Architect is designed and developed by Chris Howard, who operates as PizazzWP and has a history of developing add-ons for the Headway Themes framework.
In 2012, I became frustrated with multiple plugins that all did the same basic thing, that is, put content on the page.
Each did it in their own way: ExcerptsPlus displayed content in grids and a basic slider; GalleryPlus displayed images in grids and sliders; TabsPlus displayed posts, pages, widgets and RSS feeds in a tabbed layout; and SliderPlus specialised in slideshows.
Each was developed independently so each was a little different in the code, although had some shared libraries.
The two biggest concerns were:
- Support was more difficult with four separate plugins.
- Cost to the user was four times.
It was starkly obvious both issues could be solved by an all-in-one plugin. Thus, the concept for Architect was born.
Some initial coding of the drag& drop content layout editor was done in early 2013, but the project went dormant for a few months until in late 2013 I optimistically told a client “I have just the plugin for your problem. Just give me a month to finish it off…”
That month took a little longer than expected! And involved two major rewrites and numerous smaller ones.
But, on 1st April 2015 (ironically), Architect first appeared for sale, initially on the Headway Themes store and later on the PizazzWP store.
The future of Architect is very exciting, with cool things coming for both the user of the plugin, and third party developers wishing to extend it.
Things on the longer term roadmap are vastly improved CSS editing, and more use of drag and drop functionality.
Having been using Architect on live sites for over six months, I am very excited about the power it adds to design and development. It does have a little bit of a learning curve but I am very keen to get every single user up to speed and as excited about its possibilities as I am.