Pinegrow Community Support Forum

More robust CMS built for Static Site Generation, directly through Pinegrow

#1

I’d like to see a more robust CMS built for static site generation. Ideally, I’d love to see Pinegrow make use of master pages, components, and local XMLs/JSONs to automatically populate and generate a folder (or ZIP) of static HTMLs, which the user can simply upload to their preferred service.

Example uses for this:

  • Portfolio sites that make use of a single gallery + individual pages for each gallery entry.
    A user could ideally add an entry for a project, providing one or several images + a gallery thumbnail, title, description, and credits as necessary.
    When the user is ready to publish new additions to their site, Pinegrow could generate a new page for each entry (or regenerate pages for older entries if they’ve been edited) based on a master page template, and populate the main gallery page with thumbnails for each entry.

  • A blog that offers a list of entries, where individual entries can use different master page templates depending on their “category” or “type”.
    This would allow for someone to specify which template Pinegrow should use to generate their article. For example, one entry could feature a large full-width header image with title and author credits (like you’d see on an important news article), while another may feature a video, or a smaller gallery of images, etc.
    And, much like the portfolio example, a main “blog list” page could be automatically populated with all blog entries.

I originally had to move away from Webflow because I needed an offline tool that could produce static HTML, and Pinegrow won me over due to having what it called “CMS for static HTML websites”. Unfortunately, as I’ve made use of Pinegrow’s trial version and looked further into its capabilities, I’ve discovered that Pinegrow’s current CMS features don’t fulfill my needs. (either that, or the features that are relevant to my needs are extremely well-hidden.)

Pinegrow is a powerful tool for other reasons and I enjoy using it a lot, but my current options now are to either return to Webflow, look into a true CMS option, or reformat my website for a static site generator like Publii. Obviously, I’d much prefer being able to do everything with static HTML in a single application, and I don’t think there’s a visual tool out there that handles static site generation.

1 Like
#2

There are actually a variety of visual static site builders out there… Mobirise, Bootstrap Studio, Blocs, Dreamweaver, Pigendo and others. But I don’t think any of them are as versatile as Pinegrow. I don’t think any of them have integrated CMS solution, either.

You could also try doing a Google search for “bootstrap CMS” and see what’s available (assuming you’re using Bootstrap.)

#3

Visual site builders are everywhere, but I’ve yet to find a visual tool that does CMS + static site generation, specifically. You can’t feed any of them an XML/JSON file and automatically build pages out of them. And most (if not all) of the dedicated static site generators currently out there seem to be command line/bash tools, even the ones that purport to be designer-friendly.

#4

Pinegrow is indeed the best professional graphic template editor I know but at the moment it is far from being an offline CMS.

However, I would not use Webflow or Publii for your suggestions. Instead I work with Oxygen XML Editor. I make the templates in XMLS, content in XML, texts in Markdown and output in HTML. This is the most efficient way I know to make large Portfolio sites and Blogs. I prefer this to any online CMS/FMS, even Typo3.

#5

The thing about Webflow’s CMS is that it offers a visual front-end for building databases. It might not be the most efficient thing out there, but it’s very easy to use. I don’t know for sure if Publii can match Webflow’s functionality, I only mentioned it because their developer documentation made theme development look so incredibly simple (for myself, at least - a non-developer who only knows enough CSS/HTML to get by).

Really, what I’d like to see (and what I was initially hoping to see from Pinegrow) is an SSG/offline CMS with a visual front-end: a visual site builder where I can build my pages like any old HTML, mark-up my pages with {{data}} hooks to pull from an offline database, and export an entire static site out of it — all without ever having to worry about command line tools or learning a programming language.

As far as I can tell, there’s nothing out there that fits this bill.

#6

Your description matches more a code generator than a code editor. If this is the case, the old NetObjects Fusion surely do what you want.

#7

NetObjects Fusion doesn’t fit the bill.

Check out how Webflow does CMS. Specifically, how it lets you visually select a field in your layout (text field, image, div, CSS), and hook it up to any field in your database. This is what I’d love to see in Pinegrow, as an offline CMS. https://webflow.com/cms

#8

I would also like to have a built in Pinegrow cms. Since this does not exist, I use “dropkick” cms (https://justdropkick.com/cms/) for some of my pages. Setting up on the Server takes a few minutes, and customers can manage their own texts and photos because the editor is easy to use. Perhaps it would be possible to integrate such a tool in Pinegrow.

many Greetings

Paddy

2 Likes