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Peter Knight

Eden Studios

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Hu guys

I'm delighted to say that my new site is powered by Process Wire. Or rather, "Priceless Wine" and "Princess Wine" as my iPhone mistakenly predictive texts the name. :)

There is also a page on ProcessWire in the CMS section which I'd love your feedback on. Currently I don't think it truly communicates PWs best features for Editors but it's a good start.

Only almost finished?

The site isn't 100% complete so consider this a "soft launch". Once complete, it'll replace my existing edenweb.ie site which wasn't being updated or developed as much as it should. 

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Background - Why ProcessWire pt 1.

A few months back a key client who uses up approx 3 days of my week (for over 3 years) announced a pause on their web and marketing activities for various internal corporate reasons. This happened quite suddenly and obviously that left me with half my week "open" and needing to be filled. It also meant that I would be looking for new work and approaching prospects with a site which was approx 3 years out of date, under developed and didn't really communicate my latest skills or work.

Not ideal! - I rapidly needed something live.

But more importantly, I needed something better. :)

I needed something built on a CMS which would allow me to rapidly publish content and accelerate future ideas and development. In short, my current CMS is/was great but I was tired of working around default field sets and presumptions it made about my content (amongst other reasons). With ProcessWire, the ability to have a page with just two fields (if I want) is remarkably underestimated. It means I can customise field layouts appropriate to my content. Even better - it means I can customise field layouts appropriate to my clients content and I choose my CMS on their requirements.

Anyway, I made the decision to take a deep breath, take a few weeks to enjoy the extra unexpected free time and to rebuild the site in PW. My business will be 15 years old this January and I thought I'd mark the new year with a new domain, new business name and a new CMS. 

Here's to new beginnings!

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Under the hood

At the time of writing, the site is running 2.5.10 dev. 

There's not a huge amount of Modules running in the background. Where I've used a Module, it's been to accentuate back-end functionality rather than the front end. 

  • Config allows me to make setting changes directly within the admin. Its a great Module and saves me editing any config files and manually FTP'ing.
  • Lister Pro gives me an easy way to manage the "studio updates".
  • Hanna Code allows me to work with some of the tricker layouts such as the page on PW
  • Forms is used for the Contact Form and I'm using direct embed with some jQuery and CSS to strip out some unwanted formatting.
  • ProCache is running in the background to speed things up. Thats more out of professional curiosity right now Vs any focuseed attention on site speed.
  • AIOM was running recentlyto minify all my style sheets and JS but I pulled it recently. might revisit.
  • Blog module is running the er, blog! I've some work to do there in terms of content layout etc but it's a wonderful piece of work.
  • RenoTheme is keeping everything lovely in the admin
  • Upgrades is a real life saver and allows me to update the whole CMS in a few clicks 
  • MarkupSimpleNavigation is powering the menus.

Regarding the actual PHP used in templates, I doubt there's anything there of interest to you seasoned PHP guys. I've achieved 99% of the site using simple foreach loops and PW selectors.

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Background - Why ProcessWire pt 2.

When I first heard of PW, I was very content with my current CMS so I had a brief look around the site, read some blog posts but ultimately moved on. It looked interesting but I didn't really have a need to investigate further.

Fast forward a few years and realising I need to expand my CMS toolset a bit, I had a better look at PW and downloaded it. I really liked *some* elements and appreciated how I could determine the field layout. You see where this is going? Interest increasing!

But honestly? I couldn't imagine putting my clients on front of PW with the theme it had (at the time) and TinyMCE as the default editor. It looked real clunky and I wasn't sure I wanted another CMS with the tree representing pages. Somewhat trivial and shallow reasons not to use something but there we go. I'm a designer and I also have to think about my clients experiences too.

But I kept an eye on PW and in the background, a few things were happening which were interesting. 

  1. Communication from Ryan was frequent, open and transparent
  2. Planned updates were being released on or before schedule
  3. Unplanned updates were often released on or before I realised I even needed them :)
  4. I discovered TinyMCE could be swappable for CK editor and I could use alternative admin themes
  5. I discovered a few Modules for listing pages via DataTables as opposed to tree mode

Not really sure of the timeline here but this is from mid 2013 onwards btw. 

The crazy things is from that point onwards, it seemed increasingly impossible to ignore PW. Every few months there was an amazing leap in either the core features or some brilliant module I hoped for was published. EG:

  • I was looking for a way to decrease the time it takes to publish a page in the right place with the right template and the Add New button appeared
  • I was looking for a way to represent pages in a List rather than a tree and ListerPro was announed
  • Hoping for a better way to upgrade PW and the Update module was released
  • Needing a proper blog with categories and the Blog module was there
  • Looking for a better admin UI and RenoTheme came along
  • Needed more flexible field layouts in a matrix and ProFields released
  • Looking for a way to store chunks of html/php etc and Hanna Code was released
Ok, that sounds like an Arethra Franklin song about PW but you get the idea! :)

Seriously, it got to the point where I was either silently (or via the Forums) hoping for a particular feature and Ryan would already be working on it or would just release it having finished it. And it was always done in a much more elegant, scalable and powerful way than I imagined or hoped. Just last month I wrote a forum post highlighting a wish for an admin-based settings module. Thinking "nah, there I go complicating things again. Make do with the config.php file" I deleted it. Literally the next day, the Config module was released. It's spooky!

Anyway, I've rambled on a bit. But to sum up - I try to redo my site every few years in a different framework and platform. I can see the front-end framework changing in future but I think EdenStudios has found a good, permanent home in PW. PW and Ryan are doing everything right. It's not the only great CMS but it's a damn fine CMS in great hands supported by a great community.


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Really lovely looking site Peter - clean and professional, and a great writeup on PW too!

Only one quick thing I noticed - the dropdown menus are missing highlighting on subitems - not a big deal I guess, but the root item becomes almost invisible when hovering on the subitems because it goes back to being green text.

Love your post above too!

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Really lovely looking site Peter - clean and professional, and a great writeup on PW too!

Only one quick thing I noticed - the dropdown menus are missing highlighting on subitems - not a big deal I guess, but the root item becomes almost invisible when hovering on the subitems because it goes back to being green text.

Love your post above too!

Thanks man.

Noted about the menus. Thats what the Christmas break is for, right? :)

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The site looks nice.

You still could do some great optimization.

check your .htaccess

check the settings about minimization of CSS / JS etc. - I guess your AIOM Settings are not sufficient or not read!

check if all your images get minimized

enable gzip compression


simply read the report and try to eliminate point by point. They have also very good explanations. Afterwards you should be able to reach values which are 90% on Pagespeed and YSlow. With the right .htaccess settings even 95% and higher. When done your site should have a loading time which would be about 1.5sec and lower I hope.

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