When we began building websites, we realized we wanted a few things out of a CMS:

  • Build in standard HTML / CSS (and use JS/jQuery when we need it)
  • Construct 'template' HTML files that could be used for Home, Inside pages, etc.
  • Use include files for common elements like the header, footer, and sidebars
  • Easily add pages, and have those pages appear on menus around the site
  • Allow the Client to login and easily make edits to the site

Strange - the list looks so simple, yet for some reason we couldn't find the right existing CMS to fit our needs.  Many of the CMS options tripped up on the last requirement: make it dead simple for our clients to edit their sites.  Out of our frustration, we built Convergence.

We wanted to show you how simple it is to build a site on Convergence. 

Step 1: Signup for a free site.

  • Head over to http://www.convergencecms.co/signup and enter in the details for your first site on Convergence. (This is signs you up for our Decaf plan, which is and always will be free - so no credit card info is needed.)
  • For our demo, we're going to create a site called first.convergencecms.co:

/templates/photos/signup.png

Step 2: Login to the FTP.

  • Congrats on creating your site!  As soon as you create it - you'll be taken to your site where you can see some default modules on the default template.  If you want, you can try clicking Edit on the modules to see what they do. 
  • The defaults are nice, but now we want to build YOUR site.  In just a minute, you should receive an e-mail that tells you your site was setup.  Once you've gotten that email, you're ready to login to your FTP for Convergence.
  • Open up your favorite FTP client, for this demo we'll just use FileZilla.
  • Enter the following login details: 
    Host: convergencecms.co 
    Username: your site subdomain (like "first")
    Password: your password from the signup form

/templates/photos/ftp.png

  • Once you login, you should see the default list of files:

/templates/photos/default-files.png

  • Because these files are for the default template, you can safely delete them.

Step 3: Create the index.html template file.

  • Now, create an HTML file called index.html in your favorite text editor.
  • Convergence works with all types of HTML, but for this demo, let's go ahead and use HTML5 - so write this in your index.html file:

/templates/photos/screen-shot-2012-04-18-at-2.41.39-pm.png

  • Most of that code should look very familiar, but two pieces of code in there are Convergence tokens. The first - in the title tag - is the site token that displays data about your site. The second - in the body tag - is the content token that allows you to add modules to your pages.
  • Upload this file to Convergence using your FTP client.
  • In your browser, go to http://YOURSUBDOMAIN.convergencecms.co - for example, we'll go to http://first.convergencecms.co. (this page may still be open from Step 1 above)
  • You should see a blank white screen with a module box that says ADD MODULE.  Click the box and click Add Text.  (If you were logged out, you can always log back in at: http://YOURSUBDOMAIN.convergencecms.co/login )
  • In your Text Module, click in the WYSIWYG editor and type Hello World! - then click SAVE CHANGES.

Congratulations!  You've just created your first simple site on Convergence! This is obviously a very basic page, so in our next installment we will cover how to add multiple pages and a menu to your site.