Austin Chen is an Associate Product Marketing Manager at Contentstack with extensive experience supporting go-to-market strategy and sales enablement at high-growth enterprise software companies like Braze and Highspot. Austin is passionate about learning new digital technologies and believes that wide-scale adoption of B2B software can positively impact millions of people's lives. With his lived experiences in the U.S. and Asia, Austin brings a unique perspective to the table and aims to continue fostering his creativity, curiosity, and empathy in the SaaS industry for years to come.
Posts by Austin Chen
Enhancing digital experiences with the power of personalization
Personalization in digital experiences is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. Customers today expect highly personalized experiences from the brands they interact with. By tailoring content and interactions to individual preferences, brands can deepen customer engagement, drive conversions, and foster brand loyalty. This tailored approach cultivates a sense of connection, creating an ongoing dialogue that feels more intuitive, engaging, and authentic – much like having an effortless conversation with someone you know and trust. With our robust personalization capabilities and rich ecosystem of personalization partners, we empower brands to leverage the power of personalization and deliver highly tailored digital experiences. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of personalization in modern digital experiences, along with relevant use cases supported by the Contentstack Composable DXP. What is personalization? Personalization is tailoring digital experiences and content to individual preferences and needs. It involves analyzing user behavior, preferences, and interests and using that information to provide customized content and interactions. Personalization can take many forms, from personalized product recommendations and emails to bespoke website experiences. Possibilities of personalization Increased customer engagement Personalization allows brands to connect with customers more deeply by understanding their unique preferences, behaviors, and needs. By providing personalized experiences, brands can capture the attention of their customers and keep them coming back for more. Improved conversion rates Personalization can also drive conversions by providing tailored recommendations and offers that are more likely to resonate with customers. Contentstack's Audience and Variables plugins enable brands to customize content for different target audiences and dynamically insert varying values from referred content types. This level of personalization ensures that customers receive relevant and compelling content, increasing the likelihood of conversion and driving revenue growth. Foster brand loyalty Additionally, personalization can foster brand loyalty by creating a more emotional connection between the customer and the brand. Personalization in practice So how can Contentstack help brands achieve these benefits? We offer a range of out-of-the-box personalization capabilities and integrations with partners that users can easily weave into any digital experience. Personalized content Contentstack allows content editors to create personalized content for different customer segments of their audience. By leveraging data stored in a customer data platform (CDP) and our extensible JSON RTE paired with the Variables plugin, content editors can create content tailored to specific user groups based on their interests, browsing behavior, or demographic information. Seamless omnichannel experiences Contentstack empowers brands to create and deliver personalized content seamlessly across multiple channels. Whether it's a website, mobile app, social media platform, or in-store kiosk, Contentstack enables brands to provide consistent and tailored experiences to customers at every touchpoint. This omnichannel approach ensures customers receive a cohesive and bespoke experience, regardless of the channel, device, or platform. AI Assistant custom actions In our AI Assistant’s configuration, custom actions allow users to create unique prompts that align with their brand's voice or other specific platform needs. For instance, you can improve blog or article content to resonate with particular user interests. Or, tailor blog headlines and summaries to match the reading preferences of different user segments. A/B testing & behavioral analytics Contentstack's integration with best-in-class personalization partners allows brands to leverage A/B testing and behavioral analytics. By experimenting with different variations of personalized content and analyzing customer behavior in real-time, brands can optimize their digital experiences. Our integrations with partners like Ninetailed and Optimizely enable you to personalize messaging and run experiments on any part of a website. For example, you can personalize product recommendations on an e-commerce site based on user browsing history. This data-driven approach enables brands to understand customer preferences and deliver highly targeted content, improving engagement and conversions. Better together Our rich ecosystem of best-in-class personalization partners further enhances these out-of-the-box capabilities and helps brands achieve more advanced personalization. By integrating with personalization tools and platforms, brands can leverage advanced algorithms and machine learning to deliver highly personalized and relevant content to their customers. For instance, you can leverage our integration with Dynamic Yield and easily create multiple landing pages in Contentstack, each targeting a specific offer or a customer segment. You can then analyze the experiments and optimize the landing pages to see what works best. This integration enables you to take personalization to the next level and stay at the forefront of customer engagement. Achieve personalization at scale By tailoring digital experiences and content to individual preferences, brands can increase customer engagement, drive conversions, and foster brand loyalty. Contentstack Composable DXP, with its robust platform capabilities and ecosystem of personalization partners, empowers global enterprises to leverage the power of personalization and deliver highly tailored digital experiences at scale. So, whether you're a content editor looking to create personalized content or a marketer looking to improve engagement and conversion rates, Contentstack has the tools and partners to help you achieve your personalization goals. Learn more To learn more about how leading brands globally are unleashing their full personalization potential with Contentstack, dive into our personalization use case.
Latest platform releases: UI updates, enhanced search, expanded Live Preview service, and more
We’re excited to announce the second and final phase of user interface (UI) updates to our Venus Design System 2.0, extending to primarily developer-specific screens and modules. Building upon the foundation laid by our first phase of updates, we’re continuing the theme of enhanced user productivity and accessibility to ensure developers fully maximize our platform while empowering content manager counterparts to continue to do their best work. Bundled along with these exciting UI updates are also new powerful search capabilities, REST support for Live Preview with a new way to improve security control, and bolstered team management features for organization administrators. Dive into each section below and see what these new advancements in the Contentstack platform entails. UI updates Enhanced search capabilities Live Preview Service with REST support and Preview Tokens More power to organization administrators UI Updates Navigation & layout improvements Data tables for list pages The list pages of all modules now feature newer and more flexible tables, allowing you to adjust and customize your table view to your liking and more easily navigate through data to find exactly what you need. Easy column management: The ability to move, resize, reorder, freeze/unfreeze, and add/remove columns as needed in the table view. When swapping between different row densities (“compact” or “comfortable”) on data tables, the system will remember your desired preference. Pagination to jump through pages: Pagination at the bottom of the tables now replaces the previous infinite scroll and allows for easier navigation through records. Improved date field and date picker We have made usability updates to the date field that largely benefit content managers: Timezone picker is no longer within the time picker, but now sits outside, within the date field for easier access. Date selector now has “Cancel” and “Apply” buttons to avoid accidental updates to the date field. The new “Use Current Date” and “Use Current Time” options in the date and time selectors help you quickly select the current date and time in a few clicks. We have also made updates to the date picker within the Audit Log, allowing you to tailor your records to showcase only information that falls within the selected date range: Redesigned to include a single calendar view, aligning with the new look and feel. The new “Reset” button can be used to clear the selected date ranges quickly. UI elements & styling enhancements Visual indicators We have made visual enhancements to the input fields and forms, significantly improving the readability of text and conveying to users which fields are or aren’t editable. All input fields in our app are more prominently displayed, making it easier for you to access and interact with the information that matters most. Borders for better readability: The distinct borders around the input fields enhance visibility, and help indicate which exact field users edit. Read-only fields appear with a lock icon: The read-only fields within forms now have a lock icon, indicating that the fields are not editable. Background color for forms: All forms now have a distinct background color, whereas the fields and text area remain white, improving the color contrast of pages. Enhanced accessibility This set of UI updates for the Venus Design System 2.0 has been designed with enhanced accessibility and inclusivity in mind, making the app more user-friendly and promoting a more accessible and enjoyable experience for our users with varying needs. Some of the prominent changes include: A refined set of icons that not only adhere to industry standards but also contribute to a more cohesive and visually pleasing interface Consistent text color and size Improved tooltips visibility More user-friendly fields, aligning with our phase 2 design upgrades Rich Text Editors (RTEs) We have changed the look and feel of all three RTEs (JSON, HTML, and Markdown) to improve its usability and make it consistent with the other fields in the app. The updated RTEs feature cleaner icons, prominent links to expand/minimize editors, and better spacing. Additional updates to all UI components Toggle switches for enabling/disabling features We have incorporated a toggle switch feature for effortless enabling and disabling, making control more intuitive and efficient. New information “Pills” The new color-coded “Pills” feature has been added to a few screens such as the Invite Users module, in headers of Workflows and Publish Rules pages, the Branches module, and the Webhooks page for better navigation. Enhanced search capabilities We also introduced new overall search capabilities to our platform, helping you quickly and easily find that “needle in the haystack” when needed. Search entries by title You can now search entries by their titles across all content types. This means quicker access to the content you want without scrolling through pages. To do a title-only search, click on the search bar and use “Title” from the “Recently Used Fields” section. It is now available under “Advanced Search” in the system-defined fields. Support for JSON RTE and custom fields in Advanced Search We have expanded our Advanced Search capabilities to include JSON RTE and Custom fields (JSON data type). With the inclusion of these fields, utilizing the 'contains' operator, our search fully supports all field types in entries, enhancing your search flexibility. Live Preview Service with REST support and Preview Tokens We’re excited to announce the expansion of our Live Preview Service capabilities with the addition of REST support, complementing our existing GraphQL services. This enhancement ensures a more streamlined and intuitive preview experience, providing a comprehensive and versatile support for development needs and preferences. The APIs for this enriched service mirror the familiar structure of our Delivery API, maintaining consistent API contracts. Alongside this, we have introduced Preview Tokens, a new way to provide improved security and control for our Live Preview Service within Contentstack. Upgrade from read-only management tokens to Preview tokens for enhanced security measures and to prevent unauthorized data access. A Preview Token can be created while creating a Delivery Token, for the same scope. More power to organization administrators If you are an organization administrator, you now get a host of new features to manage your teams. Administrators are able to enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) and password expiration intervals for all users in their organization. Administrators can now manage team-level permissions for the “Teams” that are created within Contentstack CMS. This feature is available for early access beginning February 1, and is rolling out to all users throughout this month. Conclusion As this final phase of Venus Design System 2.0 rolls out with these latest releases, we are dedicated to delivering a comprehensive upgrade to elevate your experience with the Contentstack platform. From enhanced data control to improved readability and accessibility, these updates reflect our dedication to providing a top-notch user interface for all our users. This set of UI updates and platform enhancements marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to providing you with a seamless and improved experience. Stay tuned for more details on new developments coming your way – because at Contentstack, we believe in constantly evolving to meet and exceed your expectations. Your seamless and enjoyable user experience with our platform is our #1 priority. In the meantime, head over to Contentstack Pulse to catch up with the latest and greatest updates on all our products!
Keys to unlocking global potential with localized digital experiences
Expand your global reach In today's interconnected world, businesses are no longer confined to their local markets or within the borders of their home countries. The way brands interact with global audiences has gone through another makeover, all thanks to the digital revolution. With the proliferation of highly personalized digital experiences and globalization, companies increasingly have the opportunity to expand their reach and tap into new markets. However, to truly succeed in these new markets and channels, businesses need to consider the importance of localization. It’s the secret sauce for connecting with customers from different corners of the globe, smashing through language and cultural barriers, unifying your brand, and unlocking endless opportunities for business expansion. With localization in practice, your message hits the mark no matter where it's heard, ensuring your content lands effectively wherever you have customers. But how can you ensure your message hits the mark no matter where it's heard? This blog explores the applications and benefits of localization while highlighting Contentstack as the ideal solution for global brands seeking scalable expansion. What is localization? Localization is adapting a product or service to meet the cultural, linguistic, and regulatory requirements of a specific market. It goes beyond simply translating content into different languages. It involves understanding the nuances of each market, tailoring the user experience to meet local preferences, and ensuring that the messaging, imagery, and content resonate with the target audience. A paradigm shift in localization strategy It’s no surprise that monolithic technology stacks often hinder the localization process. These outdated systems are complex, inflexible, and time-consuming to manage. They lack the agility required to adapt content quickly and efficiently, leading to delays in market entry and missed opportunities. Legacy systems often require extensive manual intervention, increasing costs and potential errors. That’s why Contentstack's composable architecture offers a modern approach to localization, addressing the limitations of these legacy systems. The Contentstack Composable DXP is a game-changer for organizations looking to navigate the complexities of global expansion. Unlike monolithic systems, our approach is modular and flexible, allowing businesses to integrate localization into their digital strategy seamlessly and adapt quickly to changing market demands. Contentstack empowers you to understand your customers' cultural and geographical attributes and how those attributes influence buying decisions, ensuring a consistent and personalized experience across diverse cultures. Localization for modern brands Multilingual content management Global brands need a technology solution to create, manage, and publish content in multiple languages. This requires quickly switching between languages, updating content for specific locales, and maintaining version control to track changes and updates for each language. With Contentstack, brands can seamlessly automate manual tasks, build triggers across marketing systems in just a few clicks, and increase publishing times with flexible content modeling. Paired with our responsive Live Preview, brands can ensure content looks accurate and precisely as it should across every locale and language where content is delivered. Efficient content creation, storage, and distribution allow businesses to maintain consistency and quality across all localized content. Efficient translation workflows An efficient translation workflow is essential for brands to keep up with localization demands. This requires integration with translation services or management systems, automation of translation processes, and the ability to collaborate seamlessly with translators and content creators. Contentstack’s partner ecosystem offers brands an extensive library of turn-key applications and ready-made extensions to enable brands to build their ideal tech stack to support their specific localization needs. Through our partners in the Contentstack Marketplace, brands can easily find apps & services they need to personalize, localize, and gather the data they need to keep up with cultural trends and preferences. Global content delivery Global businesses must ensure their localized content is delivered quickly and reliably to users in different regions. This process requires technology that integrates with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to reduce latency and optimize the user experience. Global CDN support is crucial for ensuring content loads rapidly for users in various geographic locations. Contentstack’s global CDN, with up to 99.99% availability, meets the strict requirements of enterprise-grade content and data security. Businesses can rest assured that content is always available and delivered even in high visitor traffic, intermittent spikes, and server outages, resulting in better customer experience and satisfaction. Localization pays off Enhanced customer experience Localization enables businesses to deliver culturally relevant content that resonates with customers personally. By speaking their language and understanding their cultural nuances, companies can build stronger connections, leading to increased customer loyalty and advocacy. Increased market penetration Localizing content allows businesses to tap into new markets and expand their customer base. Localization will enable organizations to overcome language barriers and adapt their messaging to align with local preferences, improving market penetration and revenue growth. Competitive advantage In a consumer-driven market, businesses that invest in localization gain a competitive edge. By demonstrating a commitment to understanding and serving local markets, organizations can differentiate themselves from competitors and position themselves as trusted global brands. The gateway to global success Localization is crucial to delivering compelling digital experiences in today's globalized world. As global expansion becomes a strategic goal for many enterprises, the ability to swiftly and effectively localize content becomes a business necessity. It's not just about reaching more customers; it's about creating meaningful and relevant interactions that drive conversions and foster long-term relationships. By harnessing the power of Contentstack's localization capabilities, businesses can create personalized, localized experiences, unify their brand presence globally, and expand their reach. Our platform provides streamlined collaboration and reduced time-to-market to help you maintain accuracy and consistency across different languages, regions, and channels. Whether you’re a business user or a developer, Contentstack provides the tools and capabilities to achieve successful localization and deliver impactful digital experiences globally. To find out more about how leading businesses worldwide leverage Contentstack today in their localization strategy, dive into our localization use case.
Introducing Taxonomy: Establish scalable content best practices with control and ease
The power of advanced taxonomy In today's fast-paced digital landscape, effective content organization and collaboration are crucial for businesses to stay competitive. While a headless content management system (CMS) offers increased flexibility and adaptability compared to legacy systems, it lacks the inherent structure that a legacy CMS provides. That's where Taxonomy comes in. Incorporating a taxonomy feature that integrates hierarchical structures and metadata elements capitalizes on the market demand for a more robust and well-rounded content management solution. This robust feature aims to streamline content management, enhance collaboration, and improve overall productivity at scale. The arrival of Taxonomy helps our customers scale content organization and role-based permissions, enabling users to manage large and complex data structures with ease while maintaining content security and separation. This innovative approach differentiates the Contentstack CMS and solidifies our position as a market leader in the enterprise content management space. What is Taxonomy? Taxonomy enhances content organization and enables content editors, particularly from larger enterprise environments, to handle vast and complex data structures with full control and ease. Taxonomy enables multiple ways to classify, organize and manage content, tailored to your organization’s specific needs. These classification methods can be structured hierarchically, relationally (may or may not be hierarchical), or as predefined lists based on metadata/attributes that can be applied across various use cases. Although its name, Taxonomy, implies categorization by hierarchy, it can be reused and repurposed to simplify content organization and management for large content volumes. Core features For developers Create: Create new taxonomies and terms. Developers are able to create sibling terms and child terms to establish a hierarchical structure for better content organization. Import & Export: Import one set of taxonomies and terms at a time, including nested terms, which helps save time and effort when managing a large number of taxonomies and terms. Content modeling with taxonomies: Associate specific taxonomies with content types, allowing for better organization and management of content. Developers can add a new taxonomy field, restrict which taxonomies can be tagged, and limit an editor's tagging options to the selected taxonomies. For business users List view (coming in GA): Content editors are able to view a list of all taxonomies on the Settings page, displaying relevant information such as Name, Description, Referenced Terms, Modified At, and Created At. This allows users to see an overview of their taxonomies and understand the relationship between taxonomy terms and categorized entries. Navigating entries with taxonomy structure: Content editors can navigate their content using a tree-like nested taxonomy structure. This will provide content editors with an intuitive way to browse, manage, and categorize their content based on the taxonomy. Taxonomy-based search: When searching for content, content editors have two primary methods at their disposal. A basic search involves simply typing a keyword, such as ‘India’ into the search bar, which brings up all entries categorized with that term. For a more tailored approach, the advanced search option allows you to apply multiple conditions, enabling you to refine your query and get more specific results. Key benefits Simplified content security & ownership Business leaders need a content ownership process that makes sense and is secure. Taxonomy helps stratify access to content within a content type by taxonomy term, without requiring a content type to be duplicated. This ensures the correct people on the team have access and permission to create and manage content most relevant to their respective project(s). No more content confusion and interruption as teams grow or change over time. Manage large-scale content projects Managing and organizing taxonomies of content for distinct business purposes on an aging legacy system is conducive to organizational limitations around long-term scalability and efficiency. With Taxonomy, manage and implement scalable content management processes for large-scale content projects across functions and systems with a direct line of sight. Gain full purview of content taxonomy Business teams need a way to effortlessly navigate to the content most relevant to their current priorities. Taxonomy helps provide navigation to content that spans multiple content types. It can mimic their site navigation structure or their own personalized ways of organizing content without having to understand the context of which content type their content lives in. With Taxonomy, manage and lead content projects from a single vantage point, giving you the confidence and assurance to execute. What's next? Taxonomy is a game-changer for content organization and collaboration. With its robust functionality and benefits, businesses can manage large-scale content projects, improve content security & ownership, and enhance overall content management experiences. By following best practices and leveraging the power Taxonomy, businesses can stay ahead in the digital landscape. Please note that Taxonomy is currently in its Early Access phase, and we appreciate your participation as early adopters. If you’re interested in joining our Early Access Program, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager. Your feedback will be invaluable as we work to refine and improve Taxonomy. Our goal is to roll out Taxonomy to all users in the near future, delivering a polished and valuable addition to your Contentstack experience. If you’re fascinated by the versatile options for classifying, organizing, and managing content, we invite you to dive into our Taxonomy documentation.
Venus Design System 2.0: UI updates for enhanced user productivity
Introducing Venus Design System 2.0 In our relentless pursuit of delivering a seamless user experience for our users, we understand the importance of continuous improvement and iteration to achieve that goal. That’s why we’re thrilled to share our Venus Design System updates, focused on enhanced user productivity and accessibility. As you may recall, we chose Venus, like the Roman goddess of beauty and love. It is the visual expression of our love and care for our customers. In this blog, we'll dive into the recent user interface (UI) updates for the content manager screens, taking you behind the scenes of the standardization of design components, user navigation, improved spacing, icon enhancements, and more. Buckle up as we explore these changes that will elevate your experience with our platform. UI elements & styling enhancements Refreshed cards on Stacks homepage These UI updates create a visually appealing and more informative card interface. You will find it easier to navigate and gain deeper information about each Stack. New background colors, icons, and sectioned design Improved text spacing for readability Added total user count per Stack Tooltips when hovering for truncated Stack names Enhanced accessibility Our accessibility improvements make the app more user-friendly and inclusive. Users with varying needs will experience enhanced readability, easier interaction, and consistent icon behavior, promoting a more accessible and enjoyable experience. Tooltips when hovering Updated fonts and spacing for headings (H1, H2, H3) Larger action buttons for improved navigation Standardized family of icons for greater cohesion Icons now function as buttons with primary, secondary, and tertiary states Updated user login experience These updates to our user login page introduce a more user-centric and efficient login experience, promoting ease of use, clarity, and an aesthetically pleasing interface. Updated user flow for login via SSO, now with buttons instead of tabs Validation messages are now shown below the text input fields The “Submit” buttons will be disabled until the validation passes Navigation & layout improvements Updated Entry & Asset List UIs The updated tabs components provide a more focused and efficient way to navigate through both the App's Entry & Asset List UIs, making it easier to switch between sections and find exactly what you need. New toggle navigation between Content Types and Labels tab Enhanced table filtering, which is now easily identifiable with a filter icon. Added pagination on the Entry List page Table resize functionality Added collapse/expand functionality for the left-hand side menu Table management and custom views With more organized and user-friendly table management, you can customize the table view and manipulate tables more easily, reducing frustration and errors. Improved table filtering with an identifiable filter icon Enhanced column management with functionality to freeze/unfreeze columns in table view Updated asset cards in the thumbnail view Improved spacing of asset results with a 4-grid or 8-grid view to prevent element misalignment Icon, button & alert refinements Removed icons for action buttons in pop-up modules Removing distracting icons on non-destructive action buttons allows you to focus on the task without unnecessary visual clutter, leading to a cleaner and more efficient user experience. Entry Editor These icon and text field changes enhance visual clarity and consistency, making creating and editing Entries easier, resulting in a more user-friendly content management experience. Cosmetic change of icons in entry outline from solid fill to stroke family icon Outlined border of the text field when you hover over a content block in the entry editor Alerts The defined alert colors help you quickly identify different types of alerts, reducing confusion and improving overall user communication within the app. Defined 4 new colors for different alerts Information: blue Messaging: red, amber, gray What's on the way? In conclusion, our recent efforts to revamp our app's UI through Venus Design System 2.0 signify a pivotal moment in our commitment to delivering an exceptional user experience. The Venus redesign was just the beginning of this journey, and we're thrilled to see how this innovative design system is already making a positive impact. By meticulously auditing all app screens and implementing audit-suggested changes, we ensure a consistent and streamlined interface across the board. This initiative is more than just an update; it's a testament to our unwavering dedication to our customers' app experience. As we refine and evolve our UI, we're excited to see how these changes will empower you to navigate our app effortlessly and enjoy a more satisfying digital journey. Stay tuned for more exciting developments of our platform’s developer screens, and thank you for being part of our ongoing transformation.
Benefits of Live Preview: Now with GraphQL support
While a headless content management system (CMS) architecture offers flexibility and scalability, it also introduces complexities when it comes to visualizing and testing content changes before publishing. Previewing content changes within a headless CMS presents challenges and pain points that business users and developers must address. That’s why we developed our dynamic Live Preview feature, which introduces omnichannel previewing functionality, greatly enhancing our users' content creation and editing experience. It allows real-time visualization of how content will appear on the final user interface, eliminating the need for constant toggling between editing and preview modes. By providing a seamless and accurate representation of content, Live Preview significantly streamlines the content creation process. Now with GraphQL support, we take Live Preview a step further. GraphQL provides developers with an alternative approach to querying data, in addition to REST. GraphQL introduces a paradigm shift by allowing developers to define the structure of their desired data on the back-end. This empowers developers to formulate syntactically precise requests and combine various data types into one response, tailoring it to their specific use case. This flexibility is a key feature of GraphQL, as developers can shape the data retrieval to match their application's needs, ensuring they use the right tool for the right job. Key benefits Contentstack’s implementation and architecture of Live Preview has emerged as a game-changer in headless CMS. By facilitating a dynamic preview of the content in its final layout, this feature brings many advantages that transform the content creation process into a more efficient, accurate, and collaborative endeavor. It benefits content managers by improving efficiency and content accuracy and empowers developers to build and fine-tune the front-end interface with a clearer understanding of the end result. For business users WYSIWYG experience: Live Preview provides a "What You See Is What You Get" experience, empowering business users to comprehend the final look and feel of the content. This leads to accurate content creation without the need for constant back-and-forths. Omnichannel content preview: Content managers can seamlessly preview content across multiple platforms, such as mobile, tablets, and desktops. They can also check the responsiveness of their content by changing the aspect ratio, creating a truly omnichannel experience. Streamlined approvals: With an accurate preview, stakeholders can make quicker decisions regarding content approval, as they can now visualize how the content will appear to end-users. Content accuracy: Business users can ensure content accuracy by seeing it in its final layout. This is particularly crucial for content that involves complex formatting or multimedia elements. Time and effort savings: The seamless preview experience eliminates the need to switch between editing and preview modes, saving valuable time for content managers and allowing them to focus more on creating high-quality content. Engagement enhancement: By visualizing the content exactly as users see it, business users can fine-tune their content for better engagement and user experience, leading to improved outcomes. For developers NEW! GraphQL support: With GraphQL for Live Preview, we bring the capability of real-time data preview to support GraphQL from new Live Preview APIs. A primary advantage of GraphQL is its ability to prevent overfetching and underfetching of data, enabling developers to request exactly the data they need, reducing unnecessary data transfer and the need for multiple API calls. Real-time feedback loop: Developers can witness their front-end coding efforts materialize instantly with the actual content, allowing them to promptly identify and rectify design inconsistencies or layout issues. Efficient iterations: Live Preview accelerates the iterative process. Developers can fine-tune templates, styles, and layouts in real time, significantly reducing the development lifecycle. Content-Design Synchronization: By previewing content exactly as it will appear, developers can ensure that their design aligns perfectly with the content, eliminating any mismatches that might arise during the integration phase. Debugging ease: Any issues with content integration, such as formatting problems or content overflow, can be identified and resolved early in the development process, minimizing debugging efforts later on. Enhanced collaboration: Developers can collaborate more effectively with content managers, making on-the-fly adjustments based on immediate visual feedback, leading to a smoother and more productive partnership. Real-world use cases Preview content in real-time Content managers always preview their content before deploying it to production. Until now, you had to use a different preview website or a preview extension for this purpose. These separate sites or extensions require you to save and publish the content to preview the corresponding live website. With Live Preview, you can edit your content and view the changes you make in real time without saving or publishing to a live website! Test content changes Suppose you have made the necessary changes to your entries and want to check how they would look on the live website. You can do so via the Live Preview pane. Live Preview lets you preview content changes across different environments, such as development, staging, and production. You can update an entry and view how it would look across multiple environments in real time. Test omnichannel content Say you want to preview how your content will appear on various digital platforms. With Live Preview, you can seamlessly preview content across mobiles, tablets, and desktops, creating an omnichannel experience. Contentstack offers an omnichannel preview experience for your entry content that caters to multiple digital channels: Responsive mode: Change the aspect ratio of your webpage. This will immediately change the dimensions of your preview window, thus allowing you to view the responsiveness of your webpage. Mobile mode: Set a specific aspect ratio that is seen on mobile devices, allowing you to preview the responsiveness of your webpage on a mobile device. Tablet mode: Preview the responsiveness of your webpage on a tablet device. Conclusion Live Preview brings a new dawn to the content creation process, catering to the needs of business users and developers alike. This feature fosters collaboration, efficiency, and content accuracy by providing real-time, accurate previews of content in its final layout. While business users can create content that truly resonates with their target audience, developers can streamline their coding and design efforts. The future of content management is not just about storing and delivering content; it's also about offering dynamic, real-time, composable solutions that can adapt to an ever-changing digital landscape. With the addition of GraphQL alongside REST for Live Preview, you can ensure that you work in the most efficient way possible. From news websites to e-commerce platforms, the real-world applications of Live Preview are diverse and transformative. Are you ready to unlock a new era of content management? Dive into our Live Preview documentation and explore where creativity and functionality intertwine to deliver remarkable user experiences.
Best practices with Branches
Content creation and management can be a complex process, especially for enterprises with large-scale content operations involving multiple teams. To streamline workflows and enhance collaboration, the Contentstack Headless CMS offers independent workspaces—known as Branches—for developers to work on content models, facilitating the safe development of new features or significant changes and enabling content editors to continue to work in production without any interruptions. Branches are independent copies of your content repository that allow team members to work on different content models simultaneously. Branches allow you to create multiple copies of your stack content. Every stack has a main branch by default. To create a new branch, you can fork a branch off of the main branch. When you create a branch for the first time, the main branch becomes your source branch. For all subsequent branches you create, you need to specify a source branch from which it will inherit data. These branches provide a secure and isolated environment where changes can be made, reviewed, and merged back into the main content model seamlessly. Real-world use cases Agile development Branches aligns perfectly with the Agile development methodology. Developers can create separate branches for a new set of related changes, enabling development to happen without disrupting content efforts. This approach enables continuous integration and seamless merging, ensuring a steady flow of updates and enhancements while maintaining stability. Isolated content development With Branches, developers can work on specific features, campaigns, or updates in parallel, without the fear of conflicting with editor's production changes. Developers and content managers can work concurrently on different copies of the same content without data loss. This isolation fosters efficient development and minimizes the risk of errors or content discrepancies. Compare & Merge With the Compare Branches feature, you can compare the differences between two branches. If you make changes to your content model in a branch and want to see what’s different, you can use this to do so. Once you are satisfied with your changes, you can integrate the changes in the current branch into another branch using the Merge Branches feature. You can merge two branches with the following strategies: Prefer base: This enables you to add changes from the compare branch to the base branch, and when conflicts arise, it keeps the changes in the base branch and ignores the changes in the compare branch. Anything present in the base branch but not in the compare branch will be kept. Prefer compare: This enables you to add changes from the compare branch to the base branch, and when conflicts arise, it keeps the changes in the compare branch and discards the changes in the base branch. Overwrite with compare: This allows you to completely replace the base branch with the changes from the compare branch. Anything in the base branch that is not present in the compare branch will be lost. Merge new only: This allows you to merge only the new changes from the compare branch to the base branch and ignores any modified changes in the compare branch. Merge modified with prefer base: This allows you to add only the modified changes from the compare branch to the base branch. When conflicts arise, it keeps the modified changes of the base branch and ignores the modified changes of the compare branch. Any new items in the compare branch are ignored. Merge modified with prefer compare: This allows you to add only the modified changes from the compare branch to the base branch. When conflicts arise, it keeps the modified changes of the compare branch and ignores the modified changes of the base branch. Any new items in the compare branch are ignored. Ignore: This allows you to ignore all changes from the compare branch, keeping the base branch as it is. This can be used to ignore a specific change or to ignore all changes and merge only specific changes. Key benefits Collaborative workflow Branches promotes a collaborative content development process by enabling multiple contributors to work simultaneously on different aspects of a project. Teams can experiment, iterate, and refine their content models and test automated content updates without disrupting the main content repository. Efficient content review Branches provides a controlled environment for content model review and testing big scripted changes. Team members can review and provide feedback on the proposed changes before merging them into the main content repository. This ensures content quality and consistency while facilitating effective collaboration and knowledge sharing. Easy rollbacks In case an issue arises or an experiment doesn't yield the desired results, Branches and Aliases allows for easy rollbacks without affecting the main content repository. Developers can maintain production content across different branches without affecting live website data. Aliases can always point back to the previously referenced content branch in case of unintentional content deployment. This feature provides a safety net, allowing developers to experiment and explore innovative ideas without fear of irreversible changes. Branches is a valuable feature that empowers developers and business users to work efficiently, collaborate seamlessly, and deploy changes confidently. By embracing best practices and leveraging Branches effectively, teams can unlock new levels of productivity, accelerate development cycles, and deliver exceptional digital experiences. Branches serves as a catalyst for engineering innovation, ensuring that businesses stay ahead of the curve in an ever-evolving digital landscape without disrupting editors in production. If you’re fascinated by the possibilities around streamlined development and innovation flexibility, we invite you to dive into our Branches documentation.