The GitHub App (beta) is here!

Our WYSIWYG editor is nice, but sometimes people just prefer plain-old markdown in a git repo.

This is why with today's new feature, our GitHub App, will allow you to do exactly this.

HOWTO

1. Install our GitHub App in the integration settings and give it access to the repositories that will have the markdown content.

2. Create a new collection. Choose GitHub-backed and then select your repo.

3. Click ADD COLLECTION. We'll fetch the repo and the `/docs` by default.

Many configurations are available. Read up here: https://docs.archbee.io/github-beta

With this release you should also find more robust converters to Markdown everywhere they are used in the app.

Test it out and let us know what you thought and how we can improve it!

Happy documenting! 🥳🎉

Product docs site templates, Stripey template beta

Building product docs sites in-house is... time-consuming, de-focusing engineering from the product, error-prone, and... expensive. And in the end, you still lack a nice-to-use CMS for your writers and have to pay for hosting and a search solution.

You can always buy a solution on the market, but there's a big drawback: most solutions don't offer that much customization.

We noticed this a while back and allowed our customers to customize pretty much everything with custom CSS, and custom JS.

While good for many companies, it doesn't seem to be enough for some. 

This is why we've built an entire system that allows us to build documentation site templates very quickly. It's here!

We've also launched the first template for it (beta) — Stripey. Stripey uses Stripe's docs (which is beloved by many developers) as inspiration.

Here's how it looks like on our own docs:

Of course, you still get all the goodies: dark mode, ultra-fast and reliable search, search analytics, authentication options, and rich SEO controls.

Try it out on your docs and let us know what you thought.

Here's what we have planned next for the product documentation sites use case: 

- GitHub Integration (write your docs in GitHub — then use Archbee to generate the site and host it);

- Multi-product sites (use multiple collections on the same site with a tab-switcher similar to Stripe's docs);

- New blocks, many inspired by Stripe's custom made docs;

- i18n;

- Collections as changelogs hooked into the main doc sites.

YAY!

Collection Snapshots

For customer-facing documentation, especially developer docs or API docs, sometimes you need multiple versions, all available at the same time.

For example, while new customers might be using v2 of your API, some of your existing customers will still be on v1 — so they need to read v1 documentation.

Introducing Collection Snapshots, a way to create an identical clone of a collection, that you can then rename to v1 and then keep working on each documentation version separately.

Along with hostname paths, with just a few clicks you can set up a system where multiple versions of the documentation are available.

Enjoy!

50+ improvements

As promised to many of you, we're focusing on improving the functionality we already have as opposed to adding new stuff. 

We've improved the performance of the app, the design system, our libraries & code, the self-service abilities of the system.

Here are some highlights:

  • custom HTML with handlebars templates in custom footers or custom landing pages for documentation sites; read more here: https://docs.archbee.io/custom-landing-page;
  • improved image rendering; we've changed our CDN for images with one that renders sizes dynamically and allows people with smaller screens (e.g mobile) to download the exact size of images they need; we also changed the way image widths/heights are calculated so no layout shifting will happen anymore;
  • user downloadable invoices; download any invoice on demand so that you don't have to look for them in your email;
  • ability to appoint a new super admin; this also changes the email that Stripe sends invoices to;
  • ability to change email address by yourself;
  • UI improvements all over; we've tightened our design system even more; more consistent colors and spacing;
  • better automatic scrolling in the document tree section;
  • improved search algorithm and faster instances on AWS for search indexing;
  • we've upgraded most of our code to the latest libraries so you get the benefit of improved performance and security;
  • reduced load time for public collections by 20%;
  • reduced load time for documents by 25%;
  • improved callout blocks;
  • more accurate reading time prediction by using a new algorithm;
  • faster real-time sync between people looking at the same document;
  • better table of contents rendering;
  • improved loading time of the knowledge graph on workspaces with 1000+ documents;
  • improved document tree drag & drop accuracy;
  • improved blockquote rendering.

Enjoy!

Improved SEO controls

We just launched a new feature that allows you to have more control over how your documentation sites look to search engines.

Each document now has specific inputs for the meta URL Key, Title, Description and Image.

The new controls are not required. If you don't set them, we'll generate what we can from the document name.



Doc Backlinks & The Knowledge Graph

Documents keep knowledge.

And these pieces of knowledge do not live in their own universe.

They are interconnected and form a knowledge graph that you should be able to nicely visualize. 

This is why we are introducing Doc Backlinks, a way to see which documents link to your current document. Doc Backlinks are generated automatically as you link docs together with the @ functionality.

Because we now have Doc Backlinks, it's also possible to show you the visual representation of the knowledge graph.

An easier way to consume all the knowledge in your team's workspace!


Search Analytics & Improved Search

What are your team members looking for and not finding answers?

What about what are your customers looking for and not finding answers?

You can ask them (and you should), but you can also look at it. 

We got you with search analytics, fresh off the stove. Now you can see what queries your team & customers ask and write the content so the next people asking those queries will have a better experience.

Here's how it looks like :)

Another thing we couldn't resist doing was messing with the search engine, and now it's a lot more flexible. 

Typo tolerance and context understanding with a custom Elasticsearch analyzer are now online. We're still tweaking this but from the first batch of feedback, it seems to be a winner. 

🖖

Darth Mode... oups, I mean Dark Mode

Dark mode is finally here!!!

You can now switch between three modes: Light | Dark | OS (takes it from the operating system)

The OS mode is particularly interesting because you might have a schedule for it. For example, it might become dark after a certain hour, to allow you to sleep better. Well, Archbee will change automatically to your Operating System value.

Here's a sneak peek.

One more thing...

The hosted doc sites also support Dark Mode 😃 

But to be a good experience for your users, you need to set a Logo and Accent color that works with the dark theme, so we also allow you to do that.


Welcome to the dark side!

#1 on ProductHunt, Workspace-Level Domains, Publish-Mode!



What a day on ProductHunt!

Product Hunt Raises $6 Million From A16Z | TechCrunch

Thanks to all your support, we made it to top 1 when we launched Archbee 2.0!

ProductHunt called us a "Google Docs alternative" a few days later in their newsletter. Flattered and humbled!

But there's no resting on the laurels... here's what we released today.


Workspace-Level Domains

One of our cool & distinctive features is that you can share collections of documents on your domain.

But each domain was bound to a single collection. That made it hard for everybody:

  • companies with multiple products had to set a different subdomain for each product's documentation; 
  • agencies with multiple customers (like you'd find an agency with a single customer, haha) had to set a different subdomain for each customer they wanted to share docs with;
  • every new domain had to be set in the DNS provider, taking too much time, and DNS propagation is really slow sometimes;
  • that also made it hard for us because we had to supply many SSL certificates, and that's not easy, or cheap.

The alternative was sharing the collections with an archbee.io link, and that worked for some companies, but it didn't for those that wanted a more professional look.

Super happy to announce we now made it possible to share multiple collections on the same domain, by having a path on each collection, while maintaining the root path for a single collection. 

It was one of the most requested features!

Here's how you do it:


Publish-Mode!!

Our automatic save feature and collaborative experience made it easy to create docs by not having to click any unnecessary buttons.

That's awesome for internal team documentation and collaboration.

But for customer-facing documentation, it's not a good look to have them see unfinished work or drafts.

This is why we now have publish-mode, which snapshots your collection and deploys it to your domain.

You get to keep the archbee.io staging link that points at the real-time collection, and a production environment to which the snapshot is deployed at your domain. 

Publish-Mode gets activated whenever you have a domain set on your collection.

This new feature also introduces clean URLs. We only add the randomly generated string at the end of the URL if you have another doc named exactly the same. To get the new URLs you have to publish once.

Here's how it looks like:

These two features were critical for our way to become your team's single source of truth for internal AND customer-facing documentation!

Enjoy your holidays, and we'll see you soon with more blazing features.

🖖

Custom documentation sites!

Documentation is great for moving your team forward faster.

But it's also great for your customers: you'll reduce support response time, and even the number of support queries.

Our doc sites development has been in the background for a while, but more and more companies need reasonably-priced documentation sites, and sometimes they need API docs and many technical features. 

We've been improving building docs sites with custom landing pages, custom CSS, custom Footers HTML, custom include headers and JS.

Some companies also need private-public documentation, this is why we had password protection and guest accounts. But guest accounts management is a hard job, so now JWT authentication is available to automate it, here's the documentation for it.

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