Template Manager Discussion

Hello everyone. We’d like to share a concept sketch of the template manager so as to get feedback from the community. This will be the feature that allows you to save, export, and re-use your design assets in Pro and Cornerstone. First off, a few things to keep in mind.

  • This is a design draft not necessarily a final rendering. Open image in a new window.
  • The word “template” will be applied to headers, content, footers, and presets. So you will create a “header template” or a “preset template” in your respective builder. Legacy “blocks” and “pages” will be “content templates” in the new template manager.
  • Global Blocks will not be a part of the template manager. We have some ideas for how we will address this but it is not a part of this discussion as it will require a separate interface to administer something site wide like that.
  • The default state when you create and save a template is that it is ACTIVE. If you want to HIDE a particular asset from showing in your builder you would go to the template manager to do so. The thinking here is that you may not want everything you have created or downloaded to be active in your workspace but it still needs to be represented somewhere on your site. Think of the template manager as a staging site of sorts for your design assets.

Beyond that, we welcome your ideas and feedback. While we won't be able to accommodate every request, we do want to hear your thoughts (if you have any). At present we feel we're about 90% of the way there with the overall scope and are looking VERY forward to everyone seeing how this will bring a lot of the powerful new options together.

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Would like to see the UI for how I would add a "Content Template" onto a page while I am in Cornerstone. It would be awesome if they just showed up as additional elements.

And also, how do I save a preset element as a template? Would like to see that UI as well.

Also, need a button to import templates. This could be for uploading them directly or importing them from you future marketplace...

thanks,
patrick

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  1. You would add a "Content Template" when you are in the Page Builder part of Cornerstone or the Content Builder of Pro - similar to how you do now just with a slightly different interface.

  2. You save a "Preset Template" for an Element in the builder itself. You go through and customize a V2 Element to your liking then save. That UI already exists in the builders, there would just be a save button.

  3. You import templates on this screen where you see the "Drag Themeco Template Files Here."

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Thanks for sharing Kyle, it sounds like it would work, my worry overall is that what used to be an easy task of designing on-the-fly with X and Pro, and the main reason we pretty much exclusively use this theme right now, now seems to need more and more pre planning and groundwork before you can get to it. This is turning out to be a huge change in our creative and build procedure. I don’t wanna spend too long putting together sections, etc something that the client may not even like. I am not being negative, simply pointing out that simple, with flexibilty is preferable to over complicated, and as a user, I trust you guys will bear that in mind whatever you do. We do need something to replace Michael Paul Bourne’s Global Blocks, they were simple but effective, so hopefully this will be too. There are so many big changes maybe you should have had X, Pro and a brand new third SuperPro Theme with EVERYTHING in it. Then we would have a wide choice to cover all requirements. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Karen, nothing that has been proposed above adds any new change to the current process of site building - it ties a bow on it. You still create sections, rows, columns, headers, footers, etc the way you always have. Now you simply have a way to make your assets portable.

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I believe this is just the template management screen. We would still make and save templates like we always have, in the builder.

I like the idea of a unified management UI where I can add/remove as i see fit. Makes it much easier once I make a series of templates, I can roll them out easily to new builds.

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Looks fantastic to me ! I would also love that in a multi site wordpress install, templates could be shared across sub-sites, not having to download from one site and re-upload to another !

It would also be great for global blocks to be truly global !

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Fantastic!

Having an option to turn anything to template, down to a single element, is just what a modern super-powerful theme needs.

Template manager looks great. Perhaps an option to add Categories would help organizing more complex libraries. There is still room to the right in the table. :slight_smile:

Also, I would like to have an account on Apex, where my personal library of everything exists. And then I'd like to have a third option in X, "Load from online library". If that library can also hold code snippets and stuff... Oh, ok. I am asking too much. Or not? :slight_smile:

Can't wait to fully utilize new X/Pro in the next project!

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Michael, that's correct. This screen is the administrative hub for all created assets.

Not sure how it would work just yet with regards to a multisite, but we'll keep it in mind.

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Misho, thanks! With regards to categories how do you see that working? Is it something you see setting for yourself and categorize or tag as needed? Would like to know the root of the idea and what you're trying to solve/make easier.

The synching with your Themeco account to include assets and code snippets is a bit ambitious and beyond the scope of what we're trying to tackle here but it's always good to think big! The main experience we want to solve is making all assets savable, re-usable, and all in all more manageable.

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Yeah, being able to define your own categories like 'home pages', 'sales pages', 'opt-in pages', 'contact pages', etc is a very good idea and a very logical way of grouping templates. I hope it'll be included.

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I think a more visual representation of the templates and blocks is needed. They could have screenshots that show what the template/block looks like so you can more quickly identify the one you want in a long list. Maybe you could draw some inspiration from the WordPress theme manager.

If we could sync our libraries between all sites we manage that would be great as well.

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Absolutely :slight_smile:

So these presets will act like global configurations for the V2 elements? i.e.- if I change it here, it auto applies to all of the elements with that preset selected?

Not in the initial version I think. You'll be able to build templates and presets for stuff, create new pages with those templates and apply presets to elements and you go from there.

so it's just the current template (blocks/pages) options, with a better UI?

Having a screenshot is an interesting idea. It would be something you'd have to manually set. There is no easy way to get access to the browser to take a true "screenshot" of the asset (and in our case we're not just talking about a whole screen but a button style all the way to full page content). So, I could see us potentially including a screenshot field that you can manually set and then on the manager it could show the image on hover. We'll discuss it a bit more internally.

Definitely not going to be doing any synching with your Themeco account to automatically pull in certain files - that's not in the scope of this sort of system. This is a pipe to manage your own assets and other assets you may have bought, downloaded, shared, etc.

There is currently no way to save your own headers, footers, content, or presets so that is what this system will allow you to do.

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@kyle Thanks for sharing your ideas on this and after reading through the various comments I would agree with a few ideas mentioned. One as we build more and more templates the ability to see a preview in the template manager would be of great value. Also the ability to have a "template" library in APEX would be really great. Then to expand on that idea have an ability to make templates either private or public with a browse function that would allow APEX members the ability to look at other templates and import them into their Pro projects. Great stuff and thanks again for the transparency.