The last time I created a WordPress blog, I spent hours scouring the free themes to find the perfect design. I customized colors, deleted columns, and changed background images. Then, when I finally thought I found the perfect template, I discovered one silly deal-breaker of a feature that I couldn’t change.
I suspect this experience is all too common with WordPress themes. But PageLines is hoping to do something about it with its new launch today.
At its simplest, PageLines is a design tool that lets you drag and drop features to create your ideal website (see some features below). You can add columns or text boxes, move around images, and add special slideshows. If you’re a design newbie, you can start with a basic theme and just tweak a sidebar here or there.
PageLines calls this a “design management system” because it works on top of WordPress, a content management system. Up until now, your main options for drag-and-drop website design included tools like Squarespace and Weebly, both of which don’t integrate with WordPress.
But PageLines goes a step further: any developer can code a website feature (like an image gallery or an “accordion” section) and sell it in the PageLines DMS store for website owners to buy. Already, a few hundred developers are creating themes, plugins, and features in the same way that they create apps for the Apple app store.
“We would like to be the Apple of websites,” says founder Andrew Powers. “This is the way websites are going to be built in 10 years.”
Skilled designers can combine any of these features into a unique, brilliant, beautiful-looking website. As Powers says, it lets people do what they do best: developers can develop, and designers can design, and they can “communicate” via PageLines.
Membership starts at $8/month for personal users, $16/month for businesses, and $25/month for developers – something I might consider for my next blog.