How BeJS used React Bricks to create the React Brussels website

Who is BeJS?

BeJS is a vibrant JavaScript community based in Belgium. They specialize in organizing a wide range of events related to JavaScript, including conferences like React Brussels and React Paris, meetups, coding games, and hackathons. With a focus on consulting and IT event organization, BeJS has established itself as a key player in the tech community.

Business structure

BeJS is a great example of the power of focused and dedicated teams in the tech industry. With a core team consisting of two highly skilled professionals and a dynamic group of volunteers, BeJS has made a significant impact in the JavaScript community over the past four years.

Tech stack

Mainly React and Next.js, aligned with the de facto standards of the tech landscape.

The challenge

BeJS faced a unique challenge: each of its multiple events required a distinct website with different branding and content, while the underlying structure and content blocks were very similar.

The process of coding each website from scratch was time-consuming and created a bottleneck, as only one team member had coding expertise. As a result, changes waited for Aymen's intervention for days or weeks.

This challenge affected their business operations. The inability to quickly update or create websites for each event hindered their responsiveness and agility in the fast-paced tech events world.

"We wanted to create a CMS to easily manage these websites. Add sections, speakers, schedules, and other elements without coding everything from scratch each time. Also, we wanted Omar, who is not a developer, to be able to make changes easily."

Aymen Ben Amor

Aymen Ben Amor

Founder

Previous solutions and their shortcomings

Before discovering React Bricks, BeJS experimented with markdown and other headless CMSs. However, markdown didn't work because they still had to make changes in code, which required pull requests and made the developer a bottleneck once again.

As for the headless CMSs, they had to change the data structure every time they wanted to add new sections, and this process was very time consuming.

“Headless CMSs worked for some parts, but as soon as we needed to add new blocks or sections, modifying the data structure took us a very long time.”

Aymen Ben Amor

Aymen Ben Amor

Founder

Discovery and decision

React Bricks came into the picture based on a recommendation from a friend in the React ecosystem. What set React Bricks apart was its user-friendly nature and flexibility.

It provides the capability to create visually editable components and choose the desired level of freedom for the editors. For instance, one can choose to make everything customizable or just the title of a section. Later on, it is possible to make an image and subtitle visually editable as well. This approach ensures design integrity while simplifying content management.

Implementation

The development process involved creating a monorepo containing the different websites and a UI library of reusable bricks. This approach allows maintaining a consistent structure across different websites, while making it easy to customize the brand by simply modifying the Tailwind configuration. The development started with static bricks and gradually switching parts of the JSX with editable components.

It's very easy to start and code a CMS with React Bricks. The React Bricks team was also very responsive and helpful (even on holidays), so a big thank you to them!

Aymen Ben Amor

Aymen Ben Amor

Founder

Results

With React Bricks, content editing has become straightforward and efficient. The final results are immediately visible, and collaboration is smooth.

The most significant impact has been the time saved. Content editing is now much faster and the developer is no longer a bottleneck.

“My colleague can now easily edit the content without me having to handle anything. Creating a new website takes a few minutes!”

Aymen Ben Amor

Aymen Ben Amor

Founder

Final words

After releasing the React Brussels website, BeJS plans to use it for all upcoming events, including React Paris and the official BeJS website.

“Thank you for the awesome work you're doing and for helping me fix the issues when I have them. Looking forward to having more events and websites powered by React Bricks.”

Aymen Ben Amor

Aymen Ben Amor

Founder

Years in business

4


Employees

2 and a team of volunteers


Challenge

Give autonomy to the marketing team


Website stack

Next.js + Tailwind + React Bricks


Results

Faster websites creation, less time to edit content, a happier Aymen and a happier Omar :)

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