Today’s guest post is from Jamie Marsland over at Pootlepress. He’s a long-time WooThemes customer, and has become a Canvas advocate over the years. He’s recently launched a bunch of extensions to help Canvas theme owners take their site to the next level over at Pootlepress.
We love Canvas. For us, it’s our go-to WordPress theme. We’ve been working with Canvas for 5 years now, we’ve trained over 2000 people and built 100’s of sites using it.
It gives you control to change design elements of your website without having to know any code. Control is the number one thing our customers want. They want to make a change to their website quickly and easily. They don’t want to have to wait, they want fingertip control. We estimate that Canvas cuts website build time down by 80%. We now build most new customer websites in 1 day. We build a lot of websites 🙂
And, the great thing is design beauty is not sacrificed by speed.
Because we’re busy building so many real world websites with Canvas we have fantastic insight into how our customers want to go beyond what is possible ‘out of the box’.
In the past, we’ve used CSS tweaks or custom PHP development to achieve the extra functionality we and our customers want. Over time, we built up quite a library of tweaks and last year we thought we should share them.
So, we wrote a post called 65 Canvas tips, tricks and CSS tweaks and were blown away by the response. We got fantastic feedback to the post and it still gets a tonne of traffic every day.
We sat down and thought “wouldn’t it be great if we could turn these tweaks into simple plugins that customers could install with 1 click?”.
Enter Canvas Extensions…
We launched Canvas Extensions to allow users to download a simple plugin that does something specific they want that Canvas doesn’t do, install it and wham – no coding.
To give you more idea of what I am talking about, here are the top 10 selling Canvas Extensions:
- ￼Align Menu Right – this positions the primary navigation the right of the logo in Canvas.
- Sticky Header – this make the header and navigation area fixed at the top.
- Footer Widget Manager – this allows Canvas users to style the footer widget area separately to standard widget.
- Logo Inside Nav – this allows you to put a logo right in the middle of the primary navigation.
- Page Element Hider – allows you to hide elements like the page title, primary navigation, logo/site title etc on a page by page basis.
- Mobile Menu Manager – Mobile Menu Manager allows you to style the standard Canvas mobile menu without complex CSS
- Masonry Blog – this creates a beautiful masonry blog for your website (see jamiemarsland.co.uk for a real world example).
- Centre Logo and Navigation.
- Replace Header image – this allows you to have different headers on different pages.
- Font Awesome Menus – this allows you to add lovely icons to your menus.
We wanted the extensions to be targeted at helping users achieve something specific within Canvas with a few clicks. We have released 17 Canvas Extensions at the time of writing this and have another 6 in development.
The reaction from Canvas Extension users has been great and as word has spread, we’re getting useful feedback from the community of Canvas users out there on what would they want us to develop.
Last week we released our most important Canvas Extension yet, the Canvas Page Builder. We’ve forked an existing Page Builder from SiteOrigin and made it work perfectly with Canvas. We’re also adding some very cool new features, including the ability to style full width rows within pages.
The combination of Canvas and Canvas Page Builder is awesome – once you’ve used the two together you will fall in love with how creative and quick the process is to build beautiful pages.
It’s been inspiring to see the beautiful pages being built with Canvas PageBuilder. We gave it to Dave Gillett, a brilliant designer from the UK for a day and take a look at these beautiful pages he created.
For some other examples of what is possible check out these pages we created. Each took only 10mins!
￼You can see all our Canvas Extensions and pick up the Canvas Page Builder here.