CMS Workflow (instead of direct integration) - Improvement by reimport?

First of all I have to say that BSS is an amazing tool and keeps getting better, smarter and so on with every release. Please keep up the great work! We've used it in our agency for several projects now (most of them in German):

For several of those sites i integrated a "direct-to-html" cms, like or With these cms-systems you usually make an existing html-File editable by integrating classes or data-attributes into the markup, changes are then directly saved to the existing html-File. The only problem with this workflow is when changes / updates are neccessary to the underlying html (like adding a new section). I currently cannot make those changes with BSS directly (after I integrated the cms tags and the client made some changes using the cms)

If we had the possibility to reimport an html (which has been created by an BSS export) into BSS this would be amazing. Maybe a workflow by (optionally) adding custom data attributes to the exported html could be a solution (which then would be read in during the reimport). This also would work with the above mentioned cms-Systems, as they usually also work with copying existing markup (if you copy sections for example also data attributes would be copied).

Thanks in advance

Thank you so much @Rechi for sharing such inspiring content. That is amazing.

This sort of capability has been requested many times in many different ways. The problem, IIRC, is that it would require a complete rewrite of the program from the ground up. Bootstrap Studio wasn't designed to import existing websites/HTML pages in a way that they could be modified through the program's visual UI tools, so it's not a simple feature the devs could just add in an update.

The only software I know of that can do what you want is Pinegrow.

Thanks Printninja for the response. I quess this is also true for exported html from BSS, where like I sad additional data could be added to identify the BSS component it is based on? For "regular" Html it's obvious to me that this is a difficult / impossible task, I just thought maybe for BSS orginated html there might be a possibility. But again thanks for responding.

Yes, it would seem like that might be easier, but I think the ability to import any HTML, whether it was created in BSS or not, is something that would require a fundamental rewrite of the software in order for the page to be editable with the visual U.I. I'm not exactly sure what makes this difficult, but them I'm not a programmer.

When Bootstrap Studio saves and opens its files, it's basically creating a single compressed compressed file (.bsdesign) which can be uncompressed with a program like 7zip. If you examine the uncompressed file in a text editor, you will see everything that makes up your site in plain text... the classes, the copy, the tags, but it's all organized in a proprietary format. As an experiment, I once uncompressed a .bsdesign file, located and edited something on one of my pages, then recompressed the file and opened it in Bootstrap Studio, and the edit appeared correctly. Of course, this is really of no practical use. I just wanted to see if it would work.

What I do know is that Pinegrow (which I also own) is capable of doing what you want because it never actually saves your website in a proprietary format. It simply allows you to directly edit any HTML, CSS, JS, regardless of what it was created with. It does directly support a few of the popular frameworks (Bootstrap, Foundation, Materialize, and a couple of others) with additional visual editing tools specific to those frameworks automatically appearing when the program detects that a website you are opening was created with one of those frameworks.

Not to disparage BSS in any way (because I love this program, and use it almost exclusively for my site builds), what Pinegrow does is considerably more complex and sophisticated than what Bootstrap Studio does (that's also why it's three times the price and requires annual renewals.) But for certain workflows, it's worth it. The workflow you're describing would probably be one for which Pinegrow is ideal. But be warned, Pinegrow is a bit of a bear to master. It's U.I. is not nearly as "friendly as BSS." It's less polished, feels very cluttered and unergonomic. I don't "enjoy" using Pinegrow. I use it when I'm forced to, which is rarely, so I can't build sites in it nearly as quickly as I can in BSS. Maybe if I used it everyday that would change, but I have no need or desire to, when BSS does 99% of what I need.

I LOVE to build sites in BSS.

Thanks Printninja, that makes perfect sense to me. I'm currently checking out pinegrow (having the exact feeling you 've described - powerfull but overwhelming). Maybe using both systems like u described could be a way to go for me as well. Thanks again for pointing me in this (additional) direction also. Just out of curiosity - do you have some cms workflow or are you always delivering a finished, non-editable website (which I prefere most of the times as well)?

I do not use CMS's and I do not let my clients ever touch the code or edit their websites. My business model is somewhat atypical. I do not sell customers websites outright, but rather I build them a site for which there is no upfront fee, and they sign a one year agreement to pay a certain amount each month. For that fee, they get everything included... updates, edits, forms, SEO, analytics, etc. After the 12 months, they can continue on a month-to-month basis by still paying the fee, but if the choose to leave, they do not get to keep their website.

I have found that most clients continue to stay because my websites all rank very high on Google, and generate significant business for my clients. As long as their websites are bringing them business, they are happy to pay the monthly fee, and they don't ever have to worry about maintaining their websites, or making edits. I do everything for them included. This gives them the opportunity to easily add new content, run specials, add pictures, or articles simply be emailing it to me, and I do all the work, allowing them to focus on the business of running their own companies.

If someone specifically requests that I build them a website that they can walk away with and keep for themselves, I will do it, but I will charge them a premium price depending on the size of the site (anywhere from $1500 to $3000 and up.)

You can see my company's website here...

I've found most people are very happy with being able to get a site going without any large upfront fee, so the business model has worked very well for me for the last ten years. I do lose clients over time to competitors, or they go out of business, or they find a friend or family member who'll build them a website for free, but rarely are the sites very good. They usually don't rank very well, or perform very well, and sometimes the clients end up coming back to me. I work very hard to be good at what I do, and I spend a LOT of time studying SEO and marketing so that my websites bring my clients new business. It's a win-win for all concerned.

I have found that most clients continue to stay because my websites [ ... ] generate significant business for my clients. [....] I work very hard to be good at what I do, and I spend a LOT of time studying SEO and marketing so that my websites bring my clients new business

that's an excellent business model!

thanks for the great post.

Thanks Printninja for the insight. Your business model is quite interesting, but it makes sense, as I also see that a lot of our clients still use our services for content changes, even if they have payed for full cms functionality. We don't offer the monthly subscription model but our prices are compareable to your premium price range. Unfortunately the cms - or even worse - change everyting yourself - claim has become a somewhat must-have criteria for a lot of clients (even if I can guess after the first meeting that hey will never use such features). But great to hear that it is working for you, your results incl. SEO must be convincing. Again, thanks a lot for the info.

Not that this will fix anything for you for now @Rechi, but one thing you might want to consider is discussing with your clients the idea of adding the CMS "when" they decide to do the updates themselves or hire outside to do so? That way you can do your updates much more easily, which you can explain to them that would save them money if you're charging hourly as I do. Win Win in the end really. They know you will add it should they need it, and you have a much easier job of updating without having to use something that is totally useless at the time for anyone. Just a thought :)

@marrco @Rechi Thank you for the kind words.