Automate Content Creation, Distribution with Contentful and Zapier
Text, images, and other content are the most important thing in your website. Everything else is just decoration, the binding that holds it all together. Content needs to stay fresh, be updated and maintained as part of a team. And, it needs to be in more than just your website—you'll also need content on your mobile apps, books, and any other things your team builds.
The oldest websites simply hard-coded text and images into pages. When something needs changed, you edit the entire page's code and re-publish it (something that's often repeated in mobile app development). Traditional content management systems—or CMS—sped things up, letting you manage content in a database separate from your site's core HTML code. They get the job done, but they're often inflexible, and do little to help get your content in more than just your site.
Contentful is a new take on the traditional CMS. It manages your content in a customizable database on Contentful's site, stores it in content delivery systems around the globe so it's fast to access, and then ships your content to your site, apps, and more via an API whenever you need it. With less work than maintaining a typical self-hosted CMS, you can create a data structure that fits your content needs perfect and re-use that content wherever you want.
You'll start out with your content models, or essentially database tables that include the fields your content needs. You can include text, number, date, location, boolean, and JSON data fields. Need to include images, videos, or downloadable files? There are fields for them, too—and Contentful can host the media itself so you don't have to manage files, either. You can even include reference fields, to link authors to blog posts or categories to media items, just like a traditional database. Each of those are turned into a JSON structure for your model, which Contentful can push to your site and apps via its API.
Then it's time to add content and media to your collection. Much like a traditional CMS, you can add and edit text, upload media, and format rich text sections with Markdown formatting. If your content is in multiple languages, you can add the languages to Contentful and each field will then have an option for each language. That way, you can publish your content once in all of its languages. There's no history or team editing tools, though, so you'll still want to use other tools to edit your content—something you'd be wise to do in any content management system.
With your content in place, it's time to get it to your site and app. You can create webhooks to push new content to your site, Content Delivery API keys to pull data to your site when you want it, and Content Management API keys to add new content to Contentful directly from your apps. Contentful also includes mobile apps to preview what your content would look like in apps, along with a Mac app to upload images and media to your database. Or, you can use Contentful integrations to push content to or from other apps and use it wherever you want.
With a bit of work, you'll have a unique database model for each type of content you're managing, and a safe place for your team to add new data and get it published in your site and apps automatically. Contentful lets you focus on building great sites and apps, without having to worry about where you'll manage your content.
- Learn how to use the API and connect it to your app with Contentful's Developer Resources
- Check Contentful Status
- Connect Contentful to your app or import and export data with the Contentful Ecosystem
Need help getting your content written and edited? Check out these best writing and editing apps to manage your content before you add it to your CMS.