CMS integration

Hey there, I'm pretty new to the forum and thought I'd read through some articles of people discussing a CMS feature for BSS (because I could need that). The team said making their own CMS could be too time-consuming. What about integrations like Blocs has them? The team wouldn't need to make their own and could just offer to get it yourself and integrate it with easy to use blocks.

Why do I want this? BSS is a static site generator that makes it hard to edit sites after having implemented a CMS. If there's a simple to use one which I could easily integrate into a BSS site and still edit without problems after adding it, please tell me! I really don't want to switch to some other software as I really like BSS.

Could something like that make it into an update any time soon?

Have a nice day!

No, I don't think so + its waste of time as i said many times before in different sections of forum there are already existing tools for these also there are js library which are giving your posibility for cms functionality etc. I hate every single time when ppl talks about cms here, but I do understand you tho. After latest realese which was really important for ppl (multi window support) maybe devs will think about something similiar to cms-ish or smth but i dont think so. This topic was already on this forum over-talked.

I think the only way you will be able to add any type of CMS would be to manually add it to your websites either via Custom Code blocks within the app, or after export. I think there are a few people here who have successfully installed a CMS into their BSS sites, but you'd have to do some big searches here to find them as I don't recall who it was or when. It gets talked about briefly every handful of months, but as DickyKreedz said, it's not something in the plans by the devs according to their responses on it.

There are a handful of different ones that shouldn't be too hard to implement into your BSS sites. Might even be able to structure part of it in before needing a Custom Code block. You'll need to research these outside of BSS though and find one that will be the easiest and most beneficial for you to add. Good luck on it!

There are numerous complex reasons why it would be tremendously difficult to add a CMS within Bootstrap Studio. They way Blocs advertises "CMS Integration" is somewhat misleading. If you look in the Blocs forums, you'll see questions similar to the one you asked... "why can't Blocs have a built in CMS like Wordpress?"

The CMS "integration" that Blocs touts appear to just be third-party CMSs that you could probably add to any standard static website built with HTML and CSS (including a Bootstrap Studio website.) But it would be done "after the fact"... after you site had been exported as HTML/CSS/JS. Any time you did alterations to the site in Bootstrap Studio, you'd probably have to go through the whole CMS add on process again.

The Volt CMS ($119) is available in the Blocs add-on store (with a whopping two other add-ons) so I don't know if it integrates with the program as a sort of internal feature so that you can define editable areas during the build out, but however it works, it still requires the same back-end functionality on your server.

Adding a CMS on top of a static website (I believe this is described as a "flat file" CMS) is very different from how systems like Wordpress and B2Evolution work. They were essentially designed as Content Management Systems from start (for blogging), and then they added the (the very basic) front end part of the website "on top." Customization of the front-end part of Wordpress grew more powerful over time with third party plug-ins, but originally most Wordpress sites all looked very similar, and allowed very limited customization. It was many years before drag and drop software like Elementor and Beaver Builder that allow easy, complex customization of Wordpress websites appeared.

Personally, if I had a client who absolutely required the ability to edit their own site through a CMS, I'd tell them to use a different company or direct them to the free version of Wordpress. Why? Because that's not my company's model. I maintain all my clients websites, do all their updates and upgrades, and they pay a monthly fee for this. I don't want them "messing around" with their websites because it's pretty easy to wreck on-page SEO if you don't know what you're doing. Then they'd start complaining "why isn't my website ranking as well as before?" Definitely don't need those headaches. Ever hear the expression, "just enough knowledge to be dangerous"? That's what I think of most business people who try and build their own websites.

I've lost track of the number of clients who've come to me in utter frustrating after trying to "do it themselves" with GoDaddy or Wix or Wordpress. Which is not to say it's impossible to build a good website with these services (well maybe not with Wix), but they're usually built by people who build websites for a living.

Building websites for clients means that you have to maintain the websites or give your customers access to a CMS to modify the pages

Imho the only CMS worth supporting is WordPress atm. Everybody knows it, everybody wants it, everybody has a friend/nephew that can use it. And I'm not going to argue with a customer about what it's best for him. If they pay me an annual fee to update the site that's the best for me and usually for them too. When they want a CMS to do everything themselves it usually means WordPress. I'm not taking a fight on that, and sometimes they get back asking me to fix the mess they did.

I often build small mama and papa stores sites in static HTML. But at an additional price, I offer a slightly more expensive hosting for WordPress and I convert the website to a WordPress theme using Pinegrow Theme Converter.

Experience had thought me that it's often cheaper to pay a pro. So I think I'm doing the right thing suggesting business owners a contract to update their websites. But as a pro I've absolutely no problems converting static HTML to a WordPress template. And the Theme Converter has already paid itself many times.

Btw I think BSS has to be just a tool to speed up static BOOTSTRAP websites building. Image retouching is best done using Photoshop. Image compression using Squoosh. CSS advanced editing via your favorite text editor (mine is atom.io) and so on. Converting static HTML to a CMS template can be easily done via Pinegrow Theme Converter and probably there are Fiverr deals on that too. Everybody has their workflow. Let's keep BSS the best tool for fast mockups and frontside building without adding too many features that are already present in different software.

Btw I think part of the fight here between the KISS guys and those asking BSS to add more features (exotic cms support, image editing, additional js libraries support in the options pane etc) is due to the fact that some of us are building websites for a living, and studied a lot. Others are using BSS to build their own website and are looking for a point and click tool like Wix and hope no HTML/CSS/BOOTRASP/JS knowledge is needed to build a decent website.

No tool is a substitute for solid knowledge. And to use BSS at its best an understanding of website building fundamentals is necessary.

Honestly BSS advertising is sometimes confusing. Websites importing, hosting, forms, lots of templates, reusable block and so on. And sometimes people with very limited website building knowledge buy it. Thinking that's enough to build and even hosting a decent website. BSS is not Wix and definitely not a substitute for a knowledgable pro developer.

There's another post you might find interesting that someone just posted today: https://bootstrapstudio.io/forums/topic/cms-workflow-instead-of-direct-integration-improvement-by-reimport/

It may not solve all of your issues, but gives you an idea of what some others are doing. Hope that helps!

The Pinegrow Wordpress Theme Converter is probably just using some form of HTML parser so why not just learn how to use Python Beautiful Soup and do it yourself on export with a export script from Bootstrap Studio? That is what I did when integrating a CMS with Bootstrap Studio. I can reopen the project, make changes to the main html pages, export the required linked code that is in the template subfolders no problem. (Well it requires some knowledge of Python BS).

Its still in testing in a local virtual environment so I cant really share but I can confirm it works just the way everybody wants. No re-importing pages. Updates to templates etc are all done by linking code areas to template subfolders which are loaded by the CMS when the user chooses that template.

@marrco I am in 100% agreement with you. The worst thing in the world is if the BSS devs went in the direction of companies like Wix and Weebly, where they tried to make BSS as simple as possible so it would appeal to the casual person who wants to save a few bucks by "doing it themselves." BSS is a GREAT tool, and a powerful tool, and frankly I'd be stuck hand-coding, or using Pinegrow or (ugh) something like Webflow if it didn't exist. BSS just WORKS, and it works the way web developers think. It's very intuitive. And it saves me a ton of time.

But for people with no fundamental understanding of the DOM, markup and styling languages, and responsive frameworks, I can see how they'd read the BSS homepage and think, "okay, I can buy this and with a few simple clicks I'll have my own website."

When has building anything in the history of the web ever been possible with a "few simple clicks?" I despise that marketing phrase. Even Wix is baffling to people with no basic website skills, and Wix is about 75% idiot-proof (though the websites it creates are 100% awful!)

And even people who do know how to put up a website with Wix or Webflow or Wordpress don't really understand that putting a site online isn't the end of website development. I do a LOT of website audits, and I'd say 80%-90% of the websites I audit have costly SEO mistakes. Missing (or multiple) H1 tags, missing alt tags, broken links, irrelevant or poor keyword choices and density, poor text to HTML ratios, no sitemaps, even missing page titles and descriptions. Wix-built sites seem to be notorious for these kinds of mistakes. And don't even get me started on page loading speed. Rarely does a Wix site load in under 5-7 seconds on a 4G connections, and Wordpress sites are often worse. But the people get what they want... a DIY website that loads slow, performs slow, ranks poorly, and gets them no traffic or business. And the web is littered with this garbage that is growing by the day. (Thank god Adobe retired Muse!)

Sorry guys, didn't mean to open a can of worms lol, I'm not posting that because of their request in that thread, just to show the OP here what that person was currently doing to achieve it. I personally don't think CMS should be included in BSS at all either, there's a lot of other options out there if that's what someone really needs without having to clog BSS up with it, but there are people that do want to integrate in some way so whatever works for them I guess. :) Anyways, didn't mean to make it sound like I wanted to do what the other post was wanting if you took it that way.

@Jo

I didn't get that vibe at all. No apology needed IMO ;-)

@Twinstream I'd say Pinegrow Theme Converter is much more than just a few scripts. Try it. It's a complex piece of software, a perfect companion to BSS. It's,s not easy to create a working WordPress template and update it with just a click when you modify your files inside BSS.

and it plugs perfectly into my workflow. No previous working needed. I can take any static site I wrote using BSS and just convert it in a few hours. Even if I did not plan it in advance.

@marrco

I would agree the PG Theme Convertor is a well polished complex program after looking into it further. I just prefer to keep things more simple by not going the WordPress route and sticking with integrating a more simple CMS that has most of the same features and still allows me to keep everything in Bootstrap Studio. I can convert the html to php along with all the page and template modifications and use a mysql database using the export function which runs the python beautiful soup html parser to achieve close to the same results. And it all remains editable inside Bootstrap Studio with no re-importing of html. Completely fluid. And of course its all Bootstrap from Bootstrap Studio where I currently live.

Having access to a CMS allows a business or personal site to handle "personal daily information" that needs to be posted on a daily or weekly basis without having to involve a developer/designer once the site has been built. It just doesnt make sense to me to involve you to just post a heading, some pictures, or a video we need up today. I just do not see having to go the Wordpress route as the correct way....but hey ! I am still a little green behind the ears !

I think something like Teamviewer (which I own and was on with another Bootstrap Studio user last night showing my CMS integration) is also a great tool to get people some training on how to use the CMS if they get stuck. Making the templates and training could definitely be a money income source but handling things like changing the price of a hamburger menu item or the new bowling leauge top 10 of the week is not something I want to be waking up to with a text message to post on someones static website. And Wordpress.....not for me.

By the way, Teamviewer records video too !

Also, here is a great place to experiment with Python Beautiful Soup....its where I got hooked.

https://www.w3resource.com/python-exercises/BeautifulSoup/index.php

I would agree the PG Theme Convertor is a well polished complex program after looking into it further. I just prefer to keep things more simple by not going the WordPress route and sticking with integrating a more simple CMS that has most of the same features and still allows me to keep everything in Bootstrap Studio.

That's a very interesting pov. Thanks

After too many years in cs, I choose my battles. I know you're right, but if a customer 'explain' me that the best CMS is WordPress and wants it to update his website that's fine for me. Yes, of course, we can do that!

I must say, @Twinstream's post has me intrigued as well. I might look into it just for the sake of learning it, but my business model is such that I never build client's websites and then "hand them the keys" as it were. I figured out years ago that freelance website building was way too unpredictable to rely on it as a steady source of income. So, I sell websites as a "service" rather than a product. And the service is ongoing because it provides continuous value.

Broken down, I will build people a website basically for free (or a small setup charge on very complicated projects) and they sign a one-year agreement to pay a monthly fee (auto-billed via credit card) that basically works out to what I'd charge them if I built them the site up front and handed it off. This way, they get a site up online without having to pony up thousands of dollars up front. I even give them one free email account.

During the year, I will do any reasonable changes or updates they want done for no charge. I monitor their traffic, provide quarterly reports, help them integrate social media and update their Google Business and Maps info, design and run ad campaigns (extra free), adjust SEO as needed, and basically provide 24/7 service. I ensure them that they will rank within the top three in their local search on Google within three months (normally I get them to #1.)

If they cancel before the 12 month agreement is completed, they must pay the full amount of the cost of the site if I'd had built it up front, so essentially they're committed for a year, which gives me a relatively guaranteed income stream each month. After the first year, they can choose to remain my client, and I will continue to provide all the services they've grown accustomed to - for a continuing monthly fee.

Generally speaking, as long as their site is bringing them new leads (business), and stays on top in the SERP, I've found the clients to be very happy with this model.

Does it cost them more in the long-run compared to having a site built turn-key and then paying for updates at an hourly rate (assuming they can't do it themselves.) Possibly. I guess it depends on how often they do updates, and how much they pay up front. But I find it a LOT easier to sell someone on the idea of getting a website for $100-$150 a month than paying $2000-$3000 (or more) up front, because the sites usually end up paying for themselves in terms of the business they generate for people. And when you're dealing with people who aren't internet/website savvy (probably 50% of the population), even if you built them a Wordpress site, they'd be lost trying to make updates. Smart business owners, even if they do know how to handle a CMS, don't even want to be bothered. They'd rather focus on running their business, and making money at what they are best at.

Really, it's not much different from the model the Yellow Pages used for decades. They'd create your ad, and you'd pay an additional fee each month on top of your phone bill. Except websites are dynamic, and are changed and updated often, whereas you Yellow Page ad you were stuck with until the new phone book was printed (and heaven help you if your phone book ad had a mistake.)

@Printninja you're teaching business 101 here.

And I absolutely see how BSS fits into your business model. And how valuable BSS is to your income.

Not all businesses are created equal, so no offense to others, but if I'd have to pick one to invest my 2centsm I'd bet on you. That's a successful business model using BSS. Beautiful clean code to google, and easy to manage for you.

not so sure about the guys buying (or using free student license) it just to build one site without a solid HTML/bootstrap/CCS/JS knowledge. I think many of those would have a greater success doing what they're good and leaving their communication (websites + social + SEO ....) to a pro like you.

. .

Does it cost them more in the long-run

NOPE. when you're bringing me more business than expenses you're a resource to my company, not a cost.

..

@martin, I think some of these posts should be pinpointed. These are solid reasons to buy BSS, and even pay an additional fee for a superb bootstrap 5 new release.

@marrco

Very kind and thoughtful post. Thank you.