Since the beginning we’ve been focused on making SolidShops.com as easy as possible, while maintaining flexibility, especially when it comes to building templates for your stores. Being a web designer myself I had a fairly good idea of what we needed to build to make our application easy and fun to use for web designers.
I also talked to a lot of colleagues in the sector, to friends, to people at conferences such as the amazing Future Of Web Apps and to shop owners and asked them what their design requirements are when building an online web shop.
Almost all web designers, including me, thought of the following
- a flexible – but easy to use – template language
- the possibility to manage assets, files, images
- selection of a default theme, to get started quickly if necessary
- the use of partials/includes in templates for recurring bits such as footers and navigation.
A few months later we have implemented all of these core features into the application. To give you a sneak preview before we launch in beta, here are some screenshots that give you an idea of how you’ll be able to build your own templates with our own solid templating language.
Some e-commerce packages make it almost impossible to create a theme from scratch, let alone enjoy creating one, while others require you to download and install a bunch of software before being able to roll our your designs.
We’ve taken a different approach here by building a custom template editor inside the application. That way you can edit your templates on the go, on any computer, without the need to install anything.
Of course we’ve taken care of syntax highlighting (we use the excellent CodeMirror for that) and normal tab-key behavior that doesn’t leave your code editor but tabs your code to the right. Of course the editor is not as powerful as Dreamweaver or Aptana, but it doesn’t have to be.
When you save the template above, the content will be rendered in plain html. Styling can be done in any way you like using CSS.
There you have it in a nutshell: 100% custom and flexible webshop templates for your own store or for your clients stores. We are really curious about what you will come up with using our template language so get started, build your html/css templates already and pump ‘m into our application when we launch.
Of course we’d love to know what you think and how we can make our application better. We’ll soon launch in beta and those who have already subscribed for it, will receive an email confirming their beta again. If you haven’t subscribed for the beta yet, please do so now on www.solidshops.com.
Until then, stay tuned everybody and thanks so much for being patient up to this point. We get the question “when will you launch” almost every day and the answer is: when it’s ready to launch in beta.