BowTie.io - Features, Pricing, Alternatives, and More

Matthew Guay
Reviewed by Matthew Guay
Last updated November 9, 2016

Your business' site doesn't need to look and work exactly like every other site. Perhaps you need a blog but you want to include something extra—perhaps the name of everyone who contributed instead of just one author. Or maybe you want to build a customized knowledge base with content organized just the way you want.

Typically the best way to build that is either with your own handcoded CMS, or a self-hosted customizable CMS. Flat-file site builders like Jekyll and Kirby are popular for that, since they make it so easy to customize your content structure. But they also make it difficult to collaborate on content, and require you to run your own server.

BowTie offers the best of both worlds with a hosted flat-file CMS service. You can build your site with the same Jekyll tools you might use on your own server, but with a hosted service that lets your team collaboratively edit pages online and integrate your site with your team's other apps.

It's not quite as simple as using a standard CMS like WordPress—but it is far more flexible. To get started, you'll need your own SSH key, a code or text editor, and an understanding of GIT and Ruby Gems. It's similar skills that you'd need to run a Jekyll site, only this time you'll only have to use them to set the site up and can then manage the site with BowTie's web interface, without having to manage your own server and keep it secure.

To create your own custom content structure for pages, you can add a text file with YAML markup to list each field and item you want on your pages. Create content structures for each collection, or page set, and then you can add and edit new posts and pages in those styles in BowTie's web app using Markdown to format your work.

Then, you'll want to style your site. BowTie includes default templates and themes, or you can use any Jekyll theme to style your site. Or, you can code your own theme by hand, pushing the changes to BowTie via Git. And if you want to accept payments on your site, BowTie includes SSL encryption for every site to keep your data secure, and comes with Stripe integration for a simple way to turn your customized site into a store.

Every other site setting you can tweak inside BowTie's online admin, customizing your domain, adding users, and more. You'll get quick site analytics every time you login to your BowTie dashboard, and can add other user accounts to let your team or clients help manage content. They'll never have to touch the code and terminal side of the site—instead, they'll use BowTie's easy-to-use interface to add pages and edit text. You can build customized sites for your team and clients, using the flat file tools you love, and BowTie will simplify it for your users and help everyone work better together on your content.

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BowTie.io Features

  • Static site hosting with full git and Jekyll support without managing your own server
  • Build your own information architecture and content structure with a customizable CMS and the data fields you need
  • Edit content online with a customizable Markdown editor with your team
  • Accept payments via Stripe
  • Connect your site with 3rd party integrations

BowTie.io Pricing

  • $12/month Developer plan for 1 hosted project, SSL encryption, and 100GB bandwidth
  • $39/month Freelancer plan for 5 projects with Stripe payments and content editor for clients
  • $199/month Agency plan for 25 projects with separate Stripe accounts per project, white-labeled editor, training, and real-time VIP phone and chat support

Annual plans available for $10, $39, or $199/month, respectively

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