWYG experience for all of our customers. So they can choose, drag and drop, and combine site elements however they want. They love it. Buuuutttt.... this is where the whole conversation gets tricky. 

The beauty of Processwire is that it's "an un-opinionated CMS/CMF". that literally is the magic sauce. So every time we break out this discussion and go down the idea phase of how we could actually create the type of experience you are suggesting... we end up at the same conclusion. That by making those content/layout/structure/design/ decisions in advance, we end up sacrificing the very thing that draws us to PW in the first place. 

I agree that PW is missed in a lot of cases. In my experience it goes like this: 

Developers: it's too simple - can't handle what I want to do. And they go a more "complicated" route. 

Designers: it's too hard, I can't seem to get something to appear instantly... it's too hard/slow/complicated.

I feel like I have been in that conversation 100 times.

I find that the people that take to PW are almost always people who have crafted their frontend chops and care enough about that part of the experience that they value PW's way of staying completely out of your way. At the same time giving you full control over the design of your admin/backend experience as well. I think making an out of the box solution to websites with PW ends up missing the reason it works so well in the first place. But, this is probably not the last time I jump into this conversation or start to think of how I can make some killer templates/site profiles for sale. hahaha.  

I hope this discussion continues because I think there is a piece of magic here... just haven't cracked the nut on it yet. 

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15 hours ago, Knubbi said:

The gap between the Processwire post-installation situation and something WP provides with their modern templates is too high.

Wordpress has one thing different than ProcessWire, which enables them to have such a high quality default theme: Just three types of data, where two are quite similar. It‘s post, pages and comments. The rest is wysiwyg content all the way.

In Processwire we don‘t have that and the power of it comes from not having that. 

Wordpress themes are just pretty frontends for a nearly non changing backend structure, which it had for years. In ProcessWire the first thing you probably do is creating your own content types (templates) and that‘s what no default theme can cater for. How should it know how to display that random blob of data you decided is a entity in websites domain? So there‘s not much incentive to spend a great amount of money on a high quality theme, which is unusable for just about any reasonable usage of processwire beyond „first impression“ after installation.

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21 hours ago, Knubbi said:

You have to market to specific demand.

21 hours ago, Knubbi said:

The success of WP and Bootstrap is their totally overwhelming "out-of-the-box" instant gratification. Click.. Click.. AWESOME website. "Done!"

I get your point and partly I share your opinion. Just wanted to mention that PW mainly exists for one reason: Ryan needs it to build professional websites for his clients. So with that in mind, the definition of "success" might be different 😉 

Don't want to add anything else to that discussion 🙂  I'm not on one or the other side. Imho it's really all about the goal of the project. And I don't think the goal is to make PW more popular. I think it was on the roadmap for 2017 (or earlier) but it is not any more on the roadmap for 2018: https://processwire.com/about/roadmap/

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Processwire badly needs a modern Website template preset

 

I see where you're coming from, but I would kindly disagree. PW will never really cater to the "click-and-install-my-entire-website-and-then-you-will-have-your-latte-macchiato-ready-for-you" crowd. wix.com and whathaveyou will do that for you, cheaper and faster.

Where PW really shines, is: Creating something that lives on the web, and doesn't make any assumptions how you're going to (re-) use that data in your frontend. There are so many trendy buzzwords, that it's hard to keep track of... PW is (e.g.) perfectly suitable as a "Headless CMS", or whatever the mot du jour is... For such scenarios, "modern website presets" just get in the way.

Edited by dragan
wording
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On 7/3/2018 at 10:55 AM, Knubbi said:

We almost skipped Processwire, because we just didn't know how to get to a first success.

IMHO this is the fundamental element in this discussion. In my first discovering of Processwire I did not understand how it really worked, since I came from more trational CMSs.

I have always thought that there is a lack of information on how to do "things" that are easy in other CMSs. I know that the power of Processwire comes from the freedom of doing things "your way", but sometimes someone needs just a functionality.

In my case I came from Drupal and from time to time I miss a module like Views in Processwire that makes so easy to build any type of queries from simple list to complex building blocks .

Maybe we need more documentation on "how to do common things".

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On 7/4/2018 at 5:46 PM, Krlos said:

In my case I came from Drupal and from time to time I miss a module like Views in Processwire that makes so easy to build any type of queries from simple list to complex building blocks .

 

I never worked with Drupal, but reading this about Drupal Views - I have to say there's nothing there feature-wise that you couldn't do with PW (even without extra modules). Unless I'm missing something... I just read the overview page.

PW's selector and Page Arrays are very powerful and flexible. When you started out with PW, didn't you see the selector docs?

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4 hours ago, dragan said:

I have to say there's nothing there feature-wise that you couldn't do with PW

You are absolutely right about this, you can build the same or better with PW api, but the views module in Drupal makes so easy for people with little or no technical background to build or modify query of content with no code at all.

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On 7/3/2018 at 4:55 PM, Knubbi said:

Of course, it is not done. However, users are hooked enough to dig deeper, study, try thing out, extend. And bam, they invested additional time and are captured in that ecosystem.

This.

On 7/4/2018 at 3:03 AM, joshuag said:

I think there could be a strong market for prebuilt PW site profiles that are robust and full-featured. Especially if they focus on a specific demographic or genera (for lack of a better term) like real estate or business sites or hotels. 

I think these two statements summ it up pretty well – @Knubbi's post is totally legit imho. Those who argue otherwhise (expect for @bernhard's point of PW becoming more popular not beeing a goal at all) miss the point I guess – yes you can do all things with PW and, yes we don't want a Drupal front-end-hell and for sure no second WP – BUT for people looking into PW there could be better ways to start:

I think @joshuag provied a solution that has both worlds – but it involves both Developers and Ryan. 

A strong Site-Profile market: 

  • Profile should have a well visible market where they could also be sold … directly integrated into the PW setup and processwire.com
  • Like Themes (which are often bundling other modules f.e. shopiing funcitonality etc.) they could be very powerfull, within their provided scope of Templates and Fields, as are WP Themes – Site Profiles come with the dependencies they need: for example Blog functionality etc. and provide a fast starting point for those who need what the profile combines. At the same time, they stay true to PW as they are just ready-made implementations of PW, not bloating the core or changing the way PW works
  • One can still start with a blank site

I think, what we miss is, that WP does not really work any different – there is a system and then there are some Themes on top of it providing basic functionality – But only well integrated with the Base-System. As soon as you want to add this or that – it requires manual work or it might look goofy or breaks stuff. We have the same situation with PW Profiles: We don't have to change the way PW works, what we need is strong support for readymade Sites, coming together with a few PW-Templates and Fields. Now this is not where most of us work as @joshuag said – but its a totally valid market and could easily life side by side with those crafting sites from the blank slate. 

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Disclaimer: I'm not against beautiful crafted and designed themes for ProcessWire. Nor am I against an easy entry into the ProcessWire world. 

On 7/3/2018 at 4:55 PM, Knubbi said:

Please get users hooked with an awesome general startup experience, people can start working on.

Users... who are these users?

  1. Is it the company owner that is in need of a one-pager/website to present his new start-up or product?
  2. Is it the company that wants to save money and wants to create something on their own?
  3. Is it the entrepreneur that needs a langing page builder to collect e-mail addresses in order to sell info products?
  4. Is it the photographer / film maker / author / designer that wants to share his/her work?
  5. Is it the young and new web developer that wants to know what he could achieve with ProcessWire?
  6. Is it the guy that is curious about all kinds of CMSs out there?
  7. Is it the long time full stack developer that needs a solid foundation for his ideas and projects?
  8. Is it the agency that wants to be flexible in order to create stunning web sites with ease?
  9. Is it the WP user you want to encourage to switch the CMS?
  10. Is it the user that wants everything just by clicking around?

I think ProcessWire is right from the start way more for developers than end-users. Which is a good thing in my opinion.

And for those developers we can find some really nice starting points already.

 

Maybe there will be a company someday that wants to close that end-user-gap and pays a developer and designer full-time to create stunning themes/profiles.

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Maybe a little offtopic, maybe not (and short as I'm on mobile): I was thinking about something like a Frontend Framework several times. Not a theme or a profile. A framework that helps you with the tedious tasks (like including assets in the markup, seo, less compiling, page builder setup etc). Something that brings some kind of structure/Standard (and reusability) to the frontend as well and makes creating the basic setup even faster. But I always end up thinking that it would only be one way of doing it (for example I would build it for the uikit framework) and in the end it would only be useful to me and not to others.

Can'treally explain why but I really don't like site profiles. Especially not when it comes to keeping them up to date. That's why I created PW Kickstart. It always grabs the current version and you can easily customize the setup to your needs. If we had a frontend framework that made it easy (basically meaning making it one click) to install common components (like blog, seo, page builder, widgets) that would sometimes be great. But on the other hand that's just not how pw works. At least not yet. If course we have modules, but they are always decoupled from the frontend. IMHO it would be great to have another option of modules that modify the Backend AND the frontend.

Looking forward to hearing your opinions. Have a nice weekend 🙂

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13 minutes ago, bernhard said:

Can'treally explain why but I really don't like site profiles. Especially not when it comes to keeping them up to date.

It does not need to be updated all the time, there only need to be new ones once every now an then. A (bundled) theme with WP also only lasts for about a year or so. It's about a good starting point, nothing more. 

Since PW is pretty stable imo, a profile is totally okay. If you use Uikit at front-end and theme it, you could probably even update it quit easily. Have a elements implementet, maps, slider etc. with blog and comment > voila, ui-framework with themes on top and a few basic PW-templates as starting point for many people.

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