Spina CMS


Upgrading from v2.0 to v2.1

v2.1 is a big upgrade for Spina's interface. All JavaScript, CSS and views have been refactored. Gone are jQuery, Turbolinks, custom stylesheets and Haml.

Spina's UI has been rebuilt from the ground up using Hotwire, ViewComponent and TailwindCSS. If you haven't made any changes to Spina's interface and don't use any custom plugins, you should be able to upgrade seamlessly from v2.0 to v2.1.

If you have built custom plugins for Spina, make sure to update all views to match the new interface. Spina includes some useful ViewComponents to quickly build a beautiful interface.

Upgrading from v1 to v2

Already have a project on v1.0-v1.1? We've created a gem to make the upgrade process easier for you.

Changes in v2

The biggest change in v2 (and why this is v2 and not v1.2) is that all PageParts have been refactored and changed to ruby objects persisted as JSON, directly on the Page model. Spina uses the attr_json gem to serialize and deserialize page content. This has a couple of huge benefits:

  • Greatly reduces SQL-queries for a typical page
  • Rendering pages is crazy fast, fragment caching not required
  • Creating new parts is easy and doesn't require database migrations
  • All parts can automatically be used as global "layout" parts
  • All parts (including custom parts) support translations out of the box

Steps to upgrade

Upgrading is straightforward, but may require some work. Especially if you're using a lot of custom page parts.

1. Update the gem

If you haven't already, update spina to the latest version.

2. Add the spina-upgrade gem

Add the spina-upgrade gem to your Gemfile.

3. Install & run migrations

Spina v2 comes with two migrations to add json_attributes to the Page and Account models. Run rails spina:install:migrations to copy them and run rails db:migrate to add them to your database.

4. Refactor custom pageparts to AttrJSON-backed parts

All PageParts that were previously included in Spina v1 were recreated as parts in the Spina::Parts namespace. The spina-upgrade gem includes the necessary code to convert the old models to these new JSON-backed parts. Here's an example of the Spina::Line part in spina-upgrade:

module Spina
  class Line < ApplicationRecord
    extend Mobility
    translates :content, fallbacks: true

    def convert_to_json!
      text = Spina::Parts::Line.new
      text.content = content

If you're using any custom PageParts that you'd like to migrate, create a new JSON-backed part for it and add a convert_to_json! method to your old custom PagePart.

5. Update your theme config

Change config.page_parts to config.parts and change all items to reflect the new changes.


theme.parts = [{
  name: 'text',
  title: "Text",
  part_type: "Spina::Parts::Text"

Delete config.structures and instead add structures as repeater parts like this:

theme.parts = [
  # ...
    name: 'portfolio',
    title: "Portfolio",
    part_type: "Spina::Parts::Repeater",
    parts: %w(title image description)

Change page_parts to parts in your view_templates config

theme.view_templates = [
  # ...
    name: 'homepage',
    title: 'Homepage',
    parts: %w(headline body)

6. Migrate your content to JSON

Run rails spina:convert_page_parts_to_json to migrate all of your content to JSON. This task will check if all of your content can be converted. If not, you can abort the migration or continue anyway.

7. Change content helpers

Spina v2 includes a lot of useful new content helpers which make your life easier. It's possible you need to edit your view templates to use these new content helpers.

You can still use the content helper to just render content like before. Here's a list of the most useful additions:

  • content.html(part_name) - renders content as html_safe
  • content.image_tag(part_name) - uses main_app to render image_tags using ActiveStorage, works like regular image_tag helper
  • repeater(part_name) - pass it a block to render repeated content (like you would for structures in v1)