Do you use Git-based Content Management Systems (CMS)?

Last updated by Sam Wagner [SSW] 4 months ago.See history

Developers love Git 😍, and while it was originally built as a version control system for source code, it's now used to power all kinds of awesome tools - including Content Management Systems (CMS)! So how is a Git-based CMS different to a traditional CMS platform, and why would you want to use one?

Video: Git-based Content Management Systems | Gordon Beeming | SSW Rules (4 min)

Difference between traditional and Git-based CMS platforms

When traditional content management systems (CMS) were designed to cater to the needs of marketers, they prioritized ease of use but often lacked the flexibility crucial for developers. Modern developers, accustomed to continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes inspired by DevOps principles, thrive on workflows that enhance productivity.

Most traditional CMS platforms rely on centralized databases and content storage services that not only impose limitations but also prescribe the overall capabilities of the content repository and the CMS. Conversely, a Git-based CMS offers version control for both content and configuration together - meaning you have much greater flexibility (and speedier development!) when compared with a traditional CMS.

Git-based CMS platforms

Below is a list of some of the most popular tools:

TinaCMS is an open-source CMS that integrates with various static site generators. It's designed to be lightweight and flexible, allowing inline editing and real-time preview.

Pros

  • Open-source
  • Git-based versioning & workflows
  • GitHub Contributions
  • MDX Support for rich reusable components
  • Editorial Workflows
  • Supports Single Sign-On (SSO)

Cons

  • Manage Pull Request in GitHub
  • Some minor UX issues
  • Pricing Tiers

CrafterCMS

CrafterCMS is a headless CMS designed for high-performance content applications. It's not traditionally categorized strictly under "Git-based CMSs," but it does provide Git-based versioning and workflow capabilities, which makes it highly scalable and suitable for managing complex content structures.

Pros

  • Git-based versioning & workflows
  • Open-source
  • Docker Image
  • Supports most UI Frameworks
  • GraphQL support
  • Unlimited Sites, Projects, Users

Cons

  • Does not support MDX
  • Need a user account

There is also an enterprise version of CrafterCMS that has more features, like Internationalization and Generative AI. However that solution is $$$ Super expensive.

Publii

Publii is a static site generator that offers a desktop app, providing a user-friendly interface for managing content offline. It integrates well with Git and supports syncing with various hosting services. It can get overlooked because it's seen more as a site generator with CMS features rather than a pure CMS.

Pros

  • Open-source
  • Privacy focused
  • Can sync content with git

Cons

  • Does not support MDX
  • No GitHub contributions
  • Desktop Based Only

Contentrain

Contentrain is a headless CMS that offers a Git-based workflow, aligning the content editing process closely with the codebase. It's quite new in the market, and is quite niche (JSON and no GitHub).

Pros

  • Pricing is comparable/affordable to most API-based CMSs
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Git-based versioning & workflows
  • Internationalization

Cons

  • JSON based content
  • No GitHub contributions
  • Need a user account

StaticCMS

StaticCMS is a newer entry in the field and offers a Git-based, open-source CMS. It's designed to work well with static site generators and is a lesser-known brand. StaticCMS is a fork of Decap CMS (previously Netlify CMS).

Pros

  • Editorial Workflow (in Beta)
  • Open Authoring (in Beta)
  • GitHub Contributions

Cons

  • No MDX support
  • No live-preview (markdown preview only)
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