A better way to manage content, but…
CMSs are dead. At least the traditional ones. For all the reasons that we’ve complained about for so long. Fortunately, a couple brilliant companies have come up with some incredible options (Prismic and Contentful).
Neither are perfect, at least for me. They are certainly better than what we had, but still shy of inspiring me to do my pathetic version of a cartwheel across my floor.
I’m a front-end guy. And since that’s a nebulous term — I’m a designer who was lucky enough to get into the web in the early days. I’m fine with HTML (although I almost never write actual HTML anymore), CSS (once again, Sass is more my bag), and JS (slash Coffeescript). I run a small business and with what I know (and some occassional backend help), I do ok. Furthermore, I’m a great fit for companies that aren’t a good fit for larger agencies.
Enter the new content-as-a-service field. These apps are written for backend developers. I can get by with tools such as contentful-middleman, but the documentation is far from helpful. So I’m left taking an extraordinary amount of time trying to achieve some very simple things. That said, I’m not alone. There are lots of people like me. Documentation goes a long way. Take Mapbox for example: exceptionally powerful, incredibly well-documented. I can do pretty much anything I can dream up in minutes. Middleman is another example, not nearly as fast as the Node versions, but it’s finely tuned, mature, and well-documented (for average users).
Dear content-as-a-service folks,
Please, keep in mind that we aren’t all back-end developers. I use Middleman, Parse if I need it, and usually host on servers geared toward static sites. This is a perfect stack for your service.
Show me how to pull in my content with working examples. Show me how to make a blog, paginate, sort, and filter. Then help me set up a webhook so that when my client writes new content it’s pushed up to Github or one of several static servers; Netlify does a good job of this for example.
I’m figuring it all out anyway, but I’m a wasting a lot of time and I know I’m not the only one.