Migrating an existing site to Easy CMS

I preface my enquiry by saying I am new to Rapidweaver and a designer/illustrator rather than web developer.

Having set up a small site in ‘Foundation’ cms was requested. Using ‘Easy cms’ I have set up an admin page and added core stacks to it and the content pages.

The advice from Joe Workman is to:

  1. Develop your admin area first. Remember that you will need to publish this page with at least the Admin Core stack to your server in order for the CMS to function properly inside RapidWeaver.

  2. Save your existing content into the admin area that you want to manage with the CMS. Text, images, video, etc.

  3. Now you can start replacing the content inside the actual webpages using the CMS stacks or the text macros.

My questions are:

  1. Are you able to publish locally using Mamp? Which I have been using to this point.

  2. What is the process for saving the content to admin area? Is this done in edit mode in Rapidweaver,in the browser or do I place the content directly into the cms-data folder in the exported site?

At the moment I can’t get any content to save to the admin area (other than pasting the text in the place holder text boxes) either in edit mode, preview mode or in the Mamp local site.

Thank you for any help

You have to have php running on your server.
I would advise that you should go ahead and publish to a web server, if not, you will have to change some settings and move some files later anyway. Best to just do it from the start. If you don’t want to disturb a live site, publish to a subdomain of the site, not a folder, that will make your life easier when you are ready to go live. Add pagesafe or protect stack to both the admin and the public pages while developing, that will stop access and stop search engines from indexing the dev site. Using two separate partials for this (one for admin and one for public) will simplify process when you are ready to go live as well.

You can save text content in RW preview mode.
Normally you would just add it to the admin page in your browser.

Thank you for that Scott. I did wonder if I needed to publish to the server to make things happen but hadn’t appreciated the php significance. I will take onboard your the additional advice also.

Thank you Scott I hope your are okay with this follow up enquiry?

I now have the site I am working on the hosting server and I am successfully saving text in preview mode on the Easy CMS admin page and it appears the content pages. However I am obviously missing something as when the text editor is set to Text/Markdown Editor and a I make a style change the actual Markdown appears in the content rather than the intended styling. Also as yet when I access the admin page through the browser it will not accept any edits.

Have you watched the videos for Easy/Total CMS. The getting started videos for Total CMS are still very relevant for Easy CMS as well.

Hi Pat,

I would also suggest you watch Joe’s video’s they are very helpful in getting you going.
If you have published ALL files from RapidWeaver and would share a link I will try to help you further.
EasyCms also includes a debug stack you can add to a page then preview that page and it will give you information and point out errors or issues. It is very helpful if things aren’t working as you expect.

Having opted for both Foundation and EasyCms I have racked up more screen time in front Joe Workman than I have with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr combined. His videos have been essential.

The site is work in progress and the url is: http://willowsdentalsurgery.com

As yet I have only placed text macros into the title, subheading and intro text in the Homepage header. As mentioned above the content went in okay but when I tried to change some styles the Markdown appeared but the style remained the same. I am now getting a message the browser saying ‘Your Foundation Stacks are out of date. Please update to version v1.8.5’. I have done this twice and republished all files twice but the message remains. Do stack updates have to uploaded in some other way to be recognised?

I will revisit the videos and see what the debug stack reveals.

Thank you once more.

ie. stacks are out of date;

  1. anytime you update a stack or plugin in RW it is best practice to then quit and re-start RW
  2. from the files menu select “Republish All Files”

ie. Markdown showing;

If you want to use Markdown formatting
on the Admin Text stack Choose Text/Markdown as the editor
Check the box that says Markdown Fotmatting

On The Public Page make sure the Display option is set to Format + Markdown

If using a Macro, make sure you are using: %cmsTextFormat(your_cms_id)% and not just %cmsText(your_cms_id)%

Hope that helps some

I set about applying your suggestions but with mixed outcomes. Once the ‘Format’ was applied to the macros my original formatting was lost. If you view the homepage the title and sub head have ‘Format’ added while the opening paragraph of the intro does not and the next two paragraphs do. Adding the word ‘Format’ did though allow Markdown to work (making italic/bold etc) but lost my custom colours and font sizing which I am finding difficult to reapply to the macros.

The Display options are not available to me as I followed Joe’s video ‘Total CMS Implementation Walk-thru’ which applies the macros into the original Foundation text stacks and I believe (perhaps wrongly) the Display option only become available when using EasyCms Content Text Stacks?

I would appreciate any final thoughts you might have but I guess I need to get back the videos and some online material reading.

Yes display is just in the CMS text stacks.

Adding the markdown formatting is more than likley overriding your css which was applying the other styling.

Is there a specific reason you need to use markdown formatting in those areas? If you are already applying formatting elsewhere, it seems what you should be passing from The CMS is plain text.

Thanks again Scott. I can’t milk you endlessly and will now try Joe’s forum and support page.

Where I am now: Have moved to the Hipwig plain text on the admin side which on the positive side allowed me to apply bold and italic etc but the styling on the content side was still lost.

The detail grabs below shows the original design within the banner above the version with the lost styling. The title lost its size (header stack) which as yet I can’t re-establish and the sub heading (paragraph stack) lost its size, colour and moved to ranged left. The first two I corrected by applying custom settings but can’t seem to re-store a ranged left setting.

When opened in the browser the admin still fails to apply any changes.


Okay, let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this.

On the public page
Header stack, set size and style, add macro %cmsText(yourid)%

On the admin side header input:
CMS text stack set to: text/markdown, markdown formatting unchecked number of lines, 1.

The formatting should take place in the header stack.

Did that work?

Yes Scott it has. Can parts of the text still be made bold or italic this way?

Okay great, so let me try to explain what is going on here;

When you are adding a macro into a header stack that stack already has a header tag<h1>,<h2>...<h6>
If you then try to put something from the hipwig editor inside that it will try to add a paragraph tag <p> and that will break the formatting of the Header stack.

So I guess the point is;
If you are already controlling the formatting in the target stack you just send plain text as content and let that stack control the style.

If you want to control the formatting on the CMS side, use the HipWig input or the Markdown (with formatting) input. and the target stack should be a cmsText stack.

make sense?

EDIT: I didn’t answer the last bit. NO parts cannot be made bold or italic that way, all styling is controlled by the header stack settings.

If you want to control the styling from the cms stack, use either Markdown or Hipwig on the cms side and replace that header stack with a cmsText stack. You can then control it in the CMS

That does indeed make sense. By adding EsayCms after completing my site I have rather complicated things. Fortunately the site is modest and my client will also have modest demands for editing. Which brings me to the issue of why when opening the admin page in the browser does it not hold my previously entered text and remain red and fail to make changes. Somehow there is no connection between it and the content pages.

Yes, It’s easier to just build it once using the cms stacks…

There is something amiss with the admin page, does it have an admin core stack on it?
Did you try adding the debug stack to the admin page and previewing?
Is the server running a current version of PHP?
Have you republished ALL files from the file menu?

Hard to say with out a URL and log in for the admin page to have a look at.

Yes the admin core stack is on the page.
Not got to debugging yet.
Server is running php 7.2
Yes I have republished all files each time I have made a major change.

Okay, I would add the debug stack to the page and preview, see if it gives you any clues.
If you share a url and password to the admin page (you can pm me if you like) I will have a look for you.

Hey Pat, I replied to your pm with the issue.

Also, I would recommend the following:
Turn on the banner alerts in admin core so it will be evident when the save worked
If you are adding text in a paragraph area or mixed content like text and floating images use the Hipwig editor on the admin side and cmstext box on the public side (this will give you hipwig styling choices. (you can limit/add tools in the hipwig editor in the admin core stack.

if you have more questions, post here


A very reassuring sight that tick!

I am very grateful to have had the benefit of your experience Scott. I took on this website and acquired Rapidweaver some weeks ago primarily to prepare myself for building my own site. I have saved your insights for that future task. Cheers!

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