Coaster CMS v5.4 is here

So, Coaster CMS v5.4 has arrived and I’m just going to give you an overview of the new features. We think this update will really help people grasp the concepts around Coaster and give you ideas on how you can use the blocks in Coaster to extend functionality.


As of Coaster CMS v5.4, all blocks can now have multiple views in the themes/[theme_name]/blocks/[block_type]/ folder – this adds consistency to the block behaviour and greatly enhances the flexibility the block system. Basic string blocks won’t need a view to display them but you can now pass a ‘view’ key through in the $options array that will look in the appropriate folder for the view. So, say you wanted to wrap a string in certain tags or content each time you could add a view that you pass through when you need the string block in that format.

Where is Data Stored in Coaster CMS

Where data is stored in Coaster CMS

We’ve had a couple of discussions recently with people trying to understand the data structure of Coaster and more specifically, where data is stored in Coaster CMS and I thought I’d summarise some of the points we’ve replied with here.

It’s worth remembering this about Coaster’s structure…

“Blocks can be either global (with the potential to appear on any template) or template specific”

So, you’ve uploaded an image to Coaster on a repeater or onto a page and as a developer you want to know… “where has that data actually gone?”

Installing Coaster CMS on Windows

Happy New Year! Recently, we’ve noticed quite a few issues crop up on Github citing installation problems when trying to configure Coaster CMS on Windows. This mostly affects cURL when running various Composer commands. Here are a few steps you can take which will help prevent any potential issues:

  • Temporarily disable the Windows Firewall whilst running Composer commands.
  • Install a .pem certificate (more on this below).
  • Use a virtualised solution such as Docker or Laravel Homestead.

For some reason or another the Windows Firewall can sometimes interfere with outgoing connections made by cURL. Momentarily disabling the firewall can often help when running Composer commands – just remember to re-enable it once you’re done.

Fixing Cloudflare SSL Issues with Coaster/Laravel

Cloudflare offers a great flexible SSL service allowing anyone to secure their site for free. Unfortunately, you can run into some issues straight out of the box as we ourselves found out when implementing Cloudflare’s SSL on this very site. For more established content management systems, Cloudflare does supply plugins that fix these problems without the need of additional code. However, in this case we will be guiding you through the process of setting up SSL with Coaster CMS – and yes, that does include writing some code.

WordPress vs Coaster CMS

Banners with Coaster CMS

Prerequisites: this tutorial assumes your theme uses the Bootstrap framework.

We recently built a site using WordPress for a client, since they weren’t sure about trying Coaster as it isn’t as well known. However, popularity doesn’t necessarily make something good or bad. The client in question required a CMS site where they could edit, add and remove pages when needed – all of which can be done with Coaster. Features such as a banner and a carousel on the homepage were part of the original design.

Implementing InstantClick with Coaster

InstantClick is a JavaScript library that seamlessly loads pages in the background of your user’s browser as they hover over a link. This can give the impression that your site’s pages load instantly. We’ve recently implemented this technology on our site for Coaster CMS, you may have noticed pages appear to load in the blink of an eye – without a ‘flash’. In this post we will be implementing InstantClick with Coaster to improve user experience.

Content Manipulation

The Web-Feet blog uses h1 tags for the main title on each individual post, as you would commonly expect. However, from an SEO perspective, we did not want this same layout on the homepage. The reasoning behind this is that multiple h1 tags can instead carry a negative penalty. Therefore, we instead opted to display h2 tags in place of h1 tags on our blog’s homepage. One of the drawbacks of doing this meant that post titles on the homepage would look exactly the same as sub-titles within a post’s excerpt. From a user’s point of view, this isn’t ideal as it can be confusing and lead to a negative experience.

Securing Files with Coaster CMS

With the latest version of Coaster CMS you can now block visitors from accessing certain content such as PDFs, images and documents unless they are logged in. Users who try to access any of this content before they are logged in, will be redirected to a login page where if they don’t already have an account can choose to register accordingly. Once logged in, all of these files will become available to the user.