Composer Tool Impact
When I first heard about the new Composer Tool included in C5v5.4.2, selfishly as a developer, I was quite discouraged in regards to several products I have available in the marketplace.
My primary concern was that with the Composer Tool being as cool and handy as it is, why would someone want to drop hard earned money on something like SimpleNews or even ProBlog?
First, a bit about Composer tool.
Composer tool is a fantastic new dashboard tool that allows you to take any page_type and associate any block or attribute for use as a customized “page publisher” via the composer tool.
This is REALY cool stuff. Firstly, web shops can now pre-define for their clients various tasks of publishing that can be centrally found in one consolidated space. i.e.- go to the Composer Tool, choose “news page” to publish a news item, or choose “event page” to publish a new event.
Composer tool even allows you to pre-define publishing paths on a per-page_type basis.
One of the first things I do with EVERY change or addition to the C5 core, is evaluate each and every one of my products, and what the impact to each product is for both usability and viability.
Sometimes, this results in tough and hard thought decisions. It’s a process that can take weeks of thinking and planning.
With this latest addition of Composer Tool, arguably the biggest impact change since C5’s beginning, I had to make big choices for ProBlog and SimpleBlog both.
With a publishing tool as flexible as Composer, blogging now “can” be done strictly with a content block and built in search and tag blocks.
This still requires a bit of setup, but it “can” be done for the shop on a tight budget. All be it lacking in features.
For ProBlog, my first concern was product viability. After much thought and consideration, I still believe this product is a superior way to publish and manage blogs via a slick, professional interface as well as professional section and categories filtering to boot.
But I still wanted to make it exceedingly clear that firstly, this product will continue to grow and evolve, and then secondly, this product is worth every penny.
With the arrival of Composer Tool, the second aspect of my primary goals, viability, was now in serious jeopardy. Not from my perspective. But from the unknowing person browsing marketplace addons and trying to make solid business decisions who have never used ProBlog before.
Having said that, I needed to go BIG. I needed something that was going to announce loudly how much I stand behind this product, and at the same time, what a tremendous blogging tool it is.
For me, this meant going mobile.
Not just a limited web app. But rather, a native iOS (android in the works) app that allows you to administrate your blog and commenting on the go.
Intro - ProBlogMobile: http://chadstrat.com/apps/problogmobile/
I’m super excited about this, and I think it speaks strongly of my two primary goals.
You can find the full list of additions and changes to ProBlog v4 HERE.
What About SimpleBlog?
SimpleBlog was a different story.
With this latest release, I am closing up shop on SimpleBlog. It’s a nice product, and it has great reviews. But it just doesn’t fit into the mold of page_types as well as it could/should.
And to get the product to a place where it does, would mean a tremendous amount of work that would take the value/add to an unmanageable price-point ratio.
It was a good product. And in many ways, I am proud of it. But it has run it’s course.
I will continue to support it, and also offer a free upgrade to Composer Blog to existing users.
Ah yes...the new gem!
I’m really excited about a new product I call Composer Blog.
It meshes perfectly with the Composer Tool mental model, and even offers a number of really cool ProBlog features such as the tags block, and sections & categories filtering as well.
The part I love most about Composer Blog is how stinking simple it is to set up. It’s very literally “instal and go”.
The whole point of this $20 app? Saving time and adding cool features.
A web shop can hook their clients up with this one click instal and have a viable blogging solution in a few minutes instead of having to manually go through, set up page_types, set up blocks, pre-set content, site map, attributes, page_defaults...ect. It can all add up.
Composer Blog makes this stupid quick and easy.
Combine this app with Comments Moderation app, and your good to go!
Chad Cantrell, aka ChadStrat, has been developing Concrete5 addons for over 3 years. With over 30 products for sale in the C5 marketplace, ChadStrat continues to be one of the top developers in the C5 community.