New PHP framework with content editor: ImpressPages 4.0 preview

Open-source PHP framework ImpressPages recently released a preview of its upcoming 4.0 version. Users can get their hands on the new website management tool with built-in content editor and get a hint of what’s really coming up. Let’s see what’s so new about it.

For starters, this time ImpressPages made a crucial decision of shifting from CMS to framework. The changes occurred in order to make coding fun again as the team felt that developers needed more free space and functionality which could only be provided by a framework. Thus the 4.0 version is profoundly called a true ‘ode to code’: it’s clean, simple and flexible. With a new MVC engine users can make custom changes in no time; not to mention they can write plugins and themes. Here’s some more bone-hard facts to prove its awesomeness.

  • MVC Framework. ImpressPages 4.0 has a lightweight and clean MVC engine right under the hood providing users with MVC, routing, template helpers, url generation, DB layer (and PDO).
  • PSR standards-compliant class naming and autoloader. Users can forget “require” and “include” functions. ImpressPages now loads all classes automatically and it’s extremely simple as filenames identically correspond to the class names.
  • Key-Value storage. At ImpressPages 4.0 it is conveniently provided by default. It is implemented in MySQL and can work on any shared hosting. But if user has a real Key-Value engine on his server, he can switch to it and improve the performance. The code on user’s side doesn’t change because of that.
  • Grid. Users can create a database table and put nice CRUD interface for their models in minutes. No need to write all that admin code.
  • Forms. ImpressPages includes form generation, validation (in PHP and JS) and ajax interactions between the form and controller. Use these functions and create cutting edge forms in minutes. As always, you are not forced to use them if you have your own way of doing things.
  • Multi-language support and translations. ImpressPages 4.0 is multilingual by default so no hacking or plugins are needed to make websites international. And with new translations engine users can translate any string in their code  with a simple function.
  • IDE autosuggestions always work. Coding experience is made even better with beautiful class structure and methods together with clean workflow in user’s IDE. IDE autosuggestions always work seamlessly and users are just a simple ctrl+mouse click away from implementing the function they are curious about.
  • Uploaded assets repository. No more pain when controlling user-uploaded assets: simple JavaScript method is used to invoke repository browser and provide a list of all the files selected by the admin. ImpressPages 4.0 stores the originals; provides methods to get their resized/cropped versions; and removes unused files when the original file is removed.

Pretty neat, huh? ImpressPages 4.0 also comes with a nicely revamped user interface. The core was designed with the principles and aesthetics of usability in mind. Thus, 4.0 version is intended to be super easy to grasp and work with, regardless of user’s programming knowledge. The following are some of the visual changes you can expect in this new version of ImpressPages:

  • True inline editing with drag&drop. Yup, it’s not new but now it’s as good as it gets. One line of code makes page navigation and content editing easy: edit pages while browsing; insert desired widgets by simply drag&dropping; type right away by simply clicking on a text field.
  • Less buttons, more functionality. The whole page management interface was rethought to make it simple and direct. Different settings are handily grouped together and always easy to find. This makes the whole process of creating, managing and deleting pages easier than ever.
  • New flat and crisp design. The new aesthetics embrace simplicity and visual clarity throughout both website layout and admin interface.