The Ultimate Guide To CMS For Static Site Generators


Static site generators (SSGs) have gained considerable popularity for their simplicity, speed, and security benefits.

However, managing content with traditional SSGs often involves editing files or using markdown, which can be daunting for non-technical users.

Content Management Systems (CMS) tailored for SSGs, offer an easy-to-use interface for editing and managing content while retaining the advantages of static sites.

Understanding the Role of a CMS in Static Site Generation

Before we dive into specific CMS options, let’s first understand why a CMS is valuable for static site generators.

While SSGs excel at generating static HTML files from templates and content, they often lack features for dynamic content management, such as user authentication, content scheduling, or content previews.

A CMS bridges this gap by providing an intuitive interface for content creation, editing, and organization.

By coupling a CMS with an SSG, developers can leverage the strengths of both technologies.

They can use the SSG to generate and serve static files, while relying on the CMS to manage content efficiently. This hybrid approach combines the performance benefits of static sites with the flexibility of dynamic content management.

Evaluating CMS Options for SSG Integration

When it comes to integrating a CMS with a static site generator (SSG), developers have several options to consider. Let’s explore three categories of CMS solutions tailored for SSG integration:

A. Headless CMS Solutions

Headless CMS platforms offer content management capabilities without dictating how the content is presented to users.

These systems provide content through APIs, allowing developers to consume and display it in any format or platform, including static websites generated by SSGs. Here are some popular headless CMS options:

1. Strapi

Strapi is an open-source headless CMS that provides a customizable content management experience.

It offers a flexible content model and a RESTful API, making it easy to integrate with any static site generator. Strapi’s self-hosted nature and extensive plugin ecosystem make it the primary choice for developers seeking full control over their content management infrastructure.

2. Contentful

Contentful is a cloud-based headless CMS that offers a robust API for content delivery.

While not specifically designed for static site generators, Contentful can be seamlessly integrated with SSGs using its API. Contentful’s flexible content modeling capabilities and multi-environment support make it suitable for projects of all sizes.

B. Git-based CMS Solutions

Git-based CMS platforms leverage version control systems like Git to manage content alongside code, enabling collaborative workflows and simplifying content deployment.

These CMS solutions are particularly well-suited for integrating with SSGs, as they streamline the content editing process and ensure consistency across development environments. Here are two popular Git-based CMS options:

1. Decap CMS

Decap CMS is a Git-based CMS that integrates seamlessly with the Netlify platform.

It allows content editors to manage site content directly from the repository, with changes reflected in real-time. Decap CMS supports Markdown content, making it compatible with popular static site generators like Gatsby, Hugo, and Jekyll. Its simplicity and tight integration with the Jamstack ecosystem make it a popular choice among developers.

2. TinaCMS

TinaCMS is another Git-backed CMS designed specifically for static site generators.

It provides a user-friendly interface for content editing and integrates seamlessly with Git-based workflows. TinaCMS supports Markdown and front matter formats, allowing developers to maintain content alongside their codebase.

Its collaboration features and deployment capabilities make it a convenient choice for teams working on static site projects.

3. CloudCannon CMS

CloudCannon CMS is a Git-based CMS focused on providing a visual editing experience for static sites.

It allows users to edit content directly on the live site via a visual editor, eliminating the need to interact directly with code or markdown files.

CloudCannon CMS seamlessly integrates with Git workflows, automatically committing changes to the repository. Its intuitive interface and real-time preview functionality make it a compelling option for content editors and developers alike.

C. Traditional CMS Adapted for SSGs

Some traditional CMS platforms have been adapted or extended to support integration with static site generators.

While these solutions may not be as lightweight or flexible as headless or Git-based CMS options, they can still offer valuable content management features for static websites. Here’s one example of a traditional CMS adapted for SSG integration:

1. WordPress via REST API

WordPress, a widely-used traditional CMS, can be integrated with static site generators through its REST API.

Developers can retrieve content from WordPress using its RESTful API endpoints and incorporate it into static site generator workflows. This approach allows for seperation of the frontend presentation layer from the WordPress backend, enabling greater flexibility and performance optimizations.


Depending on your specific use needs, you can use one of these CMS’s to provide a better content management experience to your team.

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Hi there! I am Avic Ndugu.

I have published 100+ blog posts on HTML, CSS, Javascript, React and other related topics. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, hiking and listening to podcasts.