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Hi all,

On Friday, Jonathan posted our product roadmap for the exciting stuff we've got lined up for the next 6 months. I want to dive a littler deeper into one of those projects Jonathan mentioned, our brand new Theming System.

Over the last few months, we've been updating the HTML framework for Ning Networks in preparation for this project. To date, almost all of that work has been under the hood, but it's been necessary to set the stage for the new Design Studio. The Design Studio is a powerful, intuitive, stylish new experience for customizing the look and feel of your site. Here are the new things that this feature brings to the table:

  • See a live preview of changes as you make them
  • Choose from 70+ hot new themes at launch
  • Set a 2- or 3-column layout and choose navigation and sidebar locations
  • Drop ads into your header and footer
  • Tweak 80 dials and knobs for your site appearance
  • Access Developer Mode, where theme gurus can access the Ning CSS and create their own themes

All that is scheduled for February, and we'll have more details in the coming weeks, but I wanted to give all of you on Creators a heads-up about this huge new feature. To make sure it’s fantastic, we’ve already invited several Ning Creators to experiment with an alpha version of the Design Studio. We’ve gotten some great feedback and we plan to expand the number of Creators into the beta later this month.

One thing I want to call out is that if your site looks absolutely perfect already, no worries: The Design Studio won't affect customizations you've already made. We’ll be providing more details as we hit specific milestones with this project, both here on Creators and in email communications to all Ning Creators.

Over the next few days, we're going to be inviting more Ning Creators into the beta. We received a ton of beta requests, thank you! We will try to fit as many folks in as we can.

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Replies

  • Great news! Will it be available to both Plus and Pro networks?
    • yep!
      • Please start keeping more things pro.. I feel like I'm still competing with non pro sites..
        • I would agree.
          • Thanks Morgan... I mean what's the point of having pro if everyone is going to have same features basically. I paying pro to differentiate myself from my competitors on  ning itself..
            • I don't agree. If this were available only to Pro accounts I'd be majorly pissed off.  Being able to have a nice looking and professional site should be something available to all plans (even Minis, although I could understand where it would be very limited in their instance.)

              Frankly, way too many of the new features that have come out recently have been totally useless to me, and I'm about ready for something meaningful for us Plus people.

              • Diane, I agree! And I'm still in the duty to explain to my (Plus-)Members, why they don't have their beloved music any more - which they had, before they paid for the network...
            • Sorry U think this way ,

              Its not suppose to be a Competetion,

              You make your Network ,

              You OFFER what you have,

              Your PRICING for it is on you,

              Plus Networks do not get what Pro gets ,

              They are Limited to where you are Basicaly not,

              And for the Most PART NING was Made and Offered

              as A FREE SOCIAL NETWORKING Platform for People

              to Socialize FREELY With out all the BULL of trying to be SOLD SOMETHING,

              Its all  going down Hill now,

              In the Begining we came Here to get away from all the Selling Networks ,

              and Just have a Place to Just Socialize and not have to put up with

              Always having something SHOVED in our face to Buy this Buy that,

              Theres already too many Places on the net for that,

              Looks Like many of us will have to find a new NetWork just for Socializing

              without having someone trying to always SELL you something,

              I know my spelling might not be up to par for some ,

              BUT I'm sure you get my POINT,

              I do wish you the Best in what you are here for ,

              But for myself and Many others, Ning is getting more and more

              not a Place we are going to want to be in very much longer,

              GOOD Luck to You and Ning,

              We sure miss the Old Ning and what it was first Based on !

              Peace to all and may you find a way to Keep Love in your Heart,

              The World is going Down Hill fast ,

              But maybe If you Keep these 2 things from Disappearing  ,

              The World will still Have a chance to SURVIVE !!!

               

               

              • Wonderfully said Hippy.  I am in total agreement with you.   Bravo
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