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7/14/2011
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Wordpress Customization Gets Easy

Platform Pro brings drag-and-drop simplicity to laying out and configuring a unique Wordpress website.

PageLines Makes Wordpress Creation Drag And Drop Easy
Slideshow: PageLines Makes Wordpress Creation Drag And Drop Easy
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Wordpress, the open Web publishing system, started out as a popular choice for building blogs, but has since become a very attractive option as a full content management system for traditional websites. Much of this popularity is based on the flexibility of Wordpress and how easy it makes it--for even fairly novice users--to keep website content fresh.

But while the general usability of Wordpress is very good, one area where site builders can run into some difficulty is in creating custom site layouts and configurations. Doing this in Wordpress typically requires choosing a theme for your site layout and then manually editing the various php configuration files for the theme. While this isn't difficult for experienced Web developers, it can be a daunting task for those with limited experience with Web scripts.

However, a new framework system for Wordpress is designed to make laying out and configuring a website in Wordpress as easy as it is to add content to the site. PageLines Platform Pro runs within Wordpress and provides a new settings configuration that makes it possible to easily set up and drag and drop the layout of a new Wordpress website.

Within my Platform Pro-enabled site, I simply logged into the standard Wordpress admin interface. In the left-hand management bar of Wordpress, a new Platform Pro box was available, and clicking the Settings link in the box brought up the main configuration options for PageLines Platform Pro.

This settings window offers numerous options for configuring a Wordpress website, from setting up headers and footers to defining how blog posts should display in the site. However, the two most interesting capabilities were the Layout Editor and the Template Setup.

From the Layout Editor, I could click a button to choose from six default site layouts, from single column to two types of double column and three kinds of triple column layouts. From there I could then click into the Configure Layout Dimensions box and manually control the width and size of columns, boxes, and margins, simply by using my mouse. This proved to be a very simple and effective method for creating and modifying a site layout exactly to my needs.

Using Template Setup, I could configure nearly every page, sidebar, and content area within my site simply by dragging and dropping content modules into each area. This works somewhat like the widget manager in Wordpress, but is quite a bit more powerful.

So, for example, to configure the default site page using Template Setup, I simply dragged in a content area, a secondary nav bar, a banner ad section, and an image carousel. I could then reorder the sections with drag and drop as well. This is certainly easier than messing around with the standard configuration files in Wordpress.

These were two of the most interesting capabilities in PageLines Platform Pro, but the product also offers multiple other configuration options for a Wordpress site, including support for Web fonts and quick changes to site typography.

Pricing for PageLines Platform Pro starts at $95. For more information visit the Platform Pro website.

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