Improve Customization Options
We are planning a single overhaul to customization options including greater control of major blocks, fonts, page backgrounds, etc. To that end we have merged feedback related into this single item.
It would be nice to see a preview pane for signature eiting.
Are you referring to HTML widgets or some other area? Just trying to get a bit of clarification.
All of this things are customizable via CSS. We're not putting anything in the way of that. It may require some specific CSS but we aren't doing anything particularly crazy.
We will be adding more customization options, but in the beta we're building, testing and making sure the foundation is rock solid. Then when we add new options we're going to be making sure each room and embellishment we add is awesome and well thought out.
You need to manually enter the CSS to add a Background currently:
background-image: url("the full http link.jpeg here");
background-position: top center;
This is the CSS you would need to input into the site. I am hoping they make this far easier - especially since I cannot create transparent pages now because the CSS for that seems to be disabled or locked.
I would really love this to be fixed the sooner. Page lost some of its nice appearance after the upgrade in v5.
Tanya Lowes commented
Okay .. so basically currently we could call it "layout" more than template. Two three-column and one two-column layouts .. and of the three column ones, one is more "wide" than the other.
Comparing with V4 .. you could also add any colour scheme (with a lot more variety) and header to V4, but currently there is no option for transparencies, page backgrounds or flexibility with widget content/headers in V5 (in the template builder you could pick from a long selection of options, or create your own). Admittedly I would imagine a lot of those probably weren't used very often, and you would have a better idea than I of which options in the template builder were popular/unpopular and, yes, some of it was rather clunky .. but it was certainly one of the things that attracted us here in the first place - the massive number of options available to tweak sites.
What makes GL stand out from a lot of the rest is that, often you go to a competitors website and they're all basically the same. Yes .. the colours are different and the pictures are different, headers are different .. but that's just the gravy. The meat of the sites is identical. They're all two or three column sites, restricted to the middle of the screen, with the content in the middle feeling a bit squished.
I realise that the more options that are provided, the more problems occur .. especially when you have to take into account a huge range of browsers, plugins, addons and resolutions .. but if those options were possible in V4, then they should in V5 :-)
In V5 I like the ease of use, the "try it before you set it" options and the way the new page customisation works .. it just needs ... more :p It needs the "wow" factor of someone seeing it and thinking "cool .. lots of toys to play with", whilst still being easy to understand and use.
Getting back to the issue of transparencies though, and page backgrounds .. from what I've seen of the GL sites I've been most impressed with, the majority use these. So I would hope that these two options would be in "phase 1"?
Just to clarify something. The word "Template" means something a bit different in V5. A "Template" in V5 is more like R14 was in V4. In V5 the "Template" is really just the wireframe of the site. The header location, nav location and basic column layout.
So, while there are 3 templates you can now apply a color scheme and any header to any of them. This provides far more flexibility than V4 did. What we don't have yet is a style like R14 that had a great deal of transparency.
We're working on at which layer (template, color, customization) that type visual styling is applied. We want to take great care to add these things in ways that maintain a highly usable system. The V4 customization got a bit jumbled over time because we added options very quickly and didn't always test and integrate them with enough care, and we want to avoid that.
We are likely to add these as a "style scheme" or something similar instead of infinite configuration. I'm still working through this part in my head, but I want it to be awesome when we do it, not just "working".
Essentially, the transparency and such was a type of style, not a "feature" of the system per se. The takeaway is that V5 is likely lean towards the current style more than V4 for the near future, but we plan to get back to that type of styling. Not ready to say when exactly because that is really phase 2 customization, but recreating some of the visual style types from V4 is on our to-do list but it is unlikely to be identical.
Yes I agree, while v5 templates are very simple to change there's only 3 to choose from.
I want to make thinks look pretty again.