Today we're going to be looking at another huge addition to Alloy in v3, and that is our new Droplets. Alloy v3's Droplets system allows you to customize aspects of your site directly from the Alloy Editor on your site without needing to republish the project from RapidWeaver. I hear you saying to yourself right now -- "Wait I thought we talked about this yesterday?"
Let me clarify a bit... Droplet's are small pieces of data that we can use to manipulate text or images on a page. With a little forethought we can create Droplets that will let us change Banner images, Sliders, Headers and so much more directly from the Alloy Editor on our site. This lets us make adjustments to aspects of our site outside of just the content that an Embed would allow us.
Again, like the Embeds and Blog Posts in the Editor, the Droplets section also has a nicely organized list view as well. Much like Embeds we also sort the Droplets based on our Pages categorization. The list view shows each of our Droplets' titles, along with its Tag. The list view also contains buttons for copying the Droplet Tag, Editing and Deleting the Droplet.
The Tag for our individual Droplets is what we'll use to add them to the RapidWeaver project file in our Stacks based pages.
While Droplets are extremely simple sounding, as well as easy to create, they're very powerful. Droplets consist of just a few fields, but can make managing our page's content, and styling our site an easy task.
Let's take a look at the fields we'll use to create a Droplet, below. Don't forget we also have a tutorial later in this post that walks you through creating and managing your Droplets as well.
We can choose two different data types for our Droplets -- Text or Image.
Text Droplets are used for replacing text elements on a page using our Droplet Tag -- a header, text within a paragraph, copyright, etc. can all be replaced using our Text Droplet Tag. We can use these text Droplets for small snippets of text that we need to reuse and that we may want to be able to quickly change site-wide.
Image Droplets allow us to upload an image using the Editor and link the URL for that uploaded image directly to our Droplet Tag. This lets Alloy upload and manage the image for us and we can then use our Droplet Tag for Banner backgrounds, Images and more.
Let's take a look at the tutorial video for Droplet Content Management to see all of this in action. In this video we look at modifying existing Droplets as well as creating one from scratch, as well as how we go about the simple copy-and-paste process of inserting our Droplet into our RapidWeaver project.
We think Droplets will nicely compliment Alloy's new Embeds in helping you manage your site's contents directly from your site. We also think that if you're creating sites for customers that this is a great way to build out often updated content on a page for your client so that they can easily update things right from their site without needing to use RapidWeaver or bug you to publish updates.
We've already pushed out Foundry v2.3.0 to the update server for all Foundry v2 users, as well as Potion Pack v2.0.7 for Potion Pack customers. These updates contain changes to some of the included stacks to make using Droplets in stacks like the Banner and Backdrop stacks simple and easy. The release notes for Foundry and Potion Pack contain a full list of updates, showing which stacks received changes for Droplet support, as well as any additional updates.
You can update to these new versions of Foundry and Potion Pack using the Stacks plugin's updater.
In our Day 3 post we'll start taking a look at some Alloy's new Blogging tools -- Blog Layouts, Search, Tags, and Custom Summaries.
Quick Start, too
As a primer for tomorrow's post here's a bonus look at our new Quick Start video for setting up your first Blog page for your visitors. This quick run through will show you how you get a blog setup really quickly.