Automate Pages is a feature that allows you to manage thousands of similarly-structured web pages (Autopages).
Your Root Page is controlled by a single Root Sheet. In the Root Sheet, each row contains data values that will be used to create a unique webpage. This lets you manage the content for limitless web pages from a single spreadsheet.
The Root Page
You have total customizability over the look and feel of the Root Page. Each Autopage will be structured the same unless otherwise specified by the values set up in the Root Sheet.
The Root Sheet
The Root Sheet of an Autopage is a spreadsheet. In a Root Sheet, the rows and columns of the spreadsheet represent different things.
Every row (1 through ∞ along the left) is a webpage. Every time you add a row, a new web page will be generated based on that row’s variable inputs.
Every column (A through ∞ along the top) is a data point. These variable data points represent portions of the Root Page template. Variables often have columns for things like URL, background color, or text sections.
All of the Root Page data creates web pages, and the spreadsheet helps you manage multiple web pages at once. This sheet ultimately contains the power behind Automate.
Who can access it?
Only users who are subscribed to The.com’s Enterprise plan can access all Automate Page features. Since this feature allows the generation of thousands of pages, pricing is tailored to your business needs on an individual level.
Users on the Starter and Member plans are able to edit the Automate Root and Sheet, but cannot create new ones.
Creating an Autopage
Any Page can be converted into an Autopage. You can do this at any time in one of two ways.
1. Page deploy drop-up menu
- Click on the drop-up arrow next to the deploy button
- Click the Automate option
2. Command palette (CMD + K)
- Use the keyboard shortcut
CMD+Kto bring up the command palette
- Press enter or click on the prompt: "Automate this page"
Once you initiate the conversion to Autopage, you’ll see two prompts giving you an overview of how to work with them. It may take a few seconds for this process to complete.
You can start with a blank Root Page and build it out from scratch, or build out a design and then make it a Root Page.
Editing the Autopage
You can toggle between the Root Page and Root Sheet in the Autopage’s tab in the toolbar.
Click the icon on the left to switch to the Root Page. Click the icon on the right to switch to the Root Sheet.
Editing the Root Page
One small difference is that the URL (build path) cannot be edited from the Root Page. This is because it is controlled via the Root Sheet. To change the URL, you’ll have to return to the Root Sheet and update it there.
Currently, Versioning of the Root Page is not supported.
Editing the Root Sheet
At first, the Root Sheet will look like a regular Sheet. However, there is one main difference:
The first row is reserved for column headers. These are used to label your data.
Automate’s Root Sheets work the same way as The.com’s Sheetfeeds. Both Root Sheets and Sheetfeeds pull data from their spreadsheet to generate blocks of website content. With Root Sheets, website content blocks will be published to pages on your website.
The first column of the Root Sheet is reserved for the page’s URL (or build path), which is the string of text that appears after a website's domain.
For example on the web page
the.com is the domain, and
/automate is the build path.
Adding a URL build path to a Root Sheet generates the new web page, but it does not deploy it. This means you can edit the page, but it will not be live yet.
Once a build path is typed into a cell under the URL column, an arrow icon will appear inside the cell. Click on the arrow icon in the URL cell for any row to open the page generated from that row.
If you click this arrow icon before deploying the page, you will get a 404 Page Not Found error because the page is not live.
Each row in a Root Sheet becomes a unique web page, which means it needs a unique URL. This is because only one page can be mapped to a specific URL — much like you and a neighbor live on the same street (website domain) but need to have different house numbers (build paths).
Some common URL build paths include:
A Root Sheet row can only be deployed if it has a build path URL. You must fill out the URL cell to create a live web page.
Linking data from Sheet to Page
Automate Pages is perfect for having multiple website pages with the same structure — even though those pages all hold different content.
The most popular use-cases include product pages, blog articles, store locations, and landing pages for SEO purposes. For instance, a product page will include variables like a product’s price, picture, materials, and reviews. While each product has its own data for those variables, you’ll still want each product page to have the same layout.
Each variable will need its own separate column in the Root Sheet. Once cells for these columns are filled out, you’ll need to connect the cell data to elements on the Root Page.
Linking a Root Sheet to a Root Page ensures information is linked to the correct spot in a page’s layout. For example, you wouldn’t want a product page’s element for product description linked to the column for product price.
In order to link data, you’ll need to use Automate’s referencing syntax. Root Pages uses references to Root Sheet information via the specified column.
=auto('[COLUMN]') to reference a certain column’s value. For example
=auto('B') would pull in the value in column B for each row in the Root Sheet.
If our column B was product price, typing
=auto('B') would auto-populate the listed column price into the selected element.
You can use this syntax to connect any Root Sheet variable to your Root Page element. This includes URLs, images, text content, style properties, and more.
To deploy all of the Autopages from your Root Sheet, click on the blue ‘Deploy All’ button in the bottom right of the editor.
This will create/update and publish a new page for every row with a URL value, using the data in the subsequent columns to populate the Page.
Deploying can take a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on how many rows are in the Root Sheet.