The Landing Page Kit is Coming Soon!

Pre-announcing my 1A Landing Page kit, a Joomla implementation that launches you headlong into a more successful marketing campaign!

I've always respected shops that always use the same release date: when it's done.Correction: it's here!

I'm a firm believer in releasing things when they're done. My Joomla landing page kit is already perfectly usable for half or more of the internet population right now, but perfectionism is a road laced with snags. Over the past two weeks since starting the project, I've iteratively made the landing page kit easier to use for a progressively less-technical audience. I figure that's worth an extra day or two! (Maybe it'll drop tomorrow, in which case that'd still be this week; but I find myself working fewer and fewer weekends...)

The best cause for pause, is that I found a simple way to make Joomla easier to use in single-role kits like this landing page kit, but I haven't updated the manual yet to reflect that. In fact, I've decided to do a separate manual for your hypothetical staff, who you might assign to babysit things like landing pages for you. That's where the instructions for doing things the easy way, will go. The other good news is that I added several other features as well, and so the owner / operator's manual does indeed need updating. Thirdly, I'm a perfectionist, so there's actually another solid day's work or two, left on the kit itself.

While I stall for time, let me do the smart-marketing thing, and tell you what's awesome about the 1A Landing Page demo -- over and above what I stealthily primed you to expect via the previous blog post.

 

Behold, the Exotic and Elusive Imagemap!

While wrapping up what was then a 16 page manual for this thing, I lamented to myself that there was no way to make it easier for non-Joomla users to find their way around the Joomla behemoth to get a good, efficient experience out of this single-role kit without too much learning curve. I was picturing a clickable preview of the site, such that poking a replica of the layout would lead directly to edit the specific text slot you poked. 

That's when I realized that something exactly like what I envisioned, could be accomplished in under an hour. The solution I used for that is such basic and old web tech, it passes right under many web masters' and marketers' radars -- which is why it came to me at the last minute.

The addition of this major upgrade to Joomla's ease of use (albeit one which only works for a limited use case), gave me an anchor and an excuse to attach a bit of eye candy, and present this greeting when you log into the Joomla back-end:

You might think everything pictured except for the preview tool itself is useless to the user and pure marketing on my part, but you didn't see how much more wasteful that tall, skinny thing looked on desktops with nothing next to it.
You might think everything pictured except for the preview tool itself is useless to the user and pure marketing on my part, but you didn't see how much more wasteful that tall, skinny thing looked on desktops with nothing next to it.

Let's Not Land You In Trouble

It also occurred to me, a bit later than preferable, that many downloading this kit would benefit greatly from having a staff user level, distinct from the owner's super-admin account, with lower access. Some of the texts, such as title, follow-up headline, copyright text and link, are editable only via the template's style settings, and only the owner should have access to the template settings; or, anyway, I know many site owners will reason so.

Landing Pages are Social Creatures

Social sharing buttons were added to help your landing page gain word of mouth; and options were added to the back-end, to allow you to easily change images used in social sharing cards.
Social sharing buttons were added to help your landing page gain word of mouth; and options were added to the back-end, to allow you to easily change images used in social sharing cards.

And the big one: how did I come so close to releasing a landing page kit, without social buttons? These I did entirely from scratch, and their inclusion meant adding a few more settings to the Landing-Star template, to control the images for each social site. OpenGraph metadata was added for Facebook and Twitter, which is geek-speak, meaning, the sharing cards will be a little fancy. Not too much, just a little.

The social sharing buttons omit the number showing how many times it's been shared so far, so that your landing page won't get into a competition with its own future success.
The social sharing buttons omit the number showing how many times it's been shared so far, so that your landing page won't get into a competition with its own future success.

The social buttons I added were six of the big seven: Reddit will get included eventually, but their legals surrounding the alien logo, specifically about colors, made me feel like I should hand-design an icon. Do landing pages really need Reddit sharing? Probably. Meanwhile, it's already good-to-go on Pinterest, G+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

Video-Ready, Except for the Manual

You can also use video in two slots on the landing page, but the manual doesn't make that clear, and I feel I should explain how to do it for people who aren't fully trained on Joomla or what snags you'll encounter just embedding video on a website. Both the hero shot and features paragraph will resize the W3C-compliant <object> version of a video to a reasonable size, so long as you remove any explicit sizing from the <object>'s style attribute. 

I don't typically use the <iframe>, or any other, video solution; and so this kit isn't primed for that, at least not yet. I'll freely admit the video solution in place is not where I'd like it in terms of ease of use for an audience of landing page administrators, but it's all serviceable for the well-initiated webmaster, and I can only reinvent so many wheels in one go.

Perfectionism Takes Time

I'm not a designer; if I was, I'd do style code right on the first try, far more often. I'm still deciding whether I need care about old phones and old browsers, vis-a-vis their ignorance of modern, responsive unit sizes CSS (translation: the layout breaks on old browsers). Do people with old browsers and old phones, buy things? The race against the clock will determine whether styles get legacy retrofits. 

Don't worry, I'm very anxious to get this pretty kit out the door and offer it to all you ravenous internet marketers. But I can answer a question a thousand times, or I can make the question go away in advance; and the more times I launch this kit and the longer I stare at it from different angles, the better it will be when it drops. I plan to do a few more landing page kits after this one, so that's all the more reason to get it as close as possible to right, on the first try.

Free download, and a service at a low introductory price: offer coming soon!

The covers of the two manuals. Be aware that you can probably turn them black and white while printing to save ink.
The covers of the two manuals. Be aware that you can probably turn them black and white while printing to save ink.

Update

The 1A Landing Page Kit is out now! Whether you'd rather do it yourself with a free download, or have me install it for you, you can learn more about my first Joomla kit, right here!