PageLines 2.0 vs. PlatformPro

Last month when we launched PageLines Framework 2.0— a major iteration to the drag & drop framework — we didn’t provide a concise overview of what the specific differences and improvements were compared with PlatformPro..

We’ve had tons of questions about “what’s different,” so in this article we’re going to highlight some of the new features and discuss how they compare. Towards the end I’ll also talk about some of the considerations when upgrading your site from PlatformPro 1.X to 2.X.

A Better Experience for Your Users (Responsive/Mobile Design)

Responsive Design Options

PlatformPro is based on a static website framework. Meaning the front end design won’t adapt to your users browser or device. While 99% of the web is still ‘static’, with v2 there is now a better solution!

PageLines is now the first major framework to be based on a responsive grid and this is one of the most far reaching changes in version 2.0.

Having this grid means you can now allow your website to ‘respond’ to user’s browser; even if they’re viewing your site on a mobile phone or tablet. this makes for a much richer, more professional viewing experience and your visitors are gonna love you for it.

More Placement Options

Better Options for Drag & Drop Placement

PlatformPro didn’t have the ability for many sections to be added to the content area. For example, the feature slider could only be added at the full width of your site.

This isn’t a problem anymore.

Because the framework is now ‘responsive’ it’s also possible to place sections like the Feature Slider, or the Carousel, in the content area of your website. These sections themselves are also responsive and adjust based on different browser resolutions.

Control New Page Types

Control New Types of Pages

In PlatformPro it wasn’t possible to edit pages that didn’t handle “meta data” or page-by-page options. This presented a challenge and some pages (for example “tag” or “search” pages) couldn’t be controlled very well. Essentially they all had to have the same setup as the blog page.

To solve this, we built a new system called ‘special page handling’ to deal with this. A new panel in the framework is designed just to create handling for all types of pages that weren’t not possible to control in PlatformPro. These include tag listings, categories, archives, search results, etc..

Better Page-by-Page Control

In PlatformPro, there were two major design issues that have been vastly improved…

Meta Options > Global Options

Enhanced Options On Pages

In PlatformPro, most options were created on a global scale which prevented you from controlling certain features on different pages. In effect, you needed to have the same settings “site-wide”.

To fix this, we vastly enhanced the meta option api (e.g. the page by page option handling) to handle things on a more granular basis. Now in the framework you’ll easily find dozens of options you can set either globally, or via the meta settings. This allows you way more control of how your individual pages look.

Way More Section Flexibility

Cloning Sections
PlatformPro was only designed to handle one instance of a section per page; and this caused some frustration among users. For example, if you wanted to use a ‘callout’ section on the top and bottom of a page, you couldn’t do it. This got very frustrating for people who were having to create custom sections just to solve the problem.

For this reason, we built something called cloning which allows you to simply duplicate most sections right on your page.

Another feature that was improved is Section Control, a feature that allows you to selectively hide and show sections that you’ve placed on a template. That system is now way more robust and intuitive.

Organically Build Your Website, Without Coding

Purchase New Sections in the Admin

The concept behind the new PageLines Store is that it will allow you to dynamically add new tools to your site over time.  Meaning that if there are features that don’t exist yet in the framework, they will no doubt someday be added to the store.

We think that once the Store is running at full-speed this will be a massively useful tool for developers and professionals who continually tweak and improve their websites.

There are already 30 items available for you to purchase from developers with dozens more in development.  Remember, when you purchase, you are also supporting independent development by the budding PageLines Developer community.

Better UI and Other Improvements/Fixes

New Drag & Drop Interface

Again there are way over 50 new features and enhancements in 2.0 compared to PlatformPro.. In the development, we thought through all types of user scenarios and issues and redesigned to improve usability and fix issues. In this article its really hard to keep going and cover every specific improvement, so there is a partial new feature list at the bottom of this article…

Upgrading and Issues

Aside from a couple communication problems on our part, so far there have been no ‘major’ issues for people upgrading their sites to 2.0 (fingers crossed!).
The average time to make the switch ranges from 5 minutes to a few hours depending on the level of customization that was previously applied to the website.
That said, there are still a few things you should be aware of when upgrading. They are…

The Good News → “Non-Destructive Upgrade” – Because we knew there would be some issues with upgrading the framework, we worked to make sure the upgrade was “non-destructive.” This means that if you try and upgrade and don’t like what you see, or don’t have time to fix a couple issues, you can always revert to PlatformPro. Easy.

CSS Changes – In developing the framework, it’s very difficult to prevent CSS changes from happening once and a while on upgrade. With 2.0 there were a few changes to markup (e.g. using ‘section’ as opposed to ‘div’ elements in some cases…) This has caused a couple issues.
Solution The minor CSS problems can be fixed easily by correcting your custom css rules to align with the new elements.

Section Control – To improve the functionality of Section Control, we had to change the way its data was stored in the DB. Therefore section control options get wiped on upgrade.
Solution Simply set these options again and you are good to go.

Global vs. Meta Options – To give you more control over your pages, we moved many section options to the MetaPanel. This means that the global options are no longer relevant.
Solution Simply setup meta options for customized sections across your site; a new default option handling system is coming with version 2.1.

Partial New Features Listing…

  • Design – Responsive grid + all core sections made responsive
  • Design – Improvements to all core sections: Banners, Features, Boxes, Branding, etc..
  • Section Handling – Cloning (multiple duplicate sections per page)
  • Section Handling – Improved section control and viewing options
  • Localization – Made 100% translation ready, addressed plugin issues
  • Background Image – Responsive Supersize Option
  • Background Image – New fixed background image option
  • Feature – Dynamic, simpler color control
  • Feature – Navigation Enhancements
  • Image Option – Login Page Image
  • Image Option – New icons in branding
  • Feature – Text shadow embossed effect
  • Feature – Content drop shadow
  • Typography – New Google fonts
  • Feature – New excerpt options
  • Feature – One click upgrades
  • Sections – New Simple Nav
  • Sections – Massive enhancements to Features, Boxes, Carousel, Banner, etc…
  • SEO – HTML5 Tags
  • Posts – New posts thumb handling
  • Posts – New clip thumb handling
  • Posts – Metabar shortcodes and finite control
  • Layout – Percentage width site
  • Layout – Fixed width responsive
  • Enhancement – Improved Options Handling
  • Enhancement – multisite handling
  • Enhancement – Complete port to HTML5/CSS3 (Backwards compatible)
  • New API – Special Pages
  • New API – PageLines Options
  • New API – PageLines Themes
  • New API – PageLines Sections
  • New API – PageLines Plugins
  • New API – PageLines Launchpad
  • New API – Integrations
  • New API – LESS CSS
  • New UI – Drag and Drop Templates
  • New UI – MetaPanel
  • New UI – Section Control
  • New UI – Profiles
  • Performance – Better CSS loading
  • Performance – PHP Memory Control
  • Performance – Refactoring and Load Speed
  • Extension – 50 new filters
  • Extension – New option types (graphical selector, fonts, etc..)
  • Integration – MediaWiki
  • Integration – Vanilla Forums
  • Tool – Equalize columns
  • Tool – Supersize Image
  • WordPress – Better Custom Post Type Handling
  • WordPress – Admin bar integration
  • WordPress – Support new features
  • WordPress – Inline help
44 Responses to "PageLines 2.0 vs. PlatformPro"
  1. Hi, I’m using the Pagelines White House Pro Theme right now. If I upgrade, do I have to start building the page from scratch or will Pagelines simply (and automatically) upgrade my webpage to the new features & layout? Many thanks! Jay

    • The good news is that your content should still look great; however, if you’ve done a lot of customization you may need to ‘recreate’ things in the framework.

      WHP is a highly customized theme, so you won’t get that look by default. Eventually, we will be launching a child theme WhiteHousePro5 on the store.

      • Thanks for the quick reply, Andrew.

        I haven’t done any customization to my White House Pro page.

        Is there an introduction that can teach me how to switch all the content on my current page to the new theme? Is there a simply way to “upload the new theme” to my current wordpress page?

        Many thanks, Julius

  2. It all sounds and looks great but I would expect people who already paid for pro to get a free upgrade to 2.0

    Although I am of course still happy with platformpro, I would love to try 2.0 but definitely think people who purchased pro should NOT have to pay for the new
    Version. I feel slightly let down.

    Still, great work overall.

    • Charging for upgrades is part of making a “software” business sustainable… providing major upgrades free & forever, doesn’t justify the development time and additional support when people upgrade.

      I understand why you feel that way though, in the future we have a plan for fixing this. We’ve learned some lessons w/ this launch,.

  3. After entering the redeem code into PayPal, it jammed showing an empty white box and greyed out Pay Now button. Could not buy.

    • It’s a custom grid system we built..

      None of the systems out there could do everything we wanted to do, in the way we wanted to do it.

      The system is also extremely flexible so that developers can utilize it in their custom or commercial sections (re: Store)

  4. Re new upgrade!

    I previously purchased whitehouse pro for my site then purchased the add-on’s I purchased never worked i.e added forum but it would not install and i gave up I still have email problem’s

    Then i purchased platform pro developer for my 3 new websites none of which have been launched as still cant get install’s working – in end i switched to ning and put the other 2 behind a maintenance page

    Switching to ning has costs me a fortune plus now i’m switching between 3 platform’s – its become a management nightmare tell me why i should upgrade when the last 2 products have not lived up to the Promise

    • We’ve had thousands of happy customers on those platforms so I would need to know more about your specific issues.

      We have ticketed support now, in addition to the forum, so maybe email up front with your concerns and we’ll do our best to help you get the site you’re looking for.

      • Hi Andrew

        I will have another look i liked the whitehouse pro theme but once we upgrades it all went wrong. I am in market to move system’s but only if i can do it and get help when i need it.

        I have been looking at the new improvements and it seems you have done well – however is it once again the case you look for help and cant get it as the help tutorials only support the latest theme being sold?

  5. I thought I was buying PageLines 2 last month. I got PlatformPro which I bought a lifetime version back in April. I have not been able to do everything I want with PlatformPro and I’m sure not going to pay for one more upgrade to find out it still doesn’t meet my needs.

    • Well I’d need to know more about the things you couldn’t do with PlatformPro.. To my knowledge there is nothing that you *can’t* do in the framework; just some things are more complicated than others.. (the Store is on its way to fixing this problem)

      Email us and we’ll address your specific concerns.

    • I understand your problem I couldnt get one thing to work properly- the buddypress plugins wouldn’t install, couldn’t get the front page to install/display. The main feature Slider was nightmare. The other features wouldn’t work, plugins wouldn’t install and that was about a year ago I paid for it and I got site completed either.

      Credit where it is due its the first time Pagelines has contacted me since my purchase and give them credit they responded quickly enough this time and I should have chased it up and got a refund or a credible solution. However i get sick of buying stuff then cant get back up so if you cant access a easy help system when your paying for premium/pro development services or products – I usually take a stance dump and find another solution.

      mmm.. may have another look but not happy about having to pay a penny or pound for something that didn’ work first time

      • Alan,
        I hear you, and we’re always working to make things easier… Web development is hard, and it sounds like you had problems with BuddyPress which isn’t really an issue w/ PageLines itself.

        That said, we have a super hard working support group that is passionate about making you successful.

        PageLines is all about the mix between professional & easy; anything easier and you’ll compromise on flexibility, anything more professional and you’ll be paying a PHP web-developer.

      • I think most of my reservations are well founded.
        Pagelines are still too much focus on theme sales not enough on back up to the developers.

        Comments like we nuked version 1.0 and now putting wheels back on just fills me with dread your supposed to taking the lead, do it correct and do as WP preach and back it all up !

        Perhaps this is why you haven’t been in touch because you lost your sales/contact list

  6. All the new stuff sounds great.. But a lot of the words that keep cropping up are usability, issues, and fix. As an existing customer this does not fill me with confidence, as I naturally don’t expect to have to pay for bugfixes.

  7. Hello,

    I really like Pagelines and I currently use the Professional Edition. Is it possible to upgrade from version 1.0 Professional Edition to version 2.0 Development Edition???

    Best regards.

  8. The new version looks awesome, but I have been meaning to tell you: the website and marketing for the previous version wp much, MUCH better. The original demo site was awesome because it simultaneously explained features and showcased. Your new demo? Awful. First you have to create an account…. then you have to wait for an email…. then you have to login…. then cross your fingers and stumble about with an application one has never seen or used before. The interactivity is a nice touch, and so is the client showcase — but neither really let’s you browse, read, and learn the PLP functions taxonomy, which is the biggest hurdle for most people: custom post types? boxes? soap boxes? Yah, I know what they mean now, but at first I didn’t… And the original demo site explained them while simultaneously showing me what was aesthetically possible.

    It’s an awesome piece of software with good documentation…. But you wouldn’t know it on its face with a casual look. Go back to your Apple-esque demo site. Educate and awe… without relying on a fully functional demo to do the selling for you. You rely on it too much and most people aren’t going to understand how it works. My two cents. The client showcase is nice, but the sites are NOTHING compared to the gorgeous self-selling demo site you had up for the previous version.

    Good luck on your latest version release. I love your new elaboration of features in this post. MORE!

    • You know what? You’re totally right about that.. I guess i was waiting for someone to ask for it.

      Considering this feedback, i’ll spend a couple days redoing the front end demo.

      We nuked most of the old, so we’re having to put the wheels back on one at a time; but thank you for your insights.. please keep em coming Chris!

      • Chris, I totally agree with you. I really miss the ability to browse to a fully-functional example of what Pagelines/PlatformPro is capable of.

        Andrew… hows that demo site going? Are you able to retrieve the old “nuked” one and give it a refresh quickly to get something online? I’ve just started building a new site in Pagelines & after SOO long I need some help to refresh on what boxes/soapboxes/features/etc all look like & do. Appreciate your help ASAP and an update on the demo site…. Cheers :) Israel.

  9. Sounds like some helpful changes; but, I’d like to make sure I’m reading the pricing correctly. It’s $197? I know you’re offering a discount right now, which brings the price down significantly; but, even with the discount it’s more than I paid for the previous version. I understand needing to charge for upgrades, but to pay more for the upgrade than I did initially doesn’t make sense to me.

    • The rationale for the price was to allow us to pay more attention and provide a better experience to customers. The higher prices increase the revenue per customer, which we reinvest that back in support and additional free development on your platform.

      Again, we want you on 2.0, so email the desk if you want to discuss your specific case :)

      • I purchased PL 2.0 last December at the suggestion of your people. I really wanted the White House theme at the time, but they suggested I buy PL then because White House was coming out as a child theme of the new PL product. Anyway, I would like to know when White House will be available?

        I don’t care for the “dark” look of Dark Diamond or Orbit. IProBlog is OK, but I would rather not purchase a theme I don’t intend to use once White House comes out. So I guess I’m feeling like I’m either stuck with the “starter” free theme or I’m just out of luck until White House arrives. Please hurry.

      • I discussed my situation with the help desk per your suggestion and was basically told “too bad,” that I should’ve purchased 2.0 during the introductory pricing period. Since you’ve admitted the differences and benefits weren’t clear at that time, I find this a little hypocritical. I’ve spent a lot of time on my site the last few days and feel 2.0 would be a great asset to me, especially because functionality that simply should exist in the first version doesn’t. But I still don’t feel the price is justified in my situation. Any suggestions?

  10. I’m currently using version 1.5, and I’m considering an upgrade but noticed on the forum that 2.0 did not support buddy press, as some of the clients commented on this back in December. Its now January 10th, and I’m still waiting for the upgrade that supports buddy press, do we have an ETA on a release date? Otherwise I need to build a whole new series of sites based on version 1.5 which would be a shame.

    • So over a year later there is still no buddy press the feature they sold us on for the first version -Now I can’t believe that wow shocking –

      I bought a whitehouse upgrade(forum)that doesn’t install or work and then stupidly paid for another theme developer version ill also note from them I couldn’t use now after a whole year later i still won’t be able to use.

      what waste of money and time !

      Aye Right

  11. Hi Andrew,
    I appreciate the quick response. Do you think the plugins will be ready for next week? Are there existing 3rd party plugins that will work? I need to build these sites asap, and I’m worried about having significant delays. Will you offer a full refund if buddypress is not ready by the end of next week, that is, if I can wait that long. If so, I may buy now while I have a 50% discount. Thank you

    • No guarantees on timeline.. We will only be starting on bbP/BP next week so i have no idea how long it’ll take. Don’t know about 3rd party stuff. Email the desk with other questions…

  12. Andrew — is there a comprehensive list somewhere that helps us step through the process of upgrading. We’re currently running Platform Pro version 1.3.5 (curious why we were never prompted for an update since 1.3.5??) and it sounds like we should update to the new Framework 2.0. I see bits and pieces in the forums about what you need to back up as part of the upgrade process and what will and won’t make the upgrade transition (such as widgets, for example). I’m worried we’ll miss something in the upgrade process and have to go through a painful trial and error process. So if you’ve published an “upgrade guide” somewhere, can you point me to it? I can’t find it. Thanks!

    • @Dan Olson Dan, Upgrade notification was added in 1.4 and auto-upgrades were added in 1.5.x

      As for the widgets, we changed the way they were loaded in 2.0 hence people were frustrated when widgets ‘moved’ they didnt move, just that the sidebars changed order. We fixed this in 2.1, under adnced settings there is a new sidebar priority system, enable this 1st, its turned off by default.

      There is no real ‘guide’ as such because everybodys site is different and 2.0 is not an actual ‘upgrade’ from PlatformPro as it is a new framework, but it will convert a lot of your original settings.

      It will keep your 1.5 settings untouched, so you can switch back and forth.

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