And finally, it is here! We are very proud and excited to announce the single biggest addition to our website since we launched - the first and only Particle Marketplace for Gantry 5!
The last couple of months we were very hard at work in order to put everything in place. We had to update all our particles in order to make them 100% template independent. Then we had to test them with the default Gantry 5 template (Hydrogen) and with the Rockettheme's templates so we make sure that they work out-of-the-box. Then we had to build the Demo site and to create a dedicated Documentation page for each and every particle where you can find the "Installation Instructions" for both Joomla and Wordpress as well as a demo video that shows the particle backend and how to work with it.
The idea behind the "Particle Marketplace"
We quickly fell in love with the whole concept behind the Particle System. We started developing our templates in such a way that they are purely based on particles.
Initially, our strategy was to modify our particles for each template so they can fit the particular design. Some particles needed just a small CSS modification, others needed a markup (HTML) change and some even needed to be completely re-written with completely new options being added. We realized that this is really not practical and maintaining different versions of the same particle is just a nightmare. And that's how the idea for template independent particles was born!
Our customers also fell in love with the particles. They started asking how to implement a particle from one template into another. This was the first sign that we need a centralized place where everyone can download the particle they need and then just copy it over to the template they use.
So we discussed all this with the Rockettheme guys and it turned out that they experience the same thing. Because of that a new section in the official Gantry5 documentation was added - Copying Particles to Another Template!
So far so good - the process of copying particles from one template to another was officially documented. But then, we also had to make the particles easily accessible so the user can get the files with just a single click!
All of the above issues and concerns could be addressed in only one possible way - with the first ever Particle Marketplace for Gantry 5!
We also created a dedicated repository for each and every particle which allows us to treat it as a separate product. It means that each and every particle now has a version number and a changelog.
With the release of our "Particle Marketplace" you can now add additional functionality to your Gantry 5 website in less than 5 minutes. If you need a nice Gallery, a beautiful Search, an eye-catching Slider or whatever, you just need to download it from the Marketplace and copy it over to your installation. As simple as that :)
Currently, you need to copy the particle files to your server manually but in 3 or 4 months you will be able to install the particles directly from the Gantry 5 Admin. Have a look at this issue on Github for more details.
Lighter and faster templates
Until now we were adding as many particles as possible to our templates in order to give you all the features and functionality you might need. From now on we will add only the ones that are really needed for the particular template and its purpose. That's how we will keep it lightweight and optimized. And if you need additional functionality you just need to visit our marketplace and download the particle you want.
Let's take our Oxygen template as an example. It is a pure corporate/business template so in most cases you will not need a "Gallery". But let's say that for a particular business you do need one. If so, just download the "Gallery" particle from the Marketplace and copy it over to your installation. That's it :)
We really hope that we will make your life much easier with our Particle Marketplace. And please, feel free to leave us any requests and suggestions in the comment form below :)