Simply copy and paste the following command line in your terminal to create your first Strapi project.
npx create-strapi-app my-project
This article is for Content Managers who may know Strapi already or not. It also aims to guide the development team to succeed in the implementation and efficiently conduct the change management to move from a traditional CMS to a Headless CMS like Strapi.
A headless CMS provides many benefits for business users. However, this comes with one limitation: you need a developer's assistance to connect your content with a front end. As a technically-educated person but not a developer, I can testify that Strapi isn’t the best choice for simple website projects where no-code applications such as webflow or softr.io are probably a better fit. Check out this article, to learn more about the pros and cons of No-code Website builders and most importantly how and when to choose them over Headless CMS. When you’re managing campaigns like the marketing campaigns at Toyota, you have extended requirements, and it makes sense to change your content editing style to move to a modern content management flow.
But what does it mean to change your content editing style? In a nutshell:
These are the exact reflections of the legacy CMSs like WordPress, Sitecore, or Drupal that have built user experiences that are not a good fit for omnichannel publishing or the creation of more elaborate websites or applications. Headless CMS are designed to be composable and flexible enough to reconcile the needs of all CMS stakeholders: executives, developers, designers, content managers, etc.
Let's take a closer look at how to design an efficient content publication workflow (4 clicks only are required) and a refined dashboard with the key features that you need.
First of all, let’s start with the onboarding process. As a new user, using a new tool is ok but adopting it and enjoying it at the point where you become an ambassador requires more than a friendly UI. It starts with the first page when you log in. Did you know that you could switch it to dark mode if that’s your preference?
Ok, now you’re set! Instead of being left alone and discovering the admin panel by yourself, there are two options for a nice onboarding experience:
That can be easily achieved by modifying the codebase if you do not add brand-new paragraphs and only update the existing components. And instead of forking it into a private repository, you can leverage patch-package (please read the READ.ME file from patch-package that explains the benefits of patching over forking and when to fork instead)
💡 A little history here: Strapi v3 used to have an “extension” system that the Strapi Team (almost) completely removed while building Strapi v4 because it was not maintainable over time, not for them, nor for the users. It generates too many bug reports and could cause issues. As a result, by default, packages like the Admin UI are no longer customizable natively.
Now you’re surely eager to create and publish your first piece of content! The ideal flow for content editing should be a 4-steps-flow:
💡 Tips: You can also add a placeholder to guide your user during the creation process.
Preview your work and save & review.
Publish your content: it’s live! Do you remember that I told you earlier to drop off templates? Dynamic zone is the substitute. And “dynamic” is a compelling concept, in opposition to templates that are assimilated to a static approach. Think of it as a library of lego where you can pick up the different bricks (different sizes, different colors, etc.) to build your masterpiece the way you want. Well, modern content editing is the same. By having the liberty of choosing the components (like a hero, a banner, a card) that you need to assemble your page, you don’t have to ask your developer each time you need something.
Finally, the more time you spend on your dashboard, the more value you can get from it. Here are the three extensions I would recommend for an enhanced collaborative experience that fits each persona in your Content Team.
Many more hacks exist, like the duplicate button to save an additional click in the UX, a to-do-list to track what remains to be done on articles, or the possibility of turning your dashboard into an internal forum space with a commenting system. But do not forget that “if it ain't broke, don't fix it”.
So if you’re a developer and you hear “Oh, I saw this plugin. Can you please, install it? That would so useful!” I strongly advise you to adopt the same posture as a product manager to evaluate the inquiry, and more precisely:
From experience, very few companies audit their usage, but most are convinced they’re only using a maximum of 20% of the capability of their CMS or DXP. As Strapi is designed to be delivered as a light-weighted application and you decide to add the features you need, it’s a real opportunity to clean up your stack! I mean, who would need a Ferrari to drive on a countryside road?