By Scott Decker

Upcoming: Layout Builders for Posts and Newsletters

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We are updating our HTML Templates and Layouts to allow for easier setup, management and construction of Posts and Newsletters. The launch date of this will be in the next few months and we wanted to share what was coming so that our clients could review and post any feedback or requests to the feature being rolled out. As always, we love your feedback and with it, we continue to drive features that help your bottom line.

Currently, when you create a Post or Newsletter, our structure is quite limited. We have a concept called “Sections” where you can break up your content, but essentially, you have a list of content that you can curate, and that is it. This becomes an issue when you want to do things like photo galleries, or two column or three column layouts. The HTML + handlebars templating that we provide can get complicated to handle these types of examples. To fix all of this, we have created a very simple layout builder, that allows you to generate Rows and Columns, and with those the HTML templates become vastly simpler. With this new capability, the Handlebars templating just loops the Row/Column layouts and then builds from that dynamic structure.

Layout Builder
We provide Rows and Columns to build your structure. When you are in the Type administration area, your Columns can pre-load items (such as headings, ads, etc.) and you can even lock areas, for items such as headers or footers. Once you are in Create, the editors can then add items (articles, embeds, etc.) into their respective columns for Posts or Newsletters.

 

 

Layout Builder – Features

  • We have removed “Sections” and now have Rows/Columns. This allows you to build a structure that is quite dynamic for Posts or Newsletters
  • Our Create area will now reflect what the editors are putting content together for. The headings will be set, ads can be locked, and columns can be seen so that it makes it very easy to develop the full newsletter or post
  • For developers, we have eliminated all of the work, and provide a way to generate what look and feel you want out of the box

Other Layout Items – Administration

  • Items can be locked from being moved (like headings), edited or deleted
  • You can create two or more column layouts
  • Header HTML + CSS can be added to the final rendered content
  • Layouts can be defined for items so that you can have left/right aligned images, or top aligned/no images

 

Other Layout Items – Create Section

  • We are changing where you add content. On columns/content areas, you click “Add Content” and you add your articles, bookmarks, whatever you wish! This removes the need for drag and drop or moving of content after you have added it
  • Bookmarks can be added one after another for those that curate multiple articles to put into one section
  • With our Preview capability, these layouts + content can very easily be seen before actual publishing

 

Other Features/Updates

  • With layouts, our html generation has become vastly simpler. For all accounts, any new Types being created with have these new layouts and our basic layout render. These are standard and simple HTML creation templates that take the layout and then render the HTML based on the layout.
  • All current accounts will be backwards compatible. The API will have new row/column structures, but will still also return the sections + items from our current API. This backwards compatible API results will be around for one year while we help clients move to our dynamic layouts
  • HTML editing will now only be allowed on Company or higher plans.

 

Notice: After this release, any Post/Newsletter Types with the current template/section coding will be marked as deprecated. They will be supported for the next year. Our help team will work with accounts to ensure that templates/structures get moved to the new flexible layouts and that there are no issues for any clients in upgrading to this new structure

 

Developers
Our API will be backwards compatible with this release. No entries will be removed. However, new items/fields will be placed into our output in our API. The API reference has not yet been finalized, but once the release happens all of our documentation will be updated. Handlebars is still our templating language, but with the new layout feature, building templates will become much simpler! It should require only a simple loop, and the PublishThis system already has that built by default. The only thing you would need to do to utilize the new layouts would be to write up your own css to style it however you like

 

If you have any questions or concerns about this upcoming release, please reach out to our Help team.

You can learn more about the platform, ask us questions, suggest or up vote new features on our Support site.
By Scott Decker
Scott Decker is the President and Founder of PublishThis. Before PublishThis, he led technology at Edmunds.com, Blue Nile, and development solutions for the government. When he’s not running PublishThis, the industry’s most advanced content platform, he’s exploring new technologies, preparing for next Halloween, or watching something with superheroes, dinosaurs, or at least a lot of explosions.