Pinegrow Countdown: Day 6 – What’s New
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 6 – What’s New
Just the other day, Pinegrow revealed that they would be releasing both the Pinegrow WordPress Plugin and Pinegrow Desktop 7.0 next week on December 1st. In this video, I’m going to share some of the new features in both versions and I’ll talk a little about pricing and the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale.
One of the biggest changes under the hood is probably something you’ll never notice. That’s the new version of NWJS that powers the builder. Unfortunately, it’s also what led to most of the delays in the release schedule. The good news is that this change adds native support for Apple’s ARM processors and fixes some bugs for Linux users. I’ve used the beta on both Windows and MacOS, and I have to say that it FLIES on M1 processors.
In addition to the new version of NWJS, this release also brings along a version bump to the SASS engine, dartSASS. Tailwind and Bootstrap both get updated, bringing along some great new features. And Greensock, which powers Pinegrow Interactions, gets updated to the latest version.
That takes care of the boring stuff; now let’s talk about the things you’ll notice right away. Unless I note otherwise, all these new features are coming to both the Pinegrow Desktop and to the Pinegrow WordPress plugin.
First, when you launch Pinegrow, you’ll see a brand new dashboard with some interactive tutorials. There are a few that show you how to use the new features and a whole lesson on how to build a WordPress block from start to finish. Even if you aren’t planning to use Pinegrow with WordPress, I’d take a look at that lesson since it does a great job of introducing you to the interface and concepts in Pinegrow.
Next, you’ll see a new “insert” button at the top of your screen. In the WordPress plugin, this replaces the traditional Library panel, but on the Desktop, you can choose to use either one or both. On a personal note, I had a hard time with this insert button at first. After using it a bit, I now find it faster and more convenient than the library panel.
If you are using a framework like Bootstrap or Tailwind, you’ll also see a fun new change. As you hover over the icons in the properties panel or floating tools, you’ll see a real-time preview of that control. Even cooler, if you click on the pill with the class name, you’ll get a dropdown of the choices you can select from in addition to the preview. It’s little touches like this that will really speed up your workflow.
For Tailwind users who want to use the internal JIT compiler, you also get a new option to disable the Tailwind pre-flight, which is a very heavy-handed reset that Tailwind uses by default. For anyone working on a WordPress project, this will likely come in very handy since you won’t have to recreate default styles that Tailwind strips away.
Over to the style panel, you’ll notice that you get some new media size tabs in the Visual CSS Editor. This makes it faster and easier to deal with media queries. Don’t worry; you can still use the old media query tools if you like; these are just a shortcut. While I’m here, it’s also worth pointing out that the order of the CSS tools has been rearranged to match the ones used by Tailwind. This re-ordering helps put the tools in a slightly more logical order.
The CSS Grid editor also sees a bit of an update. Instead of only having one gap property, you can now control the row and column gaps separately. Speaking of which, the Visual CSS Editor has also changed some of the deprecated CSS properties for Gap and a few other things to use their current names.
In Pinegrow Interactions, we can now use live media matching to let you fluidly switch between small and large screen animations without having to reload the page. It’s a small thing, but it fixes a big frustration for a lot of users. There is also a new Play Continuous feature inside Interactions and a play on move function.
The WordPress module saw a lot of small fixes and tweaks in this update, but most of the effort was around getting the builder working correctly inside the WordPress dashboard. A significant new feature for the WordPress module is how it handles menus with dropdowns. Before, if you had dropdown menus you had to use Bootstrap 4 to get them to work properly in WordPress. Now, there is a new feature that asks you to select a top-level menu item that contains a dropdown. Pinegrow now uses this as a template inside the Walker Nav Menu class so you can style submenus separately from top level menus using the builder. It also gives us the ability to apply attributes and elements to submenu items separately from non-submenu items. For anyone trying to create accessible menus, this is a big deal.
The WordPress module also has a small but significant quality-of-life feature that you might miss. By default, your theme and plugin versions are now automatically incremented by the WordPress theme settings panel. This can be disabled if you want, but I like that it’s one less thing for me to have to think about when I’m exporting my projects.
That’s a lot of changes in this new version and, frankly, I’m only scratching the surface.
Now, let’s talk pricing and Black Friday / Cyber Monday. The original goal was to get these products released on November 17th to coincide with the sales, but the finicky NWJS platform had other plans. So, Pinegrow has decided to extend the sales period through December 6th to give people a chance to test the new version and the WordPress plugin before making a purchasing decision.
All the information regarding the Pinegrow WordPress plugin is in their forum’s announcement section. To recap it, though, there will still be a feature-rich free version that anyone can use to create simple WordPress blocks. Some of the features are limited to the paid version, such as the ability to create sub-blocks, importing and exporting projects, creating WordPress themes, and using Pinegrow Interactions.
A single site license for Pinegrow’s WordPress plugin will be $49 per year and an unlimited site license will be $199 per year. You’ll also get a 35% discount under the current sale until it’s over. And, before you ask, there will not be a lifetime deal or perpetual license for the Pinegrow WordPress plugin.
If you are like me, and you want to use both the Desktop and the Plugin versions of Pinegrow, they will offer the ability to add on the plugin license to your desktop license at a 50% discount. This is not limited to the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale, but it’s also not combinable with it.
I think it goes without saying that I’m pretty excited about both Pinegrow releases next week. Keep an eye on this channel and the Pinegrow forums for more information as we get closer.
Using Sass with Pinegrow
I recently had someone ask whether Pinegrow supports Sass, so I thought I’d do a quick video demonstration. In this demo, I show you how we activate our Sass stylesheet and how we can use a simple Sass variable to change the color of a heading.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 1 – Pinegrow Plays Nice with Others
A lot of products in the WordPress space have grown in popularity, primarily because of their open and flexible ecosystem that allows 3rd party developers to create add-ons, extensions, and libraries. Pinegrow also has a great plugin API. But I’m going to show you in this video, that in most cases, you don’t even need it.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 2 – Pinegrow is STILL not a Page Builder
In this video, I’m going to show you why Pinegrow is different from Page Builders so you don’t fall into the trap of trying to use it like something it’s not, only to get frustrated and give up.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 3 – Frameworks in Pinegrow
Pinegrow has built some fantastic helpers for popular frameworks. In fact, when you start a new project in either Pinegrow Desktop or the Pinegrow WordPress plugin, you’ll be asked which framework you want to choose. If you are already used to using one of the built-in frameworks, the choice will be easy. If not, this little video will hopefully help you understand what the frameworks do and how you should answer those important initial questions.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 4 – WordPress Blocks and Themes
When you start a new WordPress project in Pinegrow, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you will create a Block Plugin or a complete theme. In this video, I’ll help you understand their differences so you can start on the right foot.