Welcome to the new temporary home of AdaptCMS.com! The only time before now that "AdaptCMS 4.0" was mentioned was back on a very short news post on December 26th, 2016. But a lot has changed since then.
A few months back we started thinking about a new version, rebuilding the CMS from the ground up and after some thought, we decided to go through with it full force. Since then, work has been done on a marketplace for themes and plugins. A new admin interface in a new PHP framework, with a public side site has been built - no where near done, but the basics are all done. Lastly, a temporary new official site for the CMS has gone live.
The document I keep with pretty much anything and everything related to this new version stands at 22 pages so for now I'll have to just give a summation drilldown of what this new version is all about.
The Central Goals/Ideas
It starts with a new focus and mindset. What spurred this new endeavor was actually just reading comments from developers using wordpress. I don't know how many times I saw PHP developers talk with, essentially, sadness, about having to unfortunately use wordpress. The reason? It was the best tool for the job.
Wordpress is a great system. There's no doubt about it. The plugin and theme system is a bright spot, it's one of the most user-friendly CMS's and there are other reasons it's 60% of the CMS market. But it has a lot of negatives. Security, super old code, consistently very-dated designs, etc.
So with that said, here are our central ideas.
A CMS anyone can use
This is very important. We want PHP developers to use it - whether it's help with the CMS, creating plugins/themes or using it on their own projects. That's why we are using the newest version of Laravel, Semantic UI CSS framework, VueJS 2 and other modern technologies as well as plans to keep libraries up-to-date as possible.
But we also want new users to be able to create a site with it. That's why we'll have step-by-step tutorials and guides on the official site, an intuitive admin area and one of the features we're most excited about - Theme Builder. This feature will allow a user to easily customize the default theme, or install a theme from the marketplace and customize that to their hearts content (and installing plugins/themes, as well as updates to themselves and the CMS can all be done within your CMS admin panel).
For users who have used a CMS but may not have the coding knowledge, we have a plan for them as well. They can easily manage their content like they would in wordpress or other CMS’s. We have posts, pages, tags, categories and custom fields out of the box.
You have media album management and can manage files (including images and other file types). User management is standard, as well as role/permissions and settings, which plugins can use.
Lastly you can manage plugins and themes inside the system. Additionally to managing them, you can search the marketplace inside the system as well as install plugins and themes and update plugins/themes/the CMS. So all the standards are here, with way more to come.
This is another area we know we need to improve in and have a plan for it. A new AdaptBB plugin is being created and will be in use on the official site, as it is already here. We’ll be integrating github issues to have one place for creating direct support tickets. These tickets will also be viewable within the CMS.
We’ll also have full documentation on the CMS, on the official site. Tutorials, text and video, will be up on launch. Guides will also be available for things like how to move from go daddy to digital ocean and so on.
In the future we’d like to possibly have a support chat, but that’s a ways down the road.
While social media will be used a lot for promotion and keeping up to date on the latest going-on’s, it will also be an avenue for feedback. So if you tweet us for example a bug you find, we will respond with support through that contact method.
High quality addon’s
The marketplace is the key to this. To create or login to an account we’ll be having additional options other than the traditional. You can login through Facebook, github, google or twitter to create/login to an account. This makes things easier and quicker.
Submitting a plugin or theme is really easy with a new app we’ve created. As soon as it’s approved anyone with the CMS installed can search for it and install it on their own with the single click of a button. As well as update it with a single click inside the CMS.
Plugins and themes at the start will feature several features such as a rating system, reviews, full versioning history, CMS compatibility, tags and their very own issues support forum.
Developers, when submitting their plugin or theme can choose to make it featured for a small fee. The public side, listing out all of these items will feature a full search.
In terms of high quality themes and plugins, we have a motto which will of course see a lot of work done on the CMS and associated services. But we plan on focusing more time than most other CMS’s do, on creating and updating plugins/themes to create a useful marketplace.
Hope you’re still with us! It’s a long list. So with the goals and ideas laid out there, let’s talk a second about our plan. It might sound different to be telling the public the nitty gritty of what we’re doing. But an open and honest community is very important to us.
The plan is definitely a difficult one. We can’t set out, realistically, to make it the goal to become the marketshare leader in the CMS market. That would take at minimum, 10 years.
But we feel if we can do all the things we are planning to, that we have the ability to create the best answer to the CMS problem.
This starts with a business plan. I cannot go into details at this time, but there is a possibility of funding. If it doesn’t work out we still plan on finishing our business plan and trying out other funding options.
The big features we wanted to get out with this alpha release, besides a general basic CMS built out is the Theme Builder, the marketplace website, this initial new home of AdaptCMS.com, being able to install/update plugins & themes inside the CMS / update the CMS itself and the initial installation process so users can set it up themselves.
With this step done, we are now focusing on growth. We will be starting an ad campaign to get the word out, to get feedback and to try to get developers involved in the project, that’s extremely important.
We need developers for CMS development, plugin/theme development and for the various websites we will build. We’ll get into this more on one of our other blog posts.
Past this, we plan on a rapid development cycle. We want to try and get something out ideally this year, but also to not rush and do it right.
Once we have a few developers and active work is still going, we’ll focus on creating plugins/themes and work will begin on advanced features.
We’ll attempt to get more staff and more social media/ad campaigns will be done, we want to try and get as many people to know about the CMS before 4.0 release as possible.
Once 4.0 is out the door we’ll begin a proper development cycle that will see weekly or bi-weekly releases at times, these would be PR (patch release) updates. SR (Standard release) versions will be done at least once a year, but ideally more often than that. LTR (Long Term Release) versions will be at least once every 18 months.
We’ll be having blog posts talking about different parts of the system, so we’ll keep this short.
One of the important things we’ll be doing with this new CMS release is something I don’t think I’ve seen before. We want to know about you! Not in a NASA listening to your phone calls / CIA listening to you through your TV kind of way of course, you can choose or choose not to provide us with non-sensitive data.
But if you choose too, it’ll really help us out. It starts when you install the CMS. We’ll ask you, if we can’t figure it out, a few bits of information. Who is your web host? Who’s your domain provider? What operating system are you running?
The reason for this is for a few things, but one is tutorials. We’ll be writing migration guides such as how to move from go daddy to digital ocean, but at a point we’ll need to know what hosts we aren’t talking about that are popular.
After you’ve installed 4.0 (this isn’t in the alpha), we want to help you get started and set quickly. So there will be a large button when you get to your admin interface, and will be there continually, that will help you do that.
Once you click on it, there will be a large search bar and a simple question - “What kind of site would you like to build?”, or something along those lines. Below the search is the top five most popular types of sites.
Whether you search for and click on a site type or one of the most popular site types linked below it, we will take that and provide plugin(s), theme(s) and a one-click process to completely transform the initial installation into the type of site you want.
You can always go to the theme builder for further customization. Additionally, if you search for something we don’t have yet, we’ll collect that with your consent and use those stats to create new site types in the future.
Described fairly in-depth above, the marketplace is it’s own website. You can search for and view plugins/themes. You can sign in/register an account and submit your own, as well as submit reviews, rate a plugin/theme and participate in discussions on plugin/theme issues pages.
At launch of 4.0, we plan on having numerous plugins and themes at the get-go. From a not-yet-named store plugins, AdaptBB (community forums), Redirect, form builder and more.
As said before, we also plan to continually create/update plugins and themes to keep an active high-quality marketplace. We will be campaigning and doing other things to try and get more developers to create more in the marketplace.
When users submit a plugin or theme, they will also have the option to charge for it. From our side of things, we will be making mostly free plugins and themes.
It’s gonna be big. Community forums (the marketplace and official site will share the same users, no need to signup twice!), Issues tracker which will be a merge of github submitted problems and through the site and CMS installations.
Full documentation will cover how to use everything on the CMS, as well as docs on covering the marketplace. User-friendly documentation will be complimented by more advanced docs.
Tutorials - video and text. From installing the CMS itself, creating a video game website, even just post management.
Once enough sites use the system we’ll have a showcase with interviews of the website owners with tips and tricks.
Then of course the blog. We’ll be posting a lot of different content. When we’re working on a standard or long term release, we’ll make blog posts to talk about progress and what we’ve done/what we’ll be doing.
Whew, hopefully you stuck with us on this post. It’s long, but we’re really excited! We feel extremely confident that we can create a piece of software that is really needed and not available right now. Stay tuned!