Truly the DropCMS stack has changed our world: it allows 3 of us to collaborate on writing for a website in a very intuitive simple way.
Originally developed to use text files you stored on, as of 15th March 2017 Dropbox no longer support hot linked files in public folders. However DropCMS is still totally relevant for use with file uploading stacks like Droplet or FileMan.

Alongside support for plain text, DropCMS can also support basic HTML tags like lists, images, tables, video, definition lists and many other common HTML tags. There are no limits on how many DropCMS stacks you use in your project. The latest version of DropCMS now supports the optional conversion of Markdown syntax to HTML.

There are many innovative and flexible ways of using DropCMS. As an example, you could create content on a website which a client is able to access and update from their computer using FileMan. DropCMS has lots of open-ended possibilities.


This is a real working example of the DropCMS stack. In this instance a new plain text file called html-test.txt was created and uploaded to the server using FileMan. The plain text file contains some basic HTML markup and content (which you're reading right now). If you click this link, you can see the original source code. As you can see, it is possible to include elements such as pictures, and this whole block of content can be updated at anytime, from outside of RapidWeaver.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus et erat ut lectus fermentum tincidunt. Donec sed leo risus. Sed ut eros mi, a pellentesque purus. Donec leo elit, facilisis euismod accumsan in, mollis vel massa. Donec at turpis massa, nec tincidunt erat. In venenatis dolor sem. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Nam euismod egestas facilisis. Aenean vestibulum sapien nec libero imperdiet semper. In risus nulla, eleifend at pharetra sodales, consectetur non justo. Phasellus faucibus, leo eget blandit semper, augue felis ullamcorper lectus, vel luctus urna quam quis nunc. Nullam vel nibh sit amet felis tincidunt convallis eu nec purus. Sed tempor velit ut nulla pretium sodales. Quisque dapibus massa non velit elementum quis aliquam nibh pharetra. In arcu mauris, bibendum eget laoreet at, congue vitae tortor.

Aenean sed lacus vitae ante sagittis pellentesque. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Etiam mattis velit sed odio sollicitudin dapibus. Aenean pellentesque lectus quis quam hendrerit vel rhoncus augue facilisis. Aenean tempus malesuada augue vitae commodo. Etiam sed lorem dolor, et congue mauris. Nullam sit amet erat nisl, ac imperdiet dolor. Donec vel ligula odio. Maecenas pretium leo sit amet libero vulputate molestie in at arcu. Suspendisse potenti. Maecenas pellentesque, dolor id scelerisque vehicula, magna dolor luctus lectus, ut ornare lectus ipsum ut ligula. Aenean ante libero, consectetur vel ultricies quis, feugiat sed lorem. Aenean sollicitudin erat quis massa imperdiet et malesuada dui malesuada. Ut id augue nisi, nec placerat ligula. Sed imperdiet neque eget nibh hendrerit accumsan. In eget dolor sem, quis volutpat urna. Proin tempor nunc vitae felis iaculis bibendum.

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Simply add a DropCMS stack to your project. Make sure the page has a .php extension in the RapidWeaver Page Inspector. Change the embed type to either CURL (which works with most servers) or Echo. Provide the full (absolute) URL to the text file you want to embed with DropCMS. This can either be a plain text, HTML or Markdown file.

Markdown Support

Markdown is a simple markup language, originally created by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz in 2004. It basically allows you to write in plain text format, then easily convert the syntax and content to structured HTML. It is continuing to grow in popularity, and is remarkably easy to learn. I actually used Markdown to write my final dissertation at university, instead of opting for MS Word. You can create Markdown documents using software such as BBEdit and ByWord. Or you can just use a plain text editor like TextEdit (Mac) or Notepad (Windows).

As of version 1.3.0, the DropCMS stack can now support Markdown. This means that the DropCMS stack is capable of importing your .txt or .md Markdown files from a server, converting them to HTML and embedding them within a page. This is achieved by making use of the excellent opensource Pagedown script by John Fraser, which handles the Markdown to HTML conversion brilliantly well (better than what I could write).

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When you want to import a Markdown document into the DropCMS stack, tick the Markdown to HTML option in the DropCMS settings. This then reveals two other settings (shown on the right). The Hide Until Converted option should be ticked - this will hide the original unconverted Markdown document, so that only the processed (converted) document is ever shown. Setting the Javascript Call setting to 'External' will pull in the showdown.js file from the Google code directory, saving you about 50KB of bandwidth. If you would prefer to use the showdown.js file already bundled inside the stack, switch to the 'local' version instead. From this point onwards, DropCMS will be setup to import and convert your Markdown files. Markdown files being imported can either end in a .txt file extension, or they can use the regular .md file extension (it doesn't really matter either way).


If you find this stack element useful in your personal or commercial web projects; please consider making a small contribution towards ongoing support and updates. There are many different ways you can contribute to the Stacks4Stacks project, and benefits for doing so.
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