Gantry5 is without a doubt RocketTheme's most ambitious project to date. It is set to not only be the most flexible and powerful version of the Gantry Framework yet, but also the fastest.
Gantry5 is more than just an update to our popular and powerful templating framework for WordPress and Joomla, it is a complete rewrite that takes full advantage of the latest Web technologies.
Unlike previous versions, Gantry5 is not backwards compatible. It is, in essence, a completely new product that redefines what a framework can be, breaking free of the notion that you have to have a ton of programming experience to make a great website.
The new version of Gantry will come with a new set of requirements, many of which were outlined in a previous blog post.
In this series, we will take a look at some of the goals we had going in to Gantry5’s development, and how we are approaching them as development continues. This series starts with one of the most crucial aspects to any successful site in today’s modern age, speed.
Speed is the primary focus of Gantry5. Everything we have put in to Gantry5 has been done with the idea in mind that has to either meet or exceed our performance expectations.
We actively sought out alternative methods that would avoid causing additional page load time on the frontend, or cause potential delays on the backend.
By opting to rebuild Gantry from the ground up, as opposed to providing an incremental update, we were able to achieve extraordinary results without sacrificing the power and flexibility that Gantry is known for.
This is one of the reasons Gantry5 is not backwards compatible. When Gantry was first created, the Internet as a whole was very different. Support for long-outdated browsers was still expected as automatic updates were not yet included with the most popular Web browsers.
The challenge with having a backwards compatible framework at this stage would involve having to build in contingencies for the latest Web technologies, allowing for our older and newer templates to share the same framework without issue. By eliminating this obstacle and starting fresh, we were able to avoid any such issues altogether. The result: A less cluttered backend and a more streamlined codebase.
On the backend, Gantry5 takes advantage of per-item loading in AJAX instead of loading the entire page. This enables you to switch between administrative panels without having to reload the entire page to do so. Everything is loaded and ready to go from the moment you first access the administration user interface.
The minimum PHP requirement has been increased to PHP version 5.4. This by itself offers improved performance by default, as older versions of PHP were sluggish by comparison.
Gantry5 also functions without having to interact with a database. This is a big deal because it means there is no need to continuously communicate with a database each time something is changed.
Gantry knows the settings once the admin is loaded, and saves any changes to a file. This cuts down on the middle-man effect a database server imposes, and offers an experience on the backend that does not add to load times. In short, it’s crazy fast.
So, what’s the best news we can share in this blog post? An open beta is coming soon for Gantry5, which will allow you to check out the new framework for yourself, and offer your own feedback and suggestions. Stay tuned to the RocketTheme blog for more details.
For more information about Gantry5, please check out these other blog posts from our ongoing series:
NOTE: The screenshots featured in this article are of a current build of Gantry5, taken on the day this article was written. As Gantry5 is still in development, these are subject to change.