Hackernoon logoStart a Premium Content Business Using Node.js, React and Cosmic JS Extensions by@tonyspiro

Start a Premium Content Business Using Node.js, React and Cosmic JS Extensions

Tony Spiro Hacker Noon profile picture

@tonyspiroTony Spiro

CEO & Co-Founder of Cosmic JS

TL;DR

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Install the Premium Content Blog

You have great ideas. Your head is overflowing with content that you know people will pay to read. So where do you start? You’re likely inclined to choose a trusted platform like Wordpress, but since you want to offer paid content to your users you now face the problem of making a cumbersome solution even more so.

Instead of tweaking a platform to work with for us, we want a simple, straightforward solution with no more functionality than we need. This, of course, means we’re going to build it ourselves.

In the spirit of a simple, straight forward solution that works exactly the way we want it to, we’ll be using Cosmic JS to host our blog, manage it’s users, and store it’s content.

Our project will be a play in two parts. First, we’ll build our blog with Express and Cosmic JS and use Stripe to handle the blog’s payments and subcriptions. Then, we’ll leverage Cosmic JS’s Extension feature to build a dashboard that gives us an overview of our business’ backend.

Part 1: Building the Blog

1. Boilerplate Setup

To save time on boilerplate, we’ll use Yeoman and the Express Generator (which builds on Express’ official generator) to get started. If you don’t have Yeoman installed, run npm i -g yo. Then install the generator with npm i -g generator-express and run it with yo express. Follow the instructions to set up your project under a new directory (say CosmicUserBlog), install the Basic version, and use Handlebars for your view engine.

Your directory structure is now this:

CosmicUserBlog
|
|--bin
| |--www
|--(node_modules)
|--public
|--routes
| |--users.js
|--index.js
|--views
|--layouts
|--partials
|--error.handlebars
|--index.handlebars
|--.bowerrc
|--.gitignore
|--app.js
|--bower.json
|--gruntfile.js
|--package.json

2. Installations

We’ll be using the following packages:

  • Async — A powerful async utilities library
  • Axios — Simple, promise based http requests
  • Cors — Standard cors middleware
  • brcypt — For password hashing. (If you’re on Windows read these notes)
  • CosmicJs — The official client
  • Express Session — So our users can log in
  • dateformat — An intuitive date formatter that we’ll use with posts
  • Stripe — The official client
  • TruncateHTML — for post blurbs

You could install these with npm, but I advocate for Yarn. It’s significantly faster and we have no time to waste. So install Yarn (on macOS we’ll do a brew install yarn) then run yarn add async axios cors bcrypt cosmicjs expres-session dateformat stripe truncate-html . We're almost ready to start building.

3. Set Up Cosmic JS

Before we start building, we’ll need to work out the schema for our Cosmic Bucket. We want to store Posts, Users, and Configs (to edit site configurations on the fly).

Those three object types will have the following matafields (all of type text, given by their Title):

Post:

MetafieldValuePremiumtrue or false

User:

MetafieldValueFirst namestringLast namestringPasswordHashed StringEmailstringStripe IdstringSubsription Typestring

Config:

Object: Subscriptions: | Metafield | Value | | — — — — — — — — | — — -: | | Monthly Price | string | | Quarterly Price | string | | Yearly Price | string | | Cancellations | string |

Object: Site: | Metafield | Value | | — — — — — | — — -: | | Site Title | string | | Domain | String |

Once you’ve added your Post, User, and Config object types and created your Subscriptions and Site Config objects, we'll get ourselves set up with Stripe.

4. Configure Stripe

Since we’ll be charging users for their premium subscriptions we’ll need a payment processor. With a robust API, fair pay-as-you-go pricing, and proven security, using Stripe is a no brainer. Moving foward, we’ll need both a “Publishable” and a “Secret” key for Stripe’s API and we need to setup Subscription plans for Monthly, Yearly, and Quarterly subscriptions. Follow Stripe’s instructions to create these subscriptions and give them the ID’s subscription-monthly, subscription-quarterly, and subscription-yearly accordingly.

5. Configure the Express App

We have our packages installed, we worked out our data schema, and we’ve set up a a Stripe account. Now we need to configure our Express backend.

The boilerplate Express code is pre-ES5, so for a consistent style we’ll require the packages we need.

At the top of the Express app add:

// app.js
var session = require('express-session')
var dateFormat = require('date-format')
var truncate = require('truncate-html')
var cors = require('cors')

When we deploy our app, Cosmic JS will provide our Bucket keys as well as any custom keys we provide via process.env. Below the require statements, go ahead make those accessible throughout the app by storing them in app.locals

//app.js
var config = {
bucket: {
slug: process.env.COSMIC_BUCKET,
read_key: process.env.COSMIC_READ_KEY,
write_key: process.env.COSMIC_WRITE_KEY
}
}
app.locals.config = config
app.locals.stripeKeyPublishable = process.env.STRIPE_PUBLISHABLE_KEY
app.locals.stripeKeySecret = process.env.STRIPE_SECRET_KEY

The last step is then to connect the cors and session middleware like so:

//app.js
app.locals.stripeKeySecret = process.env.STRIPE_SECRET_KEY
app.use(session({
secret: 'sjcimsoc',
resave: false,
saveUninitialized: true,
cookie: { secure: false }
}))
app.use(cors())

At this point we have a solid base to build our app on and can start drafting out it’s views.

6. Sculpt Out the Views

Having a model of how we want our blog to look and feel will help us think about how to wire up it’s routes. We’ll start with the main layout.

The Main Layout:

In handlebars, every page will render inside the body tag of a default layout. In our boilerplate, this is /views/layouts/main.handlebars.

We need to make three alterations.

  1. in the title tag, swap out {{title}} for {{config.site_title}}, which we'll pass via res.locals later.
  2. Before the end of the head tag add <script src="https://js.stripe.com/v3/"></script>. This is Stripe's browser client. We only need this for the checkout form, however Stripe reccomends including it on every page to aid in fraud detection.
  3. Include Bootstrap. Somewhere in the head tag add <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/css/bootstrap.min.css" /> and right before the end of the body tag add
<script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.2.1.min.js"
integrity="sha256-hwg4gsxgFZhOsEEamdOYGBf13FyQuiTwlAQgxVSNgt4="
crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
<script src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>

The Main layout now looks like this:

<!-- views/layouts/main.handlebars -->
<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width">
<title>{{config.site_title}}</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/css/bootstrap.min.css" />
{{#if ENV_DEVELOPMENT}}
<script src="http://localhost:35729/livereload.js"></script>
{{/if}}
<script src="https://js.stripe.com/v3/"></script>
  </head>
<body>

  {{{body}}}
  <script
src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.2.1.min.js"
integrity="sha256-hwg4gsxgFZhOsEEamdOYGBf13FyQuiTwlAQgxVSNgt4="
crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
<script src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

The Header Partial:

Handlebars expects partials to be found in the /views/partials directory by default so we'll make header.handlebars there. It will look like this:

<header>
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-xs-12 text-center">
<h1>{{config.site_title}}</h1>
</div>
</div>
</div>
</header>
<nav class="navbar navbar-default">
<div class="container-fluid">
<div class="navbar-header">
<button type="button" class="navbar-toggle collapsed" data-toggle="collapse" data-target="#navbar-collapse-header" aria-expanded="false">
<span class="sr-only">Toggle navigation</span>
<span class="icon-bar"></span>
<span class="icon-bar"></span>
<span class="icon-bar"></span>
</button>
</div>
    <div class="collapse navbar-collapse" id="navbar-collapse-header">
<ul class="nav navbar-nav">
<li {{#if route_posts}}class="active"{{/if}}><a href="/posts">Posts<span class="sr-only">(current)</span></a></li>
<li><a href="/premium">Premium Content</a></li>
</ul>
<ul class="nav navbar-nav navbar-right">
{{#if logged_in}}
<li class="navbar-text text-center">Welcome Back, {{user.first_name}}!</li>
<li><a href="/logout">Logout</a></li>
{{/if}}
        {{#unless logged_in}}
<li {{#if route_login}}class="active"{{/if}}><a href="/login">Login</a></li>
<li {{#if route_signup}}class="active"{{/if}}><a href="/plans">Sign Up</a></li>
{{/unless}}
</ul>
</div>
</div>
</nav>

Note: In the header partial we take advantage of Handlebars’ built in if and unlesshelpers to make parts of our code route-specific. The we'll pass the relative booleans later in the route handlers.

The Posts View

On the Posts page we want to:

  1. Display the header
  2. Show an error message if the user is trying to access premium posts without an account
  3. Abstract the post display logic to it’s own partial to make our code cleaner and modular.

For the error message, we’ll rely on Handlebars’ if helper as we did before. For showing summaries of the posts, we'll be passing the posts to the view as an array of post objects. This lets us use the Handlebars each block helper to iterate over that array (each post being accessible as this). Our Posts view will then look like this:

{{> header}}
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
{{#if error}}
<div class="alert alert-danger" role="alert">
{{error}}
</div>
{{/if}}
{{#each posts}}
{{> post-container this}}
{{/each}}
</div>
</div>

The Post Container partial:

The next obvious step is to build the container to show summaries of each post on the Posts page. Beyond displaying the post’s title and content (which is easily accessed with this.title, etc.) we want to show the user if the post is premium, as well as a truncation of the post's body and it's creation date.

We’ll again turn to the if helper to show a star beside the post if this.metadata.premiumreturns true, which is simple enough. For the blurb and creation date, we need to modify the content and created_at properties of the Post object; in the first place, to shorten it, in the latter, because Cosmic stores the date in ISO datetime format. To keep display logic out of our views, Handlebars provides us with functionality to write own helpers.

First, get the view code in place:

<!-- /views/partials/post-container.handlebars -->
<div style="border-bottom: 3px solid #337ab7" class="col-xs-12 col-md-8 col-md-offset-2">
<h2>
{{#if this.metadata.premium}}
<span style="font-size: 0.5em" class="glyphicon glyphicon-star"></span>
{{/if}}
<a href="/post/{{this.slug}}">{{this.title}}</a>
</h2>
<p style="margin: 35px 40px">
{{truncateText this.content 20}} <a href="/post/{{this.slug}}">Read more</a>
</p>
<em style="margin: 20px 0" class="pull-right">
{{date this.created_at}}
</em>
</div>

(Hint: our handlebars helpers will be named truncateText and date.)

Open app.js and find the snippet of code that sets Handlebars as the view engine. exphbsis a reference to express-handlebars and the object passed to it contains the parameters used to instantiate the engine. We need to add the helpers property to that object. The helpers property will then point to the date and truncateTextmethods as follows:

// app.js
// etc...
app.engine('handlebars', exphbs({
defaultLayout: 'main',
partialsDir: ['views/partials/'],
helpers: {
date: function(date) {
return dateFormat(new Date(date), "dddd, mmmm dS, yyyy")
},
truncateText: function(text, length) {
return truncate(text, length, { stripTags: true, byWords: true })
}
}
}));
app.set('views', path.join(__dirname, 'views'));
app.set('view engine', 'handlebars');
// etc...

To illustrate, {{truncateText this.content 20}} tells Handlebars to render the result of truncate(this.content, 20, {...} ) .

The Post View:

Our users need to be able to read individual posts, so we’ll build a simple view that get’s passed an array that’s one post long. (In the future, outside the scope of this guide, we may find it useful to use the view to display multiple full posts in succession.)

We’ll also display an error if the post isn’t found. Create your post view like so:

<!-- /views/post.handlebars -->
{{> header}}
{{#if not_found}}
<div class="container">
<div class="row text-center">
<div class="col-xs12 col-md-6 col-md-offset-3">
<div class="alert alert-danger">
Post Not Found!
</div>
<a href="/posts">See All Posts</a>
</div>
</div>
</div>
{{/if}}
{{#each post}}
<article class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-8 col-sm-offset-2">
<h1>{{this.title}}</h1>
<div class="lead" style="font-size: 1.5em">
{{{this.content}}}
</div>
<em class="pull-right">
<time>{{date this.created_at}}</time>
</em>
</div>
</div>
</article>
{{/each}}

The Login Page:

The login page will be the simplest yet — a basic form that POSTs to a login route.

<!-- /views/login.handlebars -->
{{> header}}
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-4 col-sm-offset-4">
<h1>Log In</h1>
<p class="text-muted">
Log in to view premium content.
</p>
      <form method="post">
<input class="form-control" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Email" required/>
<input type="password" class="form-control" name="password" placeholder="Password" required />
<button class="btn btn-lg btn-primary btn-block submit-btn" type="submit">Log in</button>
</form>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<style>
form > input, button {
margin-top: 12px;
}
</style>

The Plans Page:

Obviously, our users will need to be able to signup before they can login, but since we’re giving them the option to choose one of three subscription plans we’ll build out a view that shows them their options just before checking out. Later, we’ll need to pass the Subscriptions object to this view so we can set the plan prices from Cosmic, rather than hard coding them. The view will look like this:

<!-- /views/plans.handlebars -->
{{> header}}
<div class="container">
<div class="row text-center lead">
<h1>Choose a Plan to Read Premium Content</h1>
<p>
Sign up to view Premium Content on {{config.site_title}}
</p>
</div>
  <div class="row">
<div class="col-sm-4">
<h3 class="text-center text-muted">
Monthly
</h3>
<p class="text-center">
<strong>Billed every month</strong>
</p>
<h1 class="text-center text-success">{{subscriptions.monthly_price}}</h1 class="text-center text-success">
<ul class="list-unstyled lead" style="padding: 0 20px">
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Here's a good benefit
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>A reason to buy
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Why you have to have it
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Why you shouldn't miss out
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Believe it.
</li>
</ul>
<a href="/signup?plan=monthly"><button class="btn btn-block btn-default btn-lg">Sign Up</button></a>
</div>
<div class="col-sm-4" style="border: 2px solid #3c763d">
<h3 style="background: #3c763d;color: white;padding: 7px 0" class="text-center text-success">
Yearly
</h3>
<p class="text-center">
<strong>Billed every 12 months</strong>
</p>
<h1 class="text-center text-success">{{subscriptions.yearly_price}}</h1>
<ul class="list-unstyled lead" style="padding: 0 20px">
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Here's a good benefit
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>A reason to buy
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Why you have to have it
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Why you shouldn't miss out
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Believe it.
</li>
</ul>
<a href="/signup?plan=yearly"><button class="btn btn-block btn-default btn-lg">Sign Up</button></a>
</div>
<div class="col-sm-4">
<h3 class="text-center text-muted">
Quarterly
</h3>
<p class="text-center">
<strong>Billed every 3 months</strong>
</p>
<h1 class="text-center text-success">{{subscriptions.quarterly_price}}</h1 class="text-center text-success">
<ul class="list-unstyled lead" style="padding: 0 30px">
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Here's a good benefit
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>A reason to buy
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Why you have to have it
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Why you shouldn't miss out
</li>
<li>
<span class="glyphicon glyphicon-ok text-success"></span>Believe it.
</li>
</ul>
<a href="/signup?plan=quarterly"><button class="btn btn-block btn-default btn-lg">Sign Up</button></a>
</div>
</div>
</div>
<style>
form > input, button {
margin-top: 12px;
}
ul.lead {
margin-top: 40px
}
.lead > li {
margin: 8px 0
}
.glyphicon {
margin-right: 12px
}
.btn {
margin: 35px 0px;
}
</style>

Notice that each Sign Up button links to the signup route, passing a query paramter associated with the plan selected. I.e. /signup?plan={:plan}

The Signup Page:

Last, but certainly not least — the money maker. We’ve saved our most complicated view for last. These are our requirements:

  1. We need to pass the plan chosen on the page before in planName. (Later we'll do this in a URL query string)
  2. We need to use the Stripe Elements API for collecting credit card information. This is what we included Stripe.js in the Main layout earlier. At the end of our checkout form we need two divs; one ID'd card-element and the other ID'd card-errors for Stripe.js to inject into after the initial DOM rendering.
  3. We need to pass our publishable stripe key to make it all work.

Starting with the HTML we have:

<!-- /views/signup.handlebars -->
{{>header}}
<div class="container">
<div class="row">
<form method="post" id="payment-form">
<div class="col-xs-12 text-center">
<h4 class="lead"><em>You're one step away from a <u>{{planName}}</u> subscription to {{config.site_title}}!</em></h4>
</div>
</div>
<div class="row" style="margin-top: 30px">
<div class="col-md-8 col-md-offset-2">
<h4>Enter your account details and payment information</h4>
        <label for="first_name">First name:</label>
<input type="text" name="first_name" class="form-control" placeholder="First name" required />
<label for="last_name">Last name:</label>
<input type="text" name="last_name" class="form-control" placeholder="Last name" required />
<label for="email">Email:</label>
<input type="email" name="email" class="form-control" placeholder="Email" required />
<label for="password">Password</label>
<input type="password" name="password" class="form-control" placeholder="Password" required />
<label for="card-element">Credit or debit card</label>
<div class="form-control" id="card-element"></div>
<div id="card-errors" role="alert"></div>
<button id="submit-button" class="btn-success btn btn-lg btn-block btn-default" >Submit Payment</button>
      </div>
</div>
</form>
</div>

Then, for simplicity, we’ll follow this with an inline script that integrates Stripe:

<!-- views/signup.handlebars -->
<script>
var stripe = Stripe('{{stripeKeyPublishable}}')
var elements = stripe.elements()
var card = elements.create('card')
var style = {
base: {
color: '#32325d',
lineHeight: '24px',
fontFamily: '"Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, sans-serif',
fontSmoothing: 'antialiased',
fontSize: '16px',
'::placeholder': {
color: '#aab7c4'
}
},
invalid: {
color: '#fa755a',
iconColor: '#fa755a'
}
};
  card.mount('#card-element', {style: style})
  // Handle real-time validation errors from the card Element.
card.addEventListener('change', function(event) {
var displayError = document.getElementById('card-errors');
if (event.error) {
displayError.textContent = event.error.message;
} else {
displayError.textContent = '';
}
});
// Handle form submission
var form = document.getElementById('payment-form');
var submitButton = document.getElementById('submit-button');
form.addEventListener('submit', function(event) {
event.preventDefault();
submitButton.disabled=true
stripe.createToken(card).then(function(result) {
if (result.error) {
// Inform the user if there was an error
var errorElement = document.getElementById('card-errors');
errorElement.textContent = result.error.message;
submitButton.disabled=false
} else {
// Send the token to your server
stripeTokenHandler(result.token);
}
});
});
function stripeTokenHandler(token) {
// Insert the token ID into the form so it gets submitted to the server
var form = document.getElementById('payment-form');
var hiddenInput = document.createElement('input');
hiddenInput.setAttribute('type', 'hidden');
hiddenInput.setAttribute('name', 'stripeToken');
hiddenInput.setAttribute('value', token.id);
form.appendChild(hiddenInput);
// Submit the form
form.submit();
}
</script>
<style>
label,button {
margin-top: 22px;
}
</style>

Here’s what’s going on:

  1. We instantiate Stripe with the Publishable key we passed, assign its elements library to it's own variable, use that to create a card element, and finally mount that to the <div id="card-element"> we created earlier. The card object handles card validation, comes packaged with good UX features, and reports errors back to the user in real time.
  2. We attach an event listener to the card object that responds to any change in either the user-inputted card number, CCV, or expiration date. It mounts that error on <div id="card-errors">
  3. We handle the form submission manually. First, we prevent the default action and disable multiple submissions. Then, barring no errors, we attach a hidden field to the form that contains Stripe’s validation token, provided by Stripe.js, and then submit the form to the Signup route.

7. Build the Routes

With our views built, we know exactly what routes our application needs. Namely:

  • Posts
  • Post
  • Premium
  • Login
  • Logout
  • Signup
  • Plans

By default, your app has a Users route and an Index route. Delete Users and make Index redirect to Posts like so:

// /routes/index.js
var express = require('express')
var router = express.Router()
router.get('/', function(req, res) {
res.redirect('/posts')
});
module.exports = router

The Posts Route:

Posts will use async to string together a series of async functions: one using the Cosmic JS client to get our Posts, the next using Cosmic to get the site config and render the postsview, passing in the relevant locals. If the user is not in an authenticated session, we'll use lodash to filter out the posts returned from Cosmic which have not been labelled premium (and are therefore free to read). We'll pass the Posts, Config, and route-specific view data via res.locals.

var express = require('express');
var router = express.Router();
var cosmic = require('cosmicjs');
var async = require('async');
var _ = require('lodash')
router.get('/', function(req, res) {
async.series([
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObjectType(req.app.locals.config, { type_slug: 'posts' }, function(err, response) {
(req.session.user) ? res.locals.posts = response.objects.all : res.locals.posts = _.filter(response.objects.all, function(post) {
return !post.metadata.premium
})
cb()
})
},
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'site' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.config = response.object.metadata
res.locals.user = req.session.user
res.locals.route_posts = true
if (req.session.user) res.locals.logged_in = true
return res.render('posts.handlebars')
})=
}
])
});
module.exports = router;

The Post Route:

Having a route for all posts, we’ll need a companion route for a singular post that takes the post slug as a URL parameter and returns that post if it’s found, utilizing similar logic as the Posts route.

// routes/post.js
var express = require('express');
var router = express.Router();
var cosmic = require('cosmicjs');
var async = require('async');
var _ = require('lodash')
router.get('/:slug', function(req, res) {
async.series([
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObjectType(req.app.locals.config, { type_slug: 'posts' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.post = _.filter(response.objects.all, function(post) {
return post.slug === req.params.slug
})
if (!res.locals.post) res.locals.not_found = true
cb()
})
},
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'site' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.config = response.object.metadata
res.locals.user = req.session.user
return res.render('post.handlebars')
})
}
])
});
module.exports = router

The Login Route:

To let users have access to premium posts, we’ll need to collect their login information, hash their password with bcrypt, and check it against the password associated with the email address stored in Cosmic.

A GET request will render the login form. We then handle the form’s POST request by retrieiving all users from Cosmic and iteratating over all users with a series of two async functions: one using bcrypt to compare password hashes, the next saving the user’s data into a session if they’re found.

// routes/login.js
var express = require('express');
var router = express.Router();
var cosmic = require('cosmicjs');
var async = require('async');
var _ = require('lodash')
var bcrypt = require('bcrypt')
router.get('/', function(req, res) {
async.series([
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'site' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.config = response.object.metadata
res.locals.route_login = true
return res.render('login.handlebars')
})
}
])
});
router.post('/', function(req, res) {
cosmic.getObjectType(req.app.locals.config, { type_slug: 'users' }, function (err, response) {
if (err) res.status(500).json({ status: 'error', data: response })
else {
async.eachSeries(response.objects.all, function (user, eachCb) {
if (!_.find(user.metafields, { key: 'email', value: req.body.email.trim().toLowerCase() }))
return eachCb()
const stored_password = _.find(user.metafields, { key: 'password' }).value
bcrypt.compare(req.body.password, stored_password, function (err, correct) {
if (correct) res.locals.user_found = user
eachCb()
})
}, function () {
if (res.locals.user_found) {
req.session.user = {
first_name: res.locals.user_found.metafield.first_name.value,
last_name: res.locals.user_found.metafield.last_name.value,
email: res.locals.user_found.metafield.email.value
}
req.session.save()
return res.redirect('/posts')
}
return res.status(404).json({ status: 'error', message: 'User not found' })
})
}
})
})
module.exports = router

The Plans Route:

Before a user can log in, we need a sign up form so we can have users in the first place. As said before, we’ll show them their subscription options right before the signup form. This does nothing more than pass the Site and Subscription configs before rendering the view:

var express = require('express');
var router = express.Router();
var cosmic = require('cosmicjs');
var async = require('async')
router.get('/', function(req, res) {
async.series([
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'site' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.config = response.object.metadata
res.locals.route_signup = true
cb()
})
},
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'subscriptions' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.subscriptions = response.object.metadata
res.render('plans.handlebars')
})
}
])
});
module.exports = router;

The Signup Route:

As you might have guessed, the signup route has the most going on out of them all. Here’s what we need to implement:

  1. On a GET request, render the signup form and pass our publishable Stripe key through res.locals for Stripe.js to work.
  2. On a Post request:
  3. Instantiate Stripe server-side with our secret key
  4. If a user’s already logged in, redirect them.
  5. Run a series of two named async functions (so we can use their return values after both have completed) to fetch our subscription data from Cosmic and hash the password.
  6. Having completed Step 3, we use the Stripe API to create a new customer, associating their payment method via the Stripe token we passed from the signup form.
  7. We then charge that customer based on the plan selected and create a new subscription (again, via Stripe) so recurring payments are processed automatically.
  8. We create a new User object based on our Cosmic schema, add that to our bucket, and once that’s succesful we create a new session for the user and redirect them to the Posts route, where they'll now be able to view premium content.

All complete, it will look like this:

// routes/signup.js
var express = require('express');
var router = express.Router();
var cosmic = require('cosmicjs');
var async = require('async');
var bcrypt = require('bcrypt')
router.get('/', function(req, res) {
if (req.session.user) res.redirect('/')
async.series([
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'site' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.config = response.object.metadata
res.locals.route_signup = true
cb()
})
},
function(cb) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'subscriptions' }, function(err, response) {
res.locals.subscriptions = response.object.metadata
res.locals.stripeKeyPublishable = req.app.locals.stripeKeyPublishable
res.locals.planName = req.query.plan
res.render('signup.handlebars')
})
}
])
});
router.post('/', function(req, res) {
var stripe = require('stripe')(req.app.locals.stripeKeySecret)
if (req.session.user) res.redirect('/')
  async.series({
subscriptions: function(callback) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'subscriptions' }, function(err, response) {
callback(null, response.object.metadata)
})
},
hash: function (callback) {
bcrypt.hash(req.body.password, 10, function (err, hash) {
callback(null, hash)
})
}
}, function (err, results) {
    stripe.customers.create({
email: req.body.email,
source: req.body.stripeToken
}).then(function (customer) {
return stripe.charges.create({
amount: results.subscriptions[req.query.plan + "_price"].replace(/[$]/,'') + '00',
currency: "usd",
customer: customer.id
})
}).then(function (charge) {
stripe.subscriptions.create({
customer: charge.customer,
items: [
{
plan: 'subscription-' + req.query.plan
}
]
})
var object = {
type_slug: 'users',
title: req.body.first_name + ' ' + req.body.last_name,
metafields: [
{
title: 'First name',
key: 'first_name',
type: 'text',
value: req.body.first_name
},
{
title: 'Last name',
key: 'last_name',
type: 'text',
value: req.body.last_name
},
{
title: 'Password',
key: 'password',
type: 'text',
value: results.hash
},
{
title: 'Email',
key: 'email',
type: 'text',
value: req.body.email
},
{
title: 'Stripe Id',
key: 'stripe_id',
type: 'text',
value: charge.customer
},
{
title: 'Subscription Type',
key: 'subscription_type',
type: 'text',
value: req.query.plan
}
]
}
if (req.app.locals.config.bucket.write_key) object.write_key = req.app.locals.config.bucket.write_key
cosmic.addObject(req.app.locals.config, object, function (err, reponse) {
if (err)
res.status(500).json({ data: reponse })
else {
req.session.user = {
first_name: req.body.first_name,
last_name: req.body.last_name,
email: req.body.email
}
req.session.save()
res.redirect('/posts')
}
})
})
})
})
module.exports = router

The Logout Route:

To be user friendly we’ll need to give our users a chance to log out. All this requires is a POST request to /logoutand a quick session.destroy() call.

var express = require('express')
var router = express.Router()
/* GET home page. */
router.get('/', function(req, res) {
req.session.destroy()
return res.redirect('/')
});
module.exports = router

Wiring Them All Together:

Having all of our routes built and ready to work as we need them to, we’ll require them all in our app and point their associated enpoints to them via app.use()

// app.js
var routes = require('./routes/index');
var posts = require('./routes/posts');
var post = require('./routes/post')
var login = require('./routes/login')
var logout = require('./routes/logout')
var signup = require('./routes/signup')
var plans = require('./routes/plans')
var premium = require('./routes/premium')
var api = require('./routes/api')
app.use('/', routes);
app.use('/post', post)
app.use('/posts', posts)
app.use('/login', login)
app.use('/logout', logout)
app.use('/signup', signup)
app.use('/plans', plans)
app.use('/premium', premium)
app.use('/api', api)

Moving On to the Extension:

If you’ve done everything right up until this point, your blog now works exactly as you’d expect it to. To test, go ahead and run npm start, create a few posts in Cosmic and verify that they're being fetched. Then create a dummy account and make sure it's being stored in Cosmic and registered by Stripe. Then, we'll build our dashboard extension for Cosmic.

Part 2: Building the Extension

Stripe provides us with an impressive amount of analytics, however we want a central location to get a quick glance at a list of all of our users, what subscription plan they’re on, and three key metrics about our blog: revenue to date, active subscriptions, and cancellations to date.

Cosmic JS gives us the ability to do this by utilizing it’s extension feature, which lets us upload a SPA with index.html as an entry point that gets loaded into a frame in our Cosmic dashboard. Bucket keys are then provided to it via URL query strings.

We’ll be building the extension with React, namely because our extension only requires a view layer.

Setup

To keep ourselves organized we’ll store our app under our CosmicUserBlog directory. Our tree will look like this:

CosmicUserBlog
|
|--extensions
| |--subscription-management
| | |--client
| | | |--components
| | | |--index.js
| | | |--index.html
| | |--dist

Once you have your directory structure in place, run yarn init and we'll move onto installaitons.

Installations

We need these packages:

  • async
  • axios
  • babel-preset-2015
  • Babel-preset-2016
  • cosmicjs
  • html-webpack-plugin — for generating our html with webpack
  • lodash
  • query-string — an easy way to parse bucket keys
  • path
  • react
  • react-dom
  • react-loading
  • webpack
  • babel-core
  • babel-loader
  • babel-preset-react

Run yarn add async axios babel-preset-2015 babel-preset-2016 cosmicjs html-webpack-plugin lodash query-string path react react-dom react-loading webpack babel-core babel-loader-babel-preset-react, then we'll dive in.

Configure Webpack and Babel

First, make .babelrc in the root folder and tell it how to transpile our code:

// .babelrc
{
"presets": [
"es2016", "es2015", "react"
]
}

Then, again under CosmicUserBlog/extensions/subscription-management, make webpack.config.js so we can tell Webpack how to package our modules.

const path = require('path')
const HtmlWebpackPlugin = require('html-webpack-plugin')
module.exports = {
entry: './client/index.js',
output: {
path: path.resolve('dist'),
filename: 'index_bundle.js'
},
module: {
loaders: [
{ test: /\.js$/, loader: 'babel-loader', exclude: /node_modules/ }
]
},
plugins: [
new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
template: './client/index.html',
filename: 'index.html',
inject: 'body'
})
]
}

dist will contain all of our output files (those being index_bundle.js and index.html) and we'll ultimately compress dist to upload as our extension. html-webpack-plugin will take our html template from client/index.html and link to our compiled javascript in dist/index.html upon building.

Create an Entry File

We want to use Boostrap and we need a div (which we'll ID as root) for our React App to mount onto. client/index.html should look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/css/bootstrap.min.css" />
</head>
<body>
<div id="root">
<script
src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.2.1.min.js"
integrity="sha256-hwg4gsxgFZhOsEEamdOYGBf13FyQuiTwlAQgxVSNgt4="
crossorigin="anonymous"></script>
<script src="https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

Build the React App

1. Create an Entry Point

We have everything in place to start getting our hands dirty. We’ll use client/index.js as an entry point for our React app. We'll import React, set it as a global, pass our cosmic keys to it in it's props, and mount the App component (which we'll make next) to <div id="root">.

import React from 'react'
import ReactDom from 'react-dom'
import App from './components/App'
import QueryString from 'query-string'
window.React = React
const url = QueryString.parse(location.search)
const cosmic = { bucket: {
slug: url.bucket_slug,
write_key: url.write_key,
read_key: url.read_key
}
}
ReactDom.render(
<App cosmic={cosmic}/>,
document.getElementById('root')
)

2. Build the App Component

To keep our app modular, we’ll have a tiered component structure that looks like this:

components
|
|--App.js
|--Header.js
|--SubscriberData
| |
| |--SubscriberContainer.js
| |--Loader.js
| |--StatsContainer.js
| |--StatTicker.js
| |--UserList.js

Header and SubscriberContainer will be immediate children of App. Loader, UserList, and StatsContainer will all be immediate children of SubcriberContainer. Finally, StatsContainer will be composed of StatTickers.

Aside from keeping an organized project, this structure allows us to maximize our number of stateless functional components which are not React classes and also happen to be fast.

Starting at the top of the heirarchy, we’ll build an App component that stores our Cosmic keys in it’s state and renders a Header and a SubscriberContainer.

// components/App.js
import { Component } from 'react'
import Header from './Header'
import SubscriberContainer from './SubscriberData/SubscriberContainer'
export default class App extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
super(props)
this.state = {
cosmic: this.props.cosmic
}
}
  render() {
return (
<div>
<Header
bucket={this.state.cosmic.bucket.slug} />
<SubscriberContainer
cosmic={this.state.cosmic} />
</div>
)
}
}

The next obvious step is to build out the Header component.

Build the Header:

Header will be our first stateless functional component, taking only our bucket slug as a prop:

const Header = ({ bucket }) =>
<nav className="navbar navbar-default">
<div className="container-fluid">
<ul className="nav navbar-nav">
<li className="navbar-text"><strong>Managing Subscriptions for: </strong><em>{bucket}</em></li>
</ul>
</div>
</nav>
export default Header

Build the Subscriber Container:

SubscriberContainer will handle all of the logic associated with our subscriber data and render StatsContainer and UserList to display the data it processes.

SubscriberContainer will be a stateful React class containing the following:

  1. A constructor that initializes SubscriberContainer's state to contain our Cosmic keys (which we've passed as props) and reflect our subscriber data. We intialize the Revenue, Users, and Cancellations stats to 'Loading…'and their loading state to true.
  2. An override for componentDidMount() to get our component to fetch the data we need after it mounts to the DOM, and then refresh that data every minute.
  3. A getRevenue() method to fetch (in an admittedly hack-ish way) our revenue by iterating over the subscription types of our active users from Cosmic and storing the calculated revenue in the state.
  4. A getUsers() method to fetch all of our users from Cosmic and store them in an array in the state, as well as their total.
  5. A getCancellations() method to grab the amount of cancelled subscriptions from our Subscriptions config object. (Later we'll be updating that number with a webhook from Stripe.)
  6. A render() method to render our Loader component (only if we're fetching data), StatsContainer, and UserList.

All put together, we have this:

import { Component } from 'react'
import Cosmic from 'cosmicjs'
import async from 'async'
import _ from 'lodash'
import StatsContainer from './StatsContainer'
import Loader from './Loader'
import UserList from './UserList'
const formatter = new Intl.NumberFormat('en-US', {
style: 'currency',
currency: 'USD',
minimumFractionDigits: 2
})
export default class App extends Component {

constructor(props) {
super(props)
this.state = {
cosmic: this.props.cosmic,
stats: {
revenue: 'Loading...',
users: 'Loading...',
cancellations: 'Loading...'
},
users: [],
fetchingRevenue: true,
fetchingUsers: true,
}
}
  fetchData() {
this.getRevenue();this.getUsers();this.getCancellations()
}
  componentDidMount() {
this.fetchData()
setInterval(() => {
this.fetchData()
}, 60000)
}
  getRevenue(cosmic) {
this.setState({ fetchingRevenue: true})
async.series([
callback => {
Cosmic.getObject(this.state.cosmic, { slug: 'subscriptions' }, (err, response) => {
callback(null, response.object)
})
},
callback => {
Cosmic.getObjectType(this.state.cosmic, { type_slug: 'users' }, (err, response) => {
callback(null, response.objects.all)
})
}
], (err, results) => {
let subscriptions = results[0], users = results[1];
let currentStats = this.state.stats
currentStats.revenue = formatter.format(users.map(user =>
parseInt(subscriptions.metadata[`${user.metadata.subscription_type}_price`].replace('$', ''))
)
.reduce((sum, val) => sum + val))
this.setState({ stats: currentStats })
this.setState({ fetchingRevenue: false })
})
}
  getUsers(cosmic) {
this.setState({ fetchingUsers: true })
Cosmic.getObjectType(this.state.cosmic, { type_slug: 'users' }, (err, response) => {
if (err) {
currentStats = this.state.stats
currentStats.users = 'Error'
this.setState({ stats: currentStats })
} else {
let currentStats = this.state.stats
currentStats.users = isNaN(response.total) ? 0 : response.total
this.setState({ stats: currentStats })
this.setState({ users: response.objects.all })
this.setState({ fetchingUsers: false })
}
})
}
  getCancellations(cosmic) {
this.setState({ fetchingCancellations: true})
Cosmic.getObject(this.state.cosmic, { slug: 'subscriptions' }, (err, response) => {
if (err) {
currentStats = this.state.stats
currentStats.users = 'Error'
this.setState({ stats: currentStats })
} else {
let currentStats = this.state.stats
currentStats.cancellations = isNaN(response.object.metadata.cancellations) ? 0: response.object.metadata.cancellations
this.setState({ stats: currentStats })
this.setState({ fetchingCancellations: false })
}
})
}
  render() {
return (
<div className="container">
<Loader loadingState={this.state.fetchingUsers || this.state.fetchingRevenue || this.state.fetchingCancellations} />
<StatsContainer stats={this.state.stats} />
<UserList users={this.state.users}/>
</div>
)
}
}

We’re now left with four stateless functional components to build out. These are:

1. Loader:

import ReactLoading from 'react-loading'
const Loader = ({ loadingState }) =>
<div className="row" style={{display: loadingState ? 'block' : 'none' }}>
<div className="col-xs-12">
<div className="pull-right">
<ReactLoading height='20px' width='20px' type="spin" color="#444" />
</div>
</div>
</div>
export default Loader

Which makes use of the handy react-loading package.

2. StatsContainer:

import StatTicker from './StatTicker'
const StatsContainer = ({ stats }) =>
<div className="row">{Object.keys(stats).map((key, index) =>
<div key={index} className="col-md-4 text-center"><StatTicker name={key} value={stats[key]} /></div>
)}
</div>

export default StatsContainer

3. StatTicker:

const StatTicker = ({ name, value }) =>
<div><h3 className="lead text-muted">{name}</h3><h1 className="text-primary">{value}</h1></div>
export default StatTicker

and finally…

4. UserList:

const UserList = ({ users, deleteUser }) =>
<div style={{marginTop: 50 + 'px'}} className="row">
<div className="col-xs-12">
<h4 className="pull-left lead">All Users:</h4>
<table className="table table-responsive table-hover">
<thead>
<tr>
<th>Stripe ID</th>
<th>First Name</th>
<th>Last Name</th>
<th>Email</th>
</tr>
</thead>
<tbody>
{users.map((user, index) =>
<tr key={index}>
<td>{user.metadata.stripe_id}</td>
<td>{user.metadata.first_name}</td>
<td>{user.metadata.last_name}</td>
<td>{user.metadata.email}</td>
</tr>
)}
</tbody>
</table>
</div>
</div>

export default UserList

Integrate Stripe Webhooks

To get our cancelled subscriber count, we’ll udpate a cancellations metafield in our Cosmic Subscriptions object. To do this, we'll receive a webhook from Stripe through our Express app every time we delete a subscription on Stripe.

  1. Set up webhooks in Stripe and point them to the domain your Express app is deployed to.
  2. Create an api route at CosmicUserBlog/routes/api.js and require it in App.js.
  3. Handle POST requests with a switch statement acting on req.body. When Stripe sends us a subscription cancellation webhook, req.body.type will be customer.subscription.deleted.
  4. Delete the User object from Cosmic, get the Subscription object from Cosmic, shallow copy the object, increment metadata.cancellations, then use Cosmic's REST API to push the changes to the object.
  5. Respond with a 200 code so Stripe can confirm receipt of the webhook.

Here’s the finshed product:

var express = require('express')
var router = express.Router()
var cosmic = require('cosmicjs')
var axios = require('axios')
router.post('/', function(req, res) {
event = req.body
switch (event.type) {
case 'customer.subscription.deleted':
cosmic.deleteObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'user', write_key: req.app.locals.config.bucket.slug }, function (err, response) {
cosmic.getObject(req.app.locals.config, { slug: 'subscriptions' }, function (err, response) {
var currentObject = response.object
currentObject.metadata.cancellations = currentObject.metadata.cancellations + 1
currentObject.metafield.cancellations.value = currentObject.metadata.cancellations + 1
currentObject.write_key = req.app.locals.config.bucket.write_key
axios({
method: 'put',
url: `https://api.cosmicjs.com/v1/${req.app.locals.config.bucket.slug}/edit-object`,
data: currentObject
}).then(function (axRes) {
console.log('Success')
}).catch(function (axError) {
console.log('Error')
})
})
})
return res.json({ received: true})
break;
default:
return res.json({ received: false })
}
});
module.exports = router

Deploy

To tell Cosmic what your extension is, you’ll need to add extension.json to your distfolder. We'll configure our extension like this:

// dist/extension.json
{
"title": "Subscription Management",
"font_awesome_class": "fa-gears",
"image_url": ""
}

Conclusion

Using Cosmic JS, Express, Stripe, and React, we’ve built both a monetizable blog that lets our readers subscribe to read premium content and a convenient dashboard to view data about our blog. We’ve integrated Stripe for secure payments and we’ve built an app that does as much as we want it to do with room to grow.

With how quickly we’ve been able to build our app and with the simplicity of deploying and maintaining it, it’s clear that Cosmic JS is one of a kind in its API first approach to content management. Clearly, CosmisJS is a money maker.

This article originally appears on the Cosmic JS Blog.

Matt Cain builds smart web applications and writes about the tech used to build them. You can learn more about him on his portfolio.

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