DMS Reviews & Roadmap

Posted · 80 Comments
roadmap

On the one-week anniversary of DMS, it seemed appropriate to post some of the initial feedback you’ve given us, as well as go over where DMS and PageLines are headed in the future.

Reviews

Since it’s release less than two weeks ago DMS has been downloaded 21,161 times. So it’s had a lot of scrutiny from some amazing people in the web design world.

Some of these people have written up reviews that may be of interest to you if you’re thinking of switching or upgrading. Rather than repeat what people have said, I’m just going to link to a couple of these articles here for you guys to do further reading:

themelablogo-teaserA review for the WordPress specific folks:

Leyland Fiegel has written up a video review at ThemeLab.


readwriteLogoA review from an end-user perspective: 

Lauren Orsini has put together a full review on ReadWrite


usingpagelines_long_webFrom the community:

Additional thoughts on DMS from Using PageLines.


The Roadmap

 

DMS Roadmap Outline

DMS Roadmap Outline

With the new DMS structure, we’re able to provide a much more rapid and predictable road map.

Once we get our systems operational again, there are some more advanced features that we’ll be working on that we feel will take DMS to the next level. So let’s go over those loosely so you get a feeling for where it’s headed.

So real quickly, over the next few months we’ll be working on:

  • 0.9.6+ releases:
    Getting all systems back to operational status. As we’ve posted, PageLines has some issues during launch. As such, we’re putting back together a few of the missing pieces in the wider application infrastructure. Specifically, auto updating and v2 compatibility.
  • 1.0.x releases:
    Will focus on tweaks to improve workflow, usability and integration with platform & extension market.  Extension installation will be improved, workflow will be refined.
  • 1.1.x releases:
    Will be focused at streamlining the codebase and improvement workflow and speed. Specifically, we’ll be working on speeding up the way you edit your site, and publish changes.
  • 1.2.x releases:
    New drag and drop tools for options, improved options UX and additional features

On the cutting edge

As we announced in this blog article, DMS is an open source project. This means you can also use the ‘cutting edge’ releases, as we push changes there.

Make sure to follow PageLines DMS on Github to keep up with the nitty-gritty.

Thanks Contributors! 

Also, we’ve been seeing a TON of contributions (called pull requests) from developers and PageLines users. This has already helped to make it better, and we’re looking forward to this as a group effort.

If you have any issues or other ideas, please feel free to post them on the Github issues page for DMS.

Try DMS Free! Still haven’t tried DMS? Download it free on your account page.
73 comments
bc1235
bc1235

I've played with PageLines since it was originally released.  The initial releases left a lot to be desired BUT, those desires are constantly being addressed.  I love the CMS release.  It is everything I expected initially.  I'm still learning my way around but I find it pretty intuitive.

I have run across an "anomaly" however and seems to be in the CMS "theme" itself. (I'm using Version 1.0.4).  Currently, on this site, I'm using the free version.  I totally intend to upgrade to Pro but really want to see how far I can go with the "basic".  So I've set up a simple blog site and have made one Post (copy and pasted first verse of an Oscar Wilde poem).  Using the CMS theme I cannot control the formatting, i.e. line breaks etc.  but if I change to a different theme it displays correctly.  I'm not sure if this "anomaly" goes away in the Pro version but it should work in this one.  Has anyone else run across this?  Maybe its cockpit error, I also have a problem when clicking on the "read more" to expand the text, it brings me to a 404 error.  Anyone else seeing this kind of problem?  You can see my problems at http://www.bcsjournal.com/

waynedailynews
waynedailynews

I and an intern have "dinked" around with this for several days. So far, it's pretty disappointing -- hardly fast and easy as promised. 

The initial (free) version seems to lock us into the page layout the creators of DMS think we should have, rather than the design we would like. I was impressed with the original PageLines software (built another site with it previously), but this system has offered a disappointing start for me. I've found it hard to find information on making changes, and the design controls are not self-explanatory. I know that the coders would like us to buy the Pro version, which I understand, but given the difficulties we are facing with the Free version, I could not recommend to our company owner that he pay the fee for the Pro version. I'd like to see improvements in flexibility and functionality (for the core features) before we move forward with this system. 

This system isn't horrible, but it certainly isn't world-changing yet. For that to happen, it would have to be both smarter than and easier-to-use than the design systems we have been using. As of now, it's not really there yet. For a star rating, I'd have to give it three of five.

eltravieso
eltravieso

I downloaded it to try... I wish there was a really good tutorial for a beginner. Something like this: we will make a website...first we need to pick how it is going to look, maybe based on what pagelines offers but ultimately what is going to look, next we will use pagelines to lay it out. If you can't lay it out, it means pagelines isn't a design management system... right? Anyway, it seems difficult (more difficult that I would expect based on the marketing...)

Anyway, I didn't recommend to buy it to my bosses based on an hour of trying to come up with a simple web template... hard, really!

eltravieso
eltravieso

A monthly fee is not feasible for academic institutions, do you have plans to offer this to faculty/staff/students? Particular at the department level where subscriptions are frown upon?

Thanks1

cindyjbryant
cindyjbryant

I have not read everyone's comments... too many, sorry folks.  But, this is my opinion about the whole dms license issue.  Personally, I wouldn't mind it if dms was all in the front end editor as it is now, however, that feature should be and remain available only to web designers and developers, and leaving the backend access for edits to the customers.  After all, we are the web designers and/or developers, so why should a client have full access to any of the pro dms features "we as developers" invested in?  The customer is paying us to build them a professional website, so as such it's my opinion the customer should only have access to the back end, allowing them to edit posts, pages content, media images, and the basic Wordpress editor options maybe like font color changes, sizes, etc.... Leaving the dms/front editor to the web designers and/or developers to do what we do best--design.  I think the front end editor is a great start and should be allowed to be locked by us as developers, giving our clients zero access to the front end.  It makes no sense to me that a client/customer should have and/or need access to the front end editor anyway, they're not web designers, which is why they're hiring us to do that work.  If the client wants to change all the elements you as a web designer and/or developer had to frame up and design from scratch then they might as well become a web designer themselves--no need for your web design services in this case.  So, I guess it depends the type of customer/clients you are targeting.  


Maybe dms is not currently set up to allow the admin/customer once you hand over the site design to allow for such back end editing, but I would certainly encourage this idea.  WP basic theme allows anyone for simple backed end customization, dms should offer a similar set up via the backend so that "we" as web designers can shut off the front end editor, leaving them with your final site design (which is what they're paying you for) and still giving customer edit access to their images and content-- all WP basics.  This would make more functional sense and provides web designer the ability to build more designs.  This is what I would personally prefer, but then again I'm not after big companies... So to each it's own.  

As for licensing concerns as a web designer/pro developer,  I think upgrades should be included even without having to pay additional monthly fees.  I think if you're having to pay the $288/per year to keep a pro dev license, no additional fees should be required to maintain and support the dms system.  Anything beyond that in my opinion would seem a bit greedy.  


On a separate note:  Pagelines dms staff/CEO, please consider this recommendation.   Can you just list in the docs "Where", "What" and "Rule" for the simple purposes of custom css coding. Even with web dev tools this can be a real pain, and making this list available would make it for a much more pleasant and speedy designing experience.  One or two examples are good, but it's not sufficient to all of the areas in dms, and I know I'm not alone because from the forum posts even folks with more coding experience are finding this to be a pain too.  Thanks.

quintin
quintin

I have been asking about licences and what would happen if a client wanted to stop paying for the licence, would the site be broken and i get a response saying no, it would not, but certain ereas would no longer be accessible by the admin...

So as i understand it if a site license lapses or is terminated and a client needs to edit the content, they CANNOT and therefore  in my humble opinion, the site IS BROKEN.


Site editing tools that will be discontinued:

Offsets
Cloning
Various options throughout
Professional Sections
PopThumbs
Callout
Masthead
Pricing
Rapid Tabs
StarBars
PageLines Link Credit Removed
Updates to Professional Features
Libraries and Effects
Animations
Transitions
Technical Support
Enhanced Performance and SEO
Additional Pro Services
300 Community Access
Special deals and invites




This means pay forever or use another system like Headway where they have a single once off fee.

I bought PL framework and assumed that the new DMS would continue the trend, but now i need to pay forever to have a editable site. You have your customers over a barrel which is really not cool.

Invisioning
Invisioning

Just purchased the Dev license for DMS.

After developing in Pagelines platform for the past 3 years, I'm not getting it.  I'm a very quick learner and just see this as a major step backwards.  The plugins I've purchased in the past were not available in the DMS store unless I'd like to pay for them again.

Drag and drop is nice however; the DMS is like herding cats, things I'd expect to be editable are not, it is very hit and miss with the results.

CSS / LESS doesn't work with the coding we developed with the framework interface.

Aside from these issues, my biggest issue of all is the lack of response from the team, namely AP, to ANY of the issues raised.  I know, I know; focus on the forward positive direction of business.  I get that.  However; please respond to even the simplest of questions we as sidelined original purchasers have been asking.

DenisODonnell
DenisODonnell

What about a "GET TALENT" page, where skilled DMS pageline designers could offer their skills to others, (like me!).  

I'm more interested in the business side of getting sites built quickly and easily, but would rather outsource some of the dev time.

kennynguyenus
kennynguyenus

The learning curve for DMS (from being a very light and illiterate vintage PageLine user), I can say that picking up most of the documentation will take an hour and begin using is almost immediate. This is the first I think it's possible for other people to edit website content without having to explain how it all works. For what you pay for, it's probably by far the best tool that I've seen for WP.

In the future, it would be great if there were more stuff in the "Add Sections" components. Although there are quite a few out there with DMS out of the box, it would be nice to see much more in future releases.

For 1.0, it has exceeded my expectations. Will be interesting to see how far this can go.

CaseyGraffix
CaseyGraffix

Well all i can say is that PageLines has done a fantastic job to this point in the creation of DMS. We are absolutely loving it. Can't wait to see where this goes from here. Thanks :)

batmanmac
batmanmac

I think the most important thing is try to help improve the product, for our own benefit.

Any major change creates frustrations and difficult learning curve, but we do not lose the opportunity to change to this new direction.

My congratulations to all of you for the hard work.

jvalle4
jvalle4

Mr. Power,

I have been using Framework  for at least a year with a Pro membership, and was creating some really great looking websites. During the migration to DMS I read on your website that all Pro members would be grandfather to your Business Plan. I was upgraded to business, but that only limits my production to six websites, not quite the value we had with the Pro membership. I feel cheated for a Pro member, but the reason I'm disappointed is because I lost all my extensions I had already purchased from your store and now you are asking me to pay for them again. And I really feel that if I was going to be limited to six website I could have at least gotten all the extensions I had purchased from you.

As far as DMS is just what you predicted or stated is simple, modern, slick and easy to use (Drag and Drop at it's best). I actually got used to it in a couple of hours. Congratulations on your great product. However, I'm not sure I would call it Open Source if not really meeting those requirement. I was under the assumption open source was free to be used with no limitations such as WordPresss, Drupal and Joomla, but maybe I'm wrong and if am wrong please accept my apologies. I will continue to use Pagelines I really like your company, you do a great job.

HugoMastoc
HugoMastoc

 I have the exact same problem @fvncy. I'm totally desoriented and I feel like I'll lose all the knowledge hardly gained during the past 3 years with pagelines and mainly pagelines framework. To me the ideal would be that the online editor should be an option for those who may want to use it, not an obligation as it is currently the case. And bring back the previous Pagelines Framework's back office, adapted to DMS, so all your clients can continue working properly instead. I'd like to have the choice.  What do you think  @illinimatt81 ? I think everybody will be happy this way.

brightonkeller
brightonkeller

So.....I dig it. I think the whole concept, idea, and even the initial roll out is so awesome. The marketing videos are amazing Mr. Powers, as usual! 

So I for one have spent (WAY TOO many) hours playing around and getting my feet wet with the new DMS theme. I think I have a pro account? Although I'm not sure - I didn't even know there was a free version. But I'm a pro pagelines member, so I guess I have the pro. Anyway, I was using the latest framework (the one where you have the page options, template options, and the drag and drop). And I had a little bit of a hard time with the transition, but then when I saw you had a version of the theme that helped bridge that gap (for version 2 users), my life got a whole lot better. And I got a whole lot happier. 

Things that I'm annoyed with and/or stumbled on so far this week:

1. like I mentioned, the transition from framework to DM (since you don't have the backend part of pagelines UNLESS you check that box thing - its in the documentation under installation I think if you have no idea what I'm talking about)

2. Global Options apply everywhere. Be careful with GLOBAL "sections". For instance, if you drag a section within a template (on say, your about us/me page), make sure that you only edit the "local" version (you see this on the left column bar in the DMS editing zone). Because if you edit the global version of the section....and then want to add the same section (like, maybe a content box) on another page...it will have the same content. Make sense? so in a nutshell, be aware of global and local sections!

3. I'm a little confused by the refresh concept going on on the live editing interface. For one, you've got a refresh button by each and every editable content box. Ok, I get it. Cool. But then, you also have that refresh button that pops up once you make a change (the one next to publish live). I could go on...but I'm sure you all have noticed that sometimes the updates (live editing) don't always go through if you press refresh. And sometimes you just need to press the one by live editing. but sometimes that's not enough. hah. Anybody else in this boat with me?

4. didn't we have google fonts in framework? what's so revolutionary about the typography??? also, what's the status or update on typekit integration? should i keep using it?

5. you guys rock. I'm so happy to be a part of this awesomeness that you have created!

6. umm I'll check back in after the weekend.....I'm sure I'll waste some more sleepless nights experimenting

illinimatt81
illinimatt81

I posted this in the forums, but I think it bears repeating here.

The problem and the source of many people reporting issues of things not working or being what they were in Framework.

There never was a free version with Platform Pro or Framework - only paid. Everyone was on the same playing field.

Now, given there is a crippled free version and a full paid version we aren't comparing apples to apples in talking about how to accomplish things. I for one am using the free version to test and evaluate migrating from Framework and allowing Pagelines to come back online from the hack before upgrading.

As a result, I have no idea of what is in the pro version. There is no indication with in the sections or store in the DMS basic interface of what you get when you go pro. Only "pro tools" on the pricing page. It is very confusing when some of the plugins that are only for pro are grayed out in the DMS basic interface and say pro only, but other ones that exist don't show up at all. I took it as what was shown is all that is available in the Pro version so it appeared we were going backwards in some cases from Framework - namely boxes, brand nav, blog post options, etc.

I think if you look at many of the other comments along these lines it seems there are a lot of threads and confusion around this.

This incorrectly led me as a prior customer of Framework and my evaluation of DMS to not have the full picture of the product. A 30 day free trial and then reverting to non-pro would be a more effective business model for you as someone is more apt to pay after they get their site developed. They can also see everything that pro has to offer.

In the meantime, may I suggest breaking the DMS forum into basic vs paid and then having sub forums such as tech support, customoizations, etc just as was done for Framework and Platform Pro so that it is easier to find content and also so that everyone is talking about the same version of DMS clearing up confusion.

DaveBlewitt
DaveBlewitt

What are the ground breaking bugs preventing you from completing your live project? So far i've only had 1 plugin that would not play nice with DMS which was Formidable Pro. Other than that it all seems pretty good to knock out sites?  I've completed 2 small commercial sites with DMS so far that work fine.

Csfalcao
Csfalcao

Congrat Pagelines' Team! DMS is a great start, it will be a outstanding product after rounding the corners a bit! 

atcdomainsolutions
atcdomainsolutions

While I am a first time Pagelines customer and never used the original Pagelines, it's kind of a letdown that it will be "a few months" (according to this post from PL) before a version is released for DMS that, I'm assuming, will get the bugs out, etc. I signed up as soon as I heard about this and paid for the Developer package but I don't feel comfortable at all using it to design for clients just yet because of some of the issues I have had. I have researched, posted on the forum and have received some help but I'm sure even they can't address everyone and a lot of issues a lot of us are having are still there. $30 is not a lot of money at all but when you can't use it for the purpose intended (which, in my case, was to take design to the next level and use for clients), I feel like I will be out of $30 for a few more months before I can really make it pay off and design client sites with it. Scary right now to even think of designing a site for a client and encounter issues that make them question ME. 

I do love what I have been able to do with it while playing on my test sites I own and agree with what a lot of people say...it will be a game changer when operating correctly. I just feel that it should have been tested a LOT MORE thoroughly since a lot of these little issues should have definitely come up in beta testing. Really hope they get it fully functional soon because it looks very promising for the potential for a lot of us out there who are designers.

I will give kudos to "Rob" (nickname One Smart Egg). I have read through tons of forum questions and he seems to work 20 hours a day answering things and trying to help. Would hate to be that guy right now! haha


James

James (PageLines)
James (PageLines) moderator

@bc1235 Hi there, the DMS theme will handle the core css like line breaks, formatting etc. You can override this via css but unfortunately there's no admin panel to control these specifics. The decision was made that the basic functions would be controlled via the main theme as this would reduce the amount of options users had to preset prior to creating their site, too many options would have lead to confusion etc. That's not saying that a plugin or additional section could include these options in the future, or that even a future version of DMS would be created with an option to control them etc. 

If you're experiencing problems with the various features of DMS, like the 404 error you're describing, please post a thread on the forum and one of the moderators will be able to advise further. Please include any screenshots and links they'll be able to trace the problem through. 

 

bsociallaw
bsociallaw

That is how documentation was for the previous version - woefully incomplete and intermixed with the previous (original?) release. How is it that the developer 300 were only grandfathered in under the "Business" plan and not the "Developer - Most Popular!" Plan?! Can someone please explain that to us?

roryphim
roryphim

@quintin @pagelines,  Very good point. This deserves a response from Pagelines

innovot
innovot

Like yourself we purchased the Dev license and see the same about editing sections; very hit and miss.  Having to refresh all the time is a complete pain.  I do not see one extension on the store we would purchase.  The idea is great but the execution feels a little lacking at the moment.  Yes it is a new product, but if its been in development for two years then QA should have been better.  Like @artohoff may need to consider Headway as DMS in its current form does not really offer anything sadly :(

artohoff
artohoff

Yeah, I bought personal license but cancelled it few days ago. There simply isn't enough options for people like me, who have only little knowledge of coding. Found a new home at Headway themes. Now they really have mindblowing amount of options with THEIR DMS.

arpowers
arpowers moderator

@kennynguyenus working hard, lots of cool stuff coming. Lots of very talented people getting involved. Glad to hear you're rocking thing, stay in touch!

arpowers
arpowers moderator

@CaseyGraffix So awesome to hear you say that, you guys have been with us a while. Definitely wanted to make you guys happy after the launch debacle lol

arpowers
arpowers moderator

@brightonkeller Hi Brighton! Post these questions on the Forum (http://forum.pagelines.com) and we'll take good care of you. 

Good insights though on UX, we're taking it all into consideration and will be RAPIDLY iterating for you and your site. :)

arpowers
arpowers moderator

@illinimatt81 Thanks for the feedback.. I agree we need to clarify more about the difference, working on that this week.  

We've always had a free version though... 

arpowers
arpowers moderator

@DaveBlewitt the issues people are having have to do with v2. Even then we're working on fixing those by tomorrow. Everything is great with DMS.

Martin (Pagelines)
Martin (Pagelines) moderator

@bsociallaw All Developer Plus accounts were grandfathered into DMS Developer accounts with unlimited activations. 

DenisODonnell
DenisODonnell

@arpowers @DenisODonnell Thanks Andrew

I'm sure it will be a great addition.  

My interest in DMS/Pagelines was always that it looked easy for my company, (more interested in selling than designing), to get a good site out at a competitive cost and yet be flexible enough to allow our staff (or our client's) to quickly pick it up and run with it for updates, news etc.

A thriving community of developers able to pitch in - much like odesk or peopleperhour - will enhance and drive that.

michael2
michael2

@arpowers @CaseyGraffix If you are a legacy Pagelines user, for the most part I can guaruantee you will find DMS an unmitigated DISASTER.  Your old skills and knowledge are now worthless. and there's no way to easily convert from Pagelines previous version to DMS without destroying your sites.


For my clients and me....the damages of this switch are simply too large to quantify.  WootCanvas--here i come.

michael2
michael2

@arpowers @brightonkeller ARPOWERS, I really hope you will do something to train users on this new system other than a few paltry videos.  My clients and I are now totally at a loss--forced to switch to a new system when we were perfectly happy with the old one. And the new one is not an incremental evolution, but a revolution.

Generally, you want change to be slow and steady, like evolution. Fast change is volatile and causes REVOLUTION, and that's what we can all see in these forums; a high % of your loyal customers and users jumping ship because of your actions.  We should all be FORCED to redo our sites and those of our clients?  You offer almost no support?  There are a handful of introductory, cursory instructional videos?  How can this be?

Very, Very upset with pagelines, irrespective of the "improvements" of the new system.  This is not how your previous customers should be treated; we have livelihoods that you have jeopardized.

gdhjkasjkasjbh
gdhjkasjkasjbh

@arpowers @illinimatt81 Hi Andrew. I'm an excited user of PageLines since Platform Pro. I totally agree to illinimatt81. I think the good old PageLines Framework Developer License was a good idea. There should be the same developer license for DMS too! Why? As a designer you can't build web pages and some day - when DMS membership is canceled  - theres will be a PageLines leave in the footer of all crafted sites (in europe most clients do think in long time terms). I would go for a DMS developer license - otherwise i'll stick to PageLines Framework. I think customer loyalty should be created by a single not monthly payment - and in addition to this there should be a monthly membership for people who need intensive support and another for DMS developers who want to sell DMS products.  Go ahead but don't lose your roots. greetings, peter


PaulMasterson
PaulMasterson

 @arpowers   The issues I am seeing with DMS on the forum and not been able to download purchased product does not exactly drive the confidence to roll-out to clients. 

Martin (Pagelines)
Martin (Pagelines) moderator

@roryphim Hi Rory. I have just checked. Your account is a Developer account. You have unlimited site activations. Clicking the order number will show you the amount of site activations available to you. Regardless of whether it says business or Developer you have a developer account. 

Hope this clears this up for you. 

Lucas Garvin
Lucas Garvin

@DenisODonnell @arpowers Hi Denis, I'm one of the founders of Using Pagelines. I'd be interested to hear what you're looking for in more detail. If you would like, shoot us an email at help@visified.com. I'll get back with you personally.

kennynguyenus
kennynguyenus

@michael2 @arpowers @kennynguyenus what do you want me to say? to make it clear, i was never a heavy PL user. so i didn't face the issues that many of you have. it's unfortunate to hear many people with the issues that they have. i am also interested in seeing how this company will handle all of these problems though.

also seeing how poorly communicated this change to DMS from PL really is...it does make me wonder whether or not it makes sense to commit to DMS in the longer term. maybe will get shafted like you and many others too.

regardless, DMS is pretty good. will be interesting to see how it will develop more because a lot of work needs to get done.

happy?

roryphim
roryphim

@michael2 @arpowers @CaseyGraffix @pagelines Another developer who was damaged. You can whine about hackers and and and... but at the end of the day you left your developer base high and dry. What is this guy supposed to tell his clients? "It wasn't me, the product was trashed by the company I trusted and recommended.. so, uh... sorry." It will take a lot of time for Michael to sort out the clients he manages to retain. 

michael2
michael2

@DaveBlewitt @michael2 @arpowers @CaseyGraffix Dave, creating new sites is not the complaint I posted, or that I responded to; what legacy clients are complaining about is the impossibility of SWITCHING from the old pagelines to the new DMS, coupled with what appears to be the relative necessity to do so. 

Needless to say, I have no bubble to burst. If you're happy, I'm happy for you, but I think it's clear from these responses that the new DMS presents a huge issue for pagelines legacy customers.

DaveBlewitt
DaveBlewitt

@michael2 @arpowers @CaseyGraffix Sorry to burst your bubble michael 2 but we love DMS, so far 7 commercial projects have been turned out in 3 weeks. Have not had any issues so far apart from those we have created ourselves.

brightonkeller
brightonkeller

@DaveBlewitt @michael2 @arpowers @brightonkeller I wasn't forced to do anything. I wanted to try it out! Yeah, there a million bugs, but I think that the guys over at pagelines will eventually figure it all out. All this negative energy doesn't really help much. What they're doing is really cool....it just needs a lot of fine-tuning.