Come attend the free day-long ContentBox workshop, being held the day before IntotheBox, as we will walk through converting an existing CFML-based website (one which you may recognize) into ContentBox, including the steps from scratch, the benefits, and available features and options to really empower and improve most any site.

About the Workshop, Why I’m Excited and You Should Be, Too

Into the Box 2017 is not like previous years, now with 2 days of conference sessions, and it includes another day prior to the conference for Workshops. We have had a lot of demand for more in-depth and hands on sessions for a lot of our Box family products, so with ITB breaking away from CF/Dev.Objective(), we have more time so we can offer workshops now as well.

What I am really excited about, is ContentBox's Workshop, which will be lead by Esmeralda Acevedo and myself, and it will be FREE. That's right, we'll be going over a full day’s worth of hands-on workshop material, for free. But space is limited, so don’t wait too long to get your workshop ticket, register now.

Want to know what we'll cover in this ContentBox workshop? It will be more than just a “what’s ContentBox” session. Rather, we will do a complete walk through, from start to finish. You can follow-along with us (software provided) or try the same things with a local copy of your own web site. More below.

Workshop Content

We have a nice full outline for the workshop, and we're putting together the actual content right now. I don’t want to just paste pages of content in here, rather I want to talk to you about the process we will undertake.

Building a website with ContentBox is a process, and that is what we want to work through with the workshop. When you contemplate using ContentBox, you might be building a brand new website, but more than likely you’re trying to migrate some existing website into ContentBox. That’s what we’ll do here, not only showing how to setup a new ContentBox site, but also migrating content from an existing site, whether static content (easy), and/or perhaps a blog (ContentBox offers that and can import most). Maybe you also some sort of application in your site, which could be managed as a ContentBox module.

And to show all that, we could make up a story, and a dummy site, but why do that, when we can use a real website, and perhaps one you have already used?

We're going to walk you through Charlie's story, and the migration of his site, carehart.org, into ContentBox. (It’s not running ContentBox yet, but we will show the process of getting there, with lessons you can apply to migrating your own site into ContentBox.)

Charlie's Story

Charlie Arehart is a long-time member and contributor to the CFML community, who spends most of his work day as a veteran server troubleshooter providing short term, remote, on-demand troubleshooting and tuning assistance to organizations of all sizes and experience levels. He also loves to share what he learns on his site, whether in his blog, his presentations, his articles, or in resources he has like the cf411.com and cf911.com sites.

Yet like most developers (or business people in general) who spend more time helping others, often their own site may suffer: the classic case of "the cobbler's children having no shoes". While Charlie's website is a great resource for almost everything CFML, providing answers to many google searches you may pose, he acknowledges that it hasn't had a major functional or UI upgrade in several years. It’s also pure CFML, so any changes require editing HTML and CFML by hand. There are lots of opportunities for improvement, and he realizes the time has come to do something about that.

We are going to re-build Charlie’s site… with ContentBox.

We’ll show how that’s done (just as you could follow along and do on your own site), going from soup to nuts on a machine that has nothing but the site code. We won’t presume you have ContentBox, or even a CFML engine, so this really is a workshop suited to someone starting from scratch with ContentBox (though of course general familiarity with CFML and a CFML engine will help.)

CommandBox

We’re going to start by installing CommandBox, so we can spin up locally the sort of server that Charlie’s site uses, for optimal compatibility while we build his new website. (ColdFusion in his case, but you could spin up Lucee or any other CFML engine of your choice.) Don’t worry if you’ve never used CommandBox. This will be a simple step and surprisingly fast to have a complete local running CFML server. (If you’ve only ever done your development on a remote server, this is all the more valuable an experience to have your own local CFML server.)

Installation and Theming

Then we’ll proceed to install ContentBox (showing how easy that is from within CommandBox), and we’ll adjust the default theme to more closely approximate Charlie’s site, and even show how to choose, install,and customize a new theme. ContentBox also lets you build one from scratch.

Admin - Users, Settings

We’ll then add site users, update their permissions, change some config settings, and configure ContentBox to suit the users of the site. In Charlie’s case, he works alone, but you could set yours up to have multiple contributors.

Add Content

We’ll then get into actually creating the site content, starting with pages and menu items, copying content from his old site to this new variation. We’ll talk about some choices one may make in doing such a transition. One of the perks of ContentBox is how easy it is to edit content, and coming from a largely static site, this will be a big improvement for Charlie.

Import Blog

A large part of Charlie’s site (as with most sites) is his blog. We’ll use ContentBox’s import tools to import his blog from his existing blog platform, saving hours or even days compared to trying to recreate it manually. (Often, the task of migrating a blog is so challenging that people just don’t bother trying to import their old content. Even with Charlie’s using an old BlogCFC version, we were able to import his site content easily and completely. ContentBox supports importing from many blog engines, so again you can do this with your own blog, perhaps even during the workshop depending on its size.)

Modules

We’ll look at the ways a new ContentBox site might leverage ContentBox widgets and modules to add functionality, and we may even have time show how easily one could make their own widgets and modules.

Legacy Conversion

While much of Charlie’s site content is either his blog (CFML-based) or mostly static content (currently served as CFML pages), one part of his site is his ‘UGTV” section. It’s a user-contributable repository of links to videos of CFML-oriented presentations from hundreds of speakers. And it’s just an old-school, traditional database-driven app, all written in CFML.

And ContentBox can handle that. We will build a ContentBox module to migrate such legacy code into the new site. In the case of Charlie’s site, his code is non-MVC (not based on any framework), but in case yours may be, we will do this in steps, showing first how to migrate such non-MVC into a module view only, then showing how we could even convert it to be MVC-oriented (leveraging ContentBox’s MVC nature) code, or even converting to full MVC code with Services and DAOs.

The Journey

In the end, we will have brought Charlie’s carehart.org site into a modern look and feel, and being a CMS it will be easier for him to edit and add new content. So in this workshop we are going on a journey, working with a real site (or you can work on your own), and you will learn a lot along the way about working with ContentBox.

Why am I excited about the Workshop?

I’m excited to be working with Charlie, and I thank him for his time and openness in sharing in this process.

As the ContentBox Evangelist, I'm also excited to be able to spend some time with workshop attendees, teaching you but also learning from you. I want to learn any pain points with ContentBox is, so we can make it better for everyone.

This workshop is free, but again space is limited, to be a close-quarters, immersive workshop experience. So if you’re interested, please book your ticket asap so you don't miss out. Early Bird Pricing still available for the Conference - Book now before you miss out.

Look forward to seeing you there.