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johndb

Are there any tutorials for PlatformPro?

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johndb

Regardless of how simple this is sold as, it is incredibly complex. I have stumbled around and figured out how to use the feature slider. And now i'm playing around with Boxes. But I don't even know what I can achieve once I've done this. Are there any tutorials or examples of Boxes, Features, Banners that I can look at. Even a showcase of what can be done would be helpful.

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Rob
John, please visit http://www.pagelines.com/docs

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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Rob
Also, inside the Settings... Dashboard > PlatformPro, on the top, right, you'll see a link for instructions. Left of that is a link to the Docs section, with video and written instruction.

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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johndb
The docs are little more than brief overviews of all the functionality. Example: Boxes video 3mins in "add a style, we've set up some styles for you" Doesn't explain what a style is, what it does to the box, what styles have been setup for us. Does anyone know of an outsider who has produced tutorials?

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slingr
johndb, I feel your pain and share your frustrations. I've complained/explained to Pagelines before that a "demonstration of features" is not a "tutorial." They assure me that all their documentation is getting re-worked. Searching through the old forum I found some references to a Pagelines Wiki that apparently was never implemented. I've suggested they open up this Forum and have a section for customers helping customers, rather than Q&A with the "Pros." I think out of our frustrations with figuring out all the things that aren't documented, we could consolidate our lessons learned, tips, answers, warnings, cautions, oh-by-the-ways, etc., better than anybody at Pagelines can. Just my opinion.

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slingr
For anyone who's interested, here are "Some Comments and Criticisms of Pagelines Documentation and Forum," submitted to Pagelines a couple of weeks ago: http://thisisnotthat.com/wordpress/?p=2251

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Rob
A style, for the record, is simply any CSS applied to anything online. It is a very generic term used throughout the Internet. http://www.w3schools.com/css/ As it applies to boxes, features, soapboxes, banners, headers, content, sidebars, etc. I have to point out, quite respecfully, that CSS is solely at the discretion of the site designer. Since its core function is to set the design and style of a site, providing code to everyone would not help create individual websites. All would end up looking the same. CSS is not my specialty, but I have been able to grasp its fundamentals. Others however in this forum do specialize in it and unlike any other theme or Wordpress based product, Pagelines has by far, the best support, even reaching beyond the scope of our own products to Wordpress itself and plugins. If someone has styled something incorrectly, we are only too happy to help correct, adjust and assist in making it look just as someone wishes and describes. John, your question was "Are there any tutorials for PlatformPro?" and I did point you to those tutorials. With boxes, you can achieve up to 5 boxes of content in a row and can have multiple rows. These are generally full width (meaning, they go from the left to right edge above or below the sidebars, not alongside them. They can be coded, via styling or CSS to fit within the Main Content Area. That, like all CSS, is a design issue each website must select for themselves. Boxes can become soapboxes by clicking an option on the box editing page and adding links. I use boxes on my front page, near the bottom, to show live RSS feeds from each of the other sections of my site. Please check them out. http://www.epicurus.com A CSS snippet moves the icons above the boxes. CSS can also be used to change colors, weight, and nature of fonts. The video saying "we've set up some styles for you" simply means we have provided a basic styling from which any web designer can modify and adjust via Custom Code and the CSS Rules section of PlatformPro Settings. I too urge the creation of new documentation, a WIKI and other components to help everyone learn how to use this system. However, in the meantime, anyone with a specific question or need for help gets it via this forum and in a timely manner. If you're having any specific issues with boxes, banners, sliders or any other component, please feel free to post your question in this forum.

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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slingr
John, the only thing I've stumbled across is http://jasonhobbsllc.com/category/wordpress/. It's not organized very well and I'm not sure it's that helpful, but I've found it on several occasions when I was searching for Pagelines information outside this forum.

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johndb
@slingr: Wow! that link http://thisisnotthat.com/wordpress/?p=2251 sums up how I feel so perfectly that it's as if I wrote it myself. @rangelone: Thank you for description of Boxes. I didn't know you could have 5 boxes in a row, and multiple rows. So I have learnt something here. I can accept that possibilities are limitless with this software, and more advanced coders will be able to achieve more. But this is sold to beginners, and we don't know $H1T about any of this. It's almost rude for them to label those videos as tutorials, when they are quite obviously brief overviews of what may be achieved IF you knew what you were doing. The suggestion to create a place for new documentation is IMO necessary, so I will reject all previous repliess so other people can have a chance to view this thread, and hopefully point out some other options.

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johndb
It's poor form that that you moderate this thread, which is intended to help your customers. I am requesting information, I have not yet received this information, My request is NOT answered, You have closed my thread.

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Rob
John, this thread hasn't been closed. My sincerest apologies if your question hasn't been answered. I will go through it and try to resolve this for you.

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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Rob
Thus far, in reviewing your request, all I'm seeing is the search for documentation, which, to the very best of my ability as a moderator, I provided you in the first reply. I don't write the documentation, nor make the videos. Nor am I in any way, management of this company. As I have said, I feel your pain about the documents and feel the need myself for them to be vastly improved. As for what Slingr suggested about people helping people. there's NOTHING here that prevents any forum member from helping another. In fact, that's how I became a moderator... simply helping others by putting my knowledge and experience to work. I was a newbie to this too not long ago. In fact, just in June. Most assuredly if you ask me or any moderator for specific help with some issue, like the thousands of others who've posted here, we'll be all too happy to help. However, I don't actually see any specific question here that I can address. I know you are wondering about boxes and I thought I answered the questions about boxes in quite good detail above, which you rejected. Not sure what was wrong with that answer, but if I can, I'll happily help you. Unless you see a little black box in these forums saying "CLOSED", the topic remains open.

Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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kgstew
Hi John, Thank you for your feedback. We are actively working to improve the documentation and tutorials around Platform and all PageLines products. Slingr's notes have been heard and understood and are addressing these issues as fast as we can. Until these improvements are ready to be released please consider the forum as an open opportunity to request assistance with the specific problems you would like to address. If you need help with boxes or any of the other features start up a new thread and ask for help with exactly what you need. Our team here will assit you in any way possible. Thank you, -Kyle

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johndb
@rangelone: I thank you for you time in trying to help me. I rejected your answers so that the thread would remain Unanswered, and others would have the chance to join in (it wasn't a dig at you). Shortly after I rejected the answers the thread was marked as Answered by Kate (as I was alerted by a pop up), and I can't alter this status. So you are right, it is not closed but I don't believe it has been answered. @kgstew: I think I am expecting to much from this software, this maybe down the the way it is pitched in the sales material. Obviously, anything can be achieved if you already know what you are doing. But there's quite a few of us who don't. Imagine opening Adobe Photoshop for the first time, after watching a 5 minute video of someone clicking through the tools. And then being told to ask a forum every time you wanted to know how to do anything. My question: "Are there any tutorials or examples of Boxes, Features, Banners that I can look at. Even a showcase of what can be done would be helpful." The Answer: Other than the very extremely brief overviews in the Doc's section, NO there are no tutorials. The only examples are the ones that come pre-loaded. And there is no showcase. I will continue to ask questions. And hopefully get better at this. Thank you.

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puntNL
@Johndb : Platform Pro would indeed be a lot more user friendly with extensive tutorial documentations, and hd how to vids. For a new user it is p.e. hard to understand the exact purposes and differences between a banner, highlight, or a feature slider. You need extensive (visual) examples and step by step how to's. It is also not clear to me what is meant by 'build in plugins' like pagination or breadcrumbs. (do I have to install extra WP plugins for that or not? What is the difference between posts navigation and Paginations-> What is meant by 'supports WP Page navi'? Obiously this section doesn't work for me. Why does the Wordpress admin menu doesn't have a carrousell settings menu ? (it does appear, however, within the actual platformpro menu) On the contradictory: the banner settings are not displayed within the platformpro menu, but does appear within the wordpress admin menu... Boxes and features on the other hand, can be seen in both menus.. Custom CSS Insert custom CSS styling here. It will be stored in the DB and not overwritten. Note: The easiest way to customize your site is using "Base" the child theme for PlatformPro. HOW? (I thought I was allready working in base..) Misc settings: Disabeling AJAX...Inline dynamic CSS?pff I would love to see some practical examples with sections like ' Highlights' or 'Call-out' sections.. or how I can create larger social icons within the header section. For me it is very frustrating to not find answers on simple newbie questions. I hope Pagelines will come up with some detailed tutorials soon. I think the Q&A forum concept is -in my opinion- very time consuming for both the pagelines pros as for their customers when standard questions could be looked up in detailed tutorials. However and besides of the above frustrations I am very happy with PP and I believe Pagelines is working hard to improve their documentation soon.

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slingr
@johnnb and @jeurissen, I bought Platform Pro (PP) without any due diligence. I just thought, "oh, a theme to build themes, cool!" After spending a couple of days with it I figured out it really wasn't a theme. So I shelled out more bucks to buy WhiteHousePro, thinking if I just used it without any modification but adding in my content, I'd learn something about Pagelines products generally that would help me with PP. That helped somewhat with the learning curve. The problem is that the themes themselves are really different products from PP. Boxes and Feature Slides are two examples where PP treates them as custom post types and in the themes they're more like widgets. And some options are available on one and other options aren't. I think a fundamental issue that Pagelines doesn't explain or address directly is that, given PP is a framework or environment for creating themes, one would think that the themes themselves (WHP, iBlog, etc.) would have been built or created in PP. This is most definitely not the case. I wouldn't call these "showcases," but here are some pages where I've implemented features and boxes: http://stevestockdale.com/wordpress/ (both features and boxes; I changed the size of the feature slides) http://stevestockdale.com/wordpress/videos/ (this page is just boxes) http://stevestockdale.com/wordpress/video-commentaries/ (each box contains a video player) http://ndividuate.com/wp/ (this is a work in-progress, this home page has two soapboxes) Here is the process I've more or less followed, using boxes as an example: 1. Under Platform Pro Settings | Template Setup | select Box Page Template; make sure Pagelines Boxes is in the left-hand column, "Displayed Box Page Sections." 2. In Dashboard left column, select Boxes | Boxsets 3. Add a new Category (ie. Boxset name; this is another instance where Pagelines is careless or confusing with their labeling) 4. In Dashboard left column, select Boxes | Add New Box 5. Add information for the box: title, text, etc., just as though the "box" were a "post" (it is). Check the Box Set you want to assign it to on the right. Scroll to the bottom and note that you can add an image and link to the box if you want, but I think this is confusing and just put all my content inside the regular editing box. 6. Add another box or two to fill out the set. 7. Create a new page. Set the template on the right to Box Page. Then PUBLISH. 8. Only after you PUBLISH the page will you get the additional options in the right panel where you check off what you do/don't want on the page. 9. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Under "Pagelines Meta Settings" (again, a terrible label ... has nothing to do with what's normally references as "meta data"), select Boxes Section. Select which Box Set you want to show on that page. The other selections probably don't matter. I believe that should work. The point is that there are a lot of moving parts and different settings on different screens to do something that, is by no means "drag and drop." @jeurissen, that's for expressing your issues ... I'll add them to my list. You can bet when/if Pagelines releases their new documentation, I'm going to go through my punchlist and see what was addressed and what wasn't. My concern is that the same decision-making process that led to choosing this POS forum over the previous forum platform will drive the decisions on new documentation. So color me skeptical.

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ctakara
The "Platform" itself I can tell is very powerful and could work great with my imagination if I actually knew how to get it to do what I wanted it to. I bought this "theme" many months ago, and yet I have not touched many of the functions it does, just altering canvas and side bar size basically. What would really help if is you guys put up some example content pages sites up, showing off what can be done with these "features", and boxes and call outs etc..what did the designer have in mind when creating all this? Many other design companies provide example content to load into your site with the settings etc.. to give you and idea of whats up with the theme. In fact, before you go on to write up some more lengthy how too's, why not put up an example site for us first. Utilizing what sets you guys apart from the rest, which is what attracted me (us) to you in the first place. Show us what a cool front page could look like, show us what a good landing page could look like, show us what we would see coming in from google off a long tail key word. Then after that, tell us what setting you used to get that. Im sure building a simple sample website would be shorter then writing up more tutorial documentation. Drag and drop? You got one part of that right so far lol. (if this request has been said above already I apologize, I just didn't feel like reading anymore about PP, after reading about it for many hours trying to figure out different functions.)

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johndb
@slingr By looking at your examples and reading your instructions, I now have a grasp of what Boxes are, and what they can do. I hope other people can find this thread and get the benefit out of it. On a side note, I started using firebug for the first time yesterday after reading this http://www.pagelines.com/docs/changing-colors-fonts and it has completely changed the way I use PlatformPro

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slingr
@johnnb and @ctakara, if you don't know about the demo content files you can download, look here: http://www.pagelines.com/docs/theme-demo-content. I have no idea why Pagelines doesn't provide these as part of the installation zip files, but for each of the themes and PP you can import the data to your own installation. This is the only way I figured out how to make the boxes work ... I took their demo data and then changed it one element at a time.

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