Page Building

Use your components to visually build pages from scratch

With your components live rendering, and Structures created in CloudCannon, we now have the ingredients we need to create a page-building experience in the CMS.

Looping components#

Once you have a few more components built out, an ideal front-matter section might look like:

  - _bookshop_name: hero
    title: Kākā
    subtitle: The New Zealand kākā is a large species of parrot
  - _bookshop_name: content
    content_markdown: >-
      The New Zealand kākā lives in lowland and mid-altitude native forest
  - _bookshop_name: image
    image_url: /uploads/Scrapping_kaka.jpg
    image_alt: The bird that screams loudest and most persistently gets to own the branch
  - _bookshop_name: stats
    length: 45cm
    weight: 452g
    color: reddish

To render this array of components on the page, we can loop over them and use the liquid interpolation we covered in Using Bookshop components:

{% for block in content_blocks %}
  {% bookshop "{{block._bookshop_name}}" bind: block %}
{% endfor %}

While this will work to render these components, using this directly in a layout on your site will cause problems when live editing. Bookshop can only live render changes within the boundaries of Bookshop components.

This means that if the above loop is placed directly in one of your Eleventy files, the live editing boundaries will be:

{% for block in content_blocks %}
  <!-- start live editing -->
  {% bookshop "{{block._bookshop_name}}" bind: block %}
  <!-- end live editing -->
{% endfor %}

In this setup, each component individually will update changes live, but rearranging or adding new components will not render correctly, as the {% for block in content_blocks %} loop is not being rerendered.

The solution to this is to simply move this loop inside a Bookshop component. In fact, the @bookshop/init command we ran earlier created a template explicity for this purpose:


Bookshop Includes#

You'll notice that this file doesn't live in the components directory, and is instead in the shared/eleventy folder. This is a location for you to place templating that needs to rerender in the Visual Editor, but isn't semantically a "component" that an editor would add to a page. Apart from this distinction, these files are functionally the same as your components, and can be accessed using the bookshop_include tag:

{% bookshop_include "page" content_blocks: content_blocks %}

By passing all of the data to our page helper and looping within, Bookshop is now able to update the entire page when the content_blocks array is changed.

Taking stock#

With the steps taken so far, you should have the framework for a fully functional page builder, rendering live when editing on CloudCannon. This is a great moment to jump into your codebase, start migrating some components, and experiment with the system.

The following sections of this guide will cover some of Bookshop's remaining features that can help polish the page-building experience, but might not be required while setting things up.

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