Datafeed Studio V2.0 Released



From V2 there is no PHP code in the Datafeed Studio templates!

This should be great news for template designers, as it is now much easier to modify the templates in an HTML editor of your choice without worrying about accidentally altering the obtrusive PHP code.

Technically Datafeed Studio now uses the great PHPTAL template system that gently nudges you down the path of W3C compliant HTML/XHTML designs. For more information see the PHPTAL manual if you are thinking of getting down’n’dirty with the Datafeed Studio templates.

It’s all pretty straight-forward, although it might take a few minutes to understand the changes from previous releases. Essentially, for store and price compare sites, the main layout for a page is now defined in the ‘layout.html’ file within each theme.

Every page within a theme will use that layout, so you can make major structural changes to the theme just by editing that file (in combination with purely presentational changes in the accompanying style.css file).

In the main layout.html file there is one special “div” element with an ID of “content”. The content of this element will be magically replaced depending on what page is being viewed, be it a product page, a content page, blog post, etc.

Each of these pages (product, content, blog, etc.) still has their own specific page which you can customise to your needs, but you only have to worry about that particular context, not the overall layout, as that is “inherited” from the main layout.html.

Enough of the positives, we need some negatives!

There’s only one really, and that is that any custom templates created in earlier versions are no longer compatible. They will have to be migrated to use the new template system. Unfortunately this step was unavoidable, and could mean some short-term pain, for long-term gain.

If you have developed some custom Datafeed Studio templates and would like help migrating them contact me and I’ll do all I can to help. From studying the already migrated themes that come bundled with Datafeed Studio you should be able to understand what’s required, but feel free to contact me if you run into problems.

V2.0 is available to download from here.

If you are upgrading, I strongly recommend moving your existing “templates” folder to “templates_old” prior to unzipping otherwise you will have both old and new template files in your theme folders – which I guarantee will lead to rapid hair loss.

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