Questions about switching back to Freeway

I used Freeway (v. 4) a few years ago but switched to WordPress. WP has too many design limitations, so I’m thinking of switching back to Freeway (now v.6?) However, I want to be clear-eyed on any issues. Hope somewhere here can help:

  1. I have a LOT of blogs on my current WP site. Is there a way to transfer that content over to FW?

  2. How good is FW now about having social media links on the site (I recall it was not ver good before)

  3. Can FW host video?

Any opinions on why FW is now far superior to the ease of WP, I’m all ears. I liked FW before but found it hard to learn at times. Maybe new version is better?

Thanks!


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Freeway has grown a lot since version 4! I think you will find that a lot of what made it easy to learn is still there, but it’s definitely starting to experience some growing pains. A lot of the new dimensions and positioning settings are extremely important for building inline layouts, but Freeway is still difficult to use in that mode, suffering from a jumpy experience when moving things in source order, for example. There’s also the huge chicken-or-egg problem of making an inline layout – how do you get that design you want when it’s so hard to manipulate inline boxes and position them just so.

There’s a new-ish feature in the Relatively Positioned Layout Action, which came in 5 or 5.5, can’t recall which. This is frankly a piece of magic, as it allows you to sketch a layout in the usual manner, then convert that absolutely positioned layout into a proper inline layout without any (or many) changes. When you’re working on blogs and other indeterminate-amounts-of-content projects, you will find that this is the only way to make a page that stays together when the content shifts.

There’s nothing built-in to Freeway 6 that makes blogs natively, but the Blogger Action is still there, and works about the same. If you want to design a Blogger blog that looks exactly like the rest of your site, it’s pretty much the only thing going. In your time away, a number of micro-CMS products have come along that make blogging relatively painless. There have been a lot of Freeway projects incorporating Perch or Pulse lately, both of those have blog settings, Perch especially. But they also need some manual labor on your part to convert your Freeway layout to a template. Perch has a reasonable but nearly vertical in places learning curve. Once you’re up, though, it’s a very well-designed and easy to use admin system.

The Social Media thing is a bit of a mixed bag. There are Actions for it, nothing native in Freeway, but easy to use and add. I personally warn anyone who comes near not to do this – it’s basically collusion with a spy network, as just having a “like” or “plus 1” button on your page gets additional data into the various Borg cubes out there about every one of your visitor’s browsing habits: whether they click or don’t. If you want to create a link from your page to your Facebook page or Google Plus page, then fine. You can even make it look like a Like button if you like. But embedding 30K of JavaScript into your page, just so that your visitors may be surveilled with greater ease, does not seem like a bargain with the Devil that I would like anyone to make.

Freeway has been able to host video since 1997 (when it was released). Further, there are YouTube and Vimeo Actions if you want to outsource the actual hosting and bandwidth to a third party. Freeway 6 includes HTML5, which brings a lot of new options to the video hosting battle. I also wrote an Action for Freeway 5+ that lets you use the Sublime Video player, which automates the cross-browser/platform part of that problem, too.

Hope this helps, and you get a 30-day trial to see for yourself!

Walter

On Dec 5, 2013, at 10:16 AM, SkipII wrote:

I used Freeway (v. 4) a few years ago but switched to WordPress. WP has too many design limitations, so I’m thinking of switching back to Freeway (now v.6?) However, I want to be clear-eyed on any issues. Hope somewhere here can help:

  1. I have a LOT of blogs on my current WP site. Is there a way to transfer that content over to FW?

  2. How good is FW now about having social media links on the site (I recall it was not ver good before)

  3. Can FW host video?

Any opinions on why FW is now far superior to the ease of WP, I’m all ears. I liked FW before but found it hard to learn at times. Maybe new version is better?

Thanks!


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Walt.

Thanks for the thorough reply, but…

WHOA…

At the outset, I don;'t even know what inline means, but whatever.

The bigger issue is that i may have just remembered why I switched away form FW: you cannot host your blog on the same site, which I understand kills your SEO.

True? How hard is it (remember, I’m not a sophisticated programmer) to design and have a blog off the actual website? Workarounds kill me on time since I just don’t have that kind of experience or expertise.


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Skipll,

You could always use a more designer-friendly CMS (compared to WP) with Freeway like Perch or Pulse Pro, both of which have integrated blogging features.

Todd


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If you use Pulse or Perch, then yes, you can. Both of those are self-hosted PHP applications, which manage the content and present everything on YOUR server. There are DNS tricks you can use to bring a Blogger blog into your site’s fold, but they will always be a subdomain of your regular domain (blog.yoursite.com) rather than yoursite.com/blog.

Walter

On Dec 5, 2013, at 1:04 PM, SkipII wrote:

Walt.

Thanks for the thorough reply, but…

WHOA…

At the outset, I don;'t even know what inline means, but whatever.

The bigger issue is that i may have just remembered why I switched away form FW: you cannot host your blog on the same site, which I understand kills your SEO.

True? How hard is it (remember, I’m not a sophisticated programmer) to design and have a blog off the actual website? Workarounds kill me on time since I just don’t have that kind of experience or expertise.


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Thanks Todd and Walt…

Helpful. I’, still unclear on whether such set ups diminish the SEO of my home site. That’s what I’m told.

As well, a big concern for me is how much work is involved transferring my old blogs to the new site.


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Using Perch or Pulse will not adversely affect such things plus I’m pretty sure Perch has a WP import feature.

Todd


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Are they self-hosted on a PHP server, or have you been using the Wordpress.com hosted service (basically Blogger with a different back-end)?

Walter

On Dec 5, 2013, at 2:55 PM, SkipII wrote:

Thanks Todd and Walt…

Helpful. I’, still unclear on whether such set ups diminish the SEO of my home site. That’s what I’m told.

As well, a big concern for me is how much work is involved transferring my old blogs to the new site.


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I use a WP template but host the site elsewhere. not sure if that answers your question…


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Mostly. You are hosting them on some hosting provider’s server, then, and not using the Wordpress.com hosting service for it. What this means is that Wordpress is installed on your server as an application, and you can access its databases separately from the Wordpress control panel.

Along with an import tool like the one that Todd mentioned, you should be all set to get the raw data out of your WP server and into another server. That’s the beautiful thing about content management systems in general: you usually have a strong separation between content and presentation, so changing to another one isn’t the hardship that it would be if everything was mingled together in one file.

Walter

On Dec 5, 2013, at 4:37 PM, SkipII wrote:

I use a WP template but host the site elsewhere. not sure if that answers your question…


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Walt,

I think it would be better if I just contracted with someone to do the initial set up, then I manage from there. If interested, reach me through www.definingmoments.me

Thanks.


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