Webyep CMS and Stacks4Stacks - Wow! Let either yourself or your customers edit their content via their web browser. Big Thumbs Up

A flat file CMS, no MySQL DB needed, Just PHP! I thought I would share my adventures with Webyep. I don’t know how I missed Webyep for so long, thought I was on the ball with things, I must be getting old and the sharpness is blunting. I feel a little sorry for Webyep within Stacks as personally I feel it sits quietly in a corner unnoticed, although there are forum posts about it, there aren’t that many and I was unable to really glean the information I really wanted to know so armed with a packed lunch and a bottle of fizzy pop I thought I would go investigating with the demo files.

Just thought I would share my experience as somebody else may have the initial questions I did, and because I think it is amazing, and I only happened across it by accident because of a Stacks4Stacks blog post, I thought I would give somebody else a head start or answers to questions that I was initially thinking.

Please note, I was pest contacting Will Woodgate at Stacks4Stacks with questions, but such a gent he answered my email and helped. Likewise I have had back and forth email with Max Fancourt who has taken over the reigns of the open source development of the Webyep ‘engine’.

With this in mind, I have hacked away on the PHP config file, encountered problems, narrowed down problems, fixed my problem only to create another and so on until I get it to suit my need. I’ve tried to recreate what I wanted to know, what I discovered so that others either now or in the future can find the answers or information you may be looking for similar to myself and not just dismiss the whole system because of a simple stumbling block such as login box doesn’t appear to work.

One other note, this isn’t an attempt to pit one CMS against another, I believe they all have their strengths and fit in different places. I use Armadillo for the blog/news pages of a community site and a few individual’s websites. Armadillo works fantastic for this and I won’t be changing this, Armadillo works great as blog/news page for me. Total CMS, I don’t use this, but I am aware through the posts and community that it is extremely powerful, strong visual interface for options and strong user-base for support, advanced features etc and I use a lot of other WS Stacks and they are solid and well supported. I just know I would have dismissed Webyep without realising what it can do and that would have been a terrible shame.

Webyep’s strength I have found is providing an easy to install and easy solution for customers that want the ‘Wordpress Experience’ of being able to add or modify their content’ themselves on the pages of a Stacks website I have created for them.

So here are my what I think would be questions and here are my findings:

What is Webyep and what are Webyep Stacks?
Webyep is an open source Content Management System (CMS) currently maintained by Max Fancourt. Webyep Stacks is a suite of stacks created by Will Woodgate of Stacks4Stacks that lets you use Webyep within Stacks and provides the modules of functionality. Using Webyep/Webyep Stacks enables yourself or your customer to add or modify content on a Stacks website online through a web interface.

Can a customer edit their own text through a web browser?
Answer: Yes
When you get a customer that is adamant that they wish to update their own text it is quite simply a case of instead of using a standard Stacks text box insert a Stacks4Stacks Webyep RTF stack instead. The customer can then login and change the text at anytime they wish whether that is a daily requirement or once in a blue moon.

A RTF box? Can the customer mess up my design styling? Can I do anything to stop that?
Answer: Yes
Instead of using an RTF stack, instead use either or both of a S4S Webyep Short Text stack for titles and headings and a S4S Webyep Long text stack for longer body text. These can be set to your Foundation (I use Foundation) or other Theme settings, so the customer can update text only in these but not affect styling.

Is it easy to install?
Answer: Yes
Just upload one folder via FTP/SFTP to your server. There are three critical elements in this folder and they are the Data folder, the Program folder and the config-inc.php file. The data folder stores all user added content within the CMS, if you need to back up just download this folder to your local drive then re-upload to restore. I’ve tested this many times trying to break the system but it works fine every time. The second folder is the Program folder, if there is a Webyep update just replace this if updated. Then there is config-inc.php, this is where the magic occurs. Save a copy on your local drive, open with Textedit make changes, save and upload. In config-inc.php you fill in the blanks for admin username and password, enable disable JQuery with elements (more on this further down) and other aspects such as your owning branding for login.

The demos I’m seeing either with demo files or with the instructional videos all have the unlock padlock to edit on the same page as the content. This is off-putting as I don’t want ‘The General Public’ to see this, it doesn’t look ‘professional’ and I don’t want people fiddling with it. Can I create an admin login page?
Answer: Yes
Although not immediately obvious or seen anywhere as doable, I created a new page that was not indexed in navigation and placed the S4S Webyep Login stack on there. It would appear that Webyep generates a session cookie enabling you to move to another page and remember you are logged in. I like creating pages that do not require cookies and the annoying consent boxes, however this is identified as a session cookie so according to GDPR it is not a cookie that requires consent, don’t hold me to that, but when reading about session cookies and GDPR this appears to me to be the case )my disclaimer on that one).

Can my customer create their own photo galleries?
Answer: Yes
Just add a Stacks4Stacks Webyep Gallery stack. Once this is placed on the page the customer is ready to go. They can create a web gallery with thumbnails and lighbox images, all they have to do is upload images and title them.

If I add a stack such as S4S Webyep Gallery stack can they only create one gallery?
Answer: No, they can create as many as they like.
They can add as many as they like one after the other. But… this is where the power of the S4S Webyep Loop stack comes in to its own. The Loop stack may look scary at first but is dead easy, you can create what is described best as a mini template by adding other S4S Webyep stacks inside, for instance A Short Text Stack for a title, a gallery stack, then a Long text stack. The customer can then keep adding galleries with gallery title, the gallery and then a description of the event that the gallery is showing. If they don’t fill in the Short Text or Long Text then this will not leave a blank space, it will just be ignored as an addition.

Can my customer keep adding content for the other S4S Webyep stacks such as text stacks?
Answer: Yes
They can just add a new event when logged in and it will go either above, below or inbetween depending on where they choose. Again using Loop stacks provide many formatting and element inclusions to use or ignore.

Will it work with my theme/framwork?
Answer: Yes and No, it may require some tweaks
It drove me nuts, went round in circles but in the end got there and the solution is easy to apply. I use Foundation 6, and there is no way I’m giving that up, because it is fantastic. But… Webyep would not let me login, I had “Enable javascript in your browser” error. I made some changes to config-inc.sys and then I could login, but then the calendar wouldn’t work or display (yes there is a calendar stack). Contacted Will at S4S and he recommended I try his Themeflood theme to see if it was a theme/framework problem to narrow down problem. With Themeflood everything worked fine so it was something in Foundation 6 theme. Messed around with configsys-inc.php and eventually got it, simply change: $webyep_sModalWindowType = “JQuery”; to $webyep_sModalWindowType = “none”; it is important that only this one for modal window is changed as changing the other Jquery options will stop the calendar working and the gallery lightboxes. That’s it, works great with Foundation 6. I don’t know what that would mean for other themes or frameworks but that is where the problem would be if you get something not working. Try as it is out of the box, if it doesn’t work then change modal window to none. Basically makes the login a pop up box instead of a lightbox.

Er… anything else… yes!

Is it easy to apply styling via theme or individual options?
Answer" Yes
Use your theme for styling to keep everything consistent. All items such as H1. H2, Paragraph etc will natively adopt your theme setting (unless manually changing sizings etc in RTF stack). If you wish to change styling for individual elements in most cases you can overide the default theme styling in the individual S4S Webyep stacks.

Can my customer change visual elements?
Answer: Yes
Ouch! As a designer, that hurts, but yes and may be a requirement for slider banners and images. There is S4S Webyep Slider Banner stack, this is a really good and animated slider, if you put this in a page then the customer can change or add the images for the slider. Expect phone calls though that say “Hurumph! My picture looks all pixelated…” then you have to start explaining about resolution. But nonetheless this is a great option in many cases for competent customers. You can change the slider animation style in the stack, the Ken Burns effect is good. Likewise you can add an image stack that is user changeable. If you use loops though you can add all this content and only the elements in each loop chosen at that time will display, so that could be best practice in many cases.

Are the S4S Webyep stacks responsive?
Answer: Yes
All images, text areas, galleries, banners are responsive. There is a Masonry Grid stack to give more flexibility in a loop also. Items such as the Calendar and Trello style list are responsive until they hit the user changeable breakpoint and change style completely differently for smaller devices. In addition to this if you just prefer the small device layouts you can fiddle with the breakpoint and modal window size in the stack to have these smaller device stylings applied on a larger screen. I liked this for the calendar, I quite like the stacked calendar function showing relevant dates as opposed to a full month view.

Can I use this on more than one domain?
Answer: Yes
Use it on as many as you like, Webyep is open source and freely available, the S4S Webyep stacks are buy once use again and again.

Can I brand the login box or user interface graphics?
Answer: Yes
You change the Webyep branding on the login box to have your company logo, name and weblink. in addition to this you can change any of the graphics and replace in the relevant graphics folder with your own user generated graphics as you see fit such as login padlock, interface buttons etc.

There is much more you can do with Webyep, I’ve been playing around with aesthetically dubious test pages to try everything, break and restore and so far loving it, it has solved the endless conundrum for me when people ask can I change content or update information myself. Will at Stacks4Stacks has been great with support and Max Fancourt has been very helpful. The Webyep engine is free and open source and the S4S Webyep stacks are great value, which at time of purchase was £24.80 with currency conversion, great value. Max does offer a commercial version of Webyep, this is no different to the free version except the Webyep commercial version includes the Redactor Rich Text Editor for text areas so a user can format text similar to a word processor and upload images in to a text post. For the commercial version all Max asks for is a donation that will cover a few cups of tea and a slice of cake at his coffee shop. Visit Will’s site at Stacks4Stacks.com to download demo stacks to try and Webyep.

15 Likes

I couldn’t agree more.

1 Like

Hi Tophat,
thank you for sharing your experience in detail.
I’m also bought WY and used it several times for small sites - month ago.
I just checked what version I’m using and I’m a bit confused, because GitHup says 2.1.1 is the latest and my StacksVersion is 2.4.1 obviously updated March’22.
I can’t quite share your enthusiasm, the operation seemed a bit cumbersome to me and i can’t quite leave it to my customers alone.
I have now bought QuickEditor from 1LD because I liked the demo, but when I install the MainStack, one website works yes and the other no… I have no logical explanation for this and have already written to 1LD - no answer yet.
I would like to give WepYep another chance and ask you which version you are working with now and whether all the extensions work satisfactorily. I had difficulties there too.
I’m using latest RW and Foundry…
Thanks for any advice.
Roger

Hi Roger, I’ve just had a check and my version is V3. I got it directly from Max Fancourt after emailing him to get the donation version that includes the redactor interface for posts.

After initially trying the V2something and getting used to it, it was then I contacted Max regarding the redactor version. To me though I didn’t notice anything different in the config php file and usage between the two, I think from a user point of view they will appear very much the same, I may be wrong but it may be all ‘under the hood’ type of stuff that is updated.

I’m using the most up to date Stacks version with this that can be updated to within RW auto update.

I admit it did take me a bit of invested time getting used to the config php file, a couple of hours playing around with settings, but that is usual with any software that is beyond a few settings to click on options.

With regard to customer use, I have found it to be very positive. I created and manage a website for someone who has always pestered me to have the ability to change text and images. She wanted a new website for a different project two weeks ago and last week I finished it. She is quite a ‘technophobe’ and not great with systems but was adamant that she wanted to edit pictures and text. I used Webyep and Stacks to create the site. I built the site in general with Foundation 6, but all titles (Short Text Stack), text areas (Long Text Stack), Banner images and two galleries using Webyep. The login to Webyep I put on a non-indexed page, that is simply a blank page with the padlock. I gave her the web address for the login padlock page and told her to bookmark it and then go to that page unlock, then go to any of her pages and edit, when finished go back to padlock page and logout. Using short text and long text means that she can’t break the design and layout. I put a few extra fields in, if she leaves them blank then they don’t even display as blank spaces, just remain hidden. I did put a bit of lorem ipsum in first title and text areas and then added a sample image in the banners and first gallery image just to help her get started. She got the hang of it very quickly and has now populated her whole site and is regularly updating, which is saving me the headache of the phone ringing all the time with can you just change this and that. Importantly though, I didn’t give her the redactor version as I could foresee loads of messing up design with different typeface sizes, colours etc and making her page looking like a Microsoft Word document. I stuck purely to Short Text and Long Text so she could only update the text content for these but then they retain the typeface settings I applied to the overall style.

There are a couple of things where Foundation doesn’t play nicely with Webyep stacks, such as the Calendar but can usually figure out a work around for these. Not 100% sure but I think it may be some javascript conflicts, as I say not 100% sure that is the reason.

I love it, I find it very versatile, I can create a website as normal with Stacks but designate all the areas I want to allow the user to edit. Likewise for expanding growth of pages I just add a few extra fields. It is important though that for each field on every page that they are selected to be Global Content and have a unique field name in the Stack settings, so for instance an About page I set up field names as About ST1, About LT1, About Banner 1, About Gallery 1, About ST2, About LT2, Banner 2, About Gallery 2 etc with ST meaning Short Text, LT meaning Long Text. I then just select a load of them and copy and paste several times and then just change the number sequentially for each to make them unique.

I’m a big fan of Webyep, it fits the bill just right for what I want a website to do, I design the website, can use an array of very whizzy Stacks from 3rd party developers but retain areas the customer can edit themselves. I’ve even put Webyep stacks inside some of these whizzy stacks. I used the Aura stack by Multithemes and the bit where the title is added in the Aura stack I inserted a Webyep Short Title stack.

If you have a specific problem or confusion with it, send me a direct message, if I can help I will, it is sometimes a bit easier to get an explaination from the point of view from somebody that has faced the problem themselves and can relate to the bit that is causing a stumbling block.

4 Likes

Hi Tophat, again thanks for your detailed advice…;-)
I will give WepYep a chance and will send Max also a donation for vers. 3!
I’m still working with the redactor version - so will check what happens;-)
Best an a nice evening.
Roger