Folder Structure in Left Sidebar


#1

Prior to creating this post, I spoke to a fellow Blocs user privately to see if my idea was worthy. Based on their reply, I believe it is, hence this post.

While I transition my non-responsive websites to Blocs, I still use another web design app to maintain those sites. That app has been around since 1998 and I’ve used it since 1999. My corporate sites built in it have been online since the summer of 2001 and most of the complex folder structure has been around for almost that long too. As such, many links are registered not only in Google but linked in various online articles, news sources, and many of our product dealers throughout Japan. So as I re-build my sites in Blocs, I’d like to maintain the existing folder structure instead of using dozens and dozens of redirects. As most of you know, building a folder structure is not a feature of Blocs yet, which is why I would like to officially propose it in this post.

Here’s a screenshot from the left sidebar of that other web design app I use, showing how I have my folder structure right now (the site is in Japanese, hence the page names you see):

Note that in addition to nested folders, I also am allowed to color page names in the sidebar, which is really nice when you have a very large site of many web pages and you want to quickly spot certain pages for editing. Size info of individual pages is also given at a glance, which is nice. Also note in the screenshot I have a “jp” folder that holds my Japanese files, and in another website document I have an “en” folder that contains English versions of all those same web pages. Other languages could be added by adding another set of folders. But because there are many web pages, you can see the need to keep the languages distinct in separate folders. This is also important when using something like Google Custom Search to index sites, and I index our English and Japanese sites separately.

There is a preference setting in that other web design app that allows me to choose how I want Assets handled:

  1. Placed along side their corresponding HTML files separately in each folder.
  2. Placed all in a single Assets folder at the root of the site.
  3. Placed in separate Assets folders within each folder of the site.

I currently have #1 chosen in my preferences.

Why is folder structure important? Well, if you think about the time I would need to spend in Blocs right now recreating that folder structure in light of the fact Blocs won’t create that folder structure for me, it is time consuming and bothersome at best. I’d need to figure out how to reconnect Assets and fix links – all a huge mess to do manually.

Naturally, those of you with sites amounting to only 5 pages or those of you starting from scratch in Blocs and not repurposing existing web sites made in other web design apps may not care so much about this folder structure feature. But at some point when you have large websites in Blocs, you may begin to care. That is the sentiment I received from one fellow Blocs user in particular when I privately messaged him.

And so there you have it. Folder structure (once the left sidebar bugs have been fixed) would be a very welcome addition to an already great web design app. Go Blocs!

–James


#2

Checkout project attachments, this feature lets you add full directories of files to projects. It’s not as visual as the example you posted but it does let you manage a lot of this already.

Just add the directories in the project settings and then manage the contents via finder.

https://help.blocsapp.com/knowledge-base/project-settings/


#3

@Norm I read the following text that you referred me to…

https://help.blocsapp.com/knowledge-base/project-settings/#project-attachments

But that is talking about adding JavaScript or CSS files or “directories full of files.” I don’t see how it manages a directory structure within Blocs, which is why I am seeking.

To understand what I am seeking, please consider the screenshot of my opening post. That directory structure was built inside Freeway. I want to do the same in Blocs. More specifically…

Right now in Blocs, within the left sidebar’s Page Navigator, I cannot add folders. I want to add folders there and then be able to create web pages in Blocs and easily move them in and out of folders with the same easy that I can move Blocs or DIVs or other content within the Layer Navigator of the left sidebar. I don’t see how to do that using “project attachments” as per your recommendation. If it is possible, can you or someone else explain precisely how it is done?

Thanks.


#4

I am also in favor of the idea of using a folder structure for keeping things from getting chaotic an large sites. So this wish gets my vote.

Blocs sites have a “flat” directory structure - i.e. everything is in the root directory. Which is IMO not best practice.

The other end of the spectrum is WP which makes every page act as if it’s name is index and it has its own directory.

So I agree with JDW. If you want to increase the user base of Blocs, maybe one should consider all the users who built sites with WP or other tools and think about letting users build their own directory structure.

I cringe when I think about all the 301s I would need to write when I have to rebuild a site that has lots of directories in Blocs …


#5

@gary If you export with clean urls that should be less of a problem, since every page will have a unique folder, though at present limited to one level, so categories are out.

In Rapidweaver I can change the page order in the sidebar via drag & drop, which automatically updates the menu navigation. Subfolders can be created by dropping one page over another. Having control over the site structure this way makes it much easier to manage large projects, especially when adding new pages at a later date. It’s just not convenient having a similar new page in the same area 50 pages later in the side panel. The risk of mistakes increases.


#6

Its hard to see what those files are.

You can add directories full of any file type with project attachments. SO if those are directories full of mp3 files then you just drag that folder into the project attachments table in project settings.


#7

This is what I am looking for:

/
index.html

/products
product1.html
product2.html

/about-us
about-us.html
history.html
team.html

/service
downloads.html

etc. etc.

What I get now with blocs is:

/
product1.html
product2.html
about-us.html
history.html
team.html
downloads.html

etc. … it’s just a lot easier to do housekeeping on the server when the files are organized into sub-directories … but that’s only one way of working. I’m sure there are a lot of people who like things another way.


#8

I honestly doubt if it’s really “a lot of people.“ Indeed, I think most people would prefer to organize their files within folders and subfolders and sub-sub folders within Blocs if they could.