Blocs + Surreal - will this plan work?

Current situation: my friend and I have a long-running website with about 100 pages. This website is a project built on a shared interest, no income from it, so we don’t want to use any service that will saddle us with an ongoing cost. The current site is an old fixed-width site, built from scratch with server-side includes.

We want to upgrade to a more modern site that works on mobile. I am comfortable with FTP, HTML and CSS. My friend uses Blocs, but prefers not to work much directly with HTML. We discovered Surreal as a possible CMS that is free for educational sites.

The Plan:
My friend is building a site with Blocs, making the page content editable in Surreal. We are currently in the testing phase, looking at the new template and how it’s connected with Surreal. So far so good. The friend is continuing to make adjustments in Blocs.

Once we are happy with it, we will have to stop using Blocs, since there isn’t much ability to do a collaborative project in Blocs, or to save changes on the server back into Blocs. At that point, we will clone a basic template page on the server to create all the new pages we need. In most cases, we plan to drop the existing HTML content from those 100 pages into the new template to make 100 new-format pages.

Will this basic plan work? Any suggestions to make this project better or easier?

I would certainly take a look at Volt. With a one-time fee you get a lot of possibilities.


I haven’t used Surreal myself and there has never been much interest expressed here on the forum, though that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good option for what you need.

When I last looked at Surreal a few years ago the monthly pricing was higher than at present and that was never going to be a viable option with smaller clients. I would point out that while it may be free for education at the moment, there is no guarantee that will continue.

Thinking about it, I am not aware of anybody currently using Surreal or Cushy for that matter. Support for Pulse and October was dropped in Blocs 5, however we have WordPress and Volt.

The good thing about Volt is that it is made specifically for Blocs with ongoing development and a number of active users, along with excellent support from @Jannis right here on the forum. It’s a solid option for most purposes and with some changes in the API it could be really good.

Here is a link to the main website.