Low Variables -  Powerful Add-on which does a lot more than just make your clients lives easier

On the face of it Low Variables just seems like a slightly easier way for your clients to edit and add content, but once explored it's a lot more than that.

Carnation

The carnation of Low Variables happened Low himself didn’t like the fact clients have access to the EE templates if they are to access snippets and global variables. From this chance happening the add-on was created and since then it's expanded into a very capable addition to ExpressionEngine.

Features

  • Group variables – much easier for clients
  • Multiple fieldtypes including Pixel and Tonics
  • Save variables as files
  • Different Member groups access
  • Parse control and very powerful features which can replace embeds

General uses

  • Contact details – telephone, address, email
  • Switches to turn off and on features – sidebars, content modules etc etc
  • Set the limits of pagination, number of listings
  • Select Entries (built in fieldtype) - to show selected / featured post
  • Carousel – multiple images, captions etc – all very easy edited
  • Home page is a good option- single bits of information
  • PDF's
  • Many many uses

Embeds

Over the last few years embeds have become known to hinder performance with ExpressionEngine. A few embeds won't grind your site to a halt but a good rule of thumb is to use as few as possible. Simply replacing static embeds with snippets is very easy to do and can help.

Embeds variables are and have been very useful for transferring variables from one embed to another. These make for very dynamic and powerful templates. Fortunately with Low Variables we can replace the embed variables with the little known preparse

{exp:channel:entries limit="1"}
 	{exp:low_variables:single var="lv_example" preparse:lvp_seo_title="{title}"}
{/exp:channel:entries}

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<title>{lvp_seo_title}</title>

Parse Order

Low Variables allows you to control parse order at stages 1,5,9. Please check out the parse guide from the man himself

Best Practises

Prefix variable with lv_ so lv_variable_name – makes sense when you are looking back at your templates in 6 months+.

Make a shortcut to Low Variables in Control Panel - preferably not named Low Variables - “Site Content Bits” is a bad name but it’s better!

Overall Low Variables will allow you to build

  • better performing site
  • sites that are easier to update
  • more powerful sites

See Low Variables on Devot-ee or onLows own site

Comments

Comment: 1
Sean , 16th November 12

Excellent video - had a blog post planned that covered pretty much everything you covered here. Well done.

I call my low variables “Site Config” for clients and then have groups such as “Home”, “contact” or “miscellaneous”.

Comment: 2
Jules , 17th May 13

Great video, I have used Low Variables on our last few sites and find a brand new use for it every site we build.

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