September 29, 2017

Hello everyone!

A couple weeks ago I published our Fall 2017 timeline that includes much of what I would normally include for this monthly roundup in addition to some plans we have throughout the rest of the year.

We are right at the doorstep of the X 5.2 and Pro 1.2 release. In preparation, please be sure to read the notes below from a recent Facebook post:

X Users: This is a major update that includes advanced controls into Cornerstone. People have been asking for this ever since Cornerstone was first introduced, and it’s important to keep in mind that just like Spiderman with this new power comes great responsibility (learning how they work). Doing something advanced does not necessarily translate to easy. As a safety measure ALL of the existing Elements you know and love in Cornerstone will still be available indefinitely as “Classic Elements.” That means if you don’t want to use the advanced controls you don’t have to. Remember that there is a tradeoff for every decision, and we are taking into account many different, sometimes opposing requests from many different types of customers. We feel this is the best long term solution addressing both the needs of those who want advanced options (will take some time to learn) and those who just want quick and easy (Classic Elements). The takeaway: there is no universal way to solve everyone’s preferences but you have options.

Pro Users: Many of the controls you have come to know and love in the Header and Footer Builders will now be available to you in the Content Builder. The workflow should feel very familiar to you albeit with some slight changes to the control navigation when building a page. As mentioned previously, we ran into some challenges with presenting this content in a tighter vertical orientation. While you may have to horizontally scroll to see all the control navigation for certain Elements, we feel this is the best path forward for now (we tested a different design for the control nav but it took up a lot of vertical space and never felt quite right), and we'll be monitoring your feedback closely. One option we are considering down the road is allowing you to move your Content Builder workspace to a horizontal orientation (or at least give you the option), however that will take some time to explore, and it's not a major priority at the moment. All this to say, you should feel right at home with these new advanced controls for the Content Builder and, similar to X, if you want to use the old Elements you can do that by utilizing the Classic Elements. We are thinking through some sort of roll permissions down the road and will come back to the community for a broader discussion before making any decision. It is not on the near term timeline, but it’s on the radar.

With regards to updates in general, I fully expect there to be bugs. Perhaps several. We have been through four rounds of intensive testing with hundreds of users, however I can not stress enough the engineering challenges faced when trying to provide these type of customization options in WordPress while still being backwards compatible and while still playing nice with all the other moving parts of WordPress not to mention hosting environments we can’t control and caching plugins that people do not properly manage. We can’t test for all eventualities. Having said that, our entire team will be around, and we will work as fast as humanely possible. If you would like to wait until the point release to update that is not a bad idea. A point release is the update(s) immediately after a major release, and this release is definitely in the top 5 in terms of scope. If you do run into issues, please calmly report it in the support forum (not in multiple places), and a member of the team will be happy to investigate. The more specific the feedback including images and steps to recreate the issue the better. It is not helpful to say “My site doesn’t work.” Updates always create a mass frenzy of questions, feedback, and general angst so please allow us some time to diagnose, process, and come up with a solution. We still have people on v1 of X. We don’t take this process lightly, and remember we are providing these free updates because we care about improving the products based on your feedback and our vision.

Finally, once we get past the launch phase (1-2 weeks), we are going to hit the template manager revamp hard and heavy. I’ve said it multiple times, but it bears repeating again. Once this feature is in it will not only complete our initial vision of Pro, it will drive home the power of these tools through design assets you can share and style quite easily. This same template manager will be available for X as well via Cornerstone albeit not for headers and footers. I don’t have any specific time frame on this, but I’ll be sure to keep you updated throughout the process.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend wherever you may be across the globe. We’re ready for and busy and exciting week next week!