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One on One with PageLines Founder Andrew Powers: Part 1

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“PageLines: Drag and Drop Designs for Beautiful Websites.” That’s catchy, right? Drag and drop is the philosophy of PageLines, which is installed as a theme in WordPress and bills itself as the “first-ever framework with draggable ‘sections’ of professional web design.” Its founder has not one, but two Masters degrees and turned a solution for his clients into a thriving business. His name: Andrew Powers, who was kind enough to sit down with WPHub and give us the inside scoop on what makes his site so popular.

On WPHub, we’ve reviewed the PageLines Framework, which will set you back $197. According to our review here on WPHub, “PageLines Framework comes very plain out of the box. The layout is designed to be easily customized without you ever having to touch any of the code. Not only this, but you’ll have a lot more to work with than an admin panel with numerous options. This theme actually allows you to drag and drop page elements.” And here to tell you why PageLines has been so popular is Andrew Powers…

WPHub: Thanks for joining us. How did PageLines get started?

andrew powersAndrew Powers: PageLines started when I had two Masters degrees. I got out of school and wanted to get into marketing. I got out of grad school in 2008 during the recession and couldn’t get a job, so I started consulting in the field of web marketing. PageLines was originally a website for internet marketing consulting. I’d go out and work with centers in San Diego and they’d send me pro bono work. I was building websites for clients and found that a lot of the work on the sites was harder than it needed to be.

I was building a WordPress site for a client, but it wasn’t nearly as robust as it is now. It was all PHP, so I figured I’d build the site in WordPress so I could use it for other clients’ sites as well. I built my own custom theme for clients to build their websites. That was the basis for the company. The alternatives at the time were more blog-focused and not website-focused. Initially, as you can see, it was designed as a CMS.

WPHub: How did your theme, and the ensuing company, grow from there?

Andrew Powers: I gave it away as a CMS theme for WordPress and it became really popular. It got so popular that when I was trying to make money from clients, this project was distracting me from doing that. Overall, I think my goal was to figure out how to help people. That was where I wanted to get to with PageLines.

In fact, the only reason we started charging for the theme in the first place was the support stuff. Support takes time, and time is something you don’t have too much of. We started charging, but not a lot, and it was a good experiment to see if people would pay. It worked and the insights we got from our support team about the product were helpful.

WPHub: Why is drag and drop so important?

Andrew Powers: Drag and drop is a lot different than WYSIWYG, for example. It’s a different concept completely and it’s our job to make sure people know about drag and drop’s existence. In the old days, people custom coded websites, which is a hassle. It takes time to make things good.

Moving forward, people have said that it would be nice to build a website like a PowerPoint file, but the problem is that building websites doesn’t work like that. You can’t drag and drop your feature slider. To do that, you’d have to know Java and PHP it could look unprofessional.

Where we started with PageLines was a theme. Basically, it was static and users could come in and plug and play. We wanted to become the drag and drop platform that developers would love.

WPHub: Next time, we’ll learn what Powers’ inspiration was for his drag and drop theme and discover why developers have been so important to PagesLines’ growth. Tune in next Friday for our next installment right here at WPHub.

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Comments (3)

Comment by John Haymore says:

There’s good reason why PageLines is so popular. They offer a superior product with many more options than other sites, and leading the way with they’re many awesome drag and drop themes!

Comment by Trent Lapinski says:

@Peter. Couldn’t agree with you more. Check out we’ve done just that.

Comment by Peter Luit says:

Well, thanks to Platform Pro and PageLines as a company, I started to learn the real technology behind WordPress themes. I think in the end PageLines as a drag&drop framework will end up in ‘too much’ for the average website. The size of it itself is way too much to be acceptable on any shared hosted website.

Frameworks like #genesis will be proven concepts after learning more about #hooks (actions/filters) with a bit op PHP and CSS knowledge. And then you see the concept of ‘minimizing’ the WordPress installation. So, in my opinion, PageLines future releases should be much smaller in size, to offer real drag&drop framework possibilities.

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