Continued Catalyst Support And A New Community Forum

Continued Updates to Catalyst

In light of your concerns regarding our end-of-2014 Catalyst support timeline, we are lifting the timeline in favor of a continued maintenance plan for Catalyst. This should be especially beneficial for those with numerous client sites where you had no intention of updating anytime soon.

Catalyst will still no longer be sold nor receive new features, but we will maintain the theme for years to come.

If your website works now, it will work until you or your client naturally want to refresh the site. At that point, constructing the new version with Dynamik Website Builder will be a selling point with the new features etc.

Our goal is to provide you with peace of mind moving forward. For current and past Catalyst powered websites where you had no intention of updating anytime soon, leave them as they are, knowing that the theme that powers them will be maintained well into the future. This is our simple solution to the concerns of time wasted with “un-natural” site updates.

Let them run as they are, Catalyst will continue to work. Read more »

Answering Some Common Questions Since The Big Announcement

It’s been a wild ride thus far after making our big announcement the other day and though we are continuing to work through the many posts and emails that have come up since, we felt it necessary to address a few questions and concerns that have come up more than a few times.

What Is Genesis And How Does It Work With Dynamik Website Builder?

Genesis is the industry standard theme framework for WordPress, plain and simple. It’s essentially a solid foundation for Child Theme development and that’s what makes it such a perfect match for Dynamik.

Is This Dynamik Website Builder/Genesis Combo Really Going To Give Me That Catalyst Experience That I Know And Love?

The simple answer is yes and then some, but I’d encourage you to watch the video and see what I mean when I say that “Dynamik Website Builder IS Catalyst 2.0″.

What Is The Genesis Extender Plugin And Do I Need It?

Take Dynamik Website Builder, remove the Design Options admin page, turn it into a Plugin and BAM, you’ve got Genesis Extender. Genesis Extender is a Plugin for Genesis and it is for use with NON-Dynamik Child Themes. So if you’re using Dynamik exclusively then no, you don’t need Extender. But if you plan on occasionally using some of the many pre-customized Genesis Child Themes, but want to still have all those custom options at your disposal then yes, Genesis Extender is an excellent tool to have in your web design toolbox.

How Do We Go About Converting Our Catalyst Sites Over To Dynamik/Genesis?

Over the coming weeks we will be finishing and releasing a Plugin and some tutorials that help with this process. The Plugin will make it so you can quickly transfer many of your Catalyst settings over to Dynamik/Genesis. It’s not going to be a magic bullet that allows you to convert your site in seconds, but it should significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to perform a conversion. And we’re here to help when you run into a snag.

That’s just a drop in the bucket of questions, I know, but those were some of the big ones that really needed addressing. But if we missed something or raised yet another question or concern regarding this transition please don’t hesitate to comment or email us as we’re happy to help.

Our Big Announcement

Watch the Video! Eric explains the rationale for the move and why he is so excited about the future of the Cobalt Apps Community. So, watch the video first! :)

One Door Closes, Another Door Opens: Introducing Dynamik Website Builder

We’ve come a long way, but it feels like we’ve just begun.

We released Frugal back in 2009—as many of you remember—but it seems like it was only last week. And Frugal’s retirement, which opened the door for the Catalyst theme 18 months later, seems like only yesterday.

It’s been an amazing journey with ups and downs like any worthwhile venture. And none of it could have happened without you, our amazing community.

In business as in life, when one door closes, another door opens. Possibilities for growth, potential for improvement, and opportunities to serve are all around us, but no one person or business can do everything—and do it well. Nor should we try.

And we can’t take big steps through open doors if we don’t close other doors behind us.

That’s the reasoning and the driving force behind the changes we’re making in general and, more specifically, the changes concerning Catalyst. And the change is the reason for this post.

The situation

Catalyst has been successful beyond any measure of what we hoped for, and that couldn’t have happened without you, the Catalyst community. Many of you have been with us since the beginning, and we’re grateful for that and even humbled by your loyalty.

What some of you might not fully realize, though, is that the Catalyst version of Dynamik features the design options but none of the advanced options like the Custom CSS Builder, Widget Areas, Hook Boxes, Core Settings, and so much more.

But the Genesis version of Dynamik embodies both Catalyst and its version of Dynamik, essentially providing all of that awesome Catalyst/Dynamik functionality into a single Child Theme for a different framework.

What could we do with that?

The choices

We’ve been faced with a fork in the road: should we expand our team, broaden our horizons, and further develop both Dynamik and Catalyst?

Or would the community be better served if we focus our efforts on growing Dynamik’s phenomenal design options and packing in even more unique features like the ones so many of you know and love?

The answer wasn’t clear at first, and we spent a lot of time debating from all the different angles. Watch the video to let Eric explain it in his words.

And we kept coming back to this: the core of the Catalyst framework is a foundation for both Dynamik and all the additional functionality that goes on top of the framework.

And we could separate that core and replace it with another, keeping the functionality intact and allowing another team of developers to do the work of maintaining that core while we focus on what we do best.

The decision

After weeks of examining the possibilities, the right path finally became clear.

We’re closing the door on the Catalyst framework. We’re focusing on Dynamik Website Builder, and we’ve opened the door full bore to Genesis.

Catalyst will no longer be sold, but we’re closing the door softly and slowly to give you time to make the transition. It won’t be deprecated until December 2014, and updates will continue to keep you current with WordPress until then.

UPDATE: We’ve since decided to lift this Catalyst cut-off point in favor of continued maintenance and support. Please read THIS POST for further details.

And Dynamik Website Builder v.1.2 is available right now.

Doors open, doors close. Change is good, and growth is better. Better for products, better for business, and better for people.

Looking ahead

So what’s next?

We’re focusing on two main products: Dynamik Website Builder and the Genesis Extender Plugin.

Dynamik Website Builder runs on Genesis as a child theme. Everything you know and love about Dynamik—and more—is waiting for you: 49 1-click homepage configurations, over 800 design options, dozens and dozens of Google fonts baked right in, custom PHP and CSS code builders, and so much more.

Just think of Catalyst and Dynamik rolled up into one single, powerful, and insanely flexible Child Theme for the Genesis Framework.

Genesis Extender Plugin brings point-and-click granular control to all the many Genesis child themes. It means you can set up a custom CMS-style static homepage, for example, or add an affiliate box and other content anywhere on your Genesis site without hiring a developer. (If you already have Dynamik Website Builder you won’t need this plugin.)

In addition, although Dynamik Skins are not our main products, they will still be available, and our already substantial collection will continue to grow.

This change allows us to spend more time on customer service, support, and the community we love.

And we’ve already made some carefully chosen improvements in the Dynamik Website Builder v.1.2, which is released today.

The Details

If you already own Catalyst, you automatically receive Dynamik Website Builder free which runs on the Genesis framework (if you don’t already own Genesis and would like to use Dynamik Website Builder you will need to purchase it over at StudioPress.com).

Login names and passwords for member accounts are the same ones you used when you bought Catalyst. Log in as usual, and you’ll see you can download Catalyst just as before, but you’ll also see your free Dynamik Website Builder download.

All current Catalyst owners are “grandfathered” in. That means your Dynamik Website Builder membership continues free for life with all the goodies and perks that any new member will receive.

We’ve also upgraded our customer support system. Going forward, all Catalyst and Dynamik forums will gradually change over to “read only.” Support will now be more personal, and we’ll use an email system located in your member account. We know the power users will want to search the forums for information on their own, but the majority of the community is more comfortable with email.

Finally, since Catalyst will no longer be sold, the brand name and site will also be retired. The Dynamik Website Builder will be the featured product of Cobalt Apps, LLC.

We’re excited to step though this door and do what we do best: provide an outstanding, cutting-edge product and top-notch customer service and support.

The door is closing on Catalyst. Another door is opening to Dynamik Website Builder and an outstanding user experience.

You’re not losing what you love. You’re gaining something much more fabulous than we’ve ever been able to offer before. Won’t you join us?

FAQ

1. Can I still use my Catalyst framework? Yes, although it’s no longer for sale. Catalyst will be kept up-to-date with WordPress until December 2014. You’ll be able to download Catalyst from your member account page, and you’ll still have auto updates as always.

2. Why is Genesis replacing the Catalyst framework? To give Dynamik users the best possible experience, we’re focusing on the Dynamik Website Builder and community—excellence in a focused area—instead of stretching our capabilities to also focus on Catalyst. Watch the video to let Eric explain it in his words.

3. Do I have to buy a skin? No, but for those who don’t want to start from scratch, a skin provides a ready-made, stylish design at a fraction of the cost of a designer. And you still have all the Dynamik point-and-click, no-coding options, so you’ll still have control.

4. Do I have to buy the Genesis Extender Plugin? No, not for the Dynamik Website Builder. But if you use any other Genesis child theme, the Genesis Extender Plugin gives you the Dynamik control you know and love. It’s like having a portable Dynamik tool kit.

5. I like my site as it is on Catalyst. Will this change the look? Only to the extent you want it to. Converting to the Dynamik Website Builder and maintaining the look of your site isn’t complicated, and we’ll be happy to help with the transition.

6. I’m not a developer. Where can I get help? Forums will gradually transition to read-only for power users who want to poke around. The Dynamik for Catalyst forum will remain open for a period of time. Assistance will now be more personal with an email support form, which you’ll find in your member account page.

7. Will the Catalyst site be the new Dynamik site? No, Dynamik’s new home will be Cobalt Apps.

8. Where can I get the Dynamik Website Builder for Genesis? If you’re a Catalyst member, you’ll find your free download on your My Account Page on Cobalt Apps. If you don’t already own Catalyst, head on over to Cobalt apps to pick up your copy.

If you have questions and comments, now is the time!

Then head on over to visit us on Cobalt Apps where you can log in to your member account page directly.

Case Study: Miracon Web Design

My introduction to Catalyst began when I started in Affiliate Marketing.

Apart from building a few WYSIWYG websites for friends, I had no knowledge whatsoever in web design or WordPress.

The affiliate marketing course I was following suggested using Catalyst for my sites.

At the time I was using a stripped down version of Catalyst that was supplied through the course and I began the process of creating my ugly (and I mean UGLY!) affiliate websites.

The goal was to build quick, not pretty.

While I quickly learned I sucked at keyword research and getting my sites to actually convert, I also realized how much I simply loved building the websites.

Thanks to Catalyst. Read more »

Home Page — Getting Started

Home Pages.

The first thought for most people when they think of their website, much less build a website.

Before Catalyst and the Dynamik Child Theme, they were complicated.

Unless you wanted to use the standard Blog Home Page.

Which I didn’t.

Now using the EZ Home Setup is super simple but when you are just getting started, a little assistance can get you off and running on the right foot. So I have put together three home page layouts on this page. I included a screenshot of the home page and you can download the file to import into Dynamik Options –> Import/Export.

Please keep in mind, these import files are strictly the EZ Home Layouts to get you up and running a little quicker. Read more »