Just over a year ago I started with something small. I combined some existing technologies to create a drag and drop builder/theme. A combination of jQuery UI, CKEditor, Bootstrap 3 and Drupal. The result was far from perfect but interesting enough to get a bunch of people excited and involved in helping me find out how to improve the product.
Glazed Construction Design, Product Updates
Today's blog celebrates the new Construction design that is available today to all Sooperthemes members. We've been working towards this release for nearly a year and the reason it took so long is that the core of the Glazed framework theme and drag and drop builder needed to be 100% up to the job. The reliability, sophistication and flexibility of our framework theme and drag and drop builder are lightyears ahead of the minimum viable product we released 14 months ago. To our customers who joined us in the beginning and are now renewing for the second year: Thank you so much!
Our construction theme (click to view demo) is not the prettiest design I've ever created but that's not really the point. The point is that it looks like a construction theme all the way. It doesn't look like a generic theme that was customized to look a little bit more "heavy industry". Our Glazed framework theme allows you to completely design every aspect of your Drupal site from typography, to colors, grid design and navigation. Combine this with our drag and drop builder and everything you need in a business website can be designed and developed in the browser. From a blank canvas all the way down to the pages, views and forms everything in this demo was created in the browser, without writing a single line of code.
No templates were edited, no CSS was written, not even a single hand coded HTML tag was needed to build this unique 40 page Glazed demo.
Why WordPress Is Taking Turf From Drupal
It's simple economics. You can buy a WordPress theme for $59,- USD and a few days of customization and content editing later and your client is impressed and your project is comfortably on schedule and on budget. WordPress themes have become a major source of innovation in recent years, offering drag and drop builders, and niche-specific features for magazine websites, directory websites and all sorts of small business websites.
Themes are becoming more sophisticated and crawling into Drupal territories like for example education, magazines and community websites.
10 years ago I moved away from WordPress and Mambo because I simply felt Drupal was better, and I still feel that way. While these WordPress themes are loaded with features, they lack Drupal's modularity, coding standards and interoperability. I sincerely believe Drupal can be a better platform for all these themes. After all, Drupal has built in support for content types, relations, versioning, configuration management, and superior user management and access control.
Starting from today I will focus on offering as many niche designs for small businesses, large businesses, NGOs, governments, educators and online magazines. I hope that you will join sooperthemes.com and help us with our mission to show the world that Drupal is capable of doing what WordPress does and more.
Our mission as Sooperthemes is to promote Drupal as the #1 platform to author content on the web and at the same time to remain the #1 provider of designs and design tools for Drupal. See our roadmap for more details. The way to make Drupal the number one choice again is through the same economics that made WordPress so big, so our initial focus is to disrupt the market with a 90% decrease in costs of building and running a Drupal website.
Enjoying The Ride
The past year has been a big adventure but also a lot of grinding, bug fixing, technical debt problems and all the things that new products face when they enter the market. However it has mostly been fun and exciting to develop these new technologies for the Drupal community and the reception of our updates is really motivating and powering our new developments.
Allthough pioneering in the area of next gen (drag and drop) Drupal themes meant facing a steep learning curve it can be said that Drupal is actually easier to build on in the long term. Our Drag and Drop builder is very similar to a frontend framewor that uses the CMS as an API. This is somthing that needs hooks and AJAX capabilities. Something that Drupal provides out of the box.
If you are reading this as a prospective customer: please join Sooperthemes and enjoy the ride with us. To our existing customers: keep your eyes open for exciting new features and designs.