Yes, we are still working hard on the new Layouts & Tools! Things are coming together nicely - it's just a lot of work! The tools to actually create the new layouts are the most time consuming, not the layouts themselves. This is pretty much a whole new rewrite of our current templating system. It is huge... very huge! The new layouts and the tools used to create them will be incredibly flexible, dynamic and fun to use.
So, what are all the new features in the layout tools? I can't even begin to explain... there are so many! New header image options, background options, menu design options, wider pages, more page layout options, fonts, etc. The new Doodlekit will propel us way beyond other website builders - you will be amazed at how powerful and flexible it will be.
Below are two screenshots I took of a test site I use for development. This site was created using the tools we have working so far - anyone will be able to make a site like this.
This first screenshot shows a website with a two sidebar layout and vertical menus:
This next screen shot shows the same website with a different page layout, changed with just a few clicks. This new page layout has horizontal menus and only one sidebar:
Pretty neat, eh? Not only are the Templates and Layouts going to be super cool, but so is the actual 'Template Manger' itself we are creating. The Template Manager will store hundreds (and eventually even thousands) of pre-designed layouts that anyone can pick and use on their site with just a few clicks. These templates, when selected, will create a local copy of themselves in your template library. That copy can then be tweaked and modified by you to make your own custom template! You will be able to store as many local copies of templates as you want, any of which you can deploy with just a click of a button.
There is so much more about all of this to tell, but I need to get back to working on this stuff! I just wanted to give everyone an update and let you know we are moving along and that things are looking good - really good!
Of course, the biggest question is 'When will you be done with it?'.
I'm thinking about 3 - 6 months.
There is a lot of extra stuff outside of the layouts and the admin tools we have to do as well in order to get this all set up. One of the biggest is backwards compatibility with our current system, not to mention help files and creating a template library to start out with. Lots to do :).
I hope this helps to ease everyone's anxiety. You will be AMAZED at what you will be able to create with the new Doodlekit!