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A new engine for WebSite X5 version 17

WebSite X5
Published by Incomedia in WebSite X5 News · 2 January 2019
One of our favorite mantras is: “Simplify what’s difficult”.
That’s basically WebSite X5’s defining goal: turning a complicated undertaking like creating a website, into a series of simple tasks which even people without any skills or experience in the subject can carry out with ease.

That’s why we generally don’t talk to you about code or technical matters. We take care of those aspects, and let you concentrate on your content and how you want to communicate it through your web pages.
But there are always exceptions. Today, we want you to understand the work we’ve done over the past few months, and why we’re so enthusiastic about launching the new version 17. It’s time to share a wonderfully technical subject with you. CSS Grid Layout.

“What is CSS Grid Layout?”

CSS Grid Layout is the most powerful system available today for creating CSS layouts for web pages.
It allows you to position content both horizontally and vertically with greater precision, and makes it really easy to manage how pages adapt to the dimensions of the users’ browser window and/or their devices’ screens. All while preserving the semantic structure of your content.
If you’d like to learn more, there are many online resources available. A good starting point is: https://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/complete-guide-grid/

“OK, but what does CSS Grid Layout have to do with WebSite X5?”

Here it goes: we've redesigned WebSite X5's internal engine, which is responsible for creating the pages, by integrating CSS Grid Layout.
Just like in a car, the engine is the core of the whole structure, the part which makes everything run. Planning and developing it from scratch, using a new technology, was an exciting challenge which we undertook a few months ago. And version 17 is just the beginning of what we can achieve with it.
According to our plans, it will also help us reach important milestones in our upcoming versions.

“Can you explain what redesigning WebSite X5’s page creation engine with CSS Grid Layout means in just a few words?”

It means:
+ speed
+ flexibility
+ precision
+ compatibility

To help you understand, let's take a step back and look at how the page creation engine worked until version 16.
Basically, page layouts were defined using a grid, which was input into the engine. The engine then simulated how the contents would load in order to measure the respective heights of the contents themselves. Based on these values, the engine would then proceed to create the page to be previewed locally or published online.

As you can imagine, these background simulations and calculations had their cost, both in terms of calculation resources and in terms of the time they took to execute. Furthermore, they would round their calculations of object heights, which could result in imprecise alignment within the page, and in some cases, would lead to slight differences between page layouts viewed on different browsers.
Using CSS Grid Layout solves this problem at the root, because it allows the software to create page layouts without needing to run any background simulation or measurement operations. This makes the new version of WebSite X5 both faster and more stable. Plus, the height of the contents no longer needs to be calculated, making the layout more precise regardless of the use of different browsers.

“Besides improving WebSite X5's performance, does introducing CSS Grid Layout add any other advantages?”

Yes, one of which you can already see in version 17. The rest will be revealed in upcoming versions.
Thanks to CSS Grid, version 17 introduces a heavily requested feature: the ability to include Full Width content, meaning content that always expands to fit the entire browser window.

Now, creating a Full Width image gallery or map is easy: just choose the object and click on the new “Expand” button in the tool bar above the page layout Grid.

We prepared a guide if you want to learn more: How to create a “Full Width” image gallery.

“So the advantages of integrating CSS Grid will continue after version 17?”

Exactly! Using CSS Grid could greatly improve how single objects work, as well as the management of responsive pages. We’re already working on it, and the wait will be worth it.

In addition to developing the new internal engine with CSS Grid Layout and introducing Full Width views, WebSite X5's version 17 also introduces interesting updates regarding e-commerce and SEO: read all the details in the News page.
Remember that if you already purchased WebSite X5 along with Update Protection, you can upgrade to version 17 for free. Renew your license now and use the new features to improve your projects.

If you haven’t already purchased WebSite X5, now is the right time: you can create all the websites you like, and thanks to Update Protection, you will receive all the new versions and updates that we’ll release for the next 12 months for free. Discover the Offers

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