The Benefits of Going 100% Javascript

In a few weeks, PageLines will be launching the new Platform 5 editing system for WordPress.

While we haven’t publicly talked about its features yet, I do want to announce one change that we feel is cool:

Platform 5 will be 100% Javascript driven.

Now that we got that off our chest…  The implications of  this might only make sense to developers; however, it has an important impact that we think everyone will appreciate.

In essence, Javascript is the future of web design.  This is because it makes some big differences, ones that even beginners will care about.

It has allowed us to innovate to solve long standing web development pain points.

Here’s a quick overview of what this means for Platform 5 and the future of web tech in general…

Real Time Editing

Real Time Editing in PL5
Real Time Editing in PL5

Platform 5 makes use of something called “Bindings.” This is a way of syncing data on a website. In the new system, we sync option values and the way they render objects on the page.

In other words, bindings have allowed us to make nearly every single edit in Platform 5 real time.

No more need for page refreshes to see what you’re creating. Changing your page is now just a click or a drag away.

Simple, Yet Powerful, Control.

Since options are so easily handled using the PL5 binding system, we’ve essentially been able to make everything an option while keeping things fully responsive.

You’ll be able to control everything in real time including:

  • Padding / Margin / Grids / Spacing
  • Background images, overlays and videos
  • Font sizes, alignments
  • Page layouts and templates
  • Images and Content

It works like magic .

Performance

PL5 Performance vs. PHP Driven Frameworks
PL5 Performance vs. PHP Driven Frameworks

Going 100% JS also has important performance implications.

With Javascript, most HTML generation isn’t done on the site’s server. Instead it’s done in the visitor’s browser.

This means that all the processing that used to be done on your server is instead distributed to your user’s browsers.

In practice, you get a much faster website, even on cheaper hosting. Because you’re offloading the processing to your visitor’s browsers.

Another massive improvement.

Code Quality / Efficiency

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 6.10.36 PM
Coding in Platform 5. Look no PHP! (all HTML)

By going JS driven, we’ve managed to reduce our codebase by about 50% versus PHP.

This is amazing considering that at the same time we doubled speed, and made everything real-time, we’ve also cut the amount of code to write and debug by 50%.

This is made possible through the use of binding which allow us to cut down on the redundancy in option handling.

What does this mean?

Fewer bugs, more extensions. Or, if you’re a developer, you can create your own extensions for roughly 30% the effort that it would take otherwise.

Let’s Build Stuff

devNow that Platform 5 is fully production ready, we’re opening up a new developer initiative for PageLines.

With the release of this new system, we’ll be helping to create, build and evangelize third-party stores built and hosted by third-party developers.

This allows us to support without getting too caught up in the management and delivery of third party products.

Get involved. Now is the time!

If you’d like to get involved, PageLines will be hosting weekly developer meetings to teach and discuss the web products and design business as it relates to WordPress and PageLines.

To get involved, join the community-managed PageLines User Group.

We’ll post specific plans regarding meeting times and topics there.

Join User Group

One Response to "The Benefits of Going 100% Javascript"