2 Fundamental Issues with Runway (IMHO)

  • Hi Perchers, I hope you are all well and remaining optimistic.

    I wanted to raise two issues I have with Runway (in Perch they are fine) and see if you have the same issues, any thoughts or workarounds. They are both connected with Page URLs and Navigation, dropdowns in particular.

    1) Perch Navigation Dropdowns

    For dropdowns the usual practice is to make the parent have a URL of href="#". This allows the dropdown to toggle and also prevents touch screen users from instantly going to the parent page without ever seeing the dropdown.

    I can teach the client to enter # for the URL segment (required) when creating a new page, but this causes a problem when adding new sub-pages, because the sub-page inherits the # at the beginning of its URL. eg. /#/our-services. This breaks the page and even stops the template from creating new Regions. This is not a problem in Perch because it has a 'Subpage folder' field under the 'Settings' tab that allows us to enter a value. Runway has no such field.

    So, after adding a sub-page, I have to tell the client to:

    - go to Locations tab and delete the # in front of the URL

    - then click the 'View page' button, (to force perch_content_create to pull in the new Regions, because the # in the URL prevents the Regions from registering initially)

    - only then are they able to see the Regions and proceed to enter content.

    If only Runway had an equivalent to 'Subpage folder' field.

    2) It's not possible to NOT assign a Template when creating a new page

    In the process of creating a new page the 'Master page' select list does not include 'Page already exists, or is a link only' like Perch does. 'Local file' is available as a Master page option after saving, but by then a template has already been assigned and may have created pointless regions.

    The hack I use to get around this is to create an empty page template called 'none.php'.

    The client can then choose it when creating a dropdown parent (or some other external link) without having to revisit Settings > Master page > Local file ('Local file' doesn't mean much to a client).

    If only Runway had an equivalent to 'Page already exists, or is a link only' when creating creating a new page.

    Not a good client experience and Perch is generally a good UX. Does anyone else suffer with these issues and do you have any workarounds?

  • Navigation dropdown menus

    I'm not very keen on using # for the parent. What's the search engine status for that practice? Does Google like it? I like to have a folder structure so that the parent page is an intro page with a simple list of links to subpages. The parent page can have a brief summary of that section of the site as well.

    In some cases, I've also seen sites using the first "sub-page" as the URL for the parent page instead of #. That wouldn't make it easy for your clients though.

    Overall, I think I prefer the folder structure option. Isn't that more logical and better for search engines? And simpler for clients?

  • Thank you Clive, I always appreciate your insights.

    I agree with you on folder structure. May I ask how you then handle dropdown menus?

    Are you saying your structure is like this:

    - About us <-- introduction page

    - - Our history

    - - Our team

    - - Our expertise

    I find that if 'About us' is a link and it's sub menu shows on hover:

    a) users on desktop might miss the fact that 'About us' is clickable

    b) users on touch devices will never see the submenu

  • Fair points.

    For a), if desktop users miss it, perhaps that's not too bad if it's just a short Intro?

    b) that's a problem. There are some JS solutions to this I think.

    On this site, I use the URL for the first subpage for the parent in the drop down. Mobile users get different menu and JS solution.


  • A long time ago, I did a multi level where if there was a dropdown, a toggle `<button>` (JavaScript generated) was placed alongside the link, and this was used for the dropdowns instead of hover. It lent itself well enough to multiple levels.

    There is still the possibility of users not seeing the dropdown at all, so the pages had a visible ‘Table of Contents’ in a sidebar. Which kind of made the dropdowns a little redundant – always a good thing in my book! Couldn't convince the client to lose the dropdown though.