Sometimes I get really excited about the things that we develop around here. The things that make me the most excited are when I can reduce the amount of code I have to write and files I have to use while still achieving the same effect. I am all about efficiency. Which is why I love our latest SiteCM designer control.
Nearly every implementation that comes my way has a variant for the homepage. This seems to be a pretty widespread trend which in the past resulted in multiple templates for every site. After custom coding about 3 sites to add a 'home' class to my opening div our developers got the hint. And what they created was a control that I simply add to my opening div, add a few attributes, maybe a list of classes and tada! It dynamically adds an additional class into that opening div.
Big whoop you might say. Big whoop indeed. Huge whoop infact.
What would have previously been a 5 template site I coded as a single template with this page class control. By simply being a bit clever and careful about how I structured my css I could change the entire website by changing that class, no more programming required on my part.
Recently I had the pleasure of assisting one of our partners Kristina Benson of Communication Soultions with her first SiteCM cutup. CSI has been a reseller of SiteCM for a few years and up until this point they had been getting us to do their implementations but Kristina has been toying with some CSS and HTML and wanted to tackle this one.
She got as far as she could and then gave me a call to ask some questions regarding things she was stuck with and I was more than happy to help. The design had two templates, as so many of the sites we design do, and her second template wasn't working out. Not to mention she was slightly daunted at the idea of having to tweak two templates now instead of one. This is where I was more than happy to jump in and suggest she try out our newest designer control.
I showed her how entering this designer control to her div would save her having to create another template all together. I have to admit I am still pretty excited about this control and the amount of development time it saves and was all to happy to share this with Kristina. She shared my enthusiasm as with two lines of code we were able to save her coding and entire new template.
This, like so many of the controls that our developers write, opens the door wider for designers because it removes the need to know how to program these kinds of things into their sites. It saves time when building websites for customers because you have a ready made toolbox at your finger tips with each and every site. Less time spent in the development stage means faster turn around and delivery to your client and who can argue with that!
Now someone just needs to stop me from 'fixing up' all of our multi-template sites!
I just wanted to note what a pleasure it was to work with Kristina through her first cut-up. She really tackled the project head on and came to me with clear and concise questions after giving it her best so that she really understood when I gave her the answers. I appreciate and consider myself fortunate to work with so many bright and tallented people.