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.
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?”
2016 was a pretty big year. We started with a CMS built and used internally for our client websites and by the end of the year, we had hoodies with the Coaster CMS logo on, over 100 stars on github, an honourable mention on Laravel News and well over 1,000 installs of Coaster through composer and packagist not to mention the 100 + followers on twitter and positive reviews beginning to pop up on the web. It’s been pretty exciting and we’re really encouraged by the feedback we’re getting on Coaster and its features, but we’re not done yet! I wanted to write this post to give you an idea of new Coaster CMS features that we will be adding in 2017 and beyond, so, here goes…
One of the things that a lot of websites need is the ability to build their own forms. Now, Coaster doesn’t come with this installed as default (or as a plugin) but in the back of my mind, I’ve wondered if it was a possibility using the repeater block functionality. And. It is (if you are not a developer, you may want to get hold of one for this bit).
It’s actually pretty easy. Working on the Coaster2016 theme on a fresh install (change the theme folder below as fits your current build), I created the following form.
We’ve been working in the background on getting Coaster CMS version 5.3 ready for release in line with the release of Laravel 5.3 – announced here. We have made a number of very exciting additions to the features that now come with Coaster because that’s always a good thing! These include the ability to create forms for repeater block content (this gives rise to an easy way to create a comments section for a blog for example), and also a simple theme editor that allows you to edit your themes (not add files / blocks yet) from the admin (if you so wish).
Coaster has many great features that we are all equally proud of. However, one of the best features is the fact that Coaster comes with a contact form by default and it’s ability to easily create new forms and fields from within the admin system. The complexity of your forms can know no bounds as Coaster supports all valid HTML5 inputs from checkboxes, select fields and basic text inputs. Once you have created your form Coaster will take care of all of the submissions and will alert you by email whenever a new user fills in a form.