If you’ve spent any time publishing content on WP, Squarespace or various eCommerce (Shopify, WooCommerce, etc) platforms, you probably know the awkward satisfaction at getting a page (or more) of your work online through a process that feels anything but linear.
There’s this one thing you should check out before you go through this again. I’m not saying you need to completely change up your game plan - sometimes its better to just stick with what you know. But, just get this one thing on your radar.
Have you ever heard of Craft CMS by Pixel & Tonic? If not, you are in for a treat. You might want to experience their game-changer in the CMS space. Here's just one of many great ideas within.
In the design of a content-driven website, often the experience of the content author is left to an afterthought. Typically we focusing on first on users/visitors, then making sure designers have the inputs they need, and finally making sure developers are set up for success with the right specs to code up the site. This is a bit lacking when you think about it, considering that the development team may only work on the software for months, but the content owner may end up working with it for years!
P&T has really thought about this and created something great for the content author. It is something they call Live Preview. (You probably have previewed a post or page before publishing; this is different and better.)
What P&T did for the demo itself, I think is great. No “fill out our form and we’ll call you”, or “schedule a demo with us [so we can use pressure tactics on you]”, or “download install on your server / please refer to our documentation”. Nope, they just email you credentials to sign into a real demo site that you can interact with immediately.
As you will see, it’s easy to sign up for a trial and get a test site to play around with, from a content author perspective. It is quick, painless, and will NOT result in you getting your inbox spammed to oblivion (I have personally confirmed this).
Go ahead and follow along; or, to make this really convenient, I’m going to do it for you, right here:
Enter your name and email; check the t&c box, and 'Create my site'.
Check your email. P&T will send you a couple of links. The first is to the home page of your demo website, for a fictional web design agency called ‘Happy Lager’. Cool site, but completely fake.
In the same email, find the link for the Control Panel, and log in using the user and password from the email.
Once you’re in the Control Panel, look on the left-hand navigation column for ‘Entries’, and in the next list the type called ‘Singles’. This would be like a WordPress ‘Page’, or a Webflow ‘Collection Page’, if you want to think of it that way.
Now, for the fun part. Clicking the ‘Preview’ button. You can see the changes you make, in real-time. We’ll just edit a few testimonial text blocks for demonstration.
(And no, Larry Page and Ryan Reynolds/Aaron Levie are not actual customers. That’s just P&T not taking themselves too seriously.)
No separate tabs; no ‘hard refresh’ because something got stuck in cache; none of that. It just works; real-time, on-the-fly edit & preview. Also, no surprises after publishing, because 'Live Preview' actually is what it says. Because, when you think about it, isn’t that how easy it really should be?