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cornell2

Sidebars on Boxes/highlight section pages

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cornell2

I have searched and searched the forums and documentation. I have spent probably 20+ man hours over the course of the last 2 months trying to tweak and play around with the "drag and drop" options. (barring changing very fundamental layout css) And, as per the instructions here, I have tried to remain friendly, positive and constructive. But the time I have wasted trying to either figure out simple features or trying get PageLinesPro to do things that should be automatic or intuitive has had me pulling my hair out. The documentation is of no help (I just love sitting through a 10 min video to realize it did nothing to approach answering my question). I am no newbie to web development or tweaking CSS - but if I wanted to rewrite CSS, or significantly modify someone else's cryptic code, I wouldn't have paid for a "platform" Pardon the venting, fellow users. These forums are great - particularly users helping other users. =============== For all I know there is a simple answer for this question - if it is, then either I have a blind eye, or the answer is buried or too subtle to find. I am posting the question more as an example of the frustrations that many of us have to endure: On "boxes" pages (or highlight etc). How do we get a SIDEbar to appear, well, on the ... SIDE ? If I add a "content" section in the template - then at least I see the existence of the sidebar ... but my boxes then get pushed down the page (I don't want a content section - I want the sidebar to appear on the side next to the boxes) I tried to add a "universal sidebar" to the template. Interesting. Pagelines apparently has a different definition of the word "SIDE" because the universal sidebar appears across the top of the boxes (full width of the scree( The other sidebars do not appear at all UNLESS I drag the "content' section on top of the boxes. Then the sidebar appears - but of course pushes my boxes down. UGH. So much for drag and drop. And yes, I have unchecked the "hide" options on the page, and my layout has sidebars. Now then, there may be 10 alternatives and workarounds for this (um, like just abandon the platform and write from scratch). All I want are my sidebars to appear consistently on ALL pages - in the same place. If one of my pages happens to be a boxes page or a highlight page - I don't care ... I want the sidebars to appear in the same place. ============= I don't expect pagelines to reply, but more people have to speak out about the documentation and the claim of 'drag and drop' etc. There are a few brave souls who have risked alienating the developers or risking to appear less-than-friendly. I suspect just as many have merely given up and left - either they were too frustrated, or they mistakenly thought that they were just not savvy enough to use the platform. But after paying for this platform, and unfortunately committing to it by trusting that this one is easier to work with than others - a whole summer has been wasted. And my conclusion is that the problem was not my web skills. I am about to give up too. Unfortunately I have too many hours invested in trying to figure out how to get this platform to do simple things (I've gotten PagelinesPro to do *simple* things - only by performing intricate firebug analysis, and writing many lines of custome code just to change simple colors margins or layout). It shouldn't be like this. It shouldn't be like this. While I started writing this as a simple question, it turned into a venting session. Pagelines staff - you need to see more rants like this. 90% is a great product - but I could have done without some of the bigger things, and needed more of the little things.

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Rob

Okay, you've vented and I'm here - a fellow client and user - to help. Whatever you do, don't pull your hair out. I did and bald is NO FUN! I now have a collection of totally useless combs and brushes and forget the three bottles of pricey shampoo I'll never need again! :-(( PlatformPro is a unique platform and in 90% of site design issues, it works beautifully to create sites that are outstanding. Some folks just want more customization than others and are frustrated when the technology hasn't caught up with their advanced concepts. Heck, my first mobile phone was a briefcase; weighed 18 pounds, too. I complained that it should be smaller and lighter and now that they are, I'm using an old Motorola Razr and no PDA. As for your problem with boxes and soapboxes - these are design elements that are intended to be full width. Sounds like you're trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. BUT, nothing is impossible, not even with Platform. Try reading trough this thread: http://www.pagelines.com/forum/discussion/12458/featured-slider-width-a-solution#Item_28 I know - more reading, but hey, look on the bright side, there's no 10 minute video. The thread is all about my quest for over 2 months to find out how to make the Featured Slider no wider than the main content area and have the sidebar along side. Now what in Hades does a featured slider have to do with boxes? Actually more than you think. The code I posted into that thread could be edited (easily - no hair pulling) substitute #feature_area with #dcol_area and #feature_slider with #dcol. If you've been doing as much coding as you say, you should be able to figure it out without any frustration. In theory, this should work. HOWEVER.... don't forget you'll also need to re-structure the boxes so that the image will either not be there or be ABOVE or BELOW the text. Why? Because it will just make it visually horrible. You'll have really tightly squeezed boxes with little room for your blurb or content. Alternatively, there's a plugin available. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/mini-loops/ that places links of categories into the content area. Unfortunately, plugin status not withstanding, there's lots of coding to do. As frustrating as any web development can be - with or without Platform - the creative rewards are worth the effort. Let's face it - if you just wanted to put out content, you don't need more than text and HTML/HEAD/BODY tags and a text editor. Websites, even corporate ones, are works of art and of the passion of their designers. Relax, you're not alone and both moderators and professionals - not to mention other clients are here to help.


Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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cornell2

As I said - the users here are the best part of the PageLines platform. Thanks. (though I still feel the same about pagelines) you see - I certainly could write code to do what I want. The problem is - why should I (for something so fundamental). This is more than a square peg in a round hole (getting a sidebar to appear?). I also want to point out another minor annoyance. I come to the site - I see someone has commented on my question (great). so I click to reply... the forum tells me I need to log in (again?) .. and brings me to the login screen. I log in and I am not returned to this comment or even the forums! I've got to go find this thread again. Is nothing straight forward in the pagelines universe? ; ) Anyhow. I read your help on the other similar issue and will try it ... this brings up another issue... I mean, if writing custom code is so much of a requirement - how about a nice documentation map of the CSS IDs etc ... (I constantly have to use my degree in advanced theoretical physics as I search through firebug and the code to find out the exact proper CSS IDs and classes. Yes, the "advanced setup" under the blocks in the "drag and drop" template sections offer some insights - but if they have the time to record those videos, you'd think there would be a nice single map of these classes (hmmm maybe a couple of screenshots annotated with the classes next to the elements...). Otherwise, this is not much better than trying to decypher someone else's code. Ever tried that? Yes - when one gets it working, Pagelines is wonderful - but a product should not be that much work. So now I'll have to spend the next hour or two figuring out the right IDs and classes to use in order to achieve the same effect as the code you provided for the features pages. but damn - all I want is the sidebar to display - like any other page! Thanks so much for jumping in and offering to help. If this works, I will specifically mention you by name on my organ donor card. Thanks!

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Jenny

I hope it works for you! And don't forget, he did help you out a little in his post above by telling you what CSS to use/replace with his code, so maybe that'll cut back on your time a little bit. :)


Jenny :: Web designer at Simple Mama (follow me at @simplemamacom)

Check out Share Me, a social sharing add-on for DMS that is super simple to set up.

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Rob

Great. I need a new left kidney. If I go first, I'll leave you those shampoos and a bottle of conditioner. Don't feel so bad. I have a doctorate in economics and certification as a master chef in France and STILL I took a month and a half to find out how to use boxes as I wanted them. To this day I can't figure out how to make my front page work as I want and forget converting my site's multiple WP installations to multisite. I'll send this up to the developers for input into the next edition. Meanwhile, using my minor in Psych... Cheer up!


Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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cornell2

Actually, while the help was extremely insightful, I was not able to get the code to work - which does further highlight the issues. I tried to paste as-is (which I hate doing without understanding), and it had no effect. So I assumed that the references to "slider" and etc ... were specific to the forum-question you posted the code, and not to my question about boxes. This brings us back to my original complaint about pagelines ... replacing the anchors/classes in your working code, to the ones I need for the boxes-pages turns out to be daunting, and impossible for me, since I cannot find the corresponding nomenclature for the boxes pages. I probably found some of them (through migraine-inducing hunting of the style code), but of course CSS is unforgiving here. When I guess the wrong tags, most likely I won't even get a visible error - it just will have no effect. Actually, and I am not so sure I should reveal this, but I am a professor at a very large university who in part teaches digital media techniques. I deal with dozens if not hundreds of tools and in the early days, wrote raw code and css without platforms. I've never had so much trouble with a tool, ever. The only thing that keeps me coming back for more (aside from some psychological need for self-punishment) is that there is so much potential with pagelines, and many of the sites look incredibly gorgeous, and the fact that I paid for it. But we use web tools typically so 1) we don't have to reinvent the wheel, 2) so we can have rapid prototyping and development, and 3) so maintenance and updating are easy. Since I am constantly having to stop and look for documentation, or write custom code - I am not sure which pagelines excels at, except for looking really great once you get it working. Again - I hate to appear to be the lone complainer or curmudgeon on these boards - and I know I am not alone. I'd say that 75% of the issues go away with better documentation (they could have spent 10% of the time they spent on the videos, with simpler more straight forward doc, and achieved 50 times the clarity). The other 25% of the issues could be addressed by figuring out who the main user-base is for the platform, and their most common design actions, and then tweaking the functionality a bit to make it easier. That being said - I'm sticking with the platform, aside from the sunk-costs of time I've already put in - because of the potential for great looking, maintainable websites, and most important because of the way the user community pitches in to help. The latter being the best part. Thanks again! I've tattooed your username on my kidney so they know where to send it ....

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Nautical Progressions
You aren't alone mate... I've been very disappointed myself. This feels like a proprietary platform that takes all clients by the neck restricting their air... "need some air? oh let me loosen my grip... please just log back in and we'll send you an email to log back in again when we figure it out" If time is money... this platform isn't quite as affordable as I thought it was. With the time I've lost reading on this forum I too could have coded the thing myself. I have a slightly different issue. I'm debating on whether to turn our old page template into a section or a widget for one of the sections. Hmmmmmm all I could find was another 10 minute video; http://www.pagelines.com/docs/custom-sections How do I override a section? Create a template in the root of my child theme??? Or is that only for page templates? The documentation is unclear at the bottom of the page.

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