Is there a way to convert my existing HTML messages/templates into BEE-compatible messages?

 

The answer unfortunately is no.

A bit of background to understand why.

HTML is a mark-up language that does not enforce strict standards. When it comes to HTML email, this is particularly true as lack of support for modern HTML standards in many email clients is pushing email designers to use all kinds of tricks to try to get the message to render as they wish.

The lack of strictly enforced standards means that there are no recognizable patterns in the HTML code.

If standards are enforced, they are unfortunately enforced at the application level: your application may have applied specific HTML coding standards to your email design, but they may be very different from those chosen by another company.

The combination of the issues above - in turn - makes it virtually impossible for us to create a conversion tool that will read the code, understand it, and turn it into the structured JSON document used by the BEE editor.

The good news - although we understand that it is not ideal and not the answer you were looking for - is that creating new email templates with the BEE editor is easy and quick. We did so ourselves at MailUp when we introduced the BEE editor: there was no way for us to convert our own, "old" templates into BEE-ready messages, so we started from scratch and designed some new templates.

Now, if you still believe that the only solution for your company is to build a tool that will take your existing messages and convert them so that they can be used by the BEE editor (i.e. you will generate the JSON file required by the BEE editor), let us know and we will try to help, if we can. For example, we can answer questions about the JSON structured used by BEE.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Johnpaul Burbank

    Would it be possible for HTML of a pre-existing email template be able to slotted into the JSON structure of a template? Some page or template type that has minimal to no styling on its own. It would obviously not be possible for new content to dragged into the middle of this "pre-existing HTML" block and editing would be limited to the WYSIWYG editor. Thoughts?

  • Avatar
    Sergio M.

    Hi Johnpaul, it's currently not possible to convert an HTML template into a usable JSON template for the BEE editor. The process from HTML to JSON is very complex and cumbersome. We recommend to build your JSON templates directly. As a starting point, you can use our BEE Free templates and customize them into your own: https://github.com/BEE-Plugin/BEE-FREE-templates

    Hope this helps!

    Edited by Sergio M.
  • Avatar
    Johnpaul Burbank

    Thanks for the response Sergio. I really appreciate the amount of documentation you all put into this. Its impressive and useful.

    I full get and understand the difficulty in translating a HTML doc into JSON. What I suggest is something else. Putting a large chunk of HTML (the contents of a whole template) into a block of the JSON. Something like this.

    Template = {
    "page":{
    "title":"Template Base",
    "description":"Test template for BEE",
    "template":{
    "name":"template-base",
    ...
    },
    "body":{
    "type":"mailup-bee-page-proprerties",
    "container":{
    "style":{
    "background-color":"#FFFFFF"
    }
    },
    "content":{
    "style":{
    "font-family":"Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif",
    ...
    },
    "computedStyle":{
    "linkColor":"#0068A5",
    ...
    }
    },
    "webFonts":[

    ]
    },
    "rows":[
    {
    "type":"one-column-empty",
    "container":{
    "style":{
    "background-color":"transparent",
    ...
    }
    },
    "content":{
    "style":{
    "background-color":"transparent",
    ...
    }
    },
    "columns":[
    {
    "grid-columns":12,
    "modules":[
    {
    "type":"mailup-bee-newsletter-modules-text",
    "descriptor":{
    "text":{
    "html":"

    I'M A HUGE BLOCK OF HTML",
    "style":{
    "color":"#555555",
    ...
    },
    "computedStyle":{
    "linkColor":"#0068A5"
    }
    },
    "style":{
    "padding-top":"10px",
    ...
    }
    }
    }
    ],
    "style":{
    "background-color":"transparent",
    ...
    }
    }
    ]
    }
    ]
    }
    }

    Please see the area around the string "I'M A HUGE BLOCK OF HTML". My problem is this. We have hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of templates that have been already been created with another tool and we are storing. We would find it totally fine if we could do no more than edit simple markup with the WYSIWYG editors within Beefree plugin. We just don't want to have to have two editors though, one for new template creation and a completely different one for editing older ones.

    Thanks

    Edited by Johnpaul Burbank
  • Avatar
    Sergio M.

    Hi Johnpaul, it's not ideal to embed your templates as a "huge block of html" in the JSON since it gets converted into HTML by our Email Parser, which adds all of the responsive code.

    My advice would be to use and customize one of our default JSON templates and use it to convert your templates or at least some of them. Some of our SaaS customers have chosen to keep their WYSIWYG editor (for editing older messages) along with the BEE editor, but if you wish to provide the BEE editor alone you'll need to think about how to convert and make your messages and templates compatible with BEE.

    We can definitely talk more about our integration tips and answer any technical questions you may have. We'll reach out via email :)