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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Mark Boulton on the case for inline editing

October 21, 2013

Mark Boulton in the appropriately titled WYSIWTFFTWOMG!

One of the other pain points of a complex dynamic website, where ‘pages’ are created with bits of content from all over the place is ‘where the hell do I go to find that bit of content to edit it?’. That is a painful moment in a content person’s daily life.

A million times yes.

There are a lot of challenges to building an inline editor – such as the amount of work it takes to make the code output be semantic, properly structured, and not full of junk – but there are also many, many advantages to using one. The two biggest advantages are:

  • that you can see the content in the place that the viewer will see it
  • the content you’d like to edit is easily found by simply browsing your site and tapping on it

These are easily the two most compelling reasons we began building Barley.

Once we got started we realized how hard it was to build templates for most CMSs so we tackled that too. Regardless of foreknowledge Barley is the easiest CMS to build site templates for (you only need to know HTML, no scripting languages needed) and the easiest to edit content on (you need to know how to use your keyboard and mouse). And the points of frustration that Mark outlines in his piece are exactly why we made it.

Now we just need to keep making it better and better.