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Glimpse of the future: Q&A with Artbees Themes CTO about Jupiter X Beta Release

After the recent release of our Jupiter X Beta version, we’ve gotten mixed reactions from our followers. Some were elated about the new features and freedom Jupiter X offers, while some freaked out about what to do with the legacy websites they built.

So, we’ve decided to hold a Live Q&A session with Artbees CEO, Bob, and both Jupiter and non-Jupiter users, where we answer all your questions and concerns about the beta version of Jupiter X.

Aside from the tremendous amount of feedback and comments that you gave after the release of the beta version, we also got overwhelmed with all your support on the recently concluded Live Q&A session last October 18.

As mentioned in the previous article, the transcript of the Q&A session will be published and below are the questions asked together with the given answers during the live session. Before we begin with the questions and answers, we’d like to share Bob’s opening statement:

Jupiter 6 or Legacy Jupiter was built five years ago. Today, in 2018, Jupiter X will serve users for the next five years.

Question #1. How do we seamlessly migrate to Jupiter X? Will there be a migration tool? Will it migrate only the theme options or include visual composer built templates, as well?

Answer: You can open a staging website and build a website from scratch. It’s not so much work because you have the images, you have the text, and you have that the look and feel of your website. We still want to develop and release a migration tool that will help them to some extent; maybe 70% of the manual changes done automatically for you, and then you do the rest of the changes. Or, you can still use Jupiter X visual composer without migrating your page builder if you don’t like to migrate to Elementor.

For now, our plan is to develop a migration tool that will migrate the old theme options to the new customizer in Jupiter X. Of course, it won’t be identical because the features that Jupiter X offers is maybe ten-fold, so we will just match the area of the options and see which of these features are similar. Then, we will migrate those settings, so you don’t have to do this manually. But of course, you have to do some final checks.

Migrating visual composer to Elementor is something very complex because we have to do a lot of development to achieve this. Developing the content from another page builder to Elementor is a very daunting task, but what I can say to make your life easier is to make Jupiter X compatible with its visual composer, so you will still be able to use Jupiter X with visual composer without having to migrate to Elementor. You can you can use both Elementor and visual composer on your website, use widget composer, or slowly migrate to Elementor if you find it better and useful.


Question #2. Can someone keep a visual composer page builder as the default page builder but migrate the old theme options to customizer using the migration tool?

Answer: Yes, this will be possible. This will be the easiest way for a lot of customers. Of course, we are behind our products, so we are not going to abandon legacy Jupiter. And, as I mentioned in the post, we will keep maintaining Jupiter for the next two years. After that, still, we will be behind the product. (UPDATE: After hearing our community, we decided to continue supporting legacy Jupiter indefinitely.)


Question #3. How long will Jupiter 6 and sites built with visual composer be supported after the release of Jupiter X?

Answer: For 18 months, we will be actively maintaining legacy Jupiter. For the last six months, we will only be maintaining security and minor bug fixes or any kind of compatibility problems. After that, we’ll still be behind the product. If we find that it’s necessary to still be behind the legacy Jupiter, we will decide at that time. But after two years in the IT industry, we’ve seen this kind of deprecating products in many companies, and we have to see if legacy Jupiter is still relevant after two years.
(UPDATE: Later on we decided to continue support Jupiter for as long as it’s alive which is literally forever 😉


Question #4. What do you recommend for someone who is about 50% complete in developing a website using Jupiter 6? I’m using advanced custom field (ACF) quite a bit in the new site, so I’m tempted to make the jump to Jupiter X to take advantage of the integration. Not to mention, I’m ready for something better than WPBakery for page design.

Answer: It depends on what your website is. If it’s kind of a big work, I would recommend staying tuned for the next couple of weeks. Most probably, we are going to be stable with Jupiter in two to three weeks. But if your website is just a few pages, it will be very easy for you to migrate to Jupiter X. To give you an example, we started migrating our 190 readily-made templates that you can find in our website.

We migrated all this to new Jupiter X with the Elementor page builder in a matter of 45 days. Of course, there are like around 9 to 10 or more freelancers who worked on this around the clock to deliver all these templates, but with their experience, they did this in just one template in a single day. And of course, we are using an advanced custom field in Jupiter X pro version. So, if you are comfortable working with that, you have all the power.


Question #5. Can you update to Jupiter X while maintaining the latest theme version and use it with WPBakery latest version? I will be keen to do this as best practice or security. Why would X not be compatible with WPBakery?

Answer: Of course, it’s possible. We will have WPBakery compatible with Jupiter X and we will keep it updated for the next two years.
(UPDATE: After hearing community, we decided to support legacy Jupiter indefinitely)


Question #6. Personally, I’m disappointed that instead of improving the VC (visual composer) workflow and bringing it on the bar with salient or similar themes, you just switched to Elementor. And I don’t believe that improving visual composer frontend editing is not for everyone. So, I feel it’s more clumsy than working on the backend.

Answer: WPbakery is a great plugin and a great website builder. We thank the guys behind the plugin, but one of the wrong steps that time was to develop the page builder with shortcodes. This created a lot of problems, one of them is the shortcode hell. When you deactivate the visual composer, you end up with a lot of shortcode hell. You cannot do anything with it. But Elementor doesn’t have that. If you deactivate, your content will be unstirred, you will still have the content. You are not locked to a page builder.

Second, unfortunately, shortcodes are not built for that kind of amount of page builder using tons of shortcuts. It uses a lot of CPU and it’s slow. We don’t own this plugin, so we cannot improve its workflow. Also, we have started to see that the guys behind visual composer developed another plugin. They switched their attention and surprisingly, they are using the same kind of method that Elementor is using, which is switching from shortcodes to a custom way to preserve the content.


Question #7. It feels better to work on the back end.

Answer: Since Elementor’s initial release, a few million people who started using this builder see that working with the front end is much better. If you give it a try for a couple of days, you will see that this back and forth, save then refresh in the front end, reduce your speed of website building and it’s a very bad experience.


Question #8. It’s very slow. Why do you think this happens for some users?

Answer: There are some blog posts that compare some page builders, and Elementor is one of the slowest when it comes to queries they use or the amount of database connections they have. Those are plugins; they use shortcodes. The benchmark tools that they use to check up the performance don’t see shortcodes as the plugins’ built-in features, so they don’t show it as a resource consumption. It’s kind of misleading. Some of these numbers like Google PageSpeed is not really showing your website speeds.

There are other metrics. Some real metrics that you have to see. Elementor is a very robust software that’s faster on the front end. You have to compromise the speed, but this can be fixed by just activating any caching plugin. The real speed is while building the website that matters. If you work with visual composer and then switch to Elementor, you would definitely see this.


Question #9. Do you provide services to migrate sites, and how much is it for a simple website?

Answer: We are considering this as an option, maybe a premium migration service for those who do not want to mess with the migration. We try to make the migration process as seamless and as easy as possible for everyone without paying extra fees, but in case the person behind the website is not someone who is comfortable with anything related to developing or managing the website back end, they can just hire some of our Artbees experts and they will get this done for them. But this is in progress, we have not yet decided about the details. Once the details are clear, we will run it through our Artbees care, our custom modification service, and then you can enjoy that service.


Question #10. Do you still plan on improving the mobile menu?

Answer: In Raven, which is our add-on for Elementor, we have a header builder and a menu in Elementor, which is very robust. Your mobile menu has a lot of settings and stylings. You have to work with it and see to what extent you can change it. It offers a huge amount of customized abilities. Elementor offers this, but you have to pay for their pro.


Question #11. When can we expect the official release?

Answer: We plan mid-November.


Question #12. You need to build your own page builder. Elementor already has 750000 users.

Answer: We don’t need another page builder. Let Elementor grow and thrive because they have already thrived and they have expanded to more than a million users over the course of two years. And they are doing great. They are open source, they’re GPL. There might be problems and shortcomings in any page builder or any software, but over time, by listening to the community, I’m sure they will they will make it even close to your ideas.


Question #13. What about the custom post types that were available in the Jupiter 6? Is it possible for you to give a tutorial on how to create a portfolio custom post type?

Answer: Post types have been misused and legacy Jupiter because we didn’t have a better way of creating iteration, which Elementor offers, so we chose not to add a lot of post types. And these post types create a lot of survey resources. We will develop a plugin that will keep the post types in Jupiter X, so you can start manually migrating those post types into Elementor.


Question #14. Are you making a footer builder?

Answer: Yes. We have sidebar builder, shop archive builder; you can build anything that is dynamic. It can be a fragmented block, which can be a sidebar, header, footer, and archive pages. They all can be custom designed and changed. These are all possible. Jupiter X is built to build, right? It’s a design tool, you can build pretty much everything that you want: header builder, footer builder, archives page, special pages 404 maintenance, pretty much every integral part of a typical WordPress layout can be created and modified.


Question #15. Will it be possible to use multiple templates? Jupiter only allowed one template at a time. Will Elementor allow multiple templates that are from the Jupiter theme?

Answer: Templates are basically readily-made at websites, so you don’t have to waste your time designing and developing. We offer these templates for free, so you don’t have to start from scratch.


Question #16. Why not create your own page builder?

Answer: As someone who has technical understanding of softwares, when I look back, developing the plugin or a page builder is a very, very long-term project. You have to see if the market needs such products while there are some very good alternatives. We had a good connection with the Elementor guys and we have seen their code. It’s an open source. People are contributing to it and it has a very lively community. We find it amazing, so we just stick with it.


Question #17. Are there any plans to have a white label theme like Elementor?

Answer: Jupiter X is developed with that notion, that you can make it white label very easily. We will just develop a very small plug-in, available in the control panel, so that if you activate it, all the branding features will be removed without the problem.


Question #18. How will Gutenberg affect Jupiter?

Answer: It’s a mystery, really. Gutenberg is a great page builder. If anyone is interested to know if it’s compatible, of course. You can use it. There are some plugins that started to adapt its features. Today, I saw something from advanced custom fields. They started adding their custom blocks, which is a great thing. If you don’t want to build a page with a visual composer or let’s say WP bakery or Elementor, you can do it with Gutenberg. There won’t be any conflicts whatsoever.


Question #19. Quite a few options that were available in Jupiter 6 theme options are missing from Jupiter X customizer. Will these be implemented back?

Answer: Some of them, yes. We have about 20% to 30% of the features to be added after the public release. Due to time constraints, we had to cut down some of those features. Some of them we believe have to be removed because not many of our users are using them. They are simply not relevant anymore. We don’t see any usage of that in 2018 and afterward.


Question #20. How about the minification and compression tools that you used to have in Jupiter 6? Will it be available in Jupiter X as well?

Answer: We have some good news about it, but I don’t want to talk about this now. Maybe in a week or so, we’ll share this with you. But just to give you a little bit of information about the quality of the theme and how it compresses or optimizes the static assets which are important for fast website loading, Jupiter X compiles CSS and JavaScript on the runtime.

It means we don’t compile it while we develop and then we serve a CSS file. There are less files which we call them pre-processors. There are other formats of development coding. The code development methods become compiled to CSS or JavaScript files. So if you are a developer, if you check the demos you will see that all the assets are compiled to a single file.

Just a good example would be Jupiter X styles are 500 kb. Jupiter X zipped is 100 kb. So, it’s a lot of optimum improvement in Jupiter X. In that case and still, we did not do some optimizations that shouldn’t be inside a theme. So if we don’t take some of those features, grabbing those features from caching plugin and putting them built-in, because things are not for that purpose. 

You can just simply buy or install a plugin maybe WP super cache plugin would do the job. Free plugin and make Jupiter X fast or you can use other WP rocket which is my favorite and makes Jupiter act fast instantly.


Question #21. Will you be doing a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal again?

Answer: Black Friday is nothing but a surprise so let’s see. We hope we will have one, but nothing is clear about that yet.


Question #22. Will there be features to help pass Google mobile-friendly test?

Answer: It’s up to you. Jupiter X as a design tool. Every single thing is changeable. You can build and it’s it’s like Photoshop of website builders. So it depends on what kind of skills, images, buttons and icons you’re using which is clickable in their finger size so it becomes compatible or compliant with the Google mobile friendliness benchmark.


Question #23. For folks who will stay with WPBakery, how will we edit the header and footer size now?

Answer: Well, you can still use Elementor and at the same time visual composer without a problem. Of course, you will have maybe a couple of hundred or 250 kb of assets to be added to your site. But in today’s Internet, it’s not much to think about. So you can still use Elementor and visual composer in one website.


Question #24. Can you publish a blog post about the features as a roadmap or features roadmap? Do you think this is a possible thing to do?

Answer: We will do this in Github and everyone will see our roadmap. It will be publicly shown. You guys will know some news about that and you guys will actually help us to develop Jupiter together. If you have pool requests, if you have bulk reports, you can do it there and you will still see most of our roadmap, and in which stage it’s in.


Question #25. Will clear theme cache feature come back? I notice it is not in beta.

Answer: It was something to fix a problem. It’s not a feature. But because we no longer have such a thing like a built-in caching, we don’t need it. We kind of gave this kind of functionalities to plugins because they can take care of it much better than us. We are not going to mess around with their features.


Question #26. Are you planning to create a way to add a “create new widgets feature”?

Answer: Okay, it will be in customizer or even in the backend and appearance under widgets. There will be a section where you can add it from there. But if it’s not yet added to Jupiter X in beta 1, we will definitely add this feature for the public release.


Question #27. I just wonder if Jupiter is working on some something to help design websites for the blind or visually impaired, deaf, or disabled visitors.

Answer: Not yet, but it’s in our top priority to do this. It’s not an easy job to do but because of some specifications and you want to be compliant with that. In the next couple of months or two to three months, definitely, you will see that it’s coming to Jupiter X.


Question #28. Which features will be discontinued on Jupiter X?

Answer: Post tires custom post types except portfolio won’t be there. Jupiter X is 10 times more customizable and more futuristic. There are some features that we don’t have yet or maybe we don’t have it in the plan at all. We first have to see if a lot of people are asking for it.

We removed mega menu, because zero percent of our customers are using it. But if you’re an advanced user and you want to use mega menus, you can use Uber Menu instead. Just today, we made Uber Menu 100% compatible with Jupiter X. It has tons of features and tons of customized abilities.


Question #29. Put some light on WPML compatibility and migration of multilingual Jupiter 6 to Jupiter X.

Answer: WPML is now 100% compatible with Jupiter X, plus you can have multiple versions of your customizer in every language, so you can change the styling of your website in different languages. You can change your logo in a different language. Pretty much anything in the customizer is up to you. We’ve also made this feature not only for VP MW premium but also to the Polyline. So we support two major multiple plugins with support.


Question #30. How does this work with Elementor Pro? How Jupiter X will work with Elementor Pro? Is it free? is it included? Do they have to pay?

Answer: Elementor Pro and any other add-on that is developed for Elementor will work with Jupiter X natively. For example, we also use jet elements atom and Jupiter X but Pro is not only just because you need Pro. But also to support the development of Elementor Pro, they have developed a plugin for everyone to use for free.

So I think we have to give back favors so they can actually continue their development. They have great features. If you check, we decided not to intersect some of their features. We could actually develop inside Raven, but we decided to keep their markets as theirs and keep ours.


Question #31. When will the next beta be released?

Answer: Next week. Most probably on Tuesday (October 23).


Question #32. Will all the current Jupiter blog feed stars transfer over as well as a modern classic teaser, etc?

Answer: If you take Raven, our add-on, we have a post element where you can have the option to choose post or portfolio post type. You can basically build your loop style, so everything is customizable — masonry or put the text inside the image or whatever you imagine. Of course, you cannot get this exact same loop means to some extent as we have on Jupiter 6, because they were kind of handcrafted or custom styled. But now you have the full capability to build any kind of loop.


Question #33. We never received an API key to test beta to be able to see the locked settings in Jupiter X control panel.

Answer: You can ask us, either in the support chat or intercom chat and our team has a bunch of API keys to give anyone who wants to test the beta.


Question #34. Will there be a Jupiter X Facebook group?

Answer: Yes, that’s something we’ve been planning. Maybe after the public release, we’ll have a moderator for that. But, please know that we have an active forum where you can ask questions and reach out to other Jupiter users.

These are the first batch of Q&A about the Jupiter X Beta release. Have you tried it yet? If not, download the Jupiter X beta and try it yourself.

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Maziar Firuzmand

Maziar Firuzmand

I'm a daydreamer. I design great products and ideate general marketing policies at Artbees. In my free time I do great impressions of Jim Raynor from Starcraft, grow my to-read list and rave about the next Tesla product.

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