June 26, 2013 at 3:00 am #212
Hi, I think one thing that would really make runway standout from the crowd is the built in capacity for frontend editing of posts.
Cheers, MarkJune 26, 2013 at 11:07 am #218
Are you looking for a way to have just the WP editor for the main content available on the font end to edit the post content, or the entire post edit screen options? There can be some tricky parts to doing this depending on the functionality and even the theme itself. I believe that if the WP core incorporated something like this it may be easier to work into themes as a standard, or from a single theme you might be able to include it easily because you control the output entirely.
Without having looked at any WP themes that do this already, my best guess for a simple and theme independent way of accomplishing it would be to load a modal window with the edit options from the public side (logged in users only). This would essentially be like overlaying the WP admin screen for a specific page/post in a modal window. It would be the simplest way of accomplishing this and keeping all of the functionality.
You might be talking about inline editing of the content on the front end. That would look more like a rectangle appearing around the text of your page directly in the design where you can edit the text and see the exact presentation in real time. That’s a lot more tricky and you don’t see it very often because of the challenges involved. I would probably stay away from something like this due to the complexities. It’s not that hard to implement, but doing it well and having work across any theme/design without errors is a challenge. If it was easy you can bet that more systems would be using it.
I’m interested to know more about this idea because it does seem to be a popular request, especially for sites that share editing privileges for user generated content. I really don’t like the way the WP back end feels to a first time user and how unfamiliar it can be from the front end design that users are accustomed to. A simple toolbar that provides the basic editing controls and a textarea/visual editor placed into a blank page with your site design would go a long way to creating a powerful solution to a lot of these issues. Maybe there is a nice middle ground that we can work towards and then enhance it over time as needed?
I worked on a project where we created “tabs” in a top bar (like the WP admin bar but less sucky) letting the user toggle the public/admin view of the current page. It maintained a lot more of the illusion that you were browsing the site from both sides at the same time. The WP admin bar has some helpful controls on it, but clicking any link could take you to almost anywhere and most of the time you just want to switch to the admin for the current page/post to do some editing. The other side of things, switching back, I’m always afraid of where I’m going to be taken when clicking the “Visit Page” link in the WP admin bar. It’s not highlighted or attention grabbing in any way so you never see it. But the biggest flaw in my mind is the lack of any change to the admin bar from public to admin. It should give some indication such as a color change or indicator of some type that shows if you’re in the admin or public view and to easily toggle between. That’s where I feel it fails the most. Adding something like that and even possibly extending it to have a few simple content controls (bold, italic, heading, list items) as part of the bar for editing text from the public side might just be big improvement to the user experience.
Ok, I got a bit off topic there but I have a lot of thoughts on these concepts. I spent several years custom developing content management systems so there was a great deal of research and thought put into these core user interface elements. I think WP does a fine job, just not always the way I would have done them. Not the either is right or wrong but sharing ideas and having a different approach is a good thing to explore and discuss.July 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm #230
Hi Andy, wow what a response. Its nice to hear your enthusiasm coming through, perked me up no end
Well, here’s where I am it with it all now. I actually think its a bit unnecessary to add another layer to the system when really the backend editing pages are quite good. They just need to be customisable. We need to be able to remove bits and pieces as we see fit, perhaps according to capability. We also need to be able to change its look and feel, ie reorder metaboxes, change wording, add instructions etc. It would also be nice to have a simple built in way of modifying the editor. Lots of this can be done with plugins like Adminimize etc, but a neat built in system would be great.
Cheers, MarkJuly 5, 2013 at 11:27 am #237
With our Content Types extension you’ll have the control to create custom meta boxes on any post type, including the default WP page and post types. This let’s you specify the location of the boxes and I believe it still allows you to move the default ones (have to check on this). I’ve published this to the “Downloads > Directory” section of the Runway admin. You can access that now from your Runway install and test it out.
We don’t have any features for modifying the editor like you mentioned. I have found Adminimize to be very extensive in it’s functionality. Unfortunately it’s mostly functionality I have no use for. I think I enable 3, maybe 4 settings out of all it’s options.
I’ve had a series of miscelanious plugins that I wrote as needed for my own use to do simple things like “Disable Visual Editor” (for all non-admins or specify levels), “Disable Password Change Emails”, “Redirect After Login”, “Disable wp-autop” and that sort of thing. I started referring to them as my “Parallelus Pack” being a bunch of simple plugins that solve some common problems in WP. I consider them to be missing functionality that should have always existed in WP and for unknown reasons was never added. It’s a shame too because these are typically core functionality in other systems. I’ve never built a theme that didn’t do something to provide users with better control over the auto paragraph “feature” if you can call it that.
Hopefully you’ll be able to do most of what you’re needing with the Content Types extension. Let me know what you think of it and any issues you have. I have been meaning to test it but have been sidetracked with the setup of a Single Sign On solution for Runway/Parallelus services. I’m completing it today and by the end of the summer users will have access to the Help Center, Runway (main site), Runway Help, Runway Guides (documentation) and any other sites we ever build using the same username/password. It also make it much easier to move between sites by keeping you logged in without the need to enter credentials for each site. I want the network of sites we’re planning to build to have a nice user experience so I’m trying to start the right way instead of adding these things later.October 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm #345
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