Carson Gibbons

Cosmic JS Co-Founder

5 Things to Know When Building a Content-Driven Application

Content-driven applications is really a loaded buzzword, in that all applications being built usually revolve around a central nucleus, the content. I’m a former victim of installed content management systems during my years as an agency account exec and interactive producer. Installed systems like WordPress would require me to scope projects at higher costs than clients wanted to pay for the quality we wanted to deliver, since we had to lay a foundation in a box of code and content. It was during this time period at the agency that the pain points of installed content management systems really started to create a narrative that there had to be a better way.

In this article I will cover 5 reasons why Cosmic JS is a dream CMS API to build apps and manage content. I will move forward chronologically with the normal website development process, including Content Storage and Media Organization, building your application with your favorite tools, accessing your content, deploying your application’s codebase and finally, adding users to your Bucket to help manage content.

Cosmic JS is an API-first CMS that helps teams of developers and content editors build apps faster. Cosmic JS offers an intuitive API that can deliver content to any website or application. This gives you the freedom to build your application using any programming language and allows for easier scaling within your development team.

Teams working in different skillsets and technologies easily collaborate around a language-agnostic API with an intuitive content editing experience. Build and deliver content to your website, iOS and Android apps. Your content is also ready for your future watch, car or virtual reality app.

1. Store content in portable Buckets in the cloud

A Bucket is the main piece in the Cosmic JS content structure. It’s very flexible and can power the content for an entire website or a portion of a website. Since your Bucket content is delivered via an API endpoint, your Bucket can also power content for any application including iOS, Android, tvOS, Apple Watch, IOT, AR/VR or any other way that you would like to distribute your content.

Cosmic JS gives you the ability to manage all of your Buckets (websites or apps) from a concise Dashboard. My Bucket Dashboard is pictured below. Keep in mind all of these Buckets are for different clients or use cases, with different users, media and associated GitHub repos each.

1.1 Categorize content into Object Types within your Bucket

A quick screenshot of my Objects in my Bucket is provided below. This is the Global Objects view that shows all Objects in my Bucket.

You’ll see underneath the “Type” Column that the Object Types are listed. This provides the framework for my left hand navigation while in my actual Bucket (all Object Types are stored as nav bars in Cosmic JS.)

2. Build your application using any programming language

Cosmic JS takes an API-first approach to content management and is not tied to any programming language. This allows your content to be available on any website or application and across devices. Developers get more freedom to build the apps they want. Save precious development time by avoiding CMS installation, configuration and maintenance.

3. Access your content in the cloud via the Cosmic JS API

Cosmic JS offers developers a powerful API and content editors an intuitive editing experience to power content for your applications. Install the Official Cosmic JS JavaScript Client to integrate your app today.

4. Deploy your codebase onto the Cosmic JS App Server

Cosmic JS makes it easy to deploy your web app from any public Git repository. Add custom domains and SSL in just a few clicks. Check out our Apps page to see what you can create and deploy in minutes. Cosmic JS is your API, content management and web hosting solution in one!

This is a detail view of my “Deploy Web App” page. It allows me to select my Git repo URL and Branch as I deploy my app to the Cosmic JS App Server at my designated slug, provided in the URL below above “Redeploy to Web”.

5. Add Users to manage content in the cloud

Cosmic JS allows you to add your team members for seamless collaboration. Easily set their role to be Admin, Developer, Editor or Collaborator allowing each team member to only see what they need to get their job done.

You can even limit Contributors to only be able to manage the Object Types that pertain to them. I added myself as a User to my own Bucket for illustration purposes:

Conclusion

Cosmic JS provides a cloud-based solution that enables rapid application development which scales to meet the demands of modern business. You will see immediate benefits of saved project hours, costs plus a higher level of collaboration within your team.

Sidenote: If you have already built your content-driven application in WordPress, fret not. This plugin (below) helps you export the content and files from your WordPress site into a JSON file. This file can then be uploaded into Cosmic JS. 🚀

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