Alloy - Tags and Categories


#1

I have previously asked Adam about having tags and/or multiple categories in Alloy, because they are both features of Armadillo blog stacks which I have used for some years.
It seems that these are not imminent in the development of Alloy.
So far I have held off using Alloy (although I have purchased it) but it does look so stylish (as we’d expect from Elixir) and easy to use that I wonder whether I am making too much of not having tags and only one category.
There are obviously a lot of enthusiastic Alloy users out there, so I’d really appreciate hearing what you think of my concerns about tags and categories.
Thanks


#2

@Phloque Having multiple tags and multiple categories sounds like a good idea. But do you, in practice, really need and use it? Or put differently: you may use it, but do you really need it?

At first I wished there were multiple categories but in actual practice I find one is quite sufficient. With “multiples” I was, in the end, simply being lazy. What the one category approach did for me was encourage me to be more careful about thinking through what actual categories would be useful to readers.

In practice I’ve found no problems with the one category approach. I find I think through the category names to be used more thoughtfully.

Alloy is a wonderful system. I’m sure there’s 1 in a 100 (or 1,000) people who really NEED multiple categories and tags, but the vast majority of us really don’t. We just like having options. :slight_smile:


#3

Very very helpful reply mitchellm. I think you’re 100% right - “We just like having options.” Even if we don’t really need or use them


#4

I feel like the majority of blogs don’t need multiple categories or even tags. I think it comes down to a matter of requirements. For example, I built a site using TCMS (FeednFlow.com) where there are three distinct categories that basically split up the blog: Food, Outdoor Adventures, Mental Health. Pretty straight forward, and I could have used Alloy, except for one additional issue, the Food section is mostly recipes, so having tags, I was able to then subdivide the blog and make it easily searchable and scannable.

However, if the blog was only recipes, then I probably could have gotten away with Alloy, since most recipes only have one defining feature, deserts, main courses, carbs, Keto, etc…

From an stability standpoint, I find Alloy much more stable and easy to work with, so if I don’t need that level of subdivision within a blog, then I’d definitely go with Alloy. If truly need to be able to, then you need another option.

And let’s be clear, many blogs tag and categorize the shit out of everything, making them basically useless. By creating this type of restriction, Elixir is actually forcing users to be more choosey and making it an actually useful feature.


#5

Thanks Chris. Very helpful. I guess I was coming to the topic from having used Armadillo which allows all the categories and tags in the world. But as you and mitchellm have said, Alloy’s restriction could actually be an advantage to the designer and the user.


#6

Yeah, I used to use Armadillo & WP-Blog (by Nilrog) exclusively. But with Nimblehosts transition out of RW development (and Nilrog stopped support for WPBlog forever ago), I began exploring some other options. I have found TCMS’s Hipwig editor is buggy as shit, so much so I had to teach my client Markdown and change over the entire site to the markdown editor. Considering ease of use is what put me on to it in the first place, that was rather annoying. There’s so much less to go wrong with Alloy, if I can go with it, that’s my first option. My second option is Go CMS, and then Armadillo. I think I’ve decided until TCMS 2 comes out and I see how that changes things, I’m not going to push it to any of my clients for the foreseeable future. But I highly recommend Alloy.

And as a side note, that site I listed before, while it uses TCMS, it’s built on Foundry. :slight_smile:


#7

In my experience the requirement to use Tags is either not a valid requirement or it becomes a requirement further down the line when a Blog becomes unusable due to the difficulty for users to find what they want. if you are using a Blog to communicate different categories of stuff, then you will need tags if the Blog grows beyond a certain size.

There is an expectation with users who have used Blogs in the past, that Tags can be added, and if they can’t be added then a whole different Blog would need to be created and migrated across, which could be a prohibitively big task.

I would hope that Alloy can gain a Tag feature.