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The best Node.js CMS in 2023


Discover in detail what a Node.js-based CMS is, explore the best CMSs of this type, learn what to consider when choosing and benefit from a full explanation for better understanding.


The best Node.js CMS in 2023

Node.js CMS (Content Management System) is a modern, intuitive software solution that’s particularly well-suited to projects requiring excellent performance. What are their advantages over other technologies? What criteria should you take into account when making your choice? Discover the best Node.js CMS for your business or your next project.


CMS that are currently in vogue


There are many types of CMS currently on the market. This new generation of CMS is winning over developers and technical teams alike, but is it really justified? What needs does it meet, and what are its fields of application?



What is a Node.js CMS?


A Node.js CMS is a software application for managing website content data, using the JavaScript programming language and the Node.js platform.


The latter is built on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, which enables server-side code execution. Node.js CMS are generally associated with databases, such as MongoDB or MySQL, to store and manage content-related data.


A short history of Node.js CMS


Node.js was conceived in 2009 by developer Ryan Dahl to facilitate the creation of real-time web applications. In 2015, the Node.js Foundation was created to support the development and promotion of the platform.


Popular CMS built with this technology include Ghost, Keystone JS, Strapi and Directus.


Why use a Node.js CMS?


Node.js CMS are designed to offer a faster, more efficient development experience than traditional CMS such as WordPress or those based on a PHP framework.


They also offer greater scalability and better workload management thanks to service-oriented architecture (SOA) or the event-driven model of Node.js.


They are often used to create websites and applications requiring high levels of real-time interactivity, such as messaging, chat, social media platforms and real-time analysis applications.


Node.js allows a large number of simultaneous connections with low resource consumption.

Node.js CMS for whom?


These CMS are particularly well-suited to websites requiring high performance, scalability and interactivity.


They are therefore primarily used for enterprise applications, e-commerce sites, social media applications, messaging and online games.


Node.js CMS are also well suited to projects involving complex content, advanced functionality and extensive customization.


Experienced JavaScript developers will obviously be comfortable using Node.js CMS.

Node.js CMS may also be a good option for a developer wishing to work with an active community and benefit from numerous online resources.


The best Node.js CMS


Here’s a brief overview of the main players currently available on the market.

1. Strapi, open source

Strapi is an open source Node.js CMS created in 2015. It offers an intuitive user interface for content management, and leverages API REST, GraphQL and a modular architecture to easily add additional functionality.

In addition, Strapi offers integrated translation functionality, enabling the creation of multilingual websites with content management for each language. Strapi is used by NASA, IBM and Société Générale in France.



2. KeystoneJS, for complex websites


KeystoneJS is a Node.js CMS created in 2012. It is primarily intended for the creation of complex web applications with easy content management and service-oriented architecture.


KeystoneJS offers great flexibility thanks to its service-oriented architecture, however, the learning curve for Keystone JS can be quite high, which can make it more difficult for beginners to set up.

3. Apostrophe CMS, robust and user-friendly


Apostrophe CMS was created in 2008. It is primarily designed for websites with complex content and robust management and editing features such as WYSIWYG. It offers a user-friendly interface and easy customization thanks to its module-based architecture.


However, its installation and configuration can be a little more complicated than those of other Node.js CMS. Michelin, for example, uses it.


4. Ghost, for blogs


Ghost is a Node.Js CMS created in 2013, primarily aimed at blogging sites and article publications. It offers a simple, intuitive content management experience.


It’s optimized to be fast and secure, however, the solution can err on the side of somewhat limited customization, especially for developers who require very advanced functionality. Ghost claims to be carbon-neutral.


5. Directus, a powerful API


Directus is a Node.Js CMS created in 2015. It is headless (i.e., the CMS manages the back office, and developers remain free to select the technology they wish for the front end) and offers a powerful content API, as well as a module-based architecture.


Beware, however, that the documentation for this solution can sometimes be a little light. Bose, Adobe, and Tripadvisor use it for some of their in-house tools.

6. Cockpit, a popular choice


Cockpit is an open source Node.js CMS created in 2013, primarily aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. It features an intuitive, easy-to-use user interface, making it a popular choice for small businesses in need of a simple, easy-to-use CMS. However, it may lack the advanced functionality required for more complex needs.

7. GraphCMS, for online stores


GraphCMS is a Node.js CMS created in 2017, primarily designed for content management of e-commerce and social media websites. It offers an intuitive user interface and scalable architecture that may nevertheless require some technical expertise to set up correctly.


8. Sanity, a headless CMS on the move


Sanity is a Headless Node.js CMS created in 2015 and quite popular since it’s used by Nike, Figma or Cloud Flare. Its intuitive interface and modern UX are its main assets, but its powerful API is also appreciated by developers and technical teams looking for simple, fast solutions.

Node.js CMS: what you need to know


The advantages of Node.js CMS


Node.js CMS are very popular in today’s web development world. Indeed, Node.js is a technology increasingly used for backend applications due to its high scalability, low resource consumption and service-oriented architecture (SOA).


It can also be used in conjunction with React, a JavaScript library for creating user interfaces. React is highly appreciated for its ability to create responsive and dynamic interfaces. These technologies are currently in high demand and are considered essential skills.

Disadvantages of Node.js CMS


Node.js can be more complex than other development platforms. Developers need to understand a number of concepts, such as asynchronous programming models, in order to make full use of Node.js.


Although Node.js is effective for light processing tasks and asynchronous I/O, it can have limited performance when used for heavy processing tasks.


Although Node.js has a large library of modules, there may be compatibility problems between different versions of the modules and different versions of Node.js.


Although Node.js offers advanced security features, it may be more vulnerable to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks than other development platforms.


Because of the speed at which Node.js evolves, developers need to be prepared to perform frequent updates to keep their application up to date and avoid compatibility problems.

How do you choose the right Node.js CMS for your needs?


Here are some important criteria to consider when choosing the Node.js CMS best suited to your project:


  • CMS functionalities must correspond to your specific needs: (online commerce and sales, ability to deliver marketing campaigns, manage different types of content formats, skills of your technical team…) It’s important not to be blinded by fads and trends.
  • Performance is a key issue that can tend to be underestimated: make sure that the solution you choose is optimized for low resource consumption.
  • Ease of use of the CMS is an important aspect: especially if you have a team of contributors or editors who will be using it on a regular basis. Make sure the user interface is intuitive and easy to use.
  • Regular updates: make sure the CMS you choose is regularly updated to correct newly discovered flaws.
  • Cost can vary considerably between different Node.js CMSs: evaluate licensing, maintenance and development costs to choose the CMS best suited to your budget. Beware of the lure of free open source, always keeping in mind the custom development and maintenance costs that will inevitably arise.



Headless and node.js: a winning combination for the future?


The use of Node.js with a Headless CMS and React currently seems to be the winning combination.


Indeed, Headless CMS are designed to provide easy, flexible access to content, while Node.js enables the creation of high-performance, scalable web applications.


Using both sets, it’s possible to create highly customized front-end applications that easily connect to a Headless CMS to retrieve content.


This allows developers to concentrate on creating an optimal user experience, without having to worry about content management.


However, be sure to assess your needs and the requirements of this combination. Don’t underestimate the complexity of implementation and maintainability.

On a Headless CMS, for example, developers will have to create their own user interface.

In addition, developers need to have a good understanding of the system’s architecture, particularly in terms of query and response management, otherwise they run the risk of creating a gas factory. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to call in the experts to help you make the right decision.