Over the past year we have been working hard to create the updated version of ALPS, version 3.0 and get it ready for public use. It should have been done months ago, but I had several things come up personally that took more of my time so ALPS had to be delayed.
In a future post, I will focus more on ALPS 3.x as a general framework, but suffice it to say, it is ready to be used in your site development. And there are a few sites out there running 3.x as well!
What I want to focus on here is ALPS for WordPress 3.x. We have been working with the team at SouthLeft to create an updated experience that will make it easier to build beautiful sites with ALPS.
The first difference that you will see with the new ALPS for WordPress 3.x is the new design of ALPS 3.x. The theme now incorporates all the new elements of ALPS 3.x (typography, color schemes, Sabbath column and grid) along with the beautiful templates in a method that is easy to use on your WordPress site. You can see all the patterns in ALPS 3.x here.
As with ALPS 2.x, there are a bunch of settings that can be adjusted on the Appearance > Settings page that is found at
<your WordPress URL>/wp-admin/themes.php?page=custom_settings
For that last year, the WordPress team has been working on a new version of the editor interface called Gutenberg. This new experience take a page from the classic page builder interfaces that allowed an editor to create pages in blocks, dragging in elements as they wanted. Gutenberg allows this same type of experience on a per page or per post basis, and will ship as the default editor in WordPress 5.0. (WordPress 5.0 is currently in Beta 5 and set to get a Release Candidate 1 on November 20.)
So how does that translate across to ALPS? We have always had extra elements that can be used on a page but with no easy method for adding them to a page. With Gutenberg, you can easily add custom ALPS elements to your page: accordions, expanding text blocks, 2-up images, blockquotes, galleries and more. Just insert the element and add your custom content.
Gutenberg is available today as a free add-on for your WordPress 4.9.8 site, and when you install ALPS for WordPress 3.x, it will prompt you to install Gutenberg to get the most out of the new theme.
A Few Notes
Any new software has some bugs, and we have a few at the outset to let you be aware of. In order to do all the things we do, we are dependent on a plugin called Piklist. It allows you to make powerful forms. Piklist has not yet been updated for Gutenberg, though the developer says that is coming soon. Much of the extra functionality on pages and posts requires Piklist and to access it, you must do it through the “Classic” WordPress editor. To access that, go to the All Pages or All Posts overview page, hover over the item you wish to edit, and click the “Classic Editor” menu.
Once Piklist gets updated, this will no longer be necessary.
When ALPS for WordPress 3.x gets installed, in addition to Piklist, it also requires you to install “ALPS Gutenberg Blocks”. This module is something that we developed to extend the Gutenberg system for ALPS and is packaged with the WordPress theme. The last required module is called “SVG Support” and, as the name implies, provides SVG support in WordPress.
So, to get started, download the Alpha below, and install it on your site. Please remember this is alpha software and not intended for production sites. If you find issues, PLEASE create a ticket on GitHub. This helps us triage them and know what we need to fix to make this work better for everyone.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!