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A Beginner Introduction to Building Websites and Apps on Zesty.io


As an experienced developer, you're already armed with an arsenal of skills. However, mastering new platforms and paradigms is a constant demand in our ever-evolving industry. One such platform that's currently making waves in the world of web development is Zesty, a powerful cloud-based Content Management System (CMS). This article aims to help you understand how to build a webpage using Zesty, and how its content models, views, and final output are intertwined.

Building Your First Webpage on Zesty

To get started, you first need to create an account on Zesty. Once you're logged in, you'll be able to create a new website instance. This instance will be your canvas where you'll build your new webpage.

Step 1: Creating Content Models

Content Models serve as the building blocks for your site content. They are structured templates for creating and storing content. Think of them as a schema or blueprint for the different kinds of content you'll be presenting on your site. Content models can be thought of in three ways: content to power a 'Single Page', 'Multi Page', or 'Headless Dataset'. 'Single Pages' are for standalone content like a 'Contact Us' page, while 'Multi Pages' are for collections of content, like a list of blog posts. 'Headless datasets' can be used for personalization tagging, tags, or items like authors without pages, but are used for connecting data.

To create a Content Model, navigate to the 'Schema' tab and click on the 'Add a Model' button to create your first Content Model. Here, you can define fields like title, description, image, and more, based on your requirements. These fields can then be used to generate a consistent structure for your content. Any content is possible, articles, FAQs, products, etc.

Step 2: Crafting Views

Views in Zesty are analogous to the presentation layer in an MVC architecture. They dictate how your content will be displayed on your webpage or custom data output. To create a view, you'll need to navigate to the 'Code' tab. In the code tab you will find files named after your content model. These are the automatic views that will render items in your content model. Since each (non-headless) content model has unique URL paths, those paths will route to the dedicated view per content model.

In Zesty, you'll write views in HTML sprinkled with Parsley, Zesty's templating language. Parsley lets you fetch and display content from your models. For example, if you have a 'Blog' model with fields like 'Title' and 'Content', you can use Parsley to insert these fields in your HTML as {{this.title}} and {{this.content}} respectively.

Step 3: Training Business Users

In today's fast-paced digital environment, agility is key. Speed and adaptability often make the difference between capitalizing on an opportunity and missing out. It's for this reason that training business users in using a Content Management System (CMS) like Zesty.io is critical. It empowers them to take charge of their digital assets, frees them from the often lengthy development cycles, and enables them to quickly iterate on sales and marketing initiatives.

It's easiest to train business users on well designed content models and easy to use view templates. A template that adapts well to the content the business user enters is the best approach. For example, if your content model has a title, body, and image, creating a view template that automatically applies business styling to the body and restricts the image to specific device sizes using the Zesty.io OTF image optimization API will create a great envirnoment for business users, leading to success for business initiatives. 

Understanding the Relationship between Content Models

To better understand the relationship between content models, views, and the final output, consider Zesty as a production line. Content models are your raw materials, views are the machinery that shapes and styles these materials, and the final output is the finished product – your webpage.

In this production line, content models and views work in tandem to generate the final output. Content models provide the structure for your content, while views determine how this structured content will be displayed. When you update a content model, all associated views dynamically adapt to reflect these changes. This modular and dynamic approach makes it easier to manage your content and its presentation, resulting in a seamless web development experience.


With its unique approach to content management and web development, Zesty is revolutionizing how we build webpages. Although the learning curve may be steep initially, the platform's streamlined structure and efficiency can save developers a significant amount of time and effort in the long run. By understanding the relationship between content models, views, and the final output, you can wield the full power of Zesty to build dynamic, efficient, and scalable websites.

To master Zesty, start with the creation and manipulation of Content Models, ensuring they match the data structure your webpage requires. Then, get comfortable with Views, playing around with the Parsley templating language and grasping how it fetches and displays data. From there, you'll have a solid foundation to dig deeper into Zesty's more advanced features.

Don't forget that learning a new platform is a journey filled with exploration and incremental advancements. Start small, maybe by recreating a simple webpage you've already built elsewhere, and progressively take on more complex tasks as your familiarity with Zesty increases.

Zesty’s dedication to promoting a more effective and efficient way to manage content in web development is what makes it stand out. The platform’s modularity, flexibility, and scalability make it an excellent tool for managing websites of all sizes. Whether you're building a personal blog or an enterprise-grade website, Zesty is a CMS worth exploring.

We welcome you to the world of Zesty, and happy implementing!

By Randy Apuzzo

Randy has had a penchant for computer programming from an early age and started applying his skills to build business software in 2004. Randy's stack of skills range from programming, system architecture, business know-how, to typographic design; which lends to a truly customer-centric and business effective software design. He leads the Zesty.io team as CEO.

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