First I would like to thank all our users who have been patiently waiting for our new release. What started out as some updates to our layouts (to make them wider and have more column options) has practically turned into a full-blown rewrite. The web/internet is a moving target. Finding the right place to put your stake in the ground for new development can be difficult. Right after we decided to move forward with our new layouts, we got hit with the ‘perfect storm’.
Three major things happened recently that caused us to reconsider & re-evaluate our strategy moving forward:
- Internet Explorer 6 finally died (for the most part).
- The W3C dropped XHTML 2.0 as the new standard for web development in favor of HTML5.
- CSS3 compatibility/browser support is now main stream (for the most part).
I won’t bore you with the detailed technical explanation of each of these – you probably don’t care. Let me sum it up by saying that these three events pretty much caused us to re-evaluate our current framework in favor of a newer more dynamic one. Many of the technical limitations that have held us back from providing our users with the best tools possible for building a website have now been stripped away.
Below are some screen shots of ‘Beta’ features we have been working on. Let me repeat that – this is Beta – the final product could be different. There are so many new features that I cannot possibly talk about all of them here but I will hit a few key changes we are working on to hopefully give you an idea of what we are trying to do.
New Quick Editor
Our current editor is somewhat limiting. The technology behind it hasn’t allowed us to do many of the things we've wanted to do. The new editor we're working on will give us full control of our editing tools. We hope to simplify the editing process while making it more powerful. One of the major changes that will happen with the new release of Doodlekit will be the way we handle images. See the screenshot below of the new ‘quick edit’ image tool we're working on:
The new layouts will be optimized for 1024px width vs. the current layout width of 800px. There will also be options for multiple sidebars or none at all (see image below). Sub-menus will also have the option to be drop downs now (see image below). New features such as shadows, rounded corners, creating your own color schemes, and lots of extra fonts will be available as well.
New Admin Tool
All the extra features and tools we created for the new Doodlekit release required us to create a new Admin Tool to support them. Below is a screenshot of what that might look like:
So When Does The New Release Come Out?
That will be tricky to say. In reality, there probably won't be an actual new release 'date'. More than likely we will roll out small pieces of it one at a time. Follow us on twitter to stay "in the know" about each new release/feature. Rolling out the new Layout Manager will probably be the most significant 'release' and we'll let you know as soon as we can pinpoint that date. Our #1 priority will always be support of the current system and our current users. Every free moment Ben and I have we will be working on the new release. I will keep everyone posted as we get closer. We are working hard to make sure Doodlekit provides you with the best free website building experience possible.