The future of New Blog Templates

NBT:

Hi there!

Sorry for the delay, I've been off during a few days and working in other projects.

So, I'm starting this new thread so we can put some order on the bugs/requests about New Blog Templates.

We are still experiencing some issues with the plugin. Some of them are very challenging to solve but we're on it:

- Signup page styles still does not display properly in some themes:
@realdude and @julia312 reported about that: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/blog-template-screenshot-plus-layout
@Pat is having some issues with BuddyPress: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/select-a-template-button-during-the-registration-is-not-showing-at-the-right-place

- @dmpress reported an issue with the header image: https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/header-interface-points-to-template-url-not-new-url Still working on it. Images are difficult to manage depending on the uploads folder config.

Now, the list of new features/things to improve for the next versions (bear in mind that this could take a few versions more):

- Add content to blogs with a especific template: This cannot be solved easily so we thinked about it and now we're working on a new plugin. It will be add content in selected blogs (pages, posts...) but it will have a NBT integration so you'll be able to add content to a blog with a specific template. A new table will be created and will gather information about the template selected by a blog, BUT, this has a big problem: What if a user changes its theme once he created a blog selecting a template? A possible solution would be to select a different template instead of a theme but this is a very hard choice. Should we let the users to change both templates and themes? Just templates when NBT is installed? Once a different template is selected, content should be erased? Any thoughts here? We are not completely sure about this.

- So, select not just a theme but a template could be a nice feature.

- A user wizard and templates variations so user can customize his own blog. This will need some time (maybe months) to be developed. We'll try first to add some other features/improvements.

- Pro Sites integration. So you can set premium templates.

- Allow payments before creating the template. As @Gabe said, signup page in WordPress has its limitations but we'll study how to sort it out.

So, this list could change in the future as we work on it and see pros/cons but basiacally thi is what I'd like to add to NBT in the future. More ideas here?

Regards.
Ignacio.

  • phillipfx
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    I currently use WHMCS Provisioning, and I'd like to see support for a Backend Option for user to select templates to automate the development process. As of right now I can't allow our clients to use it since it requires WP registration, but all orders are handled through WHMCS. It seems counter intuitive to open registration on both.... there is no backward support from Wordpress Registration to WHMCS accounts.

    As of now there isn't any easy to get this feature to work without hacking pro-site functionality and WHMCS from what I can see. I've thought about it but the workflow to get this to work might confuse a customer.

    So if possible add the ability for users to update a provisioned site with a template from the backend. That would include a template grid like the WP themes area but exclusively for blog templates plugin.

    And maybe some sub options-
    - Auto-activate Plugins from Template
    - Add / Replace / Ignore Blog Template Content

    Thanks!

  • Carlen
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    My vote would be, and I am not sure if this would just add code, but to have people choose from a template and then could switch between approved themes while keeping their information. If they decided to switch to another template it would be a clean slate on some levels (posts and maybe selected pages could transfer. Posts at least wouldn't need to be erased). This way an administrator like myself could just say what themes work with each template (and adjust them as necessary) and the customer would just have to make a decision early on the template. Most people just get their site up and running leave it, so this would allow them to pick a basic approach, put content in, try a few different themes (and maybe color schemes depending on the theme), and go. If they wanted to change things later to another template they could just do the process again.

    Either way, a custom user wizard per template would be very helpful. People love hand holding.

  • be
    • WP Core Meltdown

    @Ignacio We have asked as others previously about Cloning updates...

    ie ORIGINAL - BLOG CLONE template..

    Create many new blogs that from then onwards are their own entitiy.
    in our case we would LOVE to have a way to have

    The newly created blogs be "clone updated" from the ORIGINAL clone template.

    Business case.

    All subsites on the multisite have a strict criteria with any advancements or template changes all needing to reflect the same layout template etc..
    At present this means we have to "manually" add the changes to each existing "own entity" template.
    @Ignacio

  • Ignacio
    • HummingBird

    @TyePo We need to thinked about it very good. It's on our list but NBT is a little parked right now as I have to work in other projects but this feature will be the next in which I'll work on.

    @be Thanks for the feedback and sorry for the delay. That's something that many of you are asking about. It's not simple at all and we have some WordPress limitations in there and could cause a lot of issues. Updating is really difficult as we'd need to consider every little aspect in a post: images, taxonomies, settings, everything. We'd like to add it but we don't know if that's even possible. I want to start with something simple, maybe jsut updating the title, content, slug and taxonomies of the posts, maybe that will work, still not completely sure.

    @Carlen That will need to overwirite the themes selection admin screen but I think that's possible. We have that feature also in our list so it will be added sooner or later.

    As usual, I cannot provide an ETA as I have many other projects to work on but will try to start with them as soon as possible.

    Regards.
    Ignacio.

  • Tyler Postle
    • CGO

    @Ignacio Thanks for the update! Appreciate it. Do you have any suggestions for a work around in the mean time as far as only allowing certain pro sites level to have access to different templates?

    I know I could always have base templates without the premium plugins in them then activate those myself for them. I'm just wondering if there is an easier way or if people are currently using a method that works well.

    Basically, I have different levels of pro sites that serve slightly different purposes and each one builds on the previous one and each level has plugins and themes that are specific to it. Ideally, I think i will want templates for each level and each theme within the level, if that makes sense.

    Would love to hear what people are currently doing in this situation.

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  • David H
    • The Crimson Coder

    How about an option to turn it into a photo-blogging theme with a built in multi column image gallery layout? Maybe on a Pinterest style look and feel.
    Just my thoughts anyway as WPMUdev doesn't have much like this. I have looked at all the other themes that aim at imaging and they all are lacking in a certain way.

  • Ashish
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    Cloned updates would be great -- i.e. I make a template blog and every new site under me has that template blog. Any changes I make to that template blog will be cloned to the rest of the site without affecting the information already present.

  • Ignacio
    • HummingBird

    Hi @Ashish.

    That's a very asked feature but is not so easy and we have tried to think about it. It's usually a bad idea as you can break things whenver you change something. NBT is designed to set a default content on the blog but not to update it so for the moment we cannot add that feature. I wish we could but it will bring us more and more bugs.

  • Mario
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    Pro Sites integration - I really hope this will be posible one day - I saw in another post that in january 2013 the coding was 98% ready.
    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/pro-sites-and-new-blog-templates-1

    Guys, we have this 98% complete already. If you need it tomorrow then you need your own developer. If you can wait for us to release it then you'll get it as soon as we have the code finished. No, I don't have an ETA.

    Writing code is one thing - writing code that isn't going to break tens of thousands of member's installs when they upgrade - is a whole other level. No one here has any intention of making things difficult by not releasing features or holding them back so you have to maintain your account…. we're not the auto industry here.

    Thanks.

    I suppose something happened, but I hope it is somehow still possible.

    Thank you for this plugin!

  • Dyego
    • Design Lord, Child of Thor

    About the problem of changing templates once the site was already created...

    When I create a template I have the option to choose what I want to be copied. What if the user, when he wants to change the template, have the same options? And he could choose what will be DELETED and what he want to keep.

  • twicealive
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    I have built a plugin that adds the ability to define which pro sites level a user must have in order to choose the template during site creation. When a user chooses a Pro Sites level for a new site, the available templates for this level are shown to the customer through the default Prosites + New Blog Templates plugin interface for selecting a template he wants to use.

    This allows you to set premium templates for levels.

    My plugin requires ProSites and New Blog Templates to be activated, but no modifications are required. They can be updated without affecting the added functionality.

    I would give it to wpmudev in exchange for enough points for a lifetime membership; alternatively, if anyone needs this, contact me to buy a copy.

    Thanks,
    Michael

  • twicealive
    • The Incredible Code Injector

    @amused

    I'm sure they could integrate the code directly into "New Blog Templates" if they want to. Alternatively, they have the option to sell it as another plugin since it adds it's own dashboard in the admin area.

    To be honest, the new functionality adds so much potential, I am tempted to keep it all to myself rather than empower my competitors... : )

    • Tyler Postle
      • CGO

      Hey Steve,

      It works with Pro Sites; however, still doesn't have the ability to limit a template to a specific level - which sounds like what you're referring to above? Right now all templates would be available to new sign ups.

      The dev team has been busy with more popular requests so that feature has been put on the backburner for now.

      If you have any further questions just let us know.

      Cheers,
      Tyler

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