Using Forestry as a CMS for Jekyll

Posted · 2 minute read

Jekyll sure is a wonderful system for quick static sites or personal projects, but I think we can all agree that adding posts is a bit hard for the non-programmers. No more.

Forestry.io is a free service with paid upgrades that poses itself as the solver of this problem. With it, you can easily manage your pages and posts, with a visually appealing interface and a WYSIWYG1 editor. Don’t like it? No problem. Click the menu in the upper right corner and select “Raw Editor”.

What’s even juicier is that you can edit and add posts from mobile without a hassle.

I know it may seem like I’m sponsoring Forestry, but the truth of the matter is I’m not sponsored though I’m always here cough cough. I just fell in love with the idea of having a CMS-like interface to manage my posts from.

And you can even have a /admin endpoint. Or anything you want to name it (as long, of course, that it doesn’t overlap with some other name). That alone is something I love.

The interface sports a simple, customizable sidebar, so you can access your data easily. Here’s how I organized mine, for example:

You can generate Front Matter templates to use in pages and/or posts in the appripriately named Front matter section. In it, you can add endless templates, so that, when you create a post, you can switch templates to choose the one that most adapts to what you need.

In the Media section, you can add images and videos that will be uploaded to a custom location that’s chosen in the setup. My custom location is /assets/uploads, to differentiate uploads from Forestry vs. theme assets.

The Menus section only work if you have the jekyll-menus plugin (which I do), which can be disappointing if you already have a custom menu system or if you’re on GitHub pages (but there’s a workaraund which I’m gonna explain in the next post).

Ultimately, this can be great if you’re used to Ghost, Wordpress and other CMS with a graphical editor, and its moderate flexibility allows for in-depth content management.

See you next time. Happy blogging!

  1. What You See Is What You Get is a type of editor that shows styles as they would appear on a page, rather than showing markup tags. 

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