Evolve at WordCamp Torino

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For those of you that don’t know, Italy hasn’t had an official WordCamp for a few years in a row, with the last one being held in Bologna in early 2013.

In the past couple of years, the italian WordPress community has reorganized itself, with new local meetups being formed, led by reinvigorated polyglots and support teams, which now provide translations for themes, plugins, as well as WordPress core and apps, and help others over at the italian WordPress hub.

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This breath of fresh air led to reorganizing events as well: on April 2nd Turin will host an official WordCamp, preceded with a Contributor Day the day before.

The importance of events like this cannot be overstated, and we hope this is going to be only the first in a long list of WordPress enthusiasts gatherings in our country.

We have decided to help the cause micro-sponsoring the event: it’s a small contribution, of course, but with lots of these great things can be accomplished.

An, hey, there are still tickets available: if you’re around, grab one, and come say hi!

Published in: Uncategorized

Brix is coming

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We’re almost there: today we have updated the promotional page for Brix, a brand new drag & drop page builder plugin for WordPress.

We’re approaching the end of this phase of development and refining the details of the product, and we’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, in terms of ease of use and functionalities included.

As a matter of fact, we’re so proud that we’ve also created a video, that shows the main traits that make Brix great.

Right now, we’re also setting up the sales, documentation and support platforms that are easy to use, provide quick access to information and truly help users in case they have questions.

In the meanwhile, you can also subscribe to our newsletter to get a discount when the plugin will be released!

Go check it out and let us know what you think about it!

Published in: WordPress

Brix, a page builder for WordPress

written by Evolve, on No comments

Powering more than 25% of the web, WordPress is far from being the humble little blogging software it was a few years ago. Now using a robust CMS that also bundles a powerful REST API, we’ve been witnessing a growth of the WordPress users’ needs, both in terms of functionality and control over their designs.

In the past months, we’ve been feverishly working on something that’s been an ambition of ours for a long time: designing the best page builder that we could.

We’ve called it Brix.

Yet another page builder?, you might ask.

Yes.

The market for such products is crammed already, but we simply couldn’t find a single one of them that was really easy to use requiring little to zero code knowledge, while giving precise control over the responsive behavior of layouts, taking care of SEO matters, and at the same time being completely extendable by developers.

Brix is based on the Evolve Framework; these two are best buddies, and they share a lot in terms of code philosophy and general approach to things.

Brix can litterally be used on any theme out there and we’ve designed it to stay around, being constantly maintained and secure.

That’s why we hope that the Evolve Framework and Brix due will help others as well to create beautiful and functional WordPress projects.

Stay tuned for the release date, which is yet to be announced, and watch out for promotions in the near future! You can also follow Brix on Twitter and Facebook.

Happy holidays!

Published in: WordPress

Evolve Framework 0.3

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Today we’re updating Evolve Framework to version 0.3. A few improvements have been made and a couple of useful helpers have been added. Here’s a quick recap of what has been changed from version 0.2:

  • We’ve introduced graphical radio buttons to the list of available fields. See the updated docs to learn how to use them!
  • Import and Export (aka Restore and Backup) helper functions have been added: you can now backup all of your theme-related options and mods at once, and import them back later if you need them.
  • Added the ability to create admin pages that have custom markup injected before their usual list of tabs and fields through the ev_admin_page_content[page:{$handle}] hook.
  • We’ve introduced the bundle field type. This feature was left silent for a while, but now is available for everyone to test. Bundles are a cool and handy way of grouping things: they are regular fields that are composed by a collection of other fields; for instance, you could create a repeatable bundle called “External link” that’s composed of two text sub-fields, one called “URL”, and the other called “Label”.

Again, please note that the plugin code is not ready for production yet, so use it with caution.

Published in: WordPress

Evolve Framework 0.2

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Today we’re releasing version 0.2 of Evolve Framework.

A couple of weeks have passed since our last update to the project, and we’re a little ahead of where we thought we could be, since this release not only includes bug fixes, but also adds functionality that was on our roadmap.

Almost 40 changes have been made since version 0.1, including:

  • Multiple select controls are now disabled by default if there’s no data to be selected,
  • WordPress media script is not manually included in the Customizer screen anymore (caused some native Customizer controls to not work correctly),
  • Fixed escaping for backslashes in post meta input fields,
  • Added the ability to add user meta boxes (yay!)
  • Several stability fixes

Concerning user meta boxes, please refer to the updated documentation on the subject.

As always, we’d like to remind you that the project remains in Alpha stage. Test it, report problems in the project’s Issue Tracker, and don’t hesitate giving us some feedback!

Published in: WordPress

On future developments

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As you may know, last week we have released the first alpha of our WordPress development framework on Github.

Right now, we’re in the process of gathering feedback and get things in order before further proceeding with its development. We know this phase is going to take a while, but rushing things out isn’t really our style.

So, we’ve received an email the other day from someone running a WordPress development company, asking us what are our plans with this framework and how are we going to maintain it, medium-long term.

While we don’t recommend running our software in production yet (again, alpha!), we’d like to share a hint about what we’d like to do with Evolve Framework.

First of all, we’re open to having external contributions, for both code and translations. If you find appealing the idea of a framework that doesn’t add clutter nor unnecessary functionality, but simply provides a powerful set of tools, then you might be interested in giving Evolve Framework a try.

We have designed the framework to be the epicenter of everything we do with WordPress, whether it’s a theme, a plugin, or a service: having a codebase that we master under the hood will allow us to build products that are faster and more secure, and in less time too.

The framework is a plugin, which means that it must be fully transparent, offering its hopefully valuable set of instruments to any other theme or plugin, whether ours or someone else’s.

Also, the framework’s developments will likely go side by side with new things introduced in WordPress core, which is one of the key concepts behind it: you have a much better chance of building something that lasts if you rely on a solid basis, and WordPress APIs are just that.

We’re not fans of blank themes in themselves, and we’re even less keen on calling them frameworks, when they’re really just starter themes. Nothing really wrong with that: it’s just not our cup of tea, and we think we can create better things following a different approach.

In the future we’d like to continue pushing out quality themes: themes that don’t break, themes that look good, and, most importantly, that are useful to our customers.

With them being powered by the Evolve Framework, we will be able to achieve a goal we have dreamed about for a long time: having a collection of products that are all on par with one another in terms of code quality and building philosophy.

We are going to create and sell plugins as well. One of them is in the works as we speak, and it’s the natural evolution of a page builder we’ve created in the past. Apart from that, which will go live hopefully soon, there’s nothing concrete yet at this moment, but a few ideas are floating around our ever-busy minds.

We’ll keep you posted, so make sure you come by again!

Published in: WordPress

Introducing Evolve Framework

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Over time, we’ve gained a little experience concerning WordPress development. Between successes and failures, and things that turned out pretty well while others not so much, we’ve had one and only constant: the necessity to have a shared set of tools that we could use across projects.

For a certain amount of time, we’ve followed a drop-in approach, which means importing the same folder containing the entire toolset in each and every theme we’ve been developing.

It must be said that the folder was under version control in a different repository than the rest of the project. Anyway, at some point we realized the obvious: that approach would allow us to get only that much far, and certainly didn’t offer an answer to the ever present problem of separating form, content and functionality.

So we’ve decided to create a plugin. If you go and search for “WordPress framework” on Google or Github you’ll find various examples of how the same problem can be tackled. Some even stick with the drop-in idea, probably not incurring in the issues we’ve had in the past.

Funnily enough, two things happen when browsing other people’s projects:

  1. you admire the elegance of their code, since said code hasn’t yet had the chance to bore you,
  2. you verify that no one does the things you want, the way you’d like them to be done.

So, since we’re wired our own way, we chose to create a development framework for WordPress products too: Evolve Framework.

The plugin is public and you can find it here.

The reason why the project was put on Github represents the other big change that we want to bring in our work process.

There’s no real reason to keep things for yourself, being afraid that someone else might steal your precious ideas: experience proves that we all can obtain much greater rewards when information is shared.

We started to get documentation in order as well, so make sure you have a look at it.

Right now we’d like to receive some feedback on the project, so don’t hesitate to contact us to share your opinion on it.

For now we haven’t made up our minds yet around how people are going to contribute, and even the idea of a future roadmap for the project is vague at best.

Surely, though, external contribution regarding translation is welcome: if you’re available, again, hit us up!

Published in: WordPress

Hello world!

written by Evolve, on No comments

Let’s be honest, writing the very first post of a blog always feels a bit “weird”. For starters, the post appears out of the blue and on top of that it does it without the reader having any clue about the reasons that brought it to be published.

So let’s shed a light. First of all, “we” is a couple of people that started working together a few years ago, creating products based on WordPress. We focus on themes primarily, but from here on a good chunk of our developments will be devoted to plugins as well. In the future we’d like to take the next step and create a service, but that’s material for another post.

In the transition from simply being people working together to being a real company, one of the things that changes is the need to differently communicate who you are, what you do and, most importantly, why you do it.

That’s the reason why the next pages will be written: to tell something about us that we’d like our users and customers to know. But more than anything, to explain why any thing, in order not to die, must evolve.

Published in: Us