December 31, 2021

Happy New Year!

In this final Status Report for 2021, we wanted to give a more detailed overview to one of the most exciting aspects of our next update (Components) plus share a few sneak peeks and product news for 2022.

What Are Components?

Global Blocks are being replaced by Components (existing Global Blocks are 100% backwards compatible), and in the Component Builder you will be able to design any number of reusable Elements and flag them as individual Components.

The following image shows a group of Button Components all being designed in the same builder interface!

Cornerstone Website Builder Components

While you are designing Components, you can also map out Parameters. Think of Parameters as values you might want to change each time the Component is used in other builders. Here is an example of what that could look like.

Parameters in the Cornerstone Website Builder

Taking that a step further, let's say you were in the Page Builder, you will also be able to search for your Components right from the Element Library.

Components in your Cornerstone Element Library

Finally, when you inspect the Element in the builder, it will only show the Parameters associated with that Component.

Components and Parameters Together

The real power, among other new opportunities, is the ability to change anything in the Component Builder (a color for example) and have it change all instances of that Element across your entire site.

This new level of granular control and layering will not only change the way you design site-wide content, it is an elegant starting point to crafting a curated experience for your customers or end users. This will be a whole new frontier if you manage other people who access the site or need to make changes/adjustments.

Questions You Probably Have :)

How are Components different than the Layout Builder?
The Layout Builder lets you design and manage entire layouts that you can assign to appear for different WordPress contexts like your blog or pages. A Component lets you create a repeatable Element that you can use in any builder. You might, for example, have an opt-in form you need in several places on your site. If you make it as a Component, you could use it in the Layout Builder, Page Builder, etc (any get the idea). When you modify the Component, it automatically updates everywhere you used it.

How are Components different than Global Blocks?
When you add a Global Block, it outputs the entire document in that location. That includes the Section, Row, Column, etc. and even a wrapping div to hold styles specific to this Global Block. All that extra markup can make smaller design Elements harder to space out and position. You also need to create a new Global Block for each repeatable pattern you want to setup. Components solve all of those issues and make it easier to work with repeatable designs.

How does this affect my existing Global Blocks?
After the update, you'll see all of your Global Blocks appear under the Component Builder. Adding the Global Block Element to a page (or using the Global Block shortcode) will cause the entire document to output in that location. This is exactly how it works currently - the only difference is the name of the builder you'll be using.

What kind of controls can I add using Parameters?
The screenshots above don't depict the UI for managing Parameters (it isn't finished yet) but you'll be able to create many different types of values like strings, numbers, colors, and even complex data types like lists (to be used in conjunction with loopers). The Parameters themselves can be wired into designs using our Dynamic Content system.

Can I make Components that accept Child Elements?
Yes! Any Layout Element can be flagged as an "outlet." This means when you use the Component in another builder, it will have a dropzone to place additional Elements. This means you can have reproducible Section wrappers, but place variable content inside of it!

New Products in 2022

We have not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, but 5 new products slated for 2022! From courses and expansion packs to a new performance service to an exciting partnership — this will arguably be our most productive year since the 1.0 of X 8 years ago.

In addition to new products, the powerful new Theme Options Reboot (current development cycle) will usher in a new paradigm for our website builder. We can't wait for you to see how it all will work together and will certainly keep you informed of progress along the way.

As another year comes to and end, we send our very heartfelt appreciation for allowing us to develop and support an ecosystem that we love. I pray this new year brings growth and development, both personally and professionally.

We're excited to be with you on the journey and count it both a privlege and responsibility to steward our relationship together. As such, if there is anything we can do, personally or professionaly, know that our door is open anytime. Truly.

I'll see you in the future!