Hello, Vapid.

We’ve been working on the web since the late 90s. During that time, what we’ve come to know as content management systems were born, saw a critical mass, and then splintered into many variants. From the early days of simple file and folder management to popular PHP-based CMSes such as Movable Type, Expression Engine, Textpattern, and the reigning king, Wordpress, we’ve come full circle. A wide array of developers and designers have since adopted static site generators, as CMSes have become complicated or too rigid in their structure. This has become an impediment to speed and cost and results in lengthy development cycles.

For years we built sites of varying sizes and complexity for clients and found that we often had to shoehorn or push the limits of what any particular CMS we used (and we used many over the years) could do. In recent years, we found ourselves building complete applications and websites utilizing static site generators. However, we found client handoff difficult as there was no dashboard for the end users (marketers, social media managers, comms departments, and anyone not in engineering) to use with ease.

Today, we’re announcing Vapid. Vapid is an open source CMS and a hosting platform. The CMS is available today for you to install and create your first site. The hosting platform is in private beta (request access here) and has been successfully deployed at scale by Cards Against Humanity, amongst others.

We built Vapid to address the need for intentional simplicity and speed of development, while also providing you with the ability to give your end users a dashboard that they can use.

When we say that Vapid is “For people who build websites for other people,” the above is what we mean. Vapid is for developers, designers, studios, agencies, and tinkerers. All you need to know is HTML. No config files, databases, or FTP to stand in your way.

You can create a custom dashboard without ever leaving the HTML.

Constrained, by design

Vapid has only a few core concepts and a handful of content types. This is purposeful: you can master it quickly, and build sites without constantly referencing documentation.

Here are some of those concepts:

CONTENT TAGS

If you’ve ever used Mustache or Handlebars, Vapid will be very familiar to you. Add template tags to your HTML and Vapid will automatically create input fields in the dashboard. There are 7 content types including HTML, images, and others.

{{title}}
{{body type=html}}

SECTIONS

Sections are an organizational unit of Vapid. They allow you to group tags together and display them under a separate dashboard link, other than General.

{{#section about}}
{{title}}
{{body type=html}}
{{/section}}

CONTACT FORMS

Want to create an email contact form? No problem, just use the #form tag. It’s nearly identical to #section, except that it automatically creates an emailable form for you. Zero configuration required.

{{#form contact}}
{{name}}
{{email}}
{{message long=true}}
{{/form}}

Get started

If you’re interested in kicking the tires and are comfortable with dev environments, then install the app via these terminal commands.

npm install -g vapid-cli
vapid new path/to/project/folder
cd path/to/project/folder
vapid start

Note: you may have to install Node.js first.

This is a great way to get familiar with the app, and prep your site(s) for deploying on the Vapid hosted service (again, request access here).

If you’ve got an interesting project and are ready to deploy on the Vapid hosting platform, drop us a message at hello@vapid.com.

In the meantime, please visit vapid.com to learn more.

You can follow along on Twitter @hellovapid.

Thanks,
Scott & Naz.