back-end front-end Tools Web Services

Ep.39 – Builder IO The Headless Visual CMS

Why would you need a headless CMS (Content Management System)?

Very good point!  If you have ever used WordPress, Webflow, Wix etc. then you know what a CMS is – a platform to allow you to create a website/blog or whatever it might be.  That is great and works for a lot of people however, what if you want to have a slick visual CMS experience in your own website where you host it wherever as just a plain HTML website (although you can get more complex of course)?

Builder IO provides the slick visual CMS aspect, user management, role-based access and all of the admin boilerplate, and you can decide where and how to include the CMS “bits”.  For example, if you have a basic HTML website with 10 pages, you might want 3 of those pages to be “fully CMS capable” (from header to footer so to speak) then you might only want a section or even component on a couple of other pages to be managed by the CMS.  You can decide what goes where very easily.

So, Builder IO is aimed at mostly a developer type audience but with the concept of providing a very slick and easy to use CMS without you having to re-invent the wheel.

There is a “hook” to Builder IO of course – the visual CMS bit to edit those elements/pages however, if you decide to stop using Builder IO in the future, your site is still your site and will continue to work, just you won’t have the visual CMS part of course!

Pricing isn’t too bad at all – a very generous free version.

The documentation is very clear and well presented.  Very easy to add Builder IO to pretty much any frontend development i.e. Vue, Angular, React, Svelte or Qwik which I believe the same people created as a very fast JavaScript framework – not tried yet, but looks impressive.

Builder IO also has a nice Figma import option to magically create the HTML…

At first, for myself anyway, I was confused a bit about how this all works – is Builder IO like WordPress? do they host the sites? but after realising they are providing the visual magic and you can use that “output” how/wherever you like, the penny dropped – finally!