When it comes to content management systems (CMS), developers and writers have plenty of options to chose from. With Netlify CMS, its creators hope to “carve a different niche,” and build a CMS that is open-source, fully-featured, production-ready, and easy for developers and content editors to use.

Netlify, the platform for automating web projects, created Netlify CMS to help Smashing Magazine revamp its roadmap and site. Smashing Magazine is a platform for developers to find best practices for web development, and they decided to redesign their site last year after they faced several issues with the former setup.

For instance, they found WordPress was becoming a major headache, and the magazine had issues with every single caching plug-in.

According to Matt Biilmann, founder of Netlify.com, CMSs have always been large, monolithic applications that use up functionality. These CMSs let content writers publish and update site content, and then the systems give them the tools they need for collaboration and reviews.

This seems well and good, but Biilmann writes that this comes at a “cost of having to maintain application servers and databases, with complex interwoven layers of cache — not to mention the possible security vulnerabilities.”

The other issue with these site generators is they require the combination of Git and continuous deployment tools, which is no challenge if you’re a developer, but for those content managers and bloggers, it’s not always ideal, he writes.

Biilmann wrote that Netlify aims to bridge this gap. Their CMS is an open-source React.js app that acts as a wrapper for the Git workflow, using the GitHub API. This means editors can do their thing without having to deal with version control. It also means developers can manage their content with the tools they are used to, like Git.

“We aim to do for the JAMstack what WordPress did for dynamic sites back in the day,” writes Biilmann. The JAMstack is a modern web development architecture based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs and prebuilt markup.

As for Smashing Magazine, the site is now 10x faster, which means its user’s will have a better experience due to the easier integrations, speed and performance, writes Chris Bach, cofounder of Netlify.

Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find in Netlify CMS: A fast, web based UI, modern authentication, easy installation, custom-styled previews, UI and widgets, and flexible content types. Netlify also works with most static generators for sites stored in GitHub. Review the project’s documentation and features here.

Top 5 trending projects on GitHub this week:
#1. Developer Roadmap: Last week’s SD Times GitHub project of the week.
#2. Google’s Guetzli: Perceptual JPEG encoder from Google.
#3. Become a Full Stack Web Developer: Free resources? Score! This project was also featured in this SD Times story.
#4. Hiring Without Whiteboards: For companies that don’t have a broken hiring process.
#5. FreeCodeCamp: The free coding curriculum hasn’t moved, and we expected that to happen.

About Madison Moore

Madison Moore is an Online and Social Media Editor for SD Times. She is a 2015 graduate from Delaware Valley University, Pa., with a Bachelor's Degree in media and communication. Moore has reported for Philly.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and PhillyVoice. She is new to Long Island and is a cat enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter at @Moorewithmadi.