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#1 osgzach

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

Hi,

 

This is just some general feedback,  and for full disclosure I have limited experience with Pagelines,  and certain things I bring up I guess can be considered "suggestions" for features that may not be present.   I take full blame for any assumptions I have made about what  PL could / couldn't do before I decided to purchase;  I did play around with the "Lite" version, after all.

 

You won't find an organized list or fancy chart,  this is just my opinion in a random string of sentences.   Just keep in mind I am still learning,  and I do consult documentation, etc.

 

 

Also I am currently working from a local server,  so any staff looking at my site won't see anything (except the current hand-built layout)

I'm new to Wordpress,  in that I've toyed with it once in a while,  but never really made the jump.   Mainly because my site is not really intended to be a "blog" type site anyway,  its just a distribution platform for a project of mine.   But WP does work equally well for those simple types of sites,  and its an active platform with supported extensions and all that.   I just got sick of trying to find   good  stuff for features I want on my site,  that are actively developed, don't have security issues, etc.    So I decided to give WP another go.   And PL seems very good at helping in the  physical layout department.

 

I really like the idea behind PageLines, and indeed it is a very professional product and is clearly capable of doing a lot of stuff.   That being said,  I find myself wishing for more customization options, related to appearance (Font sizes, colors for various link states, or specific types of links,  object borders, padding and positioning options, just to name a few)  which frankly I would have thought would already be present.

 

My primary reason for being interested was I just don't have the time/inclination to  hack up a custom WP layout to suit my needs and Drag & Drop appealed to me very much.  That being said,  I have started coming to the conclusion that as far as what the actual content looks like,  I'm probably going to have to write my own CSS anyway -  which kind of annoys me because  if I'm going to have to do that,  then why use Pagelines at all?    To be fair, I don't think PL was sold to me as a complete WYSIWYG  site editor,  but mainly an easy to use  Drag & Drop -layout- tool.

 

I guess I just feel some of the options included,  kind of give you the feeling other stuff should be easily editable as well.    You can pick some basic fonts for things,  but you can't apparently set their size (!).   Likewise you can choose a few basic color modifications, but you have no further options beyond what is provided...   The hyperlinks colors don't even  apply to hyperlinks in the  Byline of  blog posts,  which seems like an oversight to me?   Likewise  we have an option to add a shadow to the content area (kind of broken btw, until the content area finally extends down far enough),  but not even a simple option to  pretty up your blog posts,  i.e separating them into  "boxes"  that clearly deliniate one post from the next  (aesthetic choice, I know, but still would be nice).

 

 

One thing that does bother me,  is that I am using a classic  Navbar w/header logo above it.   I can't seem to locate any option to  adjust the spacing between the two (clearly a layout related issue),  nor any option to adjust their horizontal sizes to bring them in line with each other, relative to the content area.     It really bothers me that my logo is shorter than my navbar,  no matter what size I set for the main content area.   I also think those modifications should be enterable in a text box,  or we be given sliders which increment in 1px steps,  not pre-defined steps.    Either way,   if my logo is 960px wide,  and my content is 960px wide,  I do not believe my logo should be shrunk automatically and padding added.

 

I know that  PL likes to say  "we don't want to drown you in options",  but  in my opinion there are a lot of basic/essential options  that really are missing,  especially for a target audience who is  arguably using  PL so they don't have to modify files and write properties by hand in the first place.    Or maybe I am wrong about that.

 

Another issue I will mention,  is trying to delete those  boxes from the default setup while modifying it,  was ridiculously painful.   I might want to use the boxes feature in the future,  but I had to kill the widget itself from the layout,  because every time I tried to delete ALL the  "entries" for the pre-created ones, (to try and get them off the page) when the final one was deleted (or if I did a batch Trashing on all of them) --   they were immediately restored.   I don't know if that is an issue related to my local server being on a windows box or w/e,  but  I don't think it is  since everything else has not had issues  changing/modifying options or data..

 

I also can't seem to find any reasonably easy way to get rid of the  logo at the bottom of my test site (below the footer).   It was convoluted enough trying to track down how to  set the footer up the way I wanted with some simple text - but I'm still stuck with that  PL Logo -  I want it gone.  I don't want anything down there but the footer text.

 

I'm new,  I'm sure there is a learning curve to a lot of this stuff,  and I admit  sometimes it feels like I am given too many options I have no use for / interest in,  and others it feels like I don't have enough or what I want..   But I really do not like the idea of having to create a bunch of CSS code to get  things to appear on screen the way I would like, and maybe that is my initial mistake in presuming  PL would also offer a lot of control over that...   However I guess my point is,  if I'm going to invest a lot of time in that,  why not just spend a little more time and modify a WP template myself?

 

I'm not trying to be overly negative or anything,  its not really my intent to slam the product,  and I don't feel duped.   Just expressing my desire that  PL offer a little more in the way of  appearance related options, I guess.    I will definitely give it more time and do a lot more reading,   but in the end if I just end up having to write my own CSS for everything,  I may not have much use for PL and excersise my  30-day option.   It just wouldn't be worth it to me, from my point of view,  to have a  $70  tool just to shift my layout around.



#2 arpowers

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

Hey there, 

 

PL is meant to be a hybrid framework. 
 

What PageLines is really trying to do is bridge the gap between 'professional' and 'easy'..

Which means a few compromises, from time to time. 

 

In the case of your issues, they are both easily taken care of with about 2 lines of CSS. 

 

So while we could add around 500 to 1000 options to take care of every little thing people would want to do, we instead recommend a little CSS knowledge.  Its simpler and more professional. (if you don't care about 'professional' then we do rec. using a wysiwyg platform)

 

Setting the spacing is probably just as simple as margin: 20px; or whatever. 

 

Check out this video: 

 

Also we invest in lots of support resources and awesome people to help out, so we'll be here with your questions.

Live tech support here: http://www.pagelines.com/live



#3 Rob

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:08 PM

@osgzach

 

Hi,

 

Andrew is the founder of PageLines and one busy developer, so you're quite lucky to get a detailed reply from him.  Heck, I don't and I work for him! lol.

 

If you look at Dashboard > PageLines > Site Options > Website Setup, please scroll down to Website Watermark.  Below it, you'll find a check-box option to Hide Watermark.   This checked and saved removes the little leaf logo at the bottom of the sites. 

 

You can also opt to upload your own image, if you have one, instead of hiding.  Removing it, is as easy as a check box option. I promise.

 

When systems such as WordPress and PageLines grow, they often add so many options that they collapse under the weight of choices.  We integrate with WordPress, which allows for changing font sizes, colors, etc. in posts and pages. To add to Andrew's points, if we added all the options possible, rest assured someone would look for different options by other means.  So, he created, with our team, the key options needed to quickly get a site up, running and looking good.

 

CSS, which initially seems daunting, is actually very simple and easy to learn (I'm living proof of that).  It's the simple key to many customizations, like setting font sizes and colors, backgrounds for specific sections or elements, and so on. 

 

I'm a retired economist and food consultant, and implemented PageLines Framework into my formerly PHP-based site.  Now, it's one of the largest commercial sites using Framework, with over 80,000 posts and in total, almost 100,000 things to enjoy, read and experience.  I've customized just about everything you can imagine, and then some, and have to say I couldn't be happier. 

 

While learning CSS, I discovered how much greater control it gave me over each element I sought to change.  I could see, instantly, what effect it had by using Firebug for Firefox (www.getfirebug.com) and learned, very quickly, without any lessons.  Yes, in total, it took nearly a month, but I was winding down my other career and managing my business at the same time.  Still, in as little as three days, I had my site up, running and looking as I wanted it to appear.  The rest was, speaking as owner of a food site, gravy. 

 

After that few weeks of learning, PageLines hired me as a moderator. I've been here since, happily helping others, like your good self, to learn it, use it, customize and make sites that wow!  Rest assured, with you, we'll do the same.



#4 osgzach

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:24 PM

Hi,

 

I appreciate the responses (and from a developer no less).   I did independently stumble upon the info about using  Firebug  and I think that will definitely help me out.    I'm more of a reactionist as well,  so I tend to have to "get used" to things over time,  which I am finding I do as I open up my local site and fiddle around for a few minutes every so often.

 

I'm not really fretted over the learning part of CSS (I know quite a bit, but I need to brush up on 3.0),  just the whole  figuring out what I need to overwrite and the time involved.  But I think Firebug will help out a lot so I'm going to get it installed when I am done posting here.

 

That being said,  I still think going forward,  having some very simple options for manipulating a few more things would probably be nice to include in the package.   I mean I can adjust kerning and a few other things with the PL options already -  font sizes just seemed like a no brainer?    So that was really my point.

 

Finally, just to further elabortate on the  content-shadow  problem that bugs me, here is a screenshot..    Don't know if its the actual code for the shadow itself,  or if this may actually be an issue with the content template not providing enough default white space.   I feel it also highlights my grievance with lack of  additional color options  (entire byline is black despite hyperlinks being present - not expected behavior for link color modification)

 

Obviously the front page would fill up over time,  but I'm more concerned about very short pages where this might happen,  and of course I could work around that myself with some hard returns or something,  but I thought I would bring it up anyway.
 
edit:  Making Progress -   its rough learning  (couldn't get cssupdater setup to work with my local file, might try installing FTP server component and doing it that way)  but  I am using the  wordpress editor for now..
 
It's kind of awkward hunting down things in Firebug, even with the aid of selecting targets,  mainly because I have to backtrack and find out the full class name (some with # tags) to put in to make the edits apply properly..
 
But I've got my site logo situated at the top of the layout with no padding/space issues,  and the  Navbar (the fixed one, not seen in screenshot) sitting nicely flush underneath it..   played around with some  header sizing (again, a pain to find the correct style name to modify)  and I think I'm calling it  quits for the day  to end it on this positive note :)
 


#5 Rob

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 04:11 PM

Glad you were able to resolve this.  Firebug may take a day or two to learn, perhaps a week, depending on how much time you devote.

 

As pointed out, there are perfectly valid reasons why we do not include font sizes in options.  To be very clear, most people want responsive site design.  That means setting font sizes in 'em' versus 'px'.  Since the em option uses decimal sizes, how does one set the font size in a drop list?  You cannot label in a list, a size like 0.125 or 2.37.   The list would be huge, with every numeric value from 0.001 to 10.999.    Conversely, if we included a list of font sizes from 2px to 48px in even numeric values, what happens when someone wants 11px or 43px? There's simply no possible way to do this to the satisfaction of every client.

 

I understand your thinking as a fellow user, but kindly understand we're considering that as well as the practicalities of coding.  The best and only practical solution is to preset one size, then allow clients the opportunity via custom code to size anything they please to any size they desire.

 

I'll mark this resolved, since you're on your way towards successful site building with PageLines Framework.  If you have any specific questions, please feel free to drop us a short note and ask for help.  That's what we're here for!  :D