As mentioned in last month's newsletter, we are gearing up for some major software updates that will fix bugs and add a lot of new features to our builder, Themify.
The long-awaited framework update is all about page speed improvements. Slow page load can affect your site's SEO as Google uses page load speed and user experience as one of the key ranking factors. As you all rely on search engine traffic to attract new members, using a fast-loading theme is essential. With these improvements, all our themes will be faster.
Right now, all 16 of our Themify themes are on different versions. When the upgrade is complete, all sites will be using version 5.5, which will enable us to be more efficient in applying small updates going forward.
In a carefully thought-out and planned process, we will be updating and thoroughly testing each of the 16 themes, then applying them to each of your sites individually. This will allow us to closely monitor each upgrade and give individual attention to any unforeseen issues that might arise. In doing so, we expect this process to take a few months.
We currently have a tentative schedule in place, starting Monday, February 21. This timeline allows us to upgrade two sites per week. We unfortunately are not taking requests for when your update takes place. We are going to update each theme, one by one, and then update each website that uses that theme. We are starting with the most widely used themes Ariel and Jael, followed by Chaya, Batya, Ora, Tamar, Esther, Rachel, Hader, Miriam, Naomi, Shira, Yaffa, Leah and Vered.
While we are allotting 1-2 days for each site, please keep in mind it could take longer. While I will do my best to give each of you a week's notice, I will for sure provide a 1-2 day notice. Once you hear from me, please halt all work on your site the day I specify and until we release it back to you. Once we activate the new updated theme on your site, we will take inventory of any errors or issues. If they are minor, we should have them fixed in short order. If they are major, we'll revert to the old theme, fix issues, then activate the new theme again. Once releasing the site back to you, if you happen to notice any issues, please let us know, and we will take care of them asap.
- The lazy loading technique displays all media (images, videos, sliders, iframes, etc.) to load on demand (ie. they are only loaded when the element is in the viewport or is in use).
- WebP is a new image format developed by Google which can reduce image size up to 50-90%.
- The new Themify Cache system works on the whole site rather than just the Builder content.
- The inline editor allows you to quickly edit any text-based content through the front-end without having to open the module popup.
- A new live image resizer feature allows you to resize the image without having to enter the image width and height in the image editor.
- A new styling feature called Transform styling gives you more control and possibilities in layout design and lets you rotate, scale, skew, or translate an element.
This is just a sample of what you can expect following the entire Themify upgrade. Tutorials will be created highlighting and detailing these features and more.
I know this is a lot to process. This is the biggest update we've done since migrating over to RJ Web Builder 3.0. If you do have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Thank you very much in advance for your patience and cooperation.
Senior Website Manager
212.452.6579 (Central Time)