Static CMS Concept at Forge

Steve Schofield has been exploring various content management concepts, including Content Management as a Service (CMaaS), and API-driven strategies at the Beach blog, “The Guild.” Beach is the maker of the desktop static site generator app, Hammer for Mac, and the Forge static hosting service.

Quoting Christian Owens, CEO at Paddle on using Contentful with the Hammer app, he writes:

My favourite thing about this is that prior to using contentful our two options were:

  • install wordpress and build something.
  • manage the whole thing statically with markdown files and forego some functionality.

the other option was to build some kind of docs CMS from scratch, but who has time for that!

Steve also says that the biggest feedback about Contentful has been about pricing, which, despite having a generous free level, ramps up to $249 per month (when the post was written, Contentful had a slightly different pricing structure). As he points out, quite a few static websites would easily fit within the free level, which allows for 10,000 records (entries/assets), and 50,000 api calls. You also don’t jump immediately to the higher level, as there are paid upgrades that seem to be reasonable.

Still, this brings home, in my view, the biggest problem with CMaaS products. It’s not so much the pricing, but vendor lock-in. At the point you go from 0, or some low-level, to 249, you’re captive and have to make a decision about staying with the product. 

Steve also looks at Cockpit, a PHP-based API-driven CMS, which I’ve evaluated before and really liked. An API-driven CMS lets you, essentially, host your own CMaaS. Cockpit is pretty slick and easy to get started with, but its development is flagging, having been created by one person.

At any rate, it’s nice to see other people consumed with exploring some of the same issues I have, and writing about them (which I’ve not done much of). Check out the rest of the post at The Guild: “Static CMS Concept.