Now Entering the Arena

Humans are a very visual species. We like to see things for what they are, but can also settle or compromise on something that’s perhaps less than what we wanted, or hoped for.

Consider driving a car with no windows. Instead of windows, there’s a small screen that’s connected to a video camera that shows a live feed of the road ahead. Would you have fun driving, while staring at a screen? I think it would probably take the fun out of driving completely, wouldn’t you agree?

We’re doing this same thing with WordPress, and the way that we put our words onto the web. We type into a small box, that (if the theme is properly coded) may give you a somewhat accurate depiction of what it will look like when it’s published. That’s honestly no fun at all.

Introducing Lasso

With storytelling being adopted by more and more companies for marketing, it’s no surprise that Aesop Story Engine, our free plugin for creating interactive stories in WordPress, is inching closer to 25K downloads, with over 2,000 active installs.

However awesome we’ve made our plugin, it’s still limited to use within the  backend of WordPress; within that small tiny box that serves as a rough representation of the world that’s out there.

Well, until now anyways.

[aesop_image lightbox=”off” captionposition=”left” caption=”Building stories with Lasso is incredibly intuitive and easy.” align=”center” imgwidth=”800px” img=””]

Lasso bridges the gap between the backend and front-end, by allowing you to edit directly within the post content on the front of your site. The going back and forth between admin and the front-end just to visually see what’s going on are over. Everything happens in real-time, including adjusting Aesop Story Engine component options.

We’ve re-imagined what it’s like to write and tell stories. Never before has it been so easy to create interactive, long-form stories complete with no code at all, in real-time, right before your eyes. 

[aesop_image lightbox=”off” captionposition=”left” caption=”Writing has never been so much fun!” align=”center” imgwidth=”800px” img=””]

With a hyper-minimal approach  to front-end editing, all the focus is on the written word. Everything else is just sugary sprinkles. We’ve put a lot of focus on ensuring that your writing experience is not only free of distraction, but fun!

Lasso is completely stand alone,and works with or without Aesop Story Engine. For the developers in the house, it’s extremely versatile and extensible for use within your client projects. You can create your own custom components for clients, change where the data is stored, and with over 50 hooks and filters, there’s no shortage of applications for our editor.

Oh, did we mention that it’s also 100% GPL?

99% Theme Compatibility

This was a big deal for us. From the start, we really wanted Lasso to be compatible with any WordPress theme, and we’re proud to say that it is. Lasso has just two requirements of the theme; the post content must have a dedicated div container, and it must have the_content filter applied. For most themes, this isn’t an issue. If it is, it’s an easy adjustment to make to the theme.

Once that’s out of the way, you simply supply the CSS class of the container, and you’re set! The great thing about Lasso, is that it can be used on posts, pages, custom post types, and even custom fields. This is why we felt a class based approach was the best for this situation.

[aesop_image lightbox=”off” captionposition=”left” caption=”We automatically detect themes that we support and supply the CSS class for the user.” align=”center” imgwidth=”800px” img=””]

Fearing this might cause a few support issues, we’ve automatically included support for a variety of WordPress themes including the stock themes by WordPress, and all themes from our friends at UpThemes. Developers, if you want your theme to be automatically supported, tweet to me with your themes text-domain and article CSS class.


We’re extremely excited about Lasso! It’s been under development for a solid six months, and entirely bootstrapped. It’s being released as a paying beta, and we believe it’s stable. In fact, you can try it for yourself and see. The applications so far are wide-reaching, as Lasso is the same exact editor that drives Story.AM

Lasso will be available from $129 starting on March 23rd.

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