Moonfruit 2010 Roadmap

Binoculars

Flash-based website builder Moonfruit today posted an overview of what it plans to release in the coming months.

Among the releases and upgrades are blogging and ecommerce platforms, as well as stronger HTML rendering for mobile devices.

This is from the Moonfruit announcement:

We started the year developing tools to add the long awaited ‘blog’ feature to Moonfruit, though this is a big change. Moonfruit today is a very visual and literal design editor. Each page is crafted individually and objects can be positioned anywhere you like in a free form design world. This is what allows our customer to achieve the design they want quickly and easily, but it has its limitations. It is a less efficient system if you want to take large amounts of data and publish them into a pre-existing data format, e.g. a traditional CMS (Content Management System). This is basically what most blogs and most e-commerce systems do: they take data and publish this data using a template to create many hundreds/thousands of pages.

We are adding this capability to Moonfruit, first with a new blog feature and then with the new e-commerce features.

The challenge for us is how to create a CMS system (data driven) that allows content to be added in bulk, yet still give the user design control of the ‘template’ through which it will all be published. This is a whole new way of working within Moonfruit, and will sit inside the current editor and allow customers to continue to have full design control of their sites, while being able to use a CMS type editor if they want to.

The blog will be the first tool like this and the e-commerce tools will follow. We’re working to release the blog before the end of the year (fuelled by mince pies).

Following Apple’s decision not to support Flash on the iPhone and iPad (and, as of this week; not to install Flash by default on the new MacBook Air), many have asked what the future of Flash-based websites as those created by Moonfruit and Wix (see our review here) would be.

Moonfruit has decided to beef up the HTML rendering of their sites, specifically for mobile phones.

Whatever happens, we’re making sure we can deliver Flash and HTML versions. We see our job as allowing the customer to build the site they want however they want to and we should render the website content appropriately for whatever device is looking at it.

It was clear to us that the HTML version needed to improve so it was a genuine alternative for browsers using smartphones. This piece of work jumped up in priority but tackling this then delayed the blog and e-commerce work we had planned as we hired and reorganised to deliver both.

Providing a small screen (smarthphone) HTML version requires us to programmatically understand the structure of your free form, multi-column Flash site and organise it into a small screen optimised, single column layout. Quite hard, but nearly done.

The smartphone optimised HTML version will ship before or at the same time as the blog and certainly by the end of the year.

Via: What’s coming next and when – Moonfruit blog
Photo: Geneva – Jardin anglais – Binoculars by dibaer / Flikr

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