Artisteer Great new updates
Artisteer 2.4 (beta now its Artisteer 3.x) just became available. Since this article was initially written this theme design software has gone through many additional upgrades and is now working on a version of 3.x or higher (See the latest on Artisteer).
The new version (in beta out of Beta in full release still) supports two major feature advances:
Artisteer Vertical Menu for WordPress or other CMS systems like Drupal, Joomla etc
The Artisteer vertical menu addition allows users to run two menu systems now (at first glance). It has always allowed a horizontal menu system, and now there is a vertical menu option as well.
In the image example above within the Artisteer WordPress theme design environment I have selected the option of both a horizontal menu and a (new) Artisteer vertical menu. 🙂 The question is what will happen?
No idea yet how that will be managed in WordPress as I haven’t exported one of these puppies yet, but that’s coming up next!
Category Driven Artisteer Vertical Menus
Update – I just heard through the forums that not only have Artisteer vertical menus been added, but now category driven menus are possible. There appear to be binary options for this.
- You can either have a Category based menu OR a Page-based menu in the Horizontal menu or in the Vertical Menu.
- You can have a category in the horizontal and a Page-based in the vertical or vice versa.
- You can NOT have a category AND a Page-based menu in the Artisteer vertical menus at the same time.
- You can NOT have a category AND a Page-based menu in the horizontal at the same time.
All that said, this is just the post export (standard) options. There are probably some easy ways to hack some additional combinations into a theme after the fact and improve the look of the default Artisteer vertical menu.
Artisteer Flash Headers Support for WordPress Theme Design
New to version 2.4, Artisteer flash headers can now be added to new WordPress themes. I can add some very basic animation templates that Artisteer includes with the software, or if I have an .flv file I can import it into the theme header.
In this example, I tried building flash banners using TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio Camtasia Studio (for PC) Here these days I work on a Mac and use TechSmith’s Camtasia for Mac Camtasia for Mac Here to create .flv files. I then import these flash files into the Artisteer Flash Headers editing section, which worked very well!
With just a quick import of a file, I know have a WordPress theme with the new Artisteer flash headers tool!
WordPress Theme Design for iOS Tips – iPad’s are really starting to shake up the webdesign world and now maybe more than ever, it may not be as wise to the Artisteer flash headers section. If you do, you might want to insure that you do set up a css rule or run a plugin to display an alternate version of your theme to iphone, ipad, ipod touch visitors. Artisteer makes it very easy to create very similar alternate theme options, so just save your current theme as a different file name, run a second export of that theme without the flash header, and then set up a condition to run your alternate css code for those visitors!
Changing a Template from one System to Another (Ergo WordPress Theme to Blogger or Drupal)
Here’s a nice cool upgrade option. If you have designed yourself a nice little template as a WordPress theme and you want to use the same exact design in Drupal or Blogger or Joomla or DotNetNuke or just an HTML site (for like a WP page template with modifications!) you can now do this with a click of the mouse (ok 2-3 clicks).
If you have a website powered by WordPress and you have a blog powered by Blogger, you could then easily cobrand the sites to look very similar as one working example. Gonna have to ruminate on some additional practical applications.
Extending Free Upgrade License
For just over a year now, I have received free upgrades to Artisteer. That’s part of the license. Buy Artisteer and you get free upgrades for a year. When I first picked up Artisteer in November of 2008, they were just moving to beta version 0.8 I believe. 1.6 versions later or from my perspective about 20 improvements, updates and upgrades later, it was now time for me to update my license.
For $59.95 I purchased another year of Artisteer upgrades, and now I’m cranking through the possibilities with 2.4.
In case you are wondering, it only took moments for my order to process and my old license became good for upgrades all over again. There is a huge amount of value in this program, but every time I download another free upgrade (yeah I paid for it, but most software companies don’t give away free upgrades at all), it feels great and puts a smile on my face. In total, I’ve invested just short of $200 in this software over the course of about 15 months, and I have earned a return on that investment of about 100x. 🙂
You can check your own
upgrade subscription status here.
Artisteer Discount Code/Link
If you would like to get a 5% discount on a new Artisteer license (home/education or standard) feel free to use my referral link http://www.artisteer.com/?p=brett
UPDATE Artisteer 2.4 beta was updated to Beta 2 in Mid March and then to Release Candidate on 3-22., the items below detail bugs I found with Beta 1 and shared with the team that went into improvements in Artisteer Beta 2 and ultimately the full release out of Beta.
The following bugs are gone. 🙂
Artisteer 2.4 Beta bugs I’ve identified so far Update And Work arounds to design a WordPress theme successfully
Note this is still just a beta, the rc should be available soon. The beta has a lot more customization options if you have the full standard version of Artisteer.
I did encounter a few issues.
- I opened a previously existing theme file and the 2.4 beta version added textures (where none previously existed) to the Sidebar header blocks and to the menu bar and menu buttons. UPDATE 2-10 – This has been reported to Artisteer, they have been able to recreate this issue in this beta version of Artisteer 2.4 and they are working on it!
- It also changed my sidebar background color, which may not be a bug, but just a guess as I think the ability to customize this might not have been available or at least not to this level of detail before. UPDATE 2-10 – This has been reported to Artisteer, they have been able to recreate this issue in this beta version of Artisteer 2.4 and they are working on it!
- It also took sidebar icons and moved them to the far left of the block, and I do not have an option to adjust any offset now. (there is an offset option between the icon and the text, but not between the icon and the left side of the bar.
- Update 2-10 – After speaking with Artisteer, they indicated a method for fixing/adjusting these settings. I will mention that from a usability perspective this is not as intuitive as most areas of Artisteer and I have suggest they reconsider menu navigation slightly. Regardless to make this adjustment (ergo to move the icon further over) . . .
- Go to Sidebar Select Header-> Hover over Text (not Icon) – then Click Font Options
- Now go to the paragraph tag, and identify the number of pixels in the left indentation, this will move the icon and the text to the right of it over by however many pixels you select
- Hit OK and you are done. 🙂
- Separately, I see a new bug that was partially buggy in 2.3, but not terribly noticeable. Its now partially fixed, but more noticeable than it used to be. Notice the category drop down box, in the 2.4 beta version on the left it extends outside the div tags of the left sidebar 1. In artisteer 2.3, it was simply chopped off, so you couldn’t actually see the drop down. Basically this form option needs to auto size to the appropriate width allowed by the css file for the sidebar in question. UPDATE 2-10– This has been reported to Artisteer, they are looking into this issue, which in many ways is an issue driven by WordPress functionality. They are contemplating some work arounds in Artisteer that will help correct the WordPress display functionality until better WordPress logic comes to exist.
If you notice any other bugs with this or other versions of Artisteer in beta or not, let me know with a comment or contact Artisteer directly. They are very responsive to bug reports and getting them fixed in future upgrades! 🙂
If you find any other cool easy ways to import flash into the Artisteer flash header editing section or find some after export ways to hack the artisteer vertical menu system, please share a link or comment below. We’d love to see what can be done!