The problem with themes…

After working in the ‘web tools’ space for a few years, you become acquainted with a few of the issues we face day to day. In fact, after a while, dealing with these issues becomes part of the job and you barely notice them anymore.

However, every once in a while a product comes along that changes the way you view the problem and makes you realize that all that inconvenience really wasn’t necessary after all. A good example might be what the iPhone did to all the cell phones that existed prior.

In the design of DMS, we had a core ambition. We wanted to disrupt theming. A lofty goal I realize, but once we walk through a couple of the core problems with theming, and potential solutions, then I think you’ll recognize some of these ambitions in DMS when it’s released on July 24th.

The Problem with CMS Theming

To discuss the problems in theming, we have to start with the goal of a theme. And that is:

“People want to build an awesome looking website as fast and easily as possible.
That means no code, and no frustration.”
— Captain Obvious

Ok, seems simple. But there are 3 main problems in today’s CMS theming I want to highlight…

Exhibit A: Themes look nothing like their demo on install

When people buy a theme their mindset is typically something like this: “Oh wow, that theme looks awesome, I can’t wait to install it on my site, I’m sure it will look awesome.”

However, what they typically get is the exact opposite. Themes look like CRAP on install.

What you’re looking at with a demo is something set up by a professional, with his/her demo in mind and more specifically selling you on their mind. This is fine, this is the game.

However, the problem is that most people don’t have the skills or time needed to something as simple as recreate the demo. That’s the real issue here. I suspect some of you out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

As an example we bought some of the most popular ‘premium’ themes out there, here’s the demo versus them on install.

Theme demo versus install comparisons



What’s the solution to this problem? Well, the solution is doing a better job of import and export. Since these themes are built from scratch to look good and not as a design platform, they simply don’t have the tools to have good import and export.

So with that, I would like to announce that DMS has an awesome import and export tool. And THIS is why it matters.

Some import export stuff. I think relevant.

Exhibit B: Customizing themes takes a degree in CS or lots & lots of pain

Themes are what we call in the industry ‘hard coded.’ Meaning, there is no rhyme or reason to how they are structured, behind the scenes, other than they need to work.

This means there are two ways to customize a theme:

  • Theme options
  • Custom code

Theme options are great! However, in themes, they are typically (and by typically, we mean always) hard to find, don’t do what you want, or are somehow limited in scope or functionality. This means you have to resort to the second option which is, dun, dun, dun: coding.

Coding for most people is super fun and a great way to spend the day. Most people can’t wait to spend countless hours trying to figure out why something ‘just isn’t working,’ or to experience the pleasure of taking their entire site down accidentally. (End sarcasm, please don’t think we’re serious!)

Thus this is where web developers, getting paid $75+/hour come in. More fun.

PageLines has been trying to solve *this* problem for years, however, in DMS we really think we’ve nailed down the solution. Pro web design, fast, without coding… coming soon.  Check.

^^ What is this and what could it possibly have to do with easy editing? #NotATeaser
^^ What is this and what could it possibly have to do with easy editing? #NotATeaser

Exhibit C: Theme sites don’t evolve, you throw them away and start over once again

Another issue that you may not realize is that CMS themes can’t evolve. The process goes like this, “oooo, I want that theme! It has the cool accordion slider thingy, like that other site I love! :D” and then, with some effort, you get your new website with your accordion ‘thingy.’ However, in about 12 to 18 months the entire web decides that accordion sliders are not cool anymore and you HAVE to have a parallax feature or your site looks like it’s from 1999 (i.e. prehistoric times)..

So what do you do? Well, you get a new theme, but wait! What happens to all your customizations? Oh no! Your accordion slider thingy??  Yup you have to decide, the new hotness or ol’ reliable ( or you could just code it up with PHP and Javascript! )…

That colorful example is to highlight my point, CMS themes don’t evolve without coding.

This is the problem PageLines is solving with the growing marketplace and community. We are learning more and more about what you want in a platform and what we need to do to get awesome designers & developers to give it to you.

With DMS you will be able to add new components to your site in seconds with drag and drop, and if you want, remove components equally fast. This means your site evolves with the trends, or how you’re feeling on a given day. It’s that easy. You CAN have your accordion slider thingy and the parallax hotness at the same time.

What else? Let’s start a conversation…

Well, we don’t want to spoil any of the fun surprises coming for you on launch day. However, we would love to start a conversation around all the things that can be improved about CMS themes and how they work. We’ve tried to think through everything, so either your input will encourage us or get us thinking!

If you aren’t yet familiar with DMS, please check out the video and landing page before launch date and be part of the web design revolution coming on July 24th.

Over and out.

155 Responses to "The problem with themes…"
  1. Well hopefully you have managed to allow any type of web design to be created. Themes to me are like the old web site templates. They look fantastic with the authors content but as soon as you set them up and add your clients real content the entire design goes out the window.
    Most themes and templates are built to cater for a certain unrealistic  size text block set by the designer so they look amazing but as soon as ‘real life’ data is used – a template or theme goes out the window.
    I’m a designer and developer by trade so i’m used to designing a mockup concept for my clients exactly how I want knowing I have the skills to  create the site structure to fit, this is time consuming to say the least and not so much fun as you also discussed, so far no-one has managed to generate a theme that can cater for this way of working. You have to fit into the designers theme layout. 
    I don’t want cookie cutter designs i want FREEDOM to parrot William Wallace.
    If you have managed to unlock the hand holding design constraints then I think you have a winner and I’ll certainly re-visit the drag and drop revolution that may or may not be on its way. Dropping coding all together would be a relief and i could go back to design and function rather than coding and bug searching.

  2. When I hear “no coding” it terrifies me.  If a designer gives me a PSD or Illustrator file, it’s my job to turn that into a pixel perfect representation of that design.  Using drag/drop prefab components to get it “close enough” just isn’t going to cut it.  I’ll reserve judgement until the software is released and I see the documentation, but I’m really hoping the next version of PageLines puts just as much thought and care into the tools for coders as they do for non-coders.

    • hennings DUDE I hear you on that one man. Really really want something that gets out of my way. I get these jobs from high profile clients about 2-3 times a year. I would NOT choose any other platform but PageLines, period. The drag and drop interface is for users, the tech underneath is for us developers. Trust me man, if it weren’t legit, I’d be out of there, and those who know me know that I speak very openly.

    • hennings So if you love to code…Then you love code that is modular…so then you will love pagelines because it gives you a “Design Management System” to create modular sections & plugins to create a pixel perfect design. :)

      • mikezielonka hennings I am brand new to PageLines, and figured that custom Sections were the direction I needed to go in order to realize full design flexibility.
        I was about ready to dive into the documentation and start down that path when we started hearing about the new system coming on the 24th.  I am really hoping that some documentation will be available on launch day so I can get started right away.
        Picking up a new framework is always an adventure.

      • hennings mikezielonka ya you’ll be happy to hear docs are already mostly completed for 3rd party stuff with some other cool tools to help you learn faster launching soon.

    • hennings So, I’m not a designer – I work with artists and creatives to assist them in making money, and while it’s great to give someone exactly what they ask for, so many times I wish that someone would have said NO to a design.  I’m new to understanding PageLines and DMS, and in my opinion, we need something with some constraints.  Most “full custom” websites are terrible at monetization.  (And, I know that posting this will probably get me slammed, because I’m not a designer or very versed technically, but the amount of wasted money that goes into getting something to look exactly the way someone has “envisioned it” is mind boggling.)

  3. What is “a degree in CS” ?
    And as a person who gets paid to do client sites — getting sarcastically slammed in a blog post doesn’t give me a warm feeling.  I agree with @hennings — we need tools to help us help others achieve their vision perfectly.  When companies say “drag and drop” it usually means the opposite and good luck trying to get it to where you want.  If thats the case i’ll stick with coding.

    • Crispee CS = Computer Science.  It could just be that we’re not the target audience for PageLines, although just because I do not require a Drag and Drop interface for building a site doesn’t mean I don’t see the value in providing that functionality to a client within a custom design.
      I guess we’ll just have to wait another week and see.

      • SidianMSJones Crispee  It was this:  “Thus this is where web developers, getting paid $75+/hour come in. More fun.”  Maybe I’m being oversensitive.  Just seems to say web developers are overpaid and useless. I’m sure that is part of the selling point to some, but when a core of the customers are probably developers just seemed strange to belittle their worth.

      • Crispee SidianMSJones To me it kind of says the opposite, that developers are often sorely needed and earn that sort of wage because of it. I can see a little bit of the dichotomy you are referring to though.

  4. I’m really looking forward to the theme options for everything. But I am assuming that even with all the options, you will be able to at least edit/add custom CSS. I mean, for a lot of us, that’s really important. At least to me it is. This alone gives a theme some seriously powerful customization in my opinion.

  5. I’m absolutely stoked for this. After checking out the demo it occurred to me how frustrating it has been all along to work in WP in the “traditional” manner. DMS is a game-changer, no doubt about that.

    • John Petrowski It actually doesn’t work like that. Some things, yes. However, page meta information doesn’t get moved over.  And the experience varies widely between themes.

      • arpowers John Petrowski I agree with Powers. Yes, sometimes the demo content works (or is even there in the first place), but it’s a very hit and miss experience. With DMS we can not only import every needed piece of info but do so with any variation of theme setup possible with the platform.

      • arpowers John Petrowski Not counting that the majority of themes doesn’t come with an import option and you have to figure it all out by yourself.

    • John Petrowski  – Hi John, I believe he was speaking about converting to a new theme and having your content look like gibberish on the template.  Not sure how the DMS will overcome that, but it will be interesting to see.

  6. The reliance on the Theme’s core beneath the changes and on top of the WP core, makes development easier for the developer, but the client faces the dreaded Theme Lock-In.

  7. Dumb question. Background first – currently using iblog pro 4 theme. My website is WP with that theme. Is DMS deployed as a WP site, with all the plug-in possibilities, etc?

    • Tom Gerry Yes, PageLines (DMS) is a WordPress theme.  Technically a theme framework, but yes, you can use all of the WordPress plugins/widgets with it.

  8. I’ve always hated themes! Squarespace has tried to do away with them (in ways, at least providing the website building structure behind them) but has gone far enough…

  9. This will be fun to deploy. It is exactly what I’m looking for. Control of my site without having to subscribe to another companies solution, customization without deep coding, and the ability to customize the source when I need or want to. I’m right in that sweet spot of End-User without any knowledge of coding and a developer who spends their day in the source. Can’t wait to start using it. All of my personal sites are running Pagelines after leaving a competitor when Pagelines was first launched.

  10. Theme lock-in is awfull really.  You guys nailed it on all points.  I love to improve my site with a new theme, but I learned the hard way that any “custom code” or [tags]] inserted into the artciles goes to the trash can as soon as you change the theme.  Now I’m super aware of this and wont use anything in the article writing that comes included in the theme, since I KNOW that once I change that theme, I will have to correct more than 400 articles and that is not a posibility.
    So, basically, we are all stuck,  ( i mean, all people that use themes).

    I’ve never bought a single theme that i didn’t have to re-code, modify or change a sustantial ammount.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to code, specially css  but somethings this challenge is too much for my limited time here on earth.
    I always felt that designing a web exactly the way I wanted I would need all the time in the world, and that is not a posibility.

    Things always gets in the way,   DMS seems cool, i’s important to establish how the rules will be, there will be free content?, licenses?.  Should be interesting to write an article about that.
    To end, I felt identified with each point you expressed on this article, specially the “Crap” part of installing a plugin or buy one and then found out that the coder did a piss awfull job at coding with common sense or using a fine structure,  css’s  inside css’s ,   classes that goes to 3 different files at once,  !important in the wrong place… someone feels the pain like I do ?
    The thing is, if we can get this all out of the equation, what will be left to custom-code  for the lovers?.  I mean, custom-code in a clean way.
    Also, what are the implications “performance-wise”.  Because I pretty much end up disabling javascripts not needed and modifying themes just because the guys doing the selling were thinking more on the “beautiful” aspect and not the performance aspect. How will DMS manage the javascript files, css customizations and so forth?

    • tecnogaming custom coding should be cut down to the fun part, eg. adding custom CSS. With DMS, adding new sections, & plugins will be fun and should ignite creativity that, until now, only experienced coders had access to…

  11. So, this is a whole other thing than the Page Lines I have already purchased? If so what will be the cost? Will the one I have continue to be supported if I can’t upgrade to the new Page Lines?

  12. As you described buying a theme is easy, but once bought a theme, it never gives what it promises without having any knowledge of coding or css. I have tested some frameworks now, some have all the possibilities of the world and would cost lots of time, others are limited. in use. I am looking for a solution/framework which is even easy to use for people without any knowledge or basic knowledge so they can maintain their design themselves. Ok i want to offer them a template, but i don’t want them to be dependent of any consultancy or whatever. As far i can discover this seems to offer this all.
    Buying a theme never offers all these possibilities, DMS seems to offer much more opportunities.

  13. I’m sooo stoked for this. As a UI designer and developer a lot of clients ask me to build their website for them. This will defiantly free up time for me so I can do less coding and more imagining! Hats off to you-Paglines!

  14. I have worked with PageLines framework for a while, and from a designers perspective it´s great. What I want to do is to design, not to code. I hope that DMS is even better and I´m looking forward to this. I´m thinking DMS is for WP what Muse is for custom coding in general. Simpel from a designers perspective.

  15. I hope that it’s not too challenging to migrate from Framework 2.0 to DMS. That would make all of this that much more appealing.

  16. I’m not a web designer in any form but in know I want more flexibility in designing my site that i dont get with acregular theme, without knowing any coding. So I’m really hoping this truly lives up to the hype.

  17. OK. I don’t want to seem dense, but is there a straightforward, plain
    english description of what PageLines is somewhere? Is it a big fancy
    theme for WordPress? Is it a big fancy plug-in for WordPress? Other
    than the next best thing in creating websites, WHAT IS IT?!?! How does
    it work? How do I use/install it? Just a nice, simple, descriptive paragraph without a lot of superlatives would be great.

  18. I’m a webdesigner and I love WordPress, I love themes, I love customizing them with CSS and beautiful graphics and typography, love adding functionality with great plugins, I love my job. I tried Pageliners (plus version) early this year (2013) and I really wanted to love that too – I’ve heard so many good things about it and my expectations were high, but the learning curve was just to steep for me, I found the framework very restrictive and inflexible, the support forum was so confusing and the video tutorials that were supplied were not very pedagogical or professional. Mabye DMS (I can’t really tell what it is from the article) will be better. But maybe it just boils down to a matter of taste – I think I’m a themes kinda gal.

    • Have to agree with this. Pagelines tech support, tutorials etc can be pretty hard to find/ follow and figure out. Otherwise a really great platform!!

    • Lene Maria I agree, we started the DMS design planning process with someone like you in mind. I openly acknowledge that v2 & v1 were hard to learn. 
      DMS won’t suffer from the same issue.

      • arpowers Lene Maria I agree with Lene and bogolingo somewhat. Pagelines is a great way to build a framework of a site (once you get used to it) but some of the most obvious areas are almost impossible to customize without buying a plugin. Some of the most integral components of a website (the header and main menu) are frustratingly inflexible. If you’re going to build a product with designers in mind which is supposed to allow us to build “an unlimited amount of websites,” you need to provide lots and lots and lots of options. I can get around having to learn a theme. If I’m going to use it to build tons of websites I expect it to be complex. I should be able to make completely different looking menus and headers without having to buy an extra plugin.
        As for support: I purchased the chat  and always got an answer for my question and quickly. Also I thought the videos were very helpful and concise.

      • arpowers how can you say that? i have to agree with Lene Maria.
        My personal experience with the PL framework need to be partitioned in:
        Not so very good (it took me a lot of effort to get the upgrade discount, as a dev owner, to the new version)
        Some times it was OK sometimes not (and from following other customers question, that impression wasn’t to much different for me)
        Great framework, that not always was able to fulfill the expectations
        Reading all the fuzz around DMS i am indeed excited but also afraid i could end up to be disappointed.

      • @arpowers how can you say that? i have to agree with Lene Maria.
        My personal experience with the PL framework need to be partitioned in:
        Not so very good (it took me a lot of effort to get the upgrade discount, as a dev owner, to the new version)
        Some times it was OK sometimes not (and from following other customers question, that impression wasn’t to much different for me)
        Great framework, that not always was able to fulfill the expectations
        Reading all the fuzz around DMS i am indeed excited but also afraid i could end up to be disappointed.

  19. What are the implications for sites built on pagelines framework? Will you guys still be keeping it up to scratch? Am I going to have to re-theme, re-code, and bleed from the eyeballs to iron out bugs again? !!! Please say no.

    • Also, what does this mean for people who just purchased the Pagelines Pro Platform?  Will this just be an update? or Will we have to start from scratch?  Did we just waist our money???

    • MichaelDevaney The days of being a web designer exclusively are gone with WYSIWYG and Drag n Drop around everywhere. Even most graphic packages these days can export semi decent web pages without the end user knowing what they are doing.
      The moms basement web designers have almost killed the industry pricing structure BUT thankfully mobile phone apps are now our focus and these are a little harder to drag n drop!

      • DaveBlewitt MichaelDevaney I design things for the web, exclusively, and make a pretty handsome living at it, courtesy of PageLines.

      • nphaskins I looked at PageLines a while back and it didn’t offer me enough freedom. I couldn’t recreate my concept designs exactly and this is where it failed for me. So I went back to CSS coding. I could however design around the PL ways of doing things but that just seemed to be doing things around the wrong way.

        I’ve been developing since the late 90’s, well a developer/designer actually and have been one of the few whom have avoided WordPress as I’ve always written my own functions and designed my own CSS.
        I’m hoping all of that changes with something like DMS for the design and WP as the engine so that I can stop trying to reinvent the wheel every time I start a new web site. I have big expectations for DMS and really hope it allows me the freedom to truly create what I want and how i want it. :)

      • DaveBlewitt nphaskins
        That’s PageLines. I completely gutted and built from scratch according to spec. To say they don’t offer freedom is nonesense, to say the least. DMS is no different, in fact it’ sbetter for the end users, equally as awesome for the developer. If you know how to program, you can do whatever you want. They have a solid section API, that’s been improved with DMS.

      • nphaskinsSorry this just looks like every other design I’ve seen from Pagelines. At the time i was looking for a new solution I was unable to re-create my concept for the client exactly as required. 
        For example this is the site I’m currently developing and I could not get this design to work with P.L. Hence i went back to my normal way of designing using Dreamweaver. Everything within this page can be edited via my CMS if this could be re-created exactly out of the box I’d love to hear how. 
        If I have to start hacking things to do it in PL I may as well do what i do now and use Dreamweaver. Is my point still nonsense? I think not. The point I was trying to make is that I had hoped DMS would allow for such layouts not functions.

      • CaseyGraffix nphaskins The client gave me specs, and was designed from scratch matching to the spec 100%. PageLines doesn’t stop you from doing this, only the lack of konwing code does.

      • nphaskins CaseyGraffix  My objective here wasn’t to be negative or start a fight and i have said on many occasions I hope it will fit into my way of working, I was talking about layout specifically not the guts of the content. anyway I’m out this convo and I’ll wait until next week and see if it fits my needs. Peace :) Cheers Dave

      • nphaskins CaseyGraffix I can assure you my knowledge in code is extensive I just don’t see the point of coding in PL when i can just as easily code in Dreamweaver?

      • DaveBlewitt nphaskins CaseyGraffix Dreamweaver?!?!?! lol OK i’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that and list reasons why, its actually harder work to NOT use PageLines. I take on VERY few clients a year with big budgets and I tell them all the same thing.
        – Modular
        PageLines sections, only run code on the pages they are used on. This is HUGE, it means you never have to muck around using conditionals or any of that shit cause it just happens automagically.
        – Section API
        The section API is extensive, and allows developers to write sections in literally no time at all.Custom themes, ARE a harmonious blend of multiple custom designed sections. Sections, are at the core of PageLines.
        – Bootstrap
        The grid, labels, badges, js components, modals, etc. PagelInes has all of this on board, not sure why on earth you’d want to write your own responsive grids when everything is just there and ready. Especially with utility classes so when you write markup you can adjust margin on the fly.
        – LESS
        Dont have to worry about writing css, and you surely dont have to worry about a compiler because PageLines has it’s own onboard LESS compiler. Writing in LESS intead of CSS offers an insurance policy with cross-browser compatibility because you don’t have to muck around using vendor prefixes.
        – Option Engine
        Build any option you want. Select menus, text areas, image uploads, etc. You can build a section and a theme with custom options that utilize the option engine.
        – Drag and Drop
        Notice how I list this last. This is cool no doubt..for the end user. What excites me more, as a developer, is the API and how core functions work. But all of this underlying stuff, only leads to better experience for the end user, and that is ultimately who we’re selling too.
        I could go on, further, if you want, but if you really want to recreate everything above, that’s your own call. IMO, most developers stopped using Dreamweaver about 10 years ago. Everything is responsive now, the only good way to develop is with a code editor (Sublime), and a browser that you can constantly resize to make sure everything is kosker from desktop to mobile.

      • nphaskins Thank you so much for rising to the occasion and bringing this conversation to the intelligent place it was meant to be. (and thank you also for the laugh, I didn’t realize they still even sell Dreamweaver!?) The problem with starting “discussions” in this manner is there is always a never ending supply of attention seeking folks with nothing but time on their hands to criticize. I contend they will never be happy with DMS or any other product besides the one they have decided is better or best for them, and if that’s the case, no need to participate in what could be a productive discussion for those that are open to new possibilities. It’s sort of like censoring music…my opinion is if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it. DMS may not be for everyone, move on if it isn’t and get over it and yourselves already!!!

      • nphaskins CaseyGraffix Sorry to say, but i find there is nothing that excites me, about the look and feel of that site.
        And i think that a real coder/developer does not need a wp framework or for a mtter wordpress at all!
        Wordpress + Frameworks are, to my opinion, for those of us who want to spend more time/energy on the creative process of building websites (unless you have a team that has both)
        So the better a framework can reduce the coding part, the better it suites the creative ppl.

      • nphaskinsDaveBlewittCaseyGraffix”most developers stopped using Dreamweaver about 10 years ago” lol what planet are you on? I’m not even going to respond any further after such a statement. hahaha you gave me a good belly laugh right there. See ya.

      • DaveBlewitt nphaskins CaseyGraffix 
        From my point, it looks like your coding skills is lacking and you need a visual editor to work your ass around what you do for a living. I am happy I am not a client of yours. lol
        If you do things better in Dreamweaver, then use Dreamweaver and make your sites static – and not easy scaleable etc.
        Sorry to say, but no one cares really!

      • nphaskins DaveBlewitt CaseyGraffix Wow, thank you for this comment. This is the best sales pitch for PageLines I’ve seen–I think they could do a better job marketing to developers.
        I bought a developer license for PageLines in late May.  I read what I thought was all of the documentation from start to finish, but never came across anything about the API or custom sections.  I tried to use PageLines to develop a client’s site, using only LESS/CSS to impose my will on the design using the packaged sections and ended up calling it quits.  I just assumed that the framework dropped flexibility in favor of ease of use.
        So now I’m looking forward to the release of this new version, and  hoping that custom sections are within my ability.
        This probably isn’t the best place to ask, but now I’m curious.  In your “Modular” bullet point, do you mean that you can easily load jQuery plugins or other scripts/styles into the header/footer of the site with a custom section so that those scripts/styles are only loaded on pages where those sections are in use?

      • eric_dlab nphaskins DaveBlewitt CaseyGraffix 
        that is exactly what it is eric! It is wonderful to work with! :)
        I know AP is working on docs for DMS (not sure if they are ready for public yet though) but you will find all info you need to get started in there.

      • eric_dlab that’s exactly right. the scripts that the sections load are only loading on the page where the section is used. this has been a feature of pagelines for quite some time, as well as the section API. This is why we build products for a living, and sell them in the store, because there have always been mechanisms in place to facilitate rapid development.

      • You see fanboy I came on here with a question and you have turned this into your own personal look how fucking good I am as a coder post.
        Your opinion of my ability to code is laughable seeing as you have never met me or seen my work. Generalize much? and as i said before Oh Great Coding Master who has a couple of 2 bit extensions in the theme store, I’m here to look for secondary solution to fit some clients needs. Full stop! Are you the owner of PageLines? I think not and stop hassling potential customers.

        If you are the typical demographic that is developing plugins for PageLines then I will make sure I stay well clear of the store, I’d hate to inflate your ego any further.

        So crawl back into whatever hole you came out. Your doing nothing for the reputation of PageLines nor are you helping to sell their product as big of a fan boy as you seem to be. typical WP wanna be Elitist attitude from you. I have had a  gut full.

      • nphaskins DaveBlewitt hmm yes it was a reply but somehow i made a new post.Maybe I need a lesson in posting also.

      • DaveBlewitt I question anyones coding ability to code when they said they use DreamWeaver. Using Dreamweaver makes you sound like a retard, any half decent developer clearly knows that dreamweaver is poor and the best method for development is a code editor (Sublime Text) and Chrome (for js) browser.
        I can’t actually believe anyone would actually openly admit to using Dreamweaver, its people like you using Dreamweaver, that is wrong with the dev community. I suppose you still use IE6 too ?

      • ginoginelli DaveBlewitt 
        Dreamweaver should die a painfull death.
        I don’t question anyone’s ability, i don’t pretend to know which one knows and which one doesn’t, I just hate old software.

  20. Ok. Another teaser, but this one has left me totally bewildered. 
    I’m still completely in the dark as to what advantages DMS will provide over and above the Pagelines Framework THEME. Why don’t you stick up the demo for Pagelines Framework and then put next to it what you get before you configure anything? 
    My point being that we use Pagelines Framework, not themes (even though it is integrated into WordPress as a theme). So why are themes such a problem to us? What’s restrictive about the Framework theme? We already have a framework completely un-themed until we configure it. I’m re-themed sites many time using Framework, it’s not been a problem.
    The only advantages that have so far been made really clear are; the subscription basis advantage for Pagelines; and how easy it’s going to be for the merry band of 3rd party developers to build stuff to sell us – like themes?
    For me, DMS is starting to feel like it’s a Pagelines DMS for coding things for – well, Pagelines. This is opposed to a DMS for building websites. Just a feeling, there is no information to substantiate my feeling. It’s more based on the absence of what is not being discussed. Things like – easier multi-browser support so everything also works in IE. Maybe something simple like a warning when you when you are doing stuff that will not work in all browsers. See a real development environment tool like Dreamweaver for ideas. Database integration made easy, with commit and transaction rollback. A sandbox for testing. Real application development issues, not just eye candy and screen layout designs. What about something innovative like a feature to identify which plug-in is screwing everything up?
    Roll-on the next teaser. Still a bit sceptical.

    • flidget Well it’s because you just aren’t seeing the value of using Pagelines and the revolutionary premium theme… 
      that’s not a theme… 
      but a DMS… 
      which allows you to buy themes from Pagelines!
      What’s not to like?  Each abstract descriptive layer is an opportunity for you to give more money to Pagelines.  You wouldn’t want to be caught using one of those difficult ‘themes’, so you’ll need a Pagelines premium theme DMS and buy some exclusive premium themes.
      Though I kinda wish Pagelines would spend more time making nice looking design stuff, and lose the repugnant exaggeration of increased monetization scheming as a civic service.
      Oh yeah… dev tools and drag-n-drop will now be chrome only.  Way to go, super coders.

      • flidget It seems that every one of your posts are negative. If you’re that bothered why keep posting? Why not go plant a flower and be happy?

      • nphaskins flidget Planting flowers doesn’t do anything to help me design sites.  While this is a negative cost/hassle increase for customers, as a paid framework module dev you’ll be making more money at our expense.  I think PG and people like you need to do a better job explaining why you’re pulling out the rug again, before more of your obnoxious paid cheerleading.   
        You’ve got a conflict of interest, buddy.  Consider piping down about negative consumer reactions to your business practices, and working to handle those with more than empty words.

  21. From a previous email I received a message of this:
    Finally, if you don’t meet the above criteria, don’t worry! We recognize that you are probably one of PageLines’ best customers and so we want to take good care of you. We’ll be giving every beta applicant an early look and access. Just not quite this much ahead of launch. So please stay tuned!
    is this still the case? – if so, when do we get a look at it?

    • grunta I have to agree with grunta.  Come on, we pay an arm and a leg to get the betas early and it hardly seems worth the money to only get it a couple days ahead of the norm

    • Don’t get me wrong – I’m really excited about DMS and what looks to deliver… 
      What I am saying is this – lets get on with it (if it is ready) – the email we got was that it promised a look in side before the public..
      Are we going to see anything before the 24th?

  22. @PageLines has anyone developed a plugin that will allow someone to follow a specific box?  Like if I have a bunch of boxes pinned to my front page I would want someone to be able to follow all boxes of the category that they select on the front page.

    • Brenden that’s an interesting thought, you could always put a feed in to allow people to subscribe to a post type …

  23. If this is as easy as it looks, I’m sold.  I’m excited.  I wanna make a badass site with minimal effort and have people say “wow, your site is awesome”.  And me thinking to myself, “yeah it was way easier than it looks”.  I want to be able to focus a lot more time on my content instead of design problems or css tricks.  I want to be able to KEEP UP with the current “look”, so that I don’t have to completely revamp and start over when I’m ready to update/upgrade.  If I pay $50 or $60 bucks a year for a subscription, I wanna feel like it’s a steal.  I wanna shell that cash out happily and feel like it’s totally worth it year after year.  I want to be surprised and catered to for no extra charge.  Just pay my yearly fee and I get the boss package.  Yes, I want to be a BOSS.  I want inclusivity, not exclusivity.  “You, little user, get all this MACK DADDY stuff for your meager $50/year.”  I don’t want to fight with the damn thing, I want it to soothe me, yes SOOTHE.  Instead of me thinking, “damn, why the hell did that make it this way” I want to think, “holy cow, they thought of this?  wow!”  Romance me Pagelines!  Make me happy!  Thrill me to the marrow.

      • arpowers batonrougecounseling lol can i be added to your list, I’d surely subscribe to that kind of service. :0

      • arpowers batonrougecounseling Hey wow, batonrouge is onto something!  Save some for me!

  24. It is always my struggles working with programmers and it takes too long for them to script the move of design. Why can’t let me do it myself and allow my creative juice to flow! I am going to love DMS. Thank you guys!  I am a Photographer / Art Director (Web and Print in publishing) Wish I have a chance to try it out right away :-)

  25. I agree wholeheartedly with batonrougecounseling.  I bought a nice theme thinking it would be easy and to hardcore programmers it probably is. 
    But it took way more time than I ever imagined and my site is still horribly simple and ugly. I wanted to make it an effective tool for my business and it really only functions as a blog site and not a very good one at that.
     I want to be able to build  and rebuild and tweak and re-tweak my site quickly and easily.  The more visual DMS is, the easy it will be to work with.  Then I may even venture into multiple sites.  How fun would That be?

  26. I purchased Framework a couple of weeks ago because I thought I needed it to get and make the upcoming DMS work. So based on many of these comments, why did I recently buy Framework when I already had Pagelines Pro?

  27. I am really suprised at a lot of the comments below this one.  There must be a lot of people posting who don’t know how to program or never had the desire and passion too learn.  I love programming and where I find a good solid and secure framework like Pagelines a great starting point.  I don’t want it all done for me.  It reminds me of the fat guy who takes a bunch of diet pills but doesn’t put in the gym time and then wonders why he doesn’t look as good as the guy on the diet pill box.  Come on, maybe it is just me.  I LOVE programing, it is a never ending puzzle of problems waiting to be solved.

      • nphaskins BrendenHi, i have been a coder for a couple of years (Assembly, Cobol, Fortran, RPGIII, RPG400 and a couple of others), i do understand PHP, CSS, JS. 
        But besides enjoying coding in the past, these days i am much more interested in the creative process (cause i also love design, architecture, photography) and i find it quite hard to divide my time on both : the technical part and at the same time the creative part.
         So if there’s a tool that helps me to spend less time on the technical aspect of webdesign (iow coding) and more on the design, that would give me the opportunity to focus on design!
        It does remember me of the days where there was a lot of discussion about coding in assembly or using a higher programming tool (like 4th generation languages)

      • tecnogaming x3mgroup Brenden  Yea, how about Fortran?  Some people still love and use it.

  28. I love the way that professional web developers are crying over how easy it is for anyone to make a website. Do you know what killed your industry? $2000+ static sites, and never answering the phone because you only work at night. I’ll make my own from now thank you please x

    • MintPrints As a professional web developer, I think it’s great that it’s becoming easier to build a functional website.  It allows a small business with a small budget to build their own site without too much trouble, and as long as it keeps getting easier, probably without your help as well.
      It has no impact on my business however.  Believe it or not, there are lots of larger companies that understand the importance of branding, and require services beyond filling WordPress with content on top of slightly modified canned templates/themes.

      • hennings   i agree.  And even small businesses realize that too.  Companies that are only out for the do it cheap aren’t worth getting anyway.

    • MintPrints   Sorry that you had a bad experience with a “Pro”.  However, a couple things on that: 
      1 He was probably not really a Pro only claiming to be one.   
      2. $2000 is not a bad price on a Professional website.  Some sites require a lot of hours in programming depending on the design.  Where PageLines comes in is with clients like yourself, on a budget and timeframe.  I prefer to give you an original site. However if it has time and budget constraints then I will use a jump off point like PageLines.  
      3. If he works at night he works alone, I have a team, in which some work at night and some during the day.  Those at night do the fixes so you don’t notice.  Those who work during the day do all the customer service work and prep work like design work in PS & Illustrator.      
         There are many other facets but I don’t have the time to get into it here.  However, I will close with:  Do it your self is always an option, though sometimes people get in over there head and that is when they turn back to the real “Pros”.  Real Professional Programers are “#ANerdApart” or #A Nerd Apart and we will never be obsolete nor will we ever be replaced no matter how easy it becomes to “Do It Yourself”.  Nerds run the world … Nerds rule the world.

  29. I find it extraordinary that people
    are that bothered by a tool – yes the Pagelines Framework & DMS are
    tools (to me at least – no different than Dreamweaver) – that save TIME. Being self-employed,
    productivity is my major concern – especially because I’m disabled,
    which impacts my ability to get things done when I’m having a OK-enough
    day.. I like being able to chop-and-change without having to spend half
    my time (or most of my time) doing it. The only limitation I have is
    that my coding skills could be better (and I’m working on that; I learn by doing)..Also important is that I don’t have to spend a huge amount of time on things that clients could do for themselves if only they tried. Pagelines makes that possible.

    example of the brilliance of Pagelines: I took part in an online
    conference where participants were divided into teams. I was at home, in
    bed, connected via skype & ustream. The crux of our proposed
    project was a website. The only other teams that proposed websites
    sketched out their ideas and did rudimentary mindmapping in PowerPoint
    (I kid you not). In less than an hour I had something up online for
    everyone to look at, including a 1st pass at a logo, blog and relevent
    content (It took some doing to convince the non-techies that there was
    no need for a separate blog). Needless to say that a great idea aside,
    the ability to do so much with so little time made an impression. My
    team won. 
    Yes, money is a major concern for me but Pagelines has been worth the investment. What I really regret is having spend so much money on other frameworks and themes in the past that just weren’t enough in the long-term. The moment I started using Pagelines they were rendered useless for the reasons detailed in this post. I’m really ooking forward to DMS.

  30. I can not wait to touch it with his hand, I am already with PageLines well, it’s a little heavy but even though I know that many people like to program more, you have a tool that facilitates the work and I will fast with simple drag and drop, you can give space to creativià so it should be the work and the help of technology.

  31. @
    Your site is badass, love the parallax effect.  Is that a standard/easy effect in DMS?

  32. arpowers – you have captured an awesome audience for the pending release…
    The message is that we are all eagerly awaiting the release and update.
    Are you going to keep with your promise to release to the existing end users before the July 24th release to the public (a simple yes or no)? – or have I missed that boat?
    Speaking for myself – can’t wait to see what is in the release!

  33. Listen PageLines is a tool not a destroyer of the “Professional Web developer”

     $2000 is not a bad price to pay a Professional webdeveloper.  Some sites require
    a lot of hours in programming depending on the design.  Where PageLines
    comes in is with people on a budget and timeframe.  I
    prefer to give someone an original site. However if it has time and budget
    constraints then I will use a jump off point like PageLines.  Do it your self is always an option,
    though sometimes people get in over there head and that is when they
    turn back to the real “Pros”.  
       Real Professional Programers are “#ANerdApart” or #A Nerd Apart and we will never
    be obsolete nor will we ever be replaced no matter how easy it becomes
    to “Do It Yourself”.  Nerds run the world … Nerds rule the world.

    • Brenden 
      Why not use PageLines to build a pro website where every section you use is customized to your clients need? (What I am saying is that you can build your own sections).
      By doing this you give your client the option to have a modular website but still customized.
      I dont see why A is excluding B in your equation.

      • AleksanderHansson Brenden There is absolutely nothing wrong with PageLines nor building your clients website from it in a “modular” fasion.  
           For me it is a personal preference, I enjoy the challenge of building it from ground up on my own framework.  However, this indeed takes more time and time is not always on my side.  
           Budget dictates time, so if the budget doesn’t allow for this then I turn to a crutch (PageLines) in order to have the same Professional feel and look.  
           You can indeed achieve the same results no matter wich workflow you choose.  Though a Framework like PageLines will never replace the Pro nor genius sitting behind the keyboard putting it all together.  They are what makes all the difference.  They are what makes them #ANerdApart.

  34. nphaskins your site is badass.  does DMS do parallax effect out of the box, or is that a plugin or custom code?

    • batonrougecounseling hey thanks I really appreciate that! My site is actually a custom DMS theme, that I built to sell in the store for the launch. The parallax you see is custom to the theme, as are all the sections that are included (I’m dogfooding my own stuff cause I liked it so much). I also can’t answer your other question, cause I don’t exactly know if I can. ;)

  35. I just opened a hosting account with Blue Host with the intention of using WordPress Themes. Wish I had discovered this two days ago.
    If I go with Pagelines instead, can the website be uploaded into Blue Host and edited with a CMS?
    If not, does Pagelines have a CMS that will allow my clients to log-in and make edits, with no extra costs, similar to using WordPress?
    BTW, random quotation marks are inserted into your headlines.

    • leeboggs PageLines is a WordPress theme. If you want to get picky, you can call it a theme Framework, but it’s still a theme that you install on top of WordPress.

        hennings leeboggs Ok.  Today, I am to download a theme. WP newbie. YES or NO:  should I wait until tomorrow?  Not working, so your debut must be:
        a) affordable  b) easy  c) lots of tutorials
        Tell me now to wait or pass.  Thanks!

      • AleksanderHansson hennings leeboggs Ok. Intrigued!  New to this … are these themes in addition to another theme purchase?  $ an issue here. Love your teaser about downloaded themes hard to match demo (my problem). Spent toooo much $ on themes I cannot convert to demo level.
         With new PL, is this a CSS-laden endeavor?  Am not there yet at all.

  36. Like Power Point never killed the graphic industry this DMS thing os not going to different with the web development industry. This looks like it’s going to be an awesome tool. But branding, good visual taste, nice curated content and usability principles are a matter of human thinking. 
    Tools never killed the good pros, only the shitty ones.

  37. If anyone here i s ready to DMS you can ask me for hosting, I can get you a free promotion and discounts “for life” to anyone who comes from pagelines into my hosting service.

  38. I’m a web developer, because of that I am also a professional student. I change the way I develop websites constantly, some changes small, some big. If DMS doesn’t change the way I do things, something else will.
    If you don’t want to work in a profession with a constant changing environment that requires constant learning and a constant evolving business model, then you shouldn’t be working with the web.

    • longe630 True! True!  I’ve been building sites since 1995 and this industry has always been “if you’re sick for a week, you might as well get a new career” type of thing.  I love that PageLines keeps adding the newest and greatest tech to keep us on our toes :)

    • longe630- A thousand times YES!
      Tech is constantly evolving and it’s incredible to me that anyone professing to be a  professional designer / developer would admit to utilising antiquated tools / methods  for getting the job done.

  39. Anybody have enough experience with the trial to know the answers to those questions:
    Is there an itemized list of the free sections, extensions, design & layout options, and themes that come with the developer membership?
    Does the core framework provide enough features to create a website like those in the showcase?
    I don’t mind paying extra for advanced, unique features, but I’m just wondering if the showcase examples reflect what can be done solely with the basic developer membership.

  40. Quick thoughts…
    A) Companies need a site that is either a business card on steroids, or a brochure on steroids, or very direct e-commerce site, or a very, rich e-commerce experience site.
    B) There are designers and programmers that like to sit and design all week or code all week and get paid to do so.
    C) With mobile driving the consciousness of business to be visible every possible way they can, and international competition being a click away, we all need to let go of tradition… even ones only two years old.
    D) Good luck PageLines stakeholders making this happen. I think you have a great model but it’s going to take major resolve to pull it off. Cannot wait to see how this turns out!

  41. I can not find anywhere how to contact you guys and I have some serious
    discrepencies.  Please send me a proper email address in which I can address
    these issues.  You may reach me at [email protected]

    • I paid  $139.00 for the stand alone frame work and it is not working the way that it should be.  It does not make sense that Pagelines is selling a product yet does not make themselves available for any sort of issues unless you purchase an upgrade.  Your system is seriously flawed.

  42. Hi Andrew, I just read your blog and I find it interesting how web developers evolve on creating new themes that are responsive and reliable for the next generation. Even small business now can even have there own websites. On the other hand, no matter how many site offer free web builder still the full responsibility starts after the pages is already build and when it is already live. You get to encounter problem especially if theme is not properly installed. My point is no matter how technology evolves still we need professional web developer to take care of our website or we still need to continue learning as technology improves.–

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