Section-Based Editing in Clover Sites 3

One of the biggest differences between the current version of Clover Sites and Clover Sites 3, is the way we are structuring each page of your website.

The current version is very much “page-based” editing. Page-based editing means that when you want to add content to your site, you think of it in terms of the whole page. So, if you want to have media on your site, you add a Media Page. If you want to put a bunch of text on your site, you add a Text Page, etc. 

Although this sort of structure has been great for most people through the years, so much has changed on the web since we initially created our current version of Clover Sites. Most notably, mobile devices now make up around 50% of all web usage! 

We believe that websites should adapt to whatever medium they’re being viewed on. Because of the nature of the way we consume information on our devices, having more content available without changing pages is crucial to a great web experience. This is why we have chosen to make the new Clover Sites allow multiple sections on each page.

Here are some examples of what section-based sites tend to look like:

Nest Site - Desktop

Jumpkick Site - Desktop

And just as importantly, here are some examples of what they look like on a mobile browser:

Nest and Jumpkick - Mobile

The beauty of sites being section-based is that the content can easily scale and grow as much or as little as you want, and the overall design of the website won’t be affected. This allows you to add more content than before, without cluttering up the design of your site.

So what does this mean for Clover Sites 3 users?

1. You can have as much information as you want on any page. Like I mentioned before, you will be able to add as many sections as you want to any of your pages. This means that you will never be limited by the amount of content you can have on a page. Also, each section will have the ability to be edited and styled individually, so you have a lot more control over the look and feel of each page.

2. You can have multiple types of content on a page. In our existing version of Clover, adding a media page to your site meant that you were limited to having a single media player on that page. In the upcoming version, you will be able to have multiple types of content on one page. For example, you could add a Gallery Page (big, advertising-type slideshow) to your site that might consist of a Gallery Section and a Text & Photo Section. You could start there, then add a Media Section and a List Section on that same page if you’d like. That might end up being a bit chaotic, but you get the picture — no more limits on types of content!

3. Your website will look stunning on any browser. Every Clover website will be responsive, and will look amazing on any browser. Each section you create will be sized down perfectly to fit whatever device people find you on, largely thanks to CS3 being section-based.

One last thing. If the idea of sections is a little intimidating to you, the new Greenhouse (our content management system) gives you the ability to edit by page rather than section. We give you the ability to edit in “Easy Mode” which allows you to not even think about sections… When you add a page to your site, you will be able to go about your business editing your page as normal. Switching to “Advanced Mode” gives you ultimate control over every section on your page. You will be allowed to add, delete, remove or change any section, so you can customize your site exactly the way you want.

We’ll be doing a walkthrough in the next few months showing exactly what this will look like in the new Greenhouse. In the meantime, I’ll do my best to answer any questions or clarify as much as possible. Can’t wait for you guys to have Clover Sites 3!

  • Philip

    AMAZING! I’m so excited! October can’t get here fast enough! Great job guys. This is what I’ve been waiting for.

  • Laura

    This makes me excited!
    Constantly, I am trying to figure out how to make people want to look past the homepage, because other things can’t fit on it. (And I don’t even need that much more room).

  • Grant

    That really sounds like a great addition! When will CS3 be available?

  • Mike

    In your examples there’s some great image ideas and icons used. Will these be available or is what is shown what a graphic designer would need to make and then we add to the page or section?

  • Shawn

    It all looks great- we are excited! I may have missed this in previous posts, but I have to ask. With the 50% of web usage going to mobile users, will there be an option to have an “app” for people to go to our site with one touch on their iOs or Android phones. We have been looking for this with other web hosting companies and have found some that offer it. But we are excited with what you guys are doing and have been happy customers, and we don’t want to switch. Also, if you do offer a “mobile app” would we be able to control what content goes on there, if we don’t want everything from our website on there? I hope that makes sense, and I hope something similar is in the works! Thanks!

  • Cecilia

    This is going to be so helpful for us. We won’t have to create separate page types for a Ministry. YAY!!! Thank you for these future changes!

  • Pastor Luis


  • Eric

    Hey Grant, we’re targeting late October for the initial launch and doing everything we can to hit that date.

  • Ben

    Hey Grant – we’re aiming for Oct 20th. You can read more in this post:

  • Ben

    Mike – well, actually, those two sites are just examples we pulled from elsewhere on the web. But we have actually been thinking for a while that it would be really useful to have some icons included in the Greenhouse for anyone to use. I can’t promise that, but it’s on the list to look at for the future.

  • Ben

    Shawn – that’s a great question. It’s not really in our plans to have an app that your visitors would use in place of your website, but the new sites will be designed natively for mobile so well that they should look and feel as amazing as having an app. Also, we do have future plans to provide an app for all your media/sermons!

  • / Eli

    Hurry up! :) super excited !!!

  • Tracy

    Sounds good…looking forward to it!!

  • Jason

    Will it include the options of having Parallax and video BG’s?

  • Jim

    @Jason – we’re totally planning on creating some site designs with parallax in them…

    The video background is a bit tougher on a multiple-site level (how we make creating a section with a background video user-friendly to everyone), simply because so many elements have to be perfect with the video for it to not be weird, too big, etc. But with that being said, you will have access to the CSS so if you can’t do it in our interface you should be able to in the code (if you know what you’re doing). Also, I think that a background video for a section is a great option for the future… We’re actually creating our new with a couple sections that have a background video playing with text on top of it. Great question.

  • Katharine

    Our youth minister would like to embed a display of our facebook and instagram accounts into the youth website page so that if you look at the webpage you will get a live or almost live feed of what is happening on those accounts. Will the new version be able to do that?

  • Eric

    Hey Katharine! We’d love to implement more things like this after launch. Initially you will be able to embed some content from other sites. We’ll be talking more about that in a future post. Thanks for the question.

  • Diana

    One thing I’m hoping for is that sermons/messages will be able to be loaded without having a date.

    I want to be able to feature/showcase series that may be a year or two old but have relevancy to things happening today.

  • Jim

    @Diana – Done. Our new media players will give you the ability to not include a date if you don’t want to.

  • Shawn

    I know it’s been a while since this was posted, but I have been on mobile sites where it prompts you to add a link that looks like an app on the phone. It has a little icon that looks like an app, but just acts like a link.

  • Scott

    Thanks for the great questions, Keith.
    Not sure if you saw this earlier post, but you’ll be able to embed all kinds of content in any text field:
    Depending on the specific site design you’ll be able to choose from a few section layouts. There are a few options to display content in multiple columns.
    For photos, you can choose between a few pre-designed layouts or setting them as a full background.
    We really appreciate you sticking with us through this process. We’ll be emailing you next week with a clear timeline for launch.

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