I started by creating a simple little site locally that included…
I wanted to test any prospective CMS using a site I created rather than a starter. Integrating something I built rather than poking at something someone else built felt like a better opportunity to learn, or at least maybe a more efficient one!
I started with Forestry. I wanted to ease in with a Git-based CMS and Forestry provided an “import your site” option, making it easy to get up and running with my own site. Both Forestry and Netlify provide a “use a starter project” path as well.
Overall it went pretty smoothly and ended up being a fun little project. I learned what I set out to learn and feel Forestry would be a good pick for the projects I have I mind.
After getting the site set up in Forestry I deployed it to Netlify. It’s worth noting that Forestry provides a way to set up previews, so you can do a lot before you ever deploy to a host.
The test site, cleverly named CMS Test, has a post about each of the elements I included, plus a kick off post and wrap-up to discuss likes and dislikes. Rather than writing it up here you can read more at the test site.
Here’s what’s covered…
There are plenty of things Forestry has to offer that I didn’t try out, but I feel like I have a solid starting point when I need it. It’s also nice to have the site as a reference.
At some point I might clean up the test site, add a few things like a 404 and RSS, and make it a proper Eleventy starter. Even if I don’t go that route I’ll use the structure and same approach if and when I test any other CMS. I might also try out an API-based CMS like Sanity as well as Netlify, which is also Git-based.
If you’d like to read more about what I learned, head over to CMS Test and check out the posts. You can also view the repository.
Back to top