A CMS outputs code.  It's pretty simple, really.  In order for a CMS to do its job and help you build a website, somewhere along the line, it has to output some code.  Because Convergence has easy-to-use built-in modules like Photo Galleries, Blogs, Calendars, Product Listings, etc. it has to output some HTML.

We've always been careful about deciding what code to render... we know it's never easy applying CSS to someone else's markup or making sense of someone else's classes, id's, etc.  Today we are very excited to share with you two incredible new features that will let YOU decide how to write your own code.  In short, we know that your code is better than our code, and we wanted to open up Convergence to let you customize more markup. So let's not waste any more time, presenting the two newest features: Custom Displays and the Convergence API.

Custom Displays

When it comes to PRODUCT LIST modules and ITEM LIST modules, we've given you several options for how to display your products and items: Grid, List, and Table.  Depending on which option you choose, you'll see slightly different markup when the products/items are rendered.  We were thinking, however, wouldn't it be great if you could write your own markup for each product or each item displayed?  Enter stage left: Custom Displays

Custom Displays let you write the markup for each product or item, essentially you create a small HTML file using the "product" or "item" tokens - a mini template for each product/item.  Let's say you just wanted to show your product image in a div with another div laying on top with the product name, just code it up for one product using product tokens and you're good to go!

Where do put these HTML files? Great question.  They must be uploaded to /displays/products/ (or /displays/items/) - in your site's FTP.  Note that the /displays folder probably doesn't exist on your site, you'll need to create it.  So now, for example, if you create an HTML file named "image-only.html" and place it in /displays/products/ when you open up any PRODUCT LIST module on your site, you'll see the standard Display Options and then a new section called "Custom Displays" with a display called "Image Only".  You can create as many Custom Displays as you want, we've already used them on several sites and we love the flexibility.  In many ways it dramatically reduces our code and Javascript usage.

Read more on Custom Displays.

The Convergence API

Custom Displays are amazing... but they still require you to use a module.  We built the Convergence API so that you would have access to your products/categories/items/Item Lists/etc. without a module.  Using a slug or an ID you can pull information with jQuery and JSON.  We won't get into the nitty gritty here - but check below for the details on how to implement the API on your site.  

Learn how to use the Convergence API

Hopefully these two new features let you build amazing custom websites.  Let us know how they have helped you, and we'll feature some of the best integrations right here on the blog!  Happy coding!