ImpactPageBuilder
  • What Impact is All About – An Explanation

    What’s Impact all about? How does it fit into my WordPress site? How does it interact with my theme? What can I do with it?

    These are some of the common questions we receive from people just discovering Impact Page Builder. We will be addressing these questions and more here in this post.

    Let’s start by pointing out a serious limitation with WordPress – it only allows you to have one active Theme. Because of this, your pages all look basically the same. Impact was created in order to give users the ability to make certain pages and posts on their WordPress sites have a completely unique layout and design, free from the constraints a Theme imposes.

    When we started work on Impact, we had two simple goals for how it should come together:

    • It should work on any WordPress site, no matter which Theme is active

    • It should be flexible enough to allow for any design imaginable

    In order to accomplish these goals, we had to do some serious outside-the-box thinking and scrap some preconceptions we had about what could be done with WordPress.

    It should work on any WordPress site, no matter which Theme is active

    Impact was built as a WordPress Plugin. Unlike Themes, you can have an unlimited number of plugins installed on a WordPress site.

    This is also why Impact was designed such that it never talks to a site’s Theme. A number of people have asked “What part of my page is Impact and what part is my Theme?” and “How do I make ____ from my Theme appear inside my Impact template?”

    The short answer to these questions is “Impact and your Theme never talk to each other. WordPress sees Impact and your Theme as equal, and uses one or the other to display your content – never both.”

    This diagram illustrates the role Impact plays during a WordPress page request:

    When a visitor to your site requests a page, WordPress performs a long and complex set of actions between the visitor’s browser asking for a page and WordPress displaying the finished product. While it may seem to the end user like WordPress does one action – load the page – in reality a WordPress pageload is comprised of at least 40-50 distinct actions, the last of which is ‘display page in browser’.

    For more information on the actions fired during a typical page request, see the WordPress Codex Action Reference

    WordPress is built in a way that allows plugins to ‘hook’ themselves to specific actions in order to extend functionality.

    The first and most important action in the sequence that Impact hooks itself to is called template_redirect. This is represented in the diagram by the square ‘I’ Impact Icon.

    When WordPress gets to template_redirect, it hands the page request to Impact. Impact looks at the request and asks “Is this page supposed to be displayed using an Impact Template?”

    If the answer is “No”, Impact hands the rest of the work of loading the page to your Theme. If the answer is “Yes”, Impact hands the rest of the work to the Impact Master Template.

    As you can see in the diagram above, at no point does Impact talk to your Theme, or vice-versa. It’s an either/or situation – either a page is an Impact Page or it’s a Theme Page.

    Any WordPress Page or Post that you create and choose to use Impact with will be displayed using the Impact Template you specify. All other Pages & Posts, plus any WordPress-generated pages (Blog list, Author Bio, 404 page, Archives, etc) will be displayed using your Theme.

    The way we look at it is that your Theme serves as a sort of ‘default’ or ‘baseline’ for your site’s appearance, whereas Impact is used to ‘highlight’ certain pages. Of course, it is still possible to create a site of purely Impact Pages – have a look at our Mini-Site Example . Those pages are all encapsulated and interlinked using a WordPress Custom Menu.

    We’ve had a few users request the ability to use the header & footer from their Theme while using Impact for everything in between. On the surface this seems simple enough – just use WordPress’ get_header() & get_footer() functions to pull in your Theme’s header & footer.

    Unfortunately it’s not that simple. This is because there’s no strict guideline for what a Theme Developer should include in these elements. In some Themes, the header is just everything inside the html ‘head’ tags of a page. In other Themes, the header may include a banner, logo, background colors, a navbar and more. Likewise for the footer – some Themes include everything after the page’s content, including footer links and widget areas while other Themes just include a call to the wp_footer() function and the closing ‘html’ tag.

    This makes it virtually impossible for Impact to know what to expect when calling your Theme’s header and footer, meaning Impact would not know which part of the page it was responsible for. This just further reinforces why we chose to keep Impact and your Theme completely separate from oneanother.

    Fortunately, Impact’s flexibility allows you to mimic your Theme’s appearance using a combination of Impact Hooks and Custom CSS. This site uses a combination of Impact and the Frugal Theme. For example, our Blog Page uses Frugal while our Home Page, all Examples and this post use Impact.

    It should be flexible enough to allow for any design imaginable

    Early in the process of planning Impact it became clear that we were moving into uncharted territory so far as WordPress was concerned. Breaking free from the confines a Theme imposes on your site’s appearance is revolutionary. This idea of total freedom became our primary focus throughout the rest of planning and development.

    Every time we were faced with a decision on which direction to take with a proposed feature or option, we put it to the test – Does this impose a limitation on the Impact User, or does it make Impact even more powerful, flexible & free?

    One of our other products, the Frugal Theme, offers users over 600 options for precise control over a site’s design. Impact, on the other hand, has less than 50 design options. This is because we found that each option or feature we added reduced Impact’s flexibility rather than increasing it. If we offer someone a choice between Red, Green or Blue gizmos, we remove their freedom to choose Purple, Pale Apricot or Burnt Sienna gizmos.

    The key pieces of Impact that provide unlimited potential are the Impact Hooks, Widget Areas and Custom CSS; and the way they interact with the Impact Master Template. The Master Template has 50 ‘slots’ where you can insert anything from a WordPress Custom Menu widget for navigation to a JavaScript-powered image slider gadget to a block of HTML code. ( see WidgetBox for more ideas )

    We’ve learned from our experience developing our own sites that it’s important to be willing to “Think Different” when working with Impact. We’ve been pleasantly surprised time and time again at how easily we can achieve design goals with Impact if we take a minute to think outside the box. We have yet to encounter a single task we could not accomplish with Impact.

    Overwhelmed?

    That’s what we’re here for. We knew when developing Impact that it might take users some time to adjust to this new approach to site design. Our top priority is to remain available to answer support questions in the Impact Forum and help users figure out the best strategy to turn their design ideas into reality.

    Having spent some time using Impact, we find that our efficiency is accelerating beyond what we could have ever done with the ‘old way’ of having our Theme dictate the appearance of our sites.

    Mastery of Impact is well worth the effort – it will revolutionize the way you build web sites!

    If this post has raised any additional questions for you, feel free to ask them. We’re always happy to talk about the finer points of Impact!

    If you’re on the edge of your seat, giddy with the realization of the amazing power & flexibility of Impact, and can’t wait to get started – head over to the Impact Store and get your copy today!

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    41 Responses to What Impact is All About – An Explanation

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    1. Ian says:

      Impact rocks – no doubt about it! Even noobs like me can produce professional looking websites quickly that are totally customised to how I want them to look. I also feel like the possibilities have only just started to be realised. This package will change the way WordPress websites are built.

    2. The Impact Team says:

      Thanks, Ian, for the positive remarks. We’re excited about this powerful little plugin too, but it’s great to hear others post their praise. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Eric

    3. Adam Show says:

      Seems to be a excellent tool. I use Felxibiliy theme and I used it for my web site Deadbeat Super Affiliate Review and I would like to clarify some points.
      1. I’m not a programmer … So if a person does not know anything about CSS or any other web development language will he be able to use this plugin?
      2.What are the special benefits of using this plugin (since I already purchased Felxibility Theme?

      I am really interested on buying this plugin. Thanks you

    4. Hans Storrie says:

      As someone about to enter into the field of building wordpress websites for small businesses, this product is probably perfect timing.

      My question however is: Will Impact cause any conflictions with my current Thesis theme with regard to hooks and the custom css file?

      In other words, can Impact change page and post layouts etc without conflicting with the ‘already-in-built’ Thesis structure; hooks, css etc?

      Can Impact be used to mix and match alongside Thesis or would Impact perform better on just a fresh WP version 3.01 installation, purely for building websites for others?

      Hope the above doesn’t sound too complicated, but with what I’ve seen so far, this is looking really interesting!

      Hans

    5. Steve says:

      The plugin looks fantastic. Before I commit to buy, can you tell me whether any templates created can be saved and reused on other sites? I’m hoping they can as this would be a fantastic time saver.

      Steve.

    6. The Impact Team says:

      Hey Adam,

      1: You can use Impact to create basic custom page and post templates without any coding knowledge, but like a lot of web design tools you can do a lot more with at least some basic CSS/HTML coding knowledge. Impact has an awesome Custom CSS option built-in that makes the use of CSS a huge benefit to those creating more complex designs. But that doesn’t mean you need to know CSS to use Impact. We try to help out in the Impact Forum when users need some basic assistance with Custom CSS.

      2: Regardless of your theme Impact allows you to create totally custom page templates. So no longer are you confined by the constraints of your themes header, footer, borders, etc… With Impact you can start with a blank canvas of sorts, painting the pages as you like. So whatever theme you use Impact will be a great addition for those special projects that require more than the basic layout changes offered by your theme.

      Let us know if you need anymore clarification.

      Eric

    7. The Impact Team says:

      Hey Steve,

      Impact has a built-in Import/Export feature that allows you to completely backup and/or transfer individual Impact page/post templates.

      Eric

    8. The Impact Team says:

      Hey Hans,

      Impact doesn’t interact with your active theme in anyway. So there’s no need to worry about Impact conflicting with anything your theme is doing.

      Impact can be used anyway you like in regard to active themes. So whether you want to just keep it simple and use it with a fresh install of WordPress and the Twenty Ten default theme or you want to use it alongside a Premium theme like Frugal or Thesis or whatever, Impact will accommodate.

      This site, for example, runs off of a combination of Impact and Frugal.

      Eric

    9. Shirley says:

      With Impact can I make a custom .ico (favicon) to appear instead of the RSS feed .ico that usually shows beside the URL? I see no way to change this or access this part of the code in WordPress themes.

      Can I make sites that don’t look like blog sites (such as can be done with Dreamweaver, for example?) I’d prefer to learn WordPress and use Impact IF I can build a non-blog site that provides information, photos, video (flash for example), audio playlist, and some sales on a “store” page – where video lessons can be purchased and tangible items can be purchased such as DVDs, photos, etc.

      The comment/blog feature of WordPress will not be used.

      Thank you,
      Shirley

    10. The Impact Team says:

      Hey Shirley,

      Impact does not have a built-in Favicon option, but it’s super easy to do by just adding a snippet of code in an Impact Hook area for your template (specifics can be found by posting these kinds of questions in the Impact Forum).

      You can certainly create non blog websites using Impact. The actual blog posts and comments are WordPress functions. All you would have to do is only create “Pages” and not “Posts” and turn off comments for those pages.

      As for video, images, ads, etc.. these things are in the realm of what Impact can do. This website, for example, has most of what you described and uses Impact.

      Eric

    11. Bo says:

      After more research I’m convinced that this is exactly what I need! Never been more excited! All the customer service you are providing us noobs just on this blog is excellent!!! Thank you for taking the time to answer us. You have something great on your hands!!!

    12. Mike Johnson says:

      Eric,

      My main question here is can I take an html page with graphics and a custom CSS file and import them into Impact to use it interactively with my WordPress site?

      Thanks.

      Mike

    13. The Impact Team says:

      Thanks Bo. We try. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Eric

    14. The Impact Team says:

      Hey Mike,

      Be sure to post this question in the Impact Forum. We’ll be happy to help you with this.

      Eric

    15. Jon says:

      Congratulation. You did a great job deploying IMPACT.
      My question is, how can I use my Impact template on post categories?
      Thanks helping me.
      Jon

    16. Anthony says:

      We are using Elegant Themes most of the time for our sites. Will this not conflict with it. I understand that ImpactPageBuilder is SEO ready, would it not conflict for the SEO plugin already in elegantthemes.

      Hope it is okay to ask this very specific question. But I am quite intrigue on the notion that ImpactPageBuilder can suit well with an existing.

      This would mean a premium theme + impact = very unique premium theme

      Hopefully I am right.

    17. The Impact Team says:

      Hi Anthony,

      When using Impact with your WordPress Pages & Posts, an incoming page request is either handled by Impact, or its handled by your Theme ( as shown in the diagram above ).

      This means that SEO-wise, if you’ve assigned an Impact Template to a WordPress Page, the Impact SEO will be displayed. Likewise, if a visitor goes to a page that has not been assigned an Impact Template, your Theme or SEO plugin becomes responsible for the SEO.

      Let us know if you have any more questions on how Impact works!

    18. Phil B says:

      This very important to me. Let me rephrase and you tell me if I understand correctly. If I were to go through the trouble of creating a template, I could use the export feature to export this “template” and on a different site, and this is important, even if I do not have this plugin installed on this “other” site, I would be able to import it and use it as a page/post template? That really is powerful if true.

    19. WebBizGuy says:

      You say : “. . . .if youโ€™ve assigned an Impact Template to a WordPress Page, the Impact SEO will be displayed.”

      So does this mean that Impact handles its own SEO completely ?

      How well does Impact play with other plugins like WordPress SEO, and Simple Tags. Does Impact overwrite or prohibit these plugins or any others from doing what they do ? Say implementing tags, titles, alt tags etc . . . ? Or anything else ?

    20. WebBizGuy says:

      You say : “. . . .if youโ€™ve assigned an Impact Template to a Wordhttp://impactpagebuilder.com/contact/Press Page, the Impact SEO will be displayed.”

      So does this mean that Impact handles its own SEO completely ?

      How well does Impact play with other plugins like WordPress SEO, and Simple Tags. Does Impact overwrite or prohibit these plugins or any others from doing what they do ? Say implementing tags, titles, alt tags etc . . . ? Or anything else ?

    21. I am redoing my website using Impact — or at least I thought I was going to be able to do it. I cannot upload an image in my first attempt of setting up a template. We can upload it onto the site (following the tutorial) but to insert it? Nada. Where can I get help? The forum doesn’t address this, that I can find.

    22. Colin says:

      Like the sound of this plug-in. However, if you want to use Impact purely to change the layout, does it preserve all other elements of your existing theme e.g. if you have a specific colour background, maybe rounded corners etc and you still want to see the standard footer, will Impact respect this or do you have to specify it all within Impact? Sorry if this sounds like a stupid question but it would make a difference to the time I would have to spend on a page template

    23. Lon says:

      Eric, Anthony and the Impact Team,
      Amazing! Impact looks like the missing link I’ve been looking for all over the web. I’m used to teaching the design of websites by starting with a visual comp in Photoshop or Fireworks, but have wanted to benefit from the CMS ability of WordPress. Unfortunately, being restricted to either designing with the restricted dashboard options of WordPress, or even the best of WP themes feels clumsy and counter-intuitive.

      I’ve studied the option of slicing a comp and then coding the WP theme but although I know CSS and HTML I’m just not a coder at heart. I’m excited to try and integrate Impact with the same sliced comp process that I’ve used to build static sites.

      I have a couple questions;
      -Do you have a key to the colors and dotted/solid divs laid out in your .pdf/.png guide?

      -Does Impact integrate well with Buddypress? Could the layout of Impact be combined with the functionality of the BP plug-in?

      Are there any conflicts with other plugins that you know of? For example I’d like to use some photo sliders. Is there any conflicts between Impact code and the JQuery code?

      I look forward to experimenting with your amazing product!
      Thanks,
      Lon K.

    24. Claire says:

      Hi ๐Ÿ™‚
      It sure seems promising, although I have a couple of questions – I hope I can explain them so you get what I mean ๐Ÿ˜‰ :
      Lets say, that I’d like to create a page, where theres a navigation, then a full page width widget area, then the body to the left and a sidebar to the right, with IE a calendar widget. Now, under that calendar widget, I’d like to ad 2 sidebars (like a double sidebar) but each only half the size, of the sidebar on top with the calendar, that takes up the wgole width of the sidebar.
      Then underneath that (still with the body to the left) I’d like to have another single (sidebar wise) full width sidebar, like the one with the calendar.
      Is this possible with this plugin?

      Also, I suppose that I (throught the choises in the bottom of the page) could ask that specific page to load i.e. jQuery in the header?

      And does this olugin conflict with i.e. other jQuery plugins, that I might choose to install?

      Please let me knwo if I should clarify what I mean in another way ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

      /Claire

    25. Researcher says:

      Hi,

      I am a writer and keep getting requests to also help people build their sites. I have zero knowledge of coding. I want to build non-blog sites such as this one: mastersthesiswriting.com. And I want to do this on a WP platform, as it has amazing plug-ins that help in a variety of ways apart from interactivity.

      Do you think Impact could help me with my objective? Would truly appreciate it if you could let me know of the possibilities with this program.

      Thanks!

    26. Caps says:

      I am confused, how does Catalyst fit into the picture?

    27. alan says:

      I was looking for ways to include non wordpress pages in my wordpress sites but was concerned by the fact that they would not be included in site maps automatically. You stated above that the site uses separate seo but do the pages get indexed and added to the main site map just like the “real” wordpress pages?

      Also mike asked on this thread whether it’s possible to take an html page with graphics and a custom CSS file and import them into Impact to use it interactively with a WordPress site? You directed him to the forum which suggests to me the answer is no… could you give a short answer to his question here as it is very valid to those of us looking to buy this plugin?

      Thanks for your help in advance!

    28. Daniel says:

      Does this work on wordpress MU?

    29. jaymax says:

      Since “Impact” seems almost all capable in doing everything, this questions only seeks mere confirmation.

      Can I use Impact to create pages with
      Multiple columns as in magazine / newspaper layout?
      Variable column lengths?
      Floating boxes that will span several columns?

      Of course, variable fonts, types and sizes are expected as standard, to accommodate multiple international languages.

      Thanks!

    30. Robert says:

      Looks promising and will be checking on the progress of this tool ๐Ÿ™‚

      I had a question though. Are there plans to make an actual functional squeezepage, with Mailchimp and Awebber support, a auto-redirect ‘thank you page’ and a cookie so only new visitors get to see the squeezepage?

      I was interested in using this to build squeeze pages but it doesnt seem to have the actual functionality to use them (only to design them).

      Thanks

    31. Linda says:

      I only use Responsive themes… will these page templates be responsive also?

      thanx

    32. Sam says:

      I have an artisteer based template using the latest version (4) . How can I hide the title for a specific Impact page or post?

    33. Pat McCamley says:

      Would I be able to use an Impact landing page on a PPV pop up ad campaign via Traffic Vance or Lead Impact
      ?

      Looks really interesting

      Pat

    34. pallavi says:

      Hi Pat,

      Sincere apologies for this long silence from our team on this thread. We just missed this comment.

      Can you please explain in more details about your requirement?

    35. pallavi says:

      Sam,

      You can do so by adding Css in header script section for a page, something like this,
      .impact-page-title {
      display: none;
      }

    36. pallavi says:

      Hi Robert,

      Sincere apologies for this long silence from our team on this thread. We just missed this comment.

      You are right – Impact can be used to design the pages. There is no functionality as such. Though I would like to know what are the exact features you are looking?

    37. pallavi says:

      Hi Daniel,

      It will work with wordpress MU.

    38. pallavi says:

      Hi Linda,

      We are testing the Impact templates across various devices. So far the results are encouraging. We are in the process of making it fully responsive. But then you may also need to do certain css changes.

    39. pallavi says:

      Hello,

      It seems that we entirely missed few comments on this page. We have collected few questions from the comments on this page and tried to answer. Please feel free to contact us for any queries.

      Q. Cannot upload an image using template options.
      A – Its a common KSFinder issue . We uses KCFinder in our plugin to upload image but some of the hosting providers doesn’t support kcfinder.
      For alternate way please check out the video – http://www.impactpagebuilder.com/image-upload-workaround/

      Q. Can I reuse Impact templates?
      A – Yes it is possible to reuse Impact templates on other site. It has a built-in Import/Export feature that allows you to completely backup and/or transfer individual Impact page/post templates on any site where Impact is installed.

      Q. How can I use my Impact template on post categories?
      A – Impact can be used only on pages/posts.

      Q. How Impact and theme interacts with each other?
      A – Impact doesnโ€™t interact with site’s active theme. Meaning that an incoming page request is either handled by Impact, or its handled by your Theme. It will entirely change the layout of page.

      Q. Are there any conflicts with other plugins that you know of?
      A – As far as we know it should work with all plugins. There’s no conflict. But if you notice any issue, please feel free to contact us.

      Q. What type of layouts Impact can create?
      A – Almost any type of layout it can create. It has potential of creating an unlimited number of unique templates.

    40. missy says:

      Hi pallavi,
      First congrats on an amazing template designer. I’ve recommended it to others.

      I’m curious about the progress on the responsive front! I really want a responsive version of my site. Would you please tell me what’s new?

    41. sandeep says:

      Hi Missy,
      The latest version has upgrades to the libraries used and compatibility with latest WP changes. The responsiveness is in our action list and you can expect a version in July.

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