Blocs CMS - community input

Folks next year we will introduce the ability to create and export Wordpress Themes with Blocs.

However, there are times when WP is just overkill for smaller projects. So we are considering bringing in some help to develop our own “light weight” CMS.

I can’t stress light weight enough, if you want a fully fledge CMS (blog, multi users, page management etc) use Wordpress, Pulse CMS, Surreal export. But if you want very simply pre-defined editable areas on a page, use Blocs CMS.

Here is what we think it should do.

  1. Edit text content of page online.
  2. Edit image content of page online.
  3. Edit link URLs.
  4. Only support predefined user accounts set in Blocs.
  5. Sync online content changes in real-time with Blocs project files.

What it will not do.

  1. Allow online blogging.
  2. Allow online user management.
  3. Supporting themes, plugins etc.
  4. Allow online page management, add new page, delete page

The goal of Blocs CMS would be to allow users to make simple online edits, such as a contact number, page title or image, maybe some SEO values too.

Let me know your thoughts, good and bad :+1:

We are just exploring what the communities expectations are for such a product to see if it’s worth us building it.

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Hello I think this very important point allow our customers to be able to make simple modifications on the pages using CSS styles it would be really great to allow them to keep the visual aspect that we designed

Please set this up as soon as possible and congratulations for your block

It sounds excellent; understanding this is not for everybody or every situation. It would be useful though for those cases where you have clients with small websites who only want to make small changes or more usually just imagine they want to make changes, but never will. Ideally we want to place limits on styling, so they stick with predefined colours and fonts. Synching changes back to Blocs would be fantastic.

I do wonder though about cases where you add a two column structure with images for example and the client then wants three at a later stage. Will the user be able to drop in a three column structure in that instance? If not this will only be useful for the most modest of situations, leading to a headache where the site ends up being rebuilt with a different CMS.

There is always that fine balance and you wouldn’t want a case where it is limited to the point where developers are reluctant to use it, thinking it may need to be substituted by a different CMS later on.

An often overlooked aspect is the amount of time that can be sucked up teaching clients how to use a CMS. In the past I have spent an hour on the phone trying to explain “complex” operations like drag & drop. At a later meeting it was discovered they were not saving files prior to export as the cause of the site not updating.

NB The first rule of commercial web design is that the clients most wanting to take control are invariably the least well equipped to do so. I’ve just been dealing with a client in his 70s who complained he was not receiving emails. It turned out he couldn’t find the email app on his computer.

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I’m not sure about this feature request at all.

@Norm,

will this CMS be integrated in Blocs or will it be an add-on? Will it be free, one-time paymend or per mont / site? If one time paymend or integrated in blocs and if you are interested, I can send you a pm with the code of the cms which I am developing. Because I have less time than expected developing my cms solution, I were happy, if I could help you developing a CMS which will be integrated in Blocs.

Then we could also retalk integrating a very simple news/blog solution inside :wink:

Dear @Norm,

Honestly, I really do not get it why would you turn Blocs, a heavy-weight champion of website builder desktop software into a ‘not so full-fledged’ online CMS system.

Is it really worth it? Modifying some texts or typos and image assets is not the kind of feature, which I can sell to my clients. They will not understand why they can not create new pages, galleries, gathering a list of connecting pages with category tags, menus, etc.

Just because you can do it, it does not mean you should do it.

:star_struck: The reason why I purchased Blocs are the following:

  1. I can create beautiful, responsive, marketing HTML websites for myself and my clients who never ever want to edit or modify it. They are busy people working on their businesses day in day out.
  2. It is fast because there is no delay between the database requests and the page rendering
  3. It is secure because there is no database, no logins, no users, no continuous server attacks

If somebody really wants a CMS for her/his clients then go for it. There are plenty of free and paid hosted solutions for that.

:thinking: What is not clear about your announcement is what kind of server stack would you like to use in order to accomplish this plan?

  • MAMP? :-1: Do we have to run PHP and MySQL Database in order to get a Blocs website?
  • NodeJS? :-1: A kind of static site generator like PulseCMS?
  • ReactJS? :-1: Like GatsbyJS? Thanks, but no thanks!

:grimacing: What about the security aspect of this Blocs CMS?

  • Who will secure and maintain all of the the Blocs websites?
  • Who will pay the cost of this regular updates?

I am wondering now whether I chose the right tool when I decided to use Blocs in my daily work…

… I wish Blocs had smaller but more needed features in the future, like the high demanded :first_quarter_moon: LIGHT-DARK mode

… not to mention the Apple devices blocs which are way outdated and totally useless nowadays. Sigh!

A paid external plug-in sounds great to me, let’s see how many current users of Blocs want this CMS thing at all!

I think you may have misunderstood this. We are exploring the idea of offering an additional feature for Blocs in the future, we may not even build it if it cost too much time or money. The Blocs app will not change, the concept is to simple make it easy for your clients to make quick edits to a page.

Blocs will remains and offline desktop app, this will just be (if we make it) an additional export option.

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Norm, I think having an option to change some basic content would be a good thing for Blocs. All of my clients “do not” want to change anything or learn something new. They rely on me to make the changes. That said, I think if that option existed some might want the option.

I have a few that have a monthly guest speaker, this would be a prime spot that they could change the speakers name, change text about the speaker, and change the speakers photo.

I also have one that has a for sale page. Nothing sells online, just a contact. This would also be nice if the user could add items, (change existing) ones.

I really think you should still create the separate ability to export to Wordpress themes. I don’t use it know but I’d like to learn about this.

Casey

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Sounds great to me however I might understand you perfectly… :wink:

Perhaps I just got burned many times in this ever changing industry when a product, software or even a “community” driven open-source project changed in a specific way…

Nothing dramatic is happening, we may also just partner with a 3rd party to bring this to life.

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Yeah, our plans are to add more options in this area. I like the thought of Blocs users having a bunch of choices per project not just 1 or 2.

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I think our vision for this simple CMS is to avoid editing layouts etc. IMO that’s best done in the actual design tool.

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A light weight CMS is what has stopped me so far from really committing to Blocs.

But I’m afraid I want what seem to be off the table: a light blog. Meaning, a way to post from time to time, with time stamps, into an archive that can later be filtered via tags or dates. Kind of what I have now via Rapidweaver.

I personally don’t need any online edibility at all, but I can see how that is the winning feature for people selling sites to clients that don’t want to commit to a ‘maintenance contract’. They can sell the site and kiss it goodbye and leave it in the hands of the client.

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I hope you’re keeping OctoberCMS export @Norm :slight_smile:

I’m not totally sure/convinced about the CMS you’re asking about. I do like the sync with projects feature. But then I have seldom uploaded a site without a CMS anyway.

Sounds like a great idea, sometimes you just need to make a quick edit.

However I know you mentioned blogging wouldn’t be in this but I think a very simple blog system wouldn’t add much complexity.

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I’ve been monitoring Blocs since the very beginning. I can tell you that the current version of Blocs is so much more powerful than the original version that it’s not even funny. And still, at first glance, it’s the exact same idea and product.

I think sometimes change is actually good, as long as every step is carefully considered. I’ll give Norm and team the benefit of a doubt in this case.

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I can’t tell you how happy reading that makes me. It’s nice to know the original spirit of Blocs is still there :+1:

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Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. - Steve Jobs

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Well said @Flashman :smile: