At ElixirConf 2022, we highlighted four of our newest R&D initiatives: LiveView Native, Beacon, Firefly, and DockYard Academy. You can read more about our other efforts to broaden the Elixir toolkit in our LiveView Native and Firefly blog posts. And learn how we’re helping grow the Elixir community in our DockYard Academy Q&A.
As part of DockYard’s commitment to expanding what Elixir can do and who benefits from it, we’ve developed Beacon, a LiveView-based content management system.
With it, engineering teams will no longer need to branch out of the Elixir environment for a CMS or contract with an outside vendor to meet their needs. Instead, they’ll have the option to integrate a fast, responsive system capable of rendering content-heavy pages without breaking a sweat.
What is Beacon?
Beacon is a content management system built with Phoenix LiveView. It’s a new addition to the Elixir toolkit designed to give development teams the opportunity to stay in the Elixir ecosystem when choosing a CMS.
“We get the performance and usability benefits of a single page application with LiveView, but we still get the SEO benefits of a server-rendered application,” says DockYard CEO Brian Cardarella.
How does it benefit me?
Because Beacon is built with LiveView, users gain the speed and server-side rendering capabilities of Phoenix, decreasing page load times even on content-heavy pages. Faster page loading times benefit Beacon users in a handful of ways. Chief among them is an edge in SEO performance.
Search engines like Google take many factors into account for SEO rankings, including page load times. The faster your page loads, the greater its chance of ranking above a competitor’s.
We get the performance and usability benefits of a single page application with LiveView, but we still get the SEO benefits of a server-rendered application.
Add to that the fact that bounce rate jumps with every additional second it takes for a page to load—from under 10% for a two-second laid time to more than 32% for a seven-second load time—and Beacon also has the potential to keep users paying attention to your product.
On the content creation side, Beacon reduces the engineering workload by offering a simple solution for non-engineering stakeholders to create their own content pages.
For example, in an organization using an app built with Beacon, a non-engineering stakeholder will be able to build a landing page without requiring developer time or resources. That means faster turnaround times for new pages without relying on an outside consulting service or third-party CMS provider.
Who is it for?
In short, anyone ready for an Elixir-based CMS. For teams already building applications using Phoenix, Beacon is an expansion of the toolkit available to them.
By extension, Beacon becomes a force multiplier for engineering teams. It allows developers already using LiveView to remain in their ecosystem while integrating a fast, responsive CMS.
In a similar way, it gives an organization as a whole a way to do more with less by eliminating the need to devote resources to maintaining multiple technologies for the same product.
What does it do?
Beacon has two main functions: content serving and content creation.
For content serving, Beacon builds on the benefits of LiveView for a fast site that doesn’t impede SEO rankings. Initial renders server-side, to start, and navigation within the hosted site remains in LiveView. For those reasons, a Beacon page benefits from the speed of a LiveView site, without losing the discoverability and crawlability that impact SEO performance.
Content creation in Beacon is fueled by Tailwind CSS, giving users the ease of use of a drag-and-drop CMS. This feature opens the usability of Beacon to stakeholders beyond the development team, and, by doing so, helps reduce the engineering workload.
Beacon is a brand new addition to the Elixir toolkit. It combines the ease of use of existing CMS options with the rendering speed capabilities of Phoenix.
Read up on more of our R&D work—including two more of our newest projects, LiveView Native and Firefly—on our blog, and keep up with the latest from the DockYard team by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribing to our newsletter.