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What is your workflow for Pagelines development?

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I am reaching out to the community to find out how people are building sites with Pagelines. I want to find out the best workflow for developing websites with the framework.


I have been a Wordpress user for years for my personal blog but have never really expanded beyond using other peoples themes, widgets and plugins, together with a tiny amount of very basic CSS tweaking to format them. That has really been the extent of my customization knowledge till now. (i.e. next to none).


I have now begun to change that, and stumbled across the Pagelines framework. I want to really start learning how to customize Wordpress at a more advanced level - i.e. theming etc.


In preparation, I have completed the Web Fundamentals course on Code Academy (see here: http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/web ) so now have a somewhat better understanding of CSS than I did before. (i.e. I now actually know the difference between DIV and SPAN!) At very least, I like to think that I now have a good understanding of the foundations, and should be able to easily learn more. 


What I want to know is:


  1. What is your favorite way to customize Pagelines to look how you want? Child theme?
  2. How do you prototype your layout designs?
  3. Do you develop locally in MAMP? Or on the live server?
  4. How do you push to the live server? FTP? GIT? Something else?
  5. Do you use Git version control in your workflow? Beanstalk App?
  6. Dreamweaver? CSS Edit? Coda? Sublime Text 2? What tools do you use?
  7. What is your optimal development workflow?
  8. Why do you like Pagelines over a regular Wordpress theme?

Pagelines documentation is pretty bad at explaining a good workflow! I want to know the best workflow for taking a barebones Pagelines install and customizing it to my liking, to the point that it is unrecognizable as the "default" pagelines theme! :)


Thanks in advance!

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Hello Olly,


The first day I started a history class in college, the professor said "Forget everything you ever learned about history; none of it applies here!"  So I'm going to make the same suggestion about web design because PageLines Framework has dramatically altered the way sites are designed and developed.  There's no need for Dreamweaver or any other third-party editors.


What you'll want to do is install Base Theme (free at Dashboard > PageLines > Store > Themes). Use that to apply most of your CSS changes and functions.


Once you complete the site design and layout, you can use the export capabilities of PageLines to download the base theme to place it on the new site.  You can also use Dashboard > Tools > Export to get all the database content, etc.


I've been using PageLines products for two years now, and proudly have to say I run one of the largest sites using Framework, having more than 100,000 posts, 5,000 pages, and almost 90,000 images. It's one of the top food sites online, and has been around for 16 years.


I can't answer all of your questions, but I'll give it the ol' college try.


What is your favorite way to customize Pagelines to look how you want? Child theme?

Personally, I design directly to the Framework, but strongly recommend using the Base Theme.


How do you prototype your layout designs?

I set up a unique WP installation, and do all my design work there, then copy the CSS to the regular site when I'm satisfied with the design.  I also validate the CSS before final implementation by using the Direct Input tab here: http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/.  This prevents CSS coding errors from messing up the site.   I also use Firebug for Firefox, but if you prefer Chrome, it has an Inspection Tool built right in. This helps to test various design options available to you.


Do you develop locally in MAMP? Or on the live server?

I do it on a live server, but many use MAMP. 


How do you push to the live server? FTP? GIT? Something else?

I use the export/import tools available in both PageLines and WordPress.  You really shouldn't need to use FTP or anything else to migrate the site or its child theme.


Do you use Git version control in your workflow? Beanstalk App?

Never had to do this at all.


Dreamweaver? CSS Edit? Coda? Sublime Text 2? What tools do you use?

Aside from Firebug and the CSS validator, I use several websites to help me along: http://colorpicker.com/ to help me find just the right color codes;  http://www.w3schools.com/css/ to help me fine-tune CSS, particularly with its testing capabilities, making it a great learning asset; http://validator.w3.org/ -- like the CSS validator, I use this when I'm adding HTML code in text widgets, letting me make sure I don't break things.  Lastly, though not in order of precedence, I use the amazing tools available in the Store, such as Hooker Plugin (to apply hooks),  Action Map (to find function hooks) and others.  For graphics, I use Corel's Paint Shop Pro, but any good graphics program will do very well. Most people use Photoshop.


What is your optimal development workflow?

I'm not sure how to answer that.  Including graphics and custom coding, I can usually create a great design layout in an hour or less.


Why do you like Pagelines over a regular Wordpress theme?

PageLines offers so many more resources, and design options, without the limitations of someone else's vision. I have complete control, speedy tools, and no restrictions about how I design the site.  I can do so much with it, and increase functionality, rather than being constrained by an off-the-shelf WordPress theme.


I know this won't really answer all your questions, but hopefully, it addresses some of them.

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Former PageLines Moderator, Food Expert and Raconteur

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I have been using Pagelines for years before it became frameworks and I am still wondering how it is or it should be done.  Right now I find working on live server is the least hassle but it is a bit slow.  


I tried using MAMP setting up localhost, not much faster (not sure why, not like when I work on WP without Pagelines which is pretty fast) but the import/export isn't that easy -- not difficult but frustrated and annoying especially when you kept working on localhost after the first publish and want to update your design later.  I have no idea how to do that by just updating modified file without looking for it manually, I use CODA.


Then I found this "Development Tools" section on Pagelines   ( http://demo.pagelines.me/theming/ ) suggesting using version control and beanstalk.  I was going to try (still try to figure out how to set it up though--may be someone from Pagelines should do a video on this) but then I found this post suggesting otherwise. Am I missing something?


I was recommended to use FTP few month back from Pagelines when I want to develop site locally using import/export all database, not a very good solution.  It seems like a conflicting idea trying to use Pagelines to make development easier but then using archaic FTP or similar if you want to develop locally.


The other reason I want to develop locally is that I can meet with client without relying on my client internet connection at their office, I always have a copy of the site I'm developing on my machine.


one last thing is the back up, are we just relying on routine back up of web hosting company?  Right now I'm using Vaultpress for all of my clients' sites. 


Any suggestions are welcome, I'm trying to figure out the workflow as well.


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Why do you like Pagelines over a regular Wordpress theme?



I will try to answer this as a designer, we seems to have the similar background.  I was trained as a designer not a programmer, I learn to customize WP on my own (Thanks to http://css-tricks.com).  


I do love Pagelines.  It just makes things a lot faster and easier.  I can set up websites very quickly with all the plugins and functions I need for the site, after that I will just spend my time on the design, work on CSS.  I just think there are a lot of things Pagelines can do that I don't know how because of lack of documents.  For example, LESS  I know there are sources on LESS but not LESS and Pagelines or some of them are just too complicated for people like me using Pagelines, not a programmer.  BTY, I found good site on LESS basic, http://nickhaskins.com


Hope this help.

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1. I personally use the Child theme customisation method, as it supports custom sections and templates.


2. I generally have a basic design in my head, use sketches, Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop.


3. MAMP all the way, never use a live site.


4. I use the import Wordpress content and PageLines theme settings method.


5. I don't currently use Git, but from what Ive seen its the best method.


6. TextMate, SublimeText 2, using Dreamweaver is so 90's.


7. Not quite sure what you're referring to, as your 1-6 questions pretty much cover your workflow. Also, plenty of coffee.


8. Rob's answer above, is the spot on and I don't think there is anything I can add to it.


Also, this isn't really a support query but a feedback post. Therefore, I have moved this topic to the off topic forum.

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