Timber brings leafy goodness to WordPress

At the start of internet design and development, there just wasn’t much to a website. HTML was static and ‘database’ was synonymous with ‘Access’. Sites were just a few pages of images and text.

There came a point when developers started creating sites for profit, then everyone realized clients would want text updates often. At the time, that meant the customer had to call to schedule the update, and as soon as possible, the developer would make the requested changes. Let’s not even talk about adding a new page to the site – that meant opening every single file in the site, adding a link to the navigation, then uploading every single page in the site back to the server. It was a process almost designed to cause mistakes and missing files, and on top of that, it was often a long wait for clients.

What a long way we’ve come in the intervening 20-some-odd years! Content management systems like WordPress have revolutionized the industry, allowing our clients to control their content and make necessary changes on their schedule. But let’s face it; content management systems bring their own special challenges. In WordPress’s case, one of those challenges is behind-the-scenes site maintenance and updates after the initial pages are written. The way the system is set up, there’s logic code peppered throughout the template files, sometimes making for a lot of digging to find where certain data is coming from when a change needs to be made. The thing most developers miss most when moving from internet application development to WordPress site development is the separation of logic and display.

This is where Timber enters the picture; a plugin by the kind folks at Upstatement. Timber is a WordPress plugin that brings the power of Twig to WordPress. What is Twig, you ask? Twig is a powerful, light, and nimble template engine for PHP that makes that separation of logic and display not only possible but also easy and fun. Now all the data is collected, processed, and collated in a logical location then passed to the template files, which are in turn far easier to read and modify now that all that pesky server code is out of there.

What does this mean to us? It means we can work more efficiently to give our clients the type of experience they’ve come to expect in this age of internet-enabled and internet-based applications. It means less repeated code because the data is more concerned with function than with form. Less repeated code means code that’s easier to read and understand – now and in the future. It means our designers have more flexibility to give our clients the best site we can – a site that not only looks beautiful but functions beautifully. It means we get to give our clients the site they want, the site that they’re proud to show to their customers.

What does this mean to you – our client? It means faster turn-around for site layout changes, quicker development time for new and improved site functionality, safer output to the browser, and higher customer satisfaction. It means a better experience not only for you but for your customers as well.

-Alex Wharff , Senior Internet Developer

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If you are interested in discussing what Morvil can do to enhance your web presence, please give us a call at the office – 910.342.0100

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