Premium WordPress Themes and Support

Home Forums General WordPress New Artisteer Artificial Intelligence

This topic contains 14 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Nick 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #5906

    EBS Sky
    Participant
    WP Private
    Post count: 13

    Just found this moments ago:

    https://upage.io/blog/detail/12/new-artisteer-artificial-intelligence

    What do you think of this?

    Are you involved?

    #5907

    Nick
    Keymaster
    WP Colonel
    Post count: 722

    Thanks for reporting this development. I am sure it will be very interesting to many people, I can’t really comment on a product that I have not really seen or played with. I am shocked that they finally admit how bad Themler is.

    Historically this company over promises and under delivers. Until version 3, they did great things with Artisteer, and became too ambitious, and plain stupid if you ask me, and that was the beginning of the end. Until V3, Artisteer was a template/theme making software nothing more, and that’s what I want it to be. Besides the fact that they started making an Apple version, and unsuccessfully a Linux version, they started turning the software into content creation as well. Until today, I never used Artisteer to generate any type of content, except the html in the footer, which in our case, can be edited from the Customizer.

    What really bugs me is that they continue with the cheap theatrics and half truths, and in this case, total lies – very typical of them, they have not learned anything through the years. Some examples of these are:

    – “Free upgrade for a year” – How is it a FREE upgrade when I have to pay them $60 to get those updates for a year ???

    – “Instantly become a Web Design expert, editing graphics, coding, and creating joomla templates, drupal themes, wordpress themes, DNN skins, and blogger templates all in minutes, without Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and no technical skills.” – So a monkey who can click on some buttons can become a Web Design Expert ???? Really ???

    And the latest bullshit of all time,

    “Artificial Intelligence” – Anyone who got a college degree for Computer Science knows that Artificial Intelligence does not exist. They used the term because it sounds futuristic, sensational and the latest and newest and amazing technology. BULLSHIT !!! Upage follows a script just like any other DUMB software out there in existence. No artificial intelligence at all. If it had artificial intelligence, do you think it was going to sell for a few dollars? So what is artificial intelligence? It is what scientists dream of, and futuristic movies are made, but it does not exist yet. AI is the ability for a machine (more accurately the software that runs that machine), to be able to think for itself, and HAVE the ability to learn. In a true AI machine, I would be able to get one, and just like a newborn child, who has no experiences or any knowledge, I would be able to feed it information, so the machine can gain knowledge and use that knowledge to serve me. Some examples, I could feed it all the WP codex pages, and teach it html+css+js, and lets’ throw in Ajax as well, and tell it to build me a WordPress theme or a plugin, with any specifications requirements that I want. Just like a boss delegates the coding tasks to his employees. Or, I can teach the machine all sort of martial arts and fighting techniques, and about weapons, and make it the best war machine, or make him a doctor, a car mechanic, etc… That’s AI, it does not exist, and I don’t think it will be ever possible without an organic brain, because with every passing of a second, when AI thinks and learns, it will need to add terabytes of data in it’s memory, and some sort of organic brain will be needed to expand it’s capacity to store all the new things.

    Off the topic little bit here, but that’s how angry I get when I spot obvious lies. I will be looking out for this software, but Artisteer is still the king in my book. I still think it was a big mistake by stopping it’s development, angering many, from day one it was obvious to me that Themler was a loosing proposition, and so will upage. They don’t realize that Artisteer’s best feature is the SDK. You can make it to generate any template/theme that you code it for. With themler and upage you are stuck and are at the mercy to the code they generate and have no say in that. And historically speaking, at least when it comes to WP, their code and coding standards are pretty lame, that’s why we got WPTC and QT, and for a short while, the always buggy Templateer.

    Thanks again.

    #5911

    Michael
    Participant
    WP Lieutenant
    Post count: 76

    Hi Nick,

    Interesting comments.

    I think we all need to reserve judgment until we’ve actually tried it uPage. Your criticisms are largely towards their sales/marketing and I agree with you completely…especially the whole “AI” stuff. It’s obviously b.s.

    However, the one area I disagree is your view on Artisteer and, specifically, why they stopped. I’m not sure any of us know the real reason(s). There’s all sorts of stories and rumors but certainly no hard facts.

    uPage, for me, can fill a specific niche in the marketplace: those clients that don’t have any money.

    I’ve bought into a number of tools over the years that fills a very specific market segment. For those clients who have all the money in the world, I’ll use Genesis + Dynamik and Divi is now my choice for those mid-budget sites (I previously used Ultimatum and waiting for their new version to be released).

    To me, uPage seems like a good fit for low budget clients…if it works as advertised. It seems like it barely requires any effort to build and populate web site. It’s the “little effort” side of things that might make it worth the yearly fee.

    Currently, I pay $99/year for BillionPhotos so $200 for that and uPage may not be a bad deal.

    Anyway, I’ll try it later today and provide a comprehensive review…unless someone beats me to it.

    #5912

    Nick
    Keymaster
    WP Colonel
    Post count: 722

    They are claiming to have 1% of the internet – that is an astronomical number. But they wanted more. They wanted Apple users, Lynux users, and also use Artisteer to make content and not just templates/themes. The content was a knock against cms like WordPress, etc…, which on small sites makes sense. A site that is only for “this is who I am, this is what I do, and this is where I am”, makes more sense to have a straight html website, as oppose to complicated database driven websites, where you have to worry about a million things, but mainly security and speed. And as you probably know, the majority of the websites are like that, they can survive with a straight up html site. It’s not going to be SEO efficient without a blog but it is what it is.

    They were hit with coding limitations with Artisteer, plus, let’s not forget the customer revolt when V4.2 came out and required internet connection. It made some sense at the time since the brand was getting trashed by users like me, who I was relentless in yelling and screaming and totally disapproving what they were doing, egging them on and even making fun of them, in desperate plea to make Artisteer the way it was intended in 2009, a template generator and nothing more. So with that Themler was created. New brand name, new way to milk customers for more money, and more expensive. Believe it or not, I lost a good WPTC user to themler. So I can’t really say how I really feel about themler, and how I feel about those who choose themler over Artisteer. In return, themler was so slow, and so buggy, and so difficult to use, compared to Artisteer, never took off. There are still many that think Artisteer is still the best, and I’m one of them. Just the SDK puts it over the top, over anything in the market. Thanks to the SDK you can make it export anything you want. For example, in the last few months in the QT plugin we have animations, and customizer controls for almost anything to customize the theme in real time with a live preview, so making some quick adjustments to the look of the theme can be made from the customizer, font sizes, colors, responsive breakpoints, buttons, etc… Furthermore, we also have some more controls and cards for woocommerce, a gazillion new shortcodes etc…, just to mention VERY few of the new things added lately. Without the SDK one would have to add those things manually after export, and it would have taken hours if not days.

    Again, this company has a history of producing weak coded themes, with very basic features. In most cases, you are going to be better off by using a free theme. And my initial reaction to their thinking about this product being the Answer to themler which is too difficult to use, it is that they will take away the powers to make themes exactly the way you want to, and have the software make decisions for you. Ease comes at the expense of having options and power. Artisteer suggests various schemes, but you have the chance and the option to overwrite any part of the theme to your liking. I can’t really comment on a product (upage) I have not seen or played, but those are my initial reactions.

    Finally, you are looking at the wrong company to deliver you a professional grade software. This company’s marketing targets always were, and it seems that it will always be the non professionals, the newbies, and the people who don’t know much about anything! The only product that can change that is Artisteer, by using it’s SDK, to generate premium quality themes. Take the SDK away, and all 3 products (Artisteer, Themler, upage) are junk, and I’m strictly speaking about the quality of the exported code. With WordPress, it has very basic and weak and outdated features, with html, the code is so complicated that even Dreamweaver cannot handle them!!!

    Bottom line: upage without SDK is useless, but even if they add SDK, why would I change from Artisteer and give them $200 more?

    #5913

    Michael
    Participant
    WP Lieutenant
    Post count: 76

    Alright, guys, here’s my quick review.

    Let me start off my saying that with the very short time I had to play around with uPage Desktop, I really like what I see. When you click around the menu options, the actions are instant. There are no delays like there was in Themler and it’s even faster than Artisteer!

    The first thing it asks you for is the source of your site. For example, a folder full of images, a web site URL, a social media site (either Facebook or Instagram), or you can just create a blank template.

    I decided to go with an existing web site and entered in microsoft.com, just to see what it would do.

    It presented me with a screen where I could select various post and images from the Microsoft site to include.

    Then, I was given a number of page layout options. I guess this is where the AI comes in. If you don’t like what’s there, you can tell uPage to generate another set and keep going until you get something you like.

    Once you do that, you’re in the “Change Section style” area where it presents a page with several sections that make up the page. At this point, you can customize the look of each of the sections including number of columns and color changes.

    When you hit done, you’re now at Page Editor. I should mention that you can go back and changes any of the selections you’ve made.

    Now, you have several options:

    Edit Content – You can edit the content in each of the blocks.

    Page Blocks – You’re able to edit the block layout and content.

    Page Design – If you’re unhappy with the design presented earlier, you can change it completely while keeping your content and block edits in tact.

    Section Style – Presents you with about 24 sections designs that you can choose and tweak.

    Colors – Allows you to set the 4 colors that make up the style of the theme.

    Fonts – You can change the site font here but the isn’t that great…maybe a few dozen. It’s certainly not all the Google fonts.

    Change Design – You can do all the fine-tuning and customize section designs exactly to the way you want them.

    At the top menu, you got Preview, Export, Purchase, Account Info, and language choice of: EN or RU.

    Since I didn’t buy the license, I wasn’t able to fully evaluate what happens when you export the theme. However, you did have the option of exporting the theme or theme + content.

    My conclusion: I think uPage has the ability to become a huge success! Here’s why:

    Say a client comes to you and they want a new design for their old site. They’re happy with the images and content but just need a modern/responsive design. uPage will import all that and build you a site with a clean, modern look and modern code.

    Also, I know a number of businesses that have no web site but have a fully populated Facebook page. uPage can take their Facebook page with all their pictures and posts and build a web site out of it. If you had to do that manually, it could take you countless hours. uPage does it all for you.

    Both of these scenarios are worth gold, if you ask me. Again, you can go in and tweak everything but at least you’re starting off with a fully imported site with content and images. Again, the app is fast with no delays when clicking anything.

    For the record, I used an older HP Business Class desktop with an Intel C2D 3 GHz with 4 GB of RAM running Win 10.

    There’s at least two things missing that are potential deal-breakers:

    1) I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to add a menu. Even though I had multiple pages, there seemed to be no menu section or block. You could add buttons which, in turn, would point to one of the pages but there wasn’t a menu bar to speak of.

    Then it occurred to me…the name, uPage. Is this really designed to produce one page web sites? It’s way too early to tell. If you look at the uPage site, both Documentation and Forums areas are empty.

    The fact that there’s no menu styling options concerns me.

    2) There’s no dynamic elements, such as a slider, rotating images or posts. The page is very much static. I’m not sure that will fly in 2017.

    Again, I didn’t export the created theme and content so I don’t know what happens next. What does the page editor look like and how does it work? No idea but I think it’s just too early to draw any hard conclusions.

    Regardless, I don’t think uPage is going to be one tool to replaces everything else but it sure will come in handy for some clients.

    #5915

    Philip Barrington
    Participant
    Post count: 50

    I fell in and out and in and out of love with Artisteer repeatedly. Then along came the Templateer and many problems were resolved, and the Artisteer upgraded, and … and then they invented Themler and the whole thing seem to go the hell in a handbag, and then along came Tuxedo, and I was OK again, and now theme city and I am breathing.

    And I ask myself, do I have the energy to look at another offering from a group who had a good product and lost their way. I guess I will look at some stage, and I will follow with interest what is happening, however I should be clear that I am no wise ready to turn my back on Artisteer – Theme City combination.

    I do use a bit of the site origen stuff these days, including Page Builder and Site Origin CSS and the widgets bundle. In a sense the whole business of layouts can be effectively managed there. Increasingly I design with a single column, horizontal menu and widgets to the bottom, as this has delivered the best responsive outcomes that I have wanted.

    #5916

    Nick
    Keymaster
    WP Colonel
    Post count: 722

    Not once but twice I played with the online version of the Upage. Michael had a good review, although it seems that he is much open to this new product that I am, that'[s probably because our goals are different. I want a theme generator and nothing more. This is more of a content creation rather than generating a theme. This product is in beta, so I can’t really throw them under the bus, but the lack of controls to set your theme exactly the way you want to compared to Artisteer is just crazy. It’s very buggy but very fast. As an example you preview a page with no header, and during the review process, it adds not one but 3 headers. And best part of it, is that you can delete any other block except the 3 headers, where each one has 3 buttons, and I don’t think you can edit those… may be I did not look close enough, who knows.

    Another business reason they went the themler and upage route as oppose to Artisteer, is that you need to keep your subscriptions always current. With Artisteer, you pay them once, and if after a year you want to get an update you pay again, otherwise keep using the same Artisteer for as long as you want. With this, if you create a site with upage and a year from now you want to edit it, you will need an active subscription just to edit anything. I also believe that with upage you can’t have sidebars, thus no widgets, and the whole thing looks like a lightweight gimmick.

    #5917

    Philip Barrington
    Participant
    Post count: 50

    I am open to new ideas, however from a business perspective, where the business has a concern of corporate consistency, uniform look and feel, and control of the process, I suspect that a theme generator and a page builder are likely to be more useful tools. I have built a couple of one pagers of late, and siteorigin have a nice tutorial on how to do this with page builder and it works well with theme city exported themes, as well as it does with siteorigin themes.

    The advantage upage may offer is for a super quick result with little to do. I see it from that point of view as more of an end user product who does not want a developer. That makes web developers the meat in the sandwich between the Vendor and the End User. just saying …

    #5918

    Nick
    Keymaster
    WP Colonel
    Post count: 722

    @Philip: Did you get the Facebook message I sent you a couple of hours ago?

    #5919

    Philip Barrington
    Participant
    Post count: 50

    Ta, Yes, and responded

    #5922

    Michael
    Participant
    WP Lieutenant
    Post count: 76

    uPage is targeting the exact same people as Artisteer and Themler.

    I’m sure they’ve discovered that those who moved from Artisteer to Themler found Themler too difficult to use. Hence a dumbed-down approach was used when developing uPage.

    The truth is, most Artisteer users fancy themselves as developers when they’re not that much more knowledgeable than the clients they serve.

    Back when I was using Artisteer, I’d often see posts in their forums asking questions that anyone with even the most basic understanding of CSS and PHP would know.

    One of the big reasons I shifted away from Artisteer is that I hired programmers (with comp sci degrees) and made the switch to a development framework (Genesis).

    If people really fancied themselves as developers and wanted to create super clean, efficient themes, they’d do something like generate an Underscores theme (or UnderStrap) and use MicroThemer or SiteOrigin CSS to style it.

    #5924

    Philip Barrington
    Participant
    Post count: 50

    https://upage.io/Agreement

    Might be worth be aware of this. I am inclined to think that this may be moving into the zone of being a hosted solution, and there is no export of WordPress themes available as yet, and I would have thought that that should be the core product.

    I am not sure why they are using an IO domain and clearly intending that the agreement should be covered by US law, and the payment agency is based in Canada.

    Maybe I am having a moment, but I don’t see this as an alternative to Artisteer and I don’t see anything on the Artisteer website about it.

    #5925

    Michael
    Participant
    WP Lieutenant
    Post count: 76

    Regarding the domain and to quote Wikipedia, “The .io gTLD has become a popular alternative for startup companies. .io domains are often used for open source projects, APIs (such as put.io API and pen.io API) and online services.”

    Also, they are suppose to have a WordPress export. My assumption is, it’s already in place since WordPress content and/or theme is one of the export options.

    The interesting thing in their TOS is the reference to smartlancer.net. They seem to be Russian but maybe Ukrainian since they reference Privatbank.

    uPage in terms of privacy, TOS, etc. is pretty much the same as Artisteer and Themler. At its core, it’s really the same people (or person).

    Regardless, I’m confident that uPage will replace both Artisteer and Themler. I just popped into the Themler support forums and it doesn’t look good. It seems like they’ve already given up on it. Here’s a sample of the most recent threads:

    Please Billion Team, focus on your software and community
    Very angry with the community and dev team
    Themler is the most frustrating theme builder I’ve ever seen.
    THEMLER NEEDS NEW SUPPORT SYSTEM

    LOL

    I’ve never used Themler on a client site and at this point, I never will. I’m sure that’s true for many ex-Artisteer users. After all, if they haven’t made the switch by now, they’re certainly not going to. I’m sure they’ll do code updates and bug fixes but I think this current version is pretty much as good as it’s going to get.

    I haven’t used Artisteer on a client site in years, except to “update” older sites to newer WP Tux code. In other words, no renewal money for Artisteer. Eventually, all those older Artisteer sites will get replacement themes that will be based on other tools.

    There are a lot of current and ex-Artisteer user that are in the same position. As a company, Artisteer needs something to keep that revenue going. People are jumping ship from Artisteer and they’re starting to jump ship from Themler. I’m sure they are well aware of this and that’s why we have uPage today.

    So, I think like it or not, uPage is their future.

    That said, as much as I think it’s an interesting product, I won’t be using it. If I do, it will be for those extremely rare cases that I mentioned in my previous post.

    #5927

    Philip Barrington
    Participant
    Post count: 50

    Just noticed that the upage link no longer resolves and leaves me wondering if it was some sort of scam.

    I also noticed that it is now two years (short of 3 days) since any news item was posted to the artisteer site.

    #5928

    Nick
    Keymaster
    WP Colonel
    Post count: 722

    Upage is now up and running Philip. I doubt, they went into the trouble of actually creating a software (desktop and online version of it), spent God knows how much in terms of money and time developing the product, just to scam a few dollars. Probably the site was down due to maintenance, or server issues, or they got hacked, who knows. One issue with Upage and themler is exactly this. If their server goes down, your business comes to a halt. Same with Artisteer btw, unless you export your designs in html, or use a third party export plugin, like Theme City or Quicker Themes. For those third party plugins, that themler and Upage don’t support, not having internet connection, or their servers being down, does not affect you doing your work one bit.

    It’s seems that besides the server and internet connection issues, themler is slow and difficult to use, it drives me crazy some of the easiest things to do in Artisteer, is so much harder with Themler, and Upage is for the complete idiots and the super lazy, where most of the decisions are done for you, just like Artisteer btw, but at least with Artisteer, you have all the controls to customize the suggested designs to your liking. Upage lacks most of these controls, so you are stuck with their so called AI, and you know what I think when anyone throws in the word AI. They super dumbed the product so much that I can’t imagine any experienced professional would want to touch it. For the experienced professionals the best bet is still Artisteer, where if they are really good, like Trevor is, create their own export plugin, and code exactly what they want to be exported. As a result, what Artisteer exports, compared to what Theme City exports, and further more what Quicker Themes exports, are light years apart.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.