Video

Publishing a new blog post

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In this tutorial, we’ll go through how to write and publish a new blog post. To get caught up on Familiarizing yourself with Siteleaf watch our previous video in Siteleaf for Content Managers and Creators.

Writing a new blog post

Head up to the sidebar and click on Posts, located in the content section of the sidebar. When you click on posts, you’ll see something like this.

1-screen-shot-of-posts-small.png

To create a new post press the plus icon on the right side and it’ll take you to a screen that looks like this.

2-screen-shot-blank-post-small-6555ef.png

Start by typing your title up at the top.

If you want to specify your URL, you can do that underneath the title, but if you leave it blank Siteleaf will do all the hard work for you and the slug (that’s the end of the URL) will be the title of the blogpost separated by hyphens.

Having slugs that are readable by both humans and machines is good for SEO because it encourages users to click on the link as they already understand the content of the post. It also tells the web crawlers hanging out online what the main subject of the post is about, which will help generate traffic to your site. Read more about SEO with Jekyll and Siteleaf here.

Underneath the URL in the big box is where you write the content for your post.

Visual Mode

For the moment we will start in visual mode, and I’ll go into detail later on about Markdown. Visual mode is currently in beta so sometimes it isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty smart and gets there 90% of the time.

3-screen-shot-visual-mode-small.png

If you are used to seeing changes immediately in Microsoft Word and other similar programs this will be helpful for you.

Formatting

The default setting for the text is paragraph, but you can use the toolbar at the top to style the text.

Headings

There is a hierarchy of headings built in by your website’s designer. You may want to check with them for usage guidance. But in general, Heading 1 will be the biggest and most eye-catching, Heading 2 will be a bit smaller, a bit less eye-catching and Heading 3 will be smaller still and so on.

To insert a heading, highlight the text that you want to become a heading, then choose from the drop down which type of heading you would like to apply to the text.

4-screen-shot-heading-small.png

Bold

You can add bold styling do this by highlighting and pressing the bold icon.

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Italics

To use italics highlight the text that you want to make italic, then choose the italic from the drop-down menu.

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Quotes

You can style a quote by highlighting the quotation and then pressing the quote icon.

7-screen-shot-quote-small.png

Code snippet

If you wanted to share a code snippet; style it by highlighting the text and then choose the code option from the drop-down.

8-screen-shot-code-small.png

Code snippets can be helpful for technical blogs, and we use it a lot on our blog. But if you’re writing about gardening, you can ignore this option.

Lists

You can make a bullet point (or “unordered”) list by clicking on the bullet list icon, and a numbered (or “ordered”) list by clicking on the numbered list icon next to it.

9-screen-shot-list-small.png

You can add hyperlinks by highlighting the text that you want to become a link then clicking the link button in the toolbar.

Then you’ll see this input where you can add the URL to the website you’d like to direct people to. Once you have pasted that URL in and pressed ‘ok’ the hyperlink will be created.

10-screen-shot-hyperlink-small.png

Adding Images

Finally, you will want to add some images to this post, so it’s not a big wall of text. First tap the image icon and this pop-up will appear.

11-screen-shot-image-small.png

You can drag and drop your images to upload or choose the files from your computer. Also, you can click over to the ‘existing uploads’ tab to discover all the images previously uploaded to Siteleaf.

The first thing you will want to do is place your cursor where you’d like the image to be in your post. Then click on the image button again, and the pop-up will reappear. Then click over to the ‘existing uploads’ tab and select the image you want to input by pressing insert underneath the image. Then you will see the image in the text.

Adding Emojis

Siteleaf will accept emojis in the same way that any other input field would. If you’re on Windows, you can choose the desired emoji from your touch keyboard. Or you can bring up an emoji keyboard on your mac by pressing command, control and the space bar at the same time and clicking on the desired emoji 🚀

Markdown

If you change the view to Markdown from the drop-down in the toolbar, you’ll see that instead of generating a preview of the text styling we saw before there’s a lot of symbols.

12-screen-shot-markdown-small.png

Markdown was created as a simple way for non-programmers to write in an easy-to-read format that could be converted directly into HTML. It uses very simple formatting to accomplish the same thing that HTML or Rich Text Formatting does, but thankfully it’s simpler than HTML because you don’t have to worry about opening and closing tags.

One benefit of Markdown is that the formatting is embedded in the text, so when you copy the text from different programs the styling comes too. There’s nothing more frustrating than formatting something perfectly in a program like Word or Pages, just to lose all the formatting that you’ve added when you copy and paste the text elsewhere.

Another advantage for me is that Markdown uses punctuation and characters that I already know and use. Which means I’m not hunting around on the keyboard to try to remember where an umlaut is.

There are lots of programs out there which help you write in Markdown as it’s such a versatile way of writing, you should check out Bear because it’s bear-y good or iA Writer which also works on Android as well as iOS.

Formatting

Headings

With markdown headings are done with the hash key, or as some of you might know it the pound key.

So, # HEADLINE is a large header. ## HEADLINE would be a header that was a little smaller than the first, and ### HEADLINE would be a smaller header still.

Italics

For italics, you want to put an asterisk or star either side of the word or phrase that you want to become *italic*.

Bold

To make text bold put two asterisks or stars either side of the word or phrase you want to **bold**.

Quote

To turn your quotation into quote formatting put a > greater than symbol at the start of the new line with the quote.

Code snippet

To add a code snippet simply add a ` backtick either side of the text.

Lists

If you want to make a numbered list (also known as an ordered list) simply start a new line and type 1. and then on the next line type 2.

If you’d prefer to make a bullet point list (also known as an unordered list) just pop a dash on a new line each time you want a new bullet point.

To add a link surround the word or phase in square brackets and then paste the link in parenthesis after, and boom you have a link.

[text](www.intendedhyperlink.com)

You can still use the link button in the toolbar for any of these functions if it’s easier for you, it isn’t one or the other.

Adding Images

Inserting an image purely in Markdown is a little more tricky. Typically if I’m writing a draft somewhere outside of Siteleaf, I’ll put something like ‘INSERT IMAGE HERE’ in the text and then input the image the same way as described earlier on.

However, it is achievable in Markdown and inserting an image works in the same way as adding a hyperlink. But you have to know the title that the image had when you uploaded it to Siteleaf. To insert an image in Markdown on a new line put:

![](link to where the image lives on Siteleaf)

The location of the image will be along the lines of /uploads/filename

Between the square brackets, you need to add the image’s alt tag. Alt tags are used by screen readers, the browsers used by blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what the image shows. Also, bots use alt tags to understand the image, and this helps your SEO.

There’s more on our blog about SEO with Jekyll and Siteleaf, which you should read for further SEO tips and best practices.

Before you publish

There are a few last steps you’ll want to do before making your post visible, and these will vary depending on how your site is set up.

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You may find metadata fields beneath the main text input. On our site, there’s a field where you can upload an image that will be displayed when you share the link online, which makes people more inclined to click on the link. Also, there is a field where you can post a description of the blog post. These act like a preview in the same way.

These are called ‘rich previews’ and are particularly useful when posting links on social media like Facebook or in Slack channels as it gives your readers a flavor of what they will see before they click on the link, making them more inclined to click on and read further.

I’d advise speaking to your Admin or Developer about the metadata fields on your site and the best way to use them. You can find more technical information on metadata here.

Flight Panel

On the right on the main text input, you can see the flight panel.

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Save

This button is where you save your changes. Should you forget to save the changes you’ve made and click away from what you’re editing, Siteleaf will prompt you with a pop up to check if you want to leave these unsaved changes.

Underneath there are three options for your post, either ‘Draft’, ‘Hidden’ or ‘Visible’.

Draft

Draft status is for posts that you are currently working on and shouldn’t yet be made public - or if your role is Writer, then this is how all of your posts will be saved before an Admin or Publisher makes them Visible. Learn more about roles on Siteleaf.

Hidden

Hidden posts are exactly that - hidden. These can be useful if you’ve written about your undying love for Chicago style pizza only to discover that you prefer New York style pizza and can’t have your previous opinion all over the internet. As a side note, all pizza is great.

Visible

All the posts that you’ve written that you want the whole world to read should be set to visible.

Tags

We like to use tags on our blog posts so that users can go through the tags to connect with other posts you tagged with the same tag in the past. For example, under the tag ‘pizza’ your readers can click through to see all your past pizza blog posts.

This is great for UX because then someone can press on the tag, like ‘announcements’ or ‘pizza’, and see all the pizza posts on your site. This is also great for SEO. The more thoroughly you use tags, the easier it is for your readers and web crawlers to engage with your content across years of blog posts.

Categories

These are very similar to tags, but with broader groupings. Tags and categories are similar, and their purpose is to sort your content to improve the usability of your site. Meaning when a user comes to your site, they can easily browse through your content by category or by tag rather than browsing chronologically, which is how blogs were initially set up.

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These work in much the same way as tags, and you can use them together. For example, you can use the category ‘recipe’ whenever you talk about something you tried to cook, but you can use much more specific tags like ‘pizza’, ‘tacos’, or ‘salad’ too.

You should talk with your developer or site admin to see what is best for your website.

Date

This is the date which the post was published. If you set it to a date in the future, it won’t automatically publish on that date unless you set up a scheduled or automatic publishing schedule.

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We recommend using Zapier for this task. With Zapier, and you can use it to integrate your Siteleaf site with lots of different applications like Trello, Twitter, Typeform and other apps not beginning with the letter T. Head to Zapier for more information.

Publishing your post

Publish this post by changing the post’s status to ‘visible’ and hit save.

As I mentioned in our last tutorial, I like to generate item preview before I publish a page, just to check that everything looks as I expected and that I haven’t accidentally added the wrong image or misspelled anything.

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Siteleaf generates a preview in this new tab. Once it’s ready you can check it over. If you’re happy with how it looks head back to Siteleaf’s tab to publish the post. Once you are confident everything looks great you can press ‘publish changes’ in the top right corner.

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You will see that a loading animation takes over the blue bar at the top of Siteleaf. Once it’s published you can see the changes that you’ve made on your website.

Sometimes a new post might take a few minutes to show up because your website uses a cache. If this is the case you can access the direct URL and go ahead with sharing the post online.

Stay Tuned

Our next video will explain step by step how to embed videos in Siteleaf - stay tuned to the blog for that soon!

If there’s anything you would like for us to cover in our tutorials please get in touch on Twitter.

Siteleaf for Content Managers and Creators

Watch Siteleaf for Content Managers and Creators on Vimeo

Our new series of tutorials will walk you through everything you need to know about adding content to your Siteleaf site. There’s no code involved, so you can feel confident using Siteleaf.

Familiarizing yourself with Siteleaf

When you log in to your account you’ll see something like this.

Screen Shot Dashboard.png

This is the Siteleaf Dashboard. The first thing you’ll notice is the sidebar. Here are the elements of your website broken down into four sections.

Content

This section is organized by collections — think of these as your main content buckets.

This site has several collections, but you may only have a few options on yours. It depends on how your site has been set up.

When looking at a new website I always click on each collection to familiarise myself with the content and then look at the published website to see how they relate.

Pages

A page is the most basic content type in Siteleaf - these might include your ‘about’ page, or a ‘contact’ page. See more about how to edit existing pages here.

Posts

As a content creator, you’re most likely to want to know about the blog. Posts are connected to the blog page on your website.

Screen Shot Posts.png

If your site does not have a blog, then feel free to ignore this section. You can click on the title of the post to edit.

Read more

Customizing the Siteleaf admin

Watch Customizing the Siteleaf admin on Vimeo

Siteleaf v2 was built to be be customized. In this tutorial, we’ll dive deeper into the Siteleaf admin and learn some tricks on how to tweak the interface to suit our needs. We’ll cover collections, permalinks, metadata, smart fields, defaults, and user roles.

If you followed the previous tutorials, you should now have a basic understanding of Jekyll and the Siteleaf admin. Feel free to check those out first if you haven’t.

Watch the video above, or follow along with the text version below.

Collections

By default, you should have 2 content areas: Pages and Posts.

Pages is your home for standalone content like your about page, contact, FAQ, and so on. Pages can be drag and drop ordered, and nested using the move icon next to each page.

Posts is a default Jekyll collection that’s blog-aware, so each piece of content here (called documents) is stamped with a date, and generally shown in date-descending order.

The Posts collection also comes with some special features: drafts, tags, and categories.

If these features are useful to you, but the name “Posts” isn’t quite doing it for you, you’re welcome to rename this collection under Collection settings. For example, I might want to call mine “Stories” instead.

Read more

Connecting GitHub and Siteleaf

Watch Connecting GitHub and Siteleaf on Vimeo

This tutorial will show you how to connect and sync an existing Jekyll site from GitHub to Siteleaf, so you can edit content and preview your site in the cloud.

If you are new to Jekyll, you may want to start with our Jekyll from Scratch first tutorial to catch up on the basics.

What is GitHub sync?

When developing your site, you’ll generally want to keep your theme and content in sync so you can see how everything looks in context.

By enabling GitHub sync, any changes you make in your Git repo will be immediately saved to Siteleaf, and vice versa. So any edit you or anyone on your team makes in Siteleaf is synced and backed up. You can see a log of all changes in GitHub, and revert to any state in case anyone makes a mistake.

We like to think of it as a time machine for your content.

Read more

Jekyll from scratch

Watch Jekyll from Scratch on Vimeo

This tutorial was created using Jekyll version 3.1.6. Newer versions (3.2+) will give you a theme by default instead of _layouts and _includes. For the purpose of this tutorial you may want to downgrade to Jekyll 3.1.6 (to remove other versions, run gem uninstall jekyll). Stay tuned for a future tutorial on themes!

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to get set up and develop websites locally using Jekyll. We’ll cover installation, creating a new site, file structure, and finally we’ll commit the new site to GitHub.

This will give you a functional website that you can edit offline. Also make sure to check out the next tutorial where we’ll connect our site to the new Siteleaf v2 so we can edit content in the cloud.

What is Jekyll?

Jekyll is a static website generator built on Ruby. It takes Markdown text (your site’s content) and Liquid templates (your site’s theme) and outputs simple HTML that can be hosted pretty much anywhere.

It’s also what powers GitHub Pages, which serves more than half a million websites.

Getting started

To get started, we are going to install Jekyll, which is available to download as a Ruby gem. We’ll be following the quick-start instructions on Jekyll’s website.

So let’s open the trusty command line.

First, you’ll want to make sure you are running a recent version of Ruby. You can confirm by running the following command:

$ ruby -v

The latest stable version is 2.3.1, but anything above 2.2 should be fine. If you need to upgrade, we recommend using something like rbenv to make it easy.

Read more

Say hello to Siteleaf v2

Watch Introducing Siteleaf v2 on Vimeo

Nearly three years ago to the day, we launched the first public version of Siteleaf. We set out to create a new kind of content management system, one that marries the best parts of a static website generator (speed and simplicity) with a traditional CMS (power and collaboration). We dreamed of a tool that could be simple, without being dumbed down. One that values data portability, and is designed for a better web. As web developers ourselves, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today marks a huge milestone towards this goal. We’re excited to announce Siteleaf v2 is now available, and with it comes compatibility with Jekyll, the most popular open source static site generator. Everything you already love about Siteleaf is still here (and much improved), but we’ve traded our proprietary templating system for one that’s powering over half a million websites by GitHub alone. We feel pretty good about that.

Those familiar with Siteleaf v1 will immediately feel at home with Jekyll. It’s the same HTML, Liquid, and Markdown goodness you already love, but with a bag of snazzy new tricks — including collections, nested metadata, custom permalinks, offline development, and more. Now, not only can you host your compiled site anywhere, you’re in control of your source data too.

In addition, Siteleaf v2 now syncs directly with GitHub so you can bring your existing Jekyll sites over in one click — and just as easily move your site out. Every edit you or other authors make in Siteleaf is synced to GitHub, including content and theme changes. See a log of edits, who made them, and revert back to any state with the Git tools you already use. It’s a time machine for your content.

Read more

Developing sites and themes

This post refers to a legacy version of Siteleaf.

Watch Developing sites and themes on Vimeo

In this video, we show you how to create Siteleaf themes using Liquid and develop sites locally using the Siteleaf Ruby Gem and Pow/Anvil.

Watch this tutorial on Vimeo.

Also see: Getting started with Siteleaf

Getting started

This post refers to a legacy version of Siteleaf.

Watch Getting started on Vimeo

In this video, we show you around the Siteleaf interface and create a simple website.

Watch Getting started with Siteleaf.

Introducing Siteleaf

This post refers to a legacy version of Siteleaf.

Watch Introducing Siteleaf on Vimeo

Watch Introducing Siteleaf.