What is Spire CMS?

  • Updated

Spire is both a new CMS and a new, from the ground up, reference site. It uses different technology than our prior Classic CMS, but the main ideas are the same - pages are constructed from CMS widgets, widgets are displayed on the pages, and the CMS/Javascript Framework use APIs to retrieve data.

The primary technical goals for the rewrite of the Optimizely Configured Commerce front-end and CMS are:

  • Improved upgradability for the frontend
  • More composable commerce pages
  • Simple CMS Data Structure
  • Improved page editing experience
  • SEO/Serverside rendering
  • Lighter Javascript payloads

While not a technical goal, another intent of this initiative is to empower business users to have more control over the site without developer intervention and to keep implementation costs competitive with other platforms.

Widgets will be smaller and more focused, so users have more flexibility with how they arrange their pages (in the previous CMS a whole page could be just one widget, which was very limiting)

The styling is more WYSIWYG, so the users can use the CMS style guide to change site-wide styling like colors, headings, and so on.

Blueprints enable front-end customization and extension. 

Why did you build a new CMS?

We had a few primary goals for building a new CMS including:

  • Put more power in the hands of the business user
  • Allow for near-seamless upgrades of the front-end like the back end
  • Reduce initial implementation costs
  • Create a simpler, more intuitive content editing experience

We could not accomplish these goals without thinking about the goals and the available technologies. As Configured Commerce appeals to mid-market customers with a widely varying set of technical expertise and digital maturity, we wanted to have a site design experience that was both flexible and easy to work with.

The big benefits of Spire will be the Style Guide (ability to change base CSS from within CMS) and the more granular/composable widgets. It is also a bit more intuitive to use and React has a smaller footprint on the front end than Spire will for responsive usage when bandwidth is at a premium.

How is Spire CMS different from Classic CMS?

They use fundamentally different technologies - Spire CMS is built on React/Redux and Classic CMS is built on Angular.js. See the table below for additional comparison information.

How long will Optimizely support Classic CMS?

Classic End of Life/Support Notification 

All customers, regardless of cloud or on-premises implementation, can now take advantage of our Spire CMS & Storefront technology. Because of this, we are officially providing end of life notice for our Classic (i.e. Angular) CMS & Storefront technology. 

  • Who is Impacted: Customers that have a website built on our Classic (i.e., Angular) CMS & Storefront technology. 
  • Who is Not Impacted: Customers that already have their sites on our Spire (i.e., React) CMS & Storefront technology. 

We now have the ability for all existing, Classic-based sites to be implemented on our Spire technology. Our Configured Commerce Cloud customers can implement Spire-based sites on the same instance as their existing Classic-based sites. With the v5.1 SDK release in January 2022, our on-premises customers can also utilize Spire. Learn more about migrating your Configured Commerce site from Classic to Spire.

Note: For Cloud customers running Classic sites that want to start creating a Spire site, Optimizely will first need to migrate your instance from our “Pod” infrastructure to our “Container” infrastructure. Please contact your Customer Success Manager to schedule this migration. 

While we understand moving from Classic to Spire will require effort by our customers, we wanted to provide as much notice & support as possible – and continue to add value to your existing sites. The following timeline outlines the three-year end-of-life plan: 

  • 2022 (Year One) – Continue to Add New Features to Classic 
    • We will continue adding new capabilities to both Classic & Spire throughout 2022. This includes adding brand new features and enhancements to existing features. 
  • 2023 & 2024 (Years Two & Three) – Make Bug & Security Fixes to Classic 
    • New features and capabilities will only be added to Spire, but we will address base code bugs & critical security issues in Classic. 
  • January 1, 2025 – End of Life for Classic 
    • This will be the official End of Life for Classic. There will be no base code changes made to Classic after this date. 

What kind of feature parity will there be between Classic CMS and Spire CMS?

The reference sites will have some differences in the way features are being implemented, but they fundamentally support the same Configured Commerce feature sets. If you already have a highly customized site, new features we have introduced in Classic CMS still need to be manually worked into the site.

 

Feature Comparison: Classic CMS vs. Spire CMS

Feature/Capability Classic CMS Spire CMS

Technology

Angular.js, Foundation, TypeScript

React, Redux, TypeScript, Node

Front-End Upgrade Model

Merge as desired

Automated

Styling Approach

Cascading Style Sheets, base.css

Style Guide, user-configurable, styled-components

Structure by website

Themes

Content Library

Server/Front-End Load

Heavy Front-End, API-only on back end

Hybrid, some on front end mixed with some on back end

Widget Construction

Custom created

Built on Mobius and then customized

Widget Code

C#/TypeScript

TypeScript

Widget Extensibility

New widgets

New widgets, property injection or handler chain

Widget Sizing ? reference site

Larger widgets

Smaller, more granular widgets

SPA (single-page app)

Yes

Yes

Supports GTM, Chat and other javascript-based extension

Yes

Yes

Build Process

Grunt

Webpack

Hot module replacement

No

Yes

SEO Page for bots

Separate page

No longer needed

Accessibility

By extension

Reference site includes accessibility features

Responsive Preview

By resizing screen

Toggle to change view