When we started the Gantry5 project, we wanted to think past the concept of Gantry as a framework. We wanted to create something so versatile and powerful, that it could stand on its own as a platform, virtually independent of a CMS in concept and implementation.
One of the key focuses of this concept was creating a Layout Manager that enables you to quickly and easily reconfigure virtually every part of the Layout, without a single line of code required.
We are pleased to say that Gantry5 is going to have the single most powerful and easy to use Layout Manager of any framework available today for Web development.
In this article, we will take a look at a few ways the new Layout Manager will make developers’ lives easier.
Would you like to change where the Logo appears on your site? How about adding a new positions for modules/widgets and placing it directly below the menu? You can do these things and more without even touching your keyboard.
Gantry5’s Layout Manager gives you the power to create a virtually unlimited amount of positions, resize them, and place them just about anywhere you want them to appear on the frontend.
Additionally, you can create pre-scripted features (now called Particles) and apply them where you would like them to appear, without the need to create a module/widget to do so.
For theme developers, particles can be created in minutes, and they can add functionality to your page in an environment that is easy for your clients to navigate and work with.
Instead of pointing them to a Custom HTML (Joomla) or Text (WordPress) widget, where they have to navigate through supporting code to make small adjustments, you can send them to the Gantry Administrator where they can change values in pre-configured fields without ever having to look at a single line of code.
Atoms, which are particles that do not render on the frontend in any visible fashion, make it easy to add scripts such as custom CSS or JS, as well as tracking methods like Google Analytics. You can even arrange their order in their Section to determine the order in which they load during page rendering.
Resizing a particular particle or position can be done by simply clicking and dragging the divider between them. You can create new rows within a Section by selecting the plus (+) icon at the top of the Section.
This new row enables you to add more particles, create module/widget positions, or a mix of the two.
Each section can have its own CSS class and attributes, as well as each row (also called a Grid), and each item (Block) within the row. This means you could theoretically have a custom CSS class and attribute set for the Section, Grid, and for each individual Block inside that row in addition to the settings made possible by the Particles themselves.
Want to move a Grid to a different section? You can do this by clicking and dragging.
The Import and Export buttons enable you to quickly import and export layouts, including placed particles, on your site. These settings are saved into a single file, which is generated and available to download upon selecting the Export button, and can be applied to the current Layout by uploading it after selecting the Import button.
This feature is especially useful if you are working with multiple sites and want to copy and paste the Layouts between them. Migrations between WordPress and Joomla, for example, would be another choice application for this feature.
Import and Export will not be included in the initial beta, but is expected to be available near the first full release.
The History buttons give you the ability to go back and forth between changes you have made in your Layout. This history is persistent through the current session, and makes it easy to go backwards and forwards, saving once you have reached a point you are happy with.
You can even go back after hitting Save Layout, should one of your changes not come out the way you expected after checking the frontend.
This is just one panel in the new Gantry5 administrator. Gantry5 has been built from the ground up to be the easiest and most versatile framework for Web development to date.
Stay tuned to our blog for more information about our upcoming open beta, where you can take Gantry5 for a spin yourself.
For more information about Gantry5, please check out these other blog posts from our ongoing series: