Questions you should ask your CMS vendor: answered
We came across the article “Strategies For Headless Projects With Structured Content Management Systems” on Smashing Magazine by Knut Melvær. In this article, Knut shares his thoughts and strategies for a headless content management project and also asks some questions we want to answer for you below.
- Is it possible, and how exactly will multi-disciplinary teams work with this system?
- How easy is it to change and migrate the content model?
- How does it deal with file and image assets?
- Has the editorial interface been user tested?
- To what extent can the system be configured and customized to special workflows and needs of the editorial team?
- How easy is it to export the content in a moveable format?
- How does the system accommodate for collaboration?
- Can content models be version controlled?
- How easy is it to integrate the system with a larger ecosystem of flowing information?
CMSs should allow for experimentation
Oh, we love that! Storyblok allows you to duplicate a space at any point in time so you can work in a sandbox completely independently. This will allow you to work with live content without affecting your production space at all. The best thing: in the first two weeks your duplicate will have all features enabled, so you can experiment and test every little piece you might like without additional costs!
Rich text should be portable
That’s absolutely right! We do offer our customer a markdown field as it offers (from our view) the highest portability. However, you’re not limited to using our default field types, if you want a specific rich text editor like tinyMCE or a completely different one, you’re always able to extend Storyblok to your needs and still have your content available by our API.
Is it possible, and how exactly will multi-disciplinary teams work with this system?
With Storyblok your account can be part of an organization allowing you to have access to specific spaces (projects) of that organization. Each space can define custom roles and permissions on folders and even field base, depending on their needs. With an approval workflow in place, one editor can manage a specific content entry and send an approval request to another editor to proofread and publish. Each activity made by any team member will be shown in the activities app, allowing everybody to see latest changes across the whole project.
With an integration to Slack or a Webhook, other platforms can be notified whenever a content entry becomes updated, published or unpublished. Since content can be defined in components and most designers, developers and even content creators talk about those specific parts of their content, the benefit for inter-disciplinary teams is amazing. With the right approach to content, everybody in the process has the same idea and can overcome obstacles without rethinking the whole set-up two weeks before you want to deploy to production, bring everyone on board from the start.
How easy is it to change and migrate the content model?
Storyblok allows developers to change their content model either directly in the interface by adding new fields, renaming or changing existing. Additionally, one can pull and push content model definition via CLI or API to allow versioning in GIT directly next to their project.
How does it deal with file and image assets?
Images can be uploaded and optimized to Storyblok by using the default image, file, or multi-asset field type. Assets will be uploaded to an S3 bucket and images can be automatically optimized using our images service. Check out our image service, as it is also available in the free plan, nobody should have to wait for your images to load!
Has the editorial interface been user tested?
Yes. Our interface and all major interaction points get user tested before rolling out to the public. Have a look at our last really large composer UI change.
To what extent can the system be configured and customized to special workflows and needs of the editorial team?
Storyblok allows you to define so-called “Tasks” that can be triggered in the interface allowing you to extend it to use external, special workflows. Besides that you’re able to create custom field types that are Vue.js components, so you can even embed other external or internal resources via such fields without rewriting everything or manage this part from the outside.
How easy is it to export the content in a moveable format?
Each content entry is available as JSON at any point in time. Every field in Storyblok represents a key of your data model and have a specific type that you can define. You can also create a daily backup zip and upload it to your S3 bucket.
How does the system accommodate for collaboration?
We do have checks for conflicts in place, you will have options to override or merge changes if two or more editors have been working on the same content entry without knowing. Additional collaboration features are in place including scheduled releases and content stagings.
Can content models be version controlled?
Yes. Each content model and component can be pulled and pushed at any point in time.
How easy is it to integrate the system with a larger ecosystem of flowing information?
Using the Management API of Storyblok you can push and pull information from an external source if needed. You can trigger external tasks from within Storyblok to start sync tasks or even do all that automatically by listening on the webhook for save, publish and unpublish. As larger ecosystems can need special integration and authentications one can create custom field types that care about those authentication steps.
We hope that we were able to answer the questions to your satisfaction. If you’re still not sure if you should use Storyblok, feel free to chat with us in the live chat below. You can always register for a free account and test all features without credit card or spam emails in your inbox!