Alloy v2: Editor stack sneak peek


#1

I’ve been hard at work on Alloy’s next major addition for quite some time now, and we’re getting pretty close to a release. I’m currently in the stages of finalizing a few things and updating videos, documentation, site design, etc… But I though it might be fun to post a little bit of a sneak peek at what I’ve been working on for months now ahead of the pending release.

I feel like the update is big enough that it warranted a jump from v1.0.2 all the way to v2.0.0. And what exactly is the major update in v2? I’ve built out an online editor stack for Alloy from the ground up that will allow you to add a page to your project that will act as a backend to your site’s blog.

This secure backend will allow you to create, modify, delete and backup your blog posts directly from your site. The backend will provide an easy-to-use Posts List view that gives you access to managing your Active, Draft and Future posts right from your site.

It will also give you an easy-to-use editor for creating and modifying your blog posts. In addition to making it easy to write your posts the editor also handles all of the YAML front end content that you were required to write in v1, allowing you to focus on your post’s content instead. The editor has a nice point-and-click toolbar and keyboard shortcuts, but the content is still Markdown based, allowing you to write in Markdown or use the toolbar for formatting – whichever you feel more comfortable with.

This new Editor stack will work with new blog setups as well as integrate directly with your current Alloy blog, as it reads and writes posts to the same posts folder that you setup in your Alloy Control Center stack. This also means that if you wish to manage your blog via FTP as you did in Alloy v1 you can still do so, right alongside your new online editor, providing you a great deal of flexibility in how you maintain your blog.

When we launch the update we’ll have an updated Getting Started video as well as some tutorial videos dedicated to configuring your secure login in the Editor stack, as well as working with the Editor to manage your content. The Alloy v1 tutorial videos for managing your site via FTP will remain in the tutorials section as well for those wishing to use Alloy in that way.

When Alloy v2 releases it will be a free update to all existing Alloy users.


#2

Also, I want to put a BIG thank you out there to all of the beta testers for this Alloy update! As always you all have been a huge help in catching bugs and offering suggestions and feature requests!


#3

I have been using this for awhile and can say this is a very solid update. All current Alloy users will love this new backend feature. It is so easy to implement and use. Like Adam said, the content of the blog is now what shines.


#4

This is a brilliant addition to Alloy!! I really looking forward to employing it!

Thanks for the sneak peek!
Blessings,
—Mark


#5

This fantastic update makes Alloy more accessible to MOST users. Great job, Adam!


#6

Whoa! This is really fantastic news, can’t wait for it to be released, now I’m going to be checking for updates more frequently! I already loved using Alloy, but this is going to make it a no brainer.


#7

I’m currently working on getting things ready for Alloy v2 update release… Until then feel free to check out the following Editor videos. They’ll give you an idea of how you’ll be setting up your blog and the online editor:

Getting Started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BV6lvfS_OQ

Editor Setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stj0FvEpISE

Using Editor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPqoH9iVTsU


#8

Hi, this will be perfect for my clients, so that they can log in and write their own blog posts.

Now, if I look at the way my clients like to work, they want to use some pictures in a post. But they do not want to use an extra software like ftp to upload any pictures to a different directory, select the URL and paste it somewhere else. And they should not have access to the ftp, so that they do not start deleting or renaming important files in the websites’ structure.

So in the future, could we use this editor to insert pictures (up to a certain size) as well and store it together with the post / just in the folder we use for the posts?

Thanks,
Jan


#9

That would require a different approach to the way the editor works. This editor uses Markdown for its content, which has not changed from Alloy v1, so you’ll still insert images using a Markdown image tag (or if you really want to HTML image tag – but I’d suggest the Markdown tag). The editor provides a toolbar for inserting that Markdown image tag though, making it easier, but your clients will indeed need to store their images somewhere. I hear cries from users all the time to provide Remote Image support, and this is that very thing within your blog posts.

I won’t rule out having a central location in the Editor for users to upload images in the future, but that is not something that is currently being developed.

Also, please note that there should be nothing but your blog posts in your “Posts” folder.


#10

Thank you! I will just make sure my clients will store the images somewhere safe, so that they are not deleted by accident :slight_smile: And no, not in the Posts folder…


#11

Hey Adam, just having a look through your videos. In the second one (Editor setup) you disable the meta tags and then add in the robot ‘noindex’ tag. Just curious why do you do that as opposed to just un-checking the RW ‘index this page’ checkbox?


#12

Disabling the “Enable Robot Meta Tags” simply tells RapidWeaver not to add in the following tag:

<meta name="robots" content="index, follow">

The second tag I add in the “Other Tags” section specifically tells search engines to ignore the page.

Are either necessary though? No. But it should help in keeping that Editor page you’re building from showing up in search results.


#13

I thought that is what you get if you check ‘enable robot meta tags’ but uncheck the index/follow tags?

All ends up the same, I suppose, I was just curious if there was something specific about the RW-generated one vs doing it manually.


#14

Sure you can do it that way as well. Up to you. I did it that way because I prefer to see it written out myself. Lots of ways to do things in site design. :slight_smile:


#15

Just wanted to update those following this thread – I’ve just pushed Alloy v2.0 to the update server. If you’re an existing Alloy user you should be able to check for updates in Stacks momentarily and have access to the new update, which includes the Editor stack shown in the tutorial videos linked above.

If you’re just now checking Alloy out you will received the most up-to-date version when you make your purchase.

I’ve got a blog post written up on the Elixir site about this update that tells a bit more about this major upgrade. I’ve also got a secondary blog post talking about a Stacks quirk that I wanted to inform everyone about as well, which we encountered during the beta testing process.

I hope you all enjoy the new update, and I can’t encourage you enough to watch the tutorial videos for the Editor. At the bare minimum you will need to watch Part One as it walks you through the process of setting up your secure login, which is a requirement to use the Editor. I think everyone will greatly benefit from watching both videos though. They can be found on the Alloy Tutorials page (along with the very important Getting Started video), as well as I am linking directly to each video below for quick reference:

Getting Started: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BV6lvfS_OQ

Editor Setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stj0FvEpISE

Using the Editor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPqoH9iVTsU

There is also a documentation page specifically for the Editor stack on the Alloy site, which covers what each of the stack’s settings do.

I really hope you all enjoy Alloy and the new Editor stack. A lot of time and energy went in to trying to make this tool both powerful, but also easy to use.


#16

Fantastic job :+1::tada:


#17

Thanks @Fuellemann! Appreciate it. As always, nice reviews and a like are always welcome on the Community site. :wink:


#18

This looks really, really, really fantastic, Adam. Despite the various options currently available on the market, there is still a need for simple online blogging Stacks. Emphasis on simple, which Alloy v2 very much seems to be. The only two hangups I see for myself so far are:

  1. Grid view? Is there a way to have the Blog Entries page display the summaries as a grid (left-to-tight, top-to-bottom), rather than a list?

  2. I’m redoing a blog for a photographer as part of their site, and I can see the inability to upload photos through the Editor as a deterrent, at least in the case of this particular client. I realize this is not possible at this time, so maybe just consider it a feature request? I’m aware it may never be possible, though, given how the Editor is constructed.

Thanks so much, Adam!


#19

Thanks for the kind words @markwilliams!

No, that is not a feature of Alloy.

As I mentioned above…

It is something that has been discussed in the beta tester group previously. But as I said it isn’t something I’m active development at this time.

Likewise! :smile:


#20

The latest development of Alloy looks really good.
I have a site currently with an old RWWriter blog that I need to upgrade urgently. Is there an easy way to migrate from another blog to Alloy, or will it be a case of copy and paste all the old blog entries.
Also keen to know, does Alloy work well at sharing content onto social media platforms like Linked in. I have had problems in the past when using Blogger so dont want to go down that route again.
Thanks