Frontend DX with Cradle CMS

Websites depend on front-end code; the front-end is the part that is seen and experienced when visiting web pages. The front-end code is, at its core, built up by HTML, CSS and Javascript.  

In recent years, node.js and javascript frameworks such as React enabled javascript to be used as the serverside language or the logic to create client-side rendered webpages. With this approach, frontend developers slide more often into backend development, and a term like full-stack front-end developer emerged. A full-stack developer can develop both the front-end experience and the backend server and logic. Then it gets a bit confusing when using the phrase full-stack front-end developer, but one can understand it as a full-stack developer who is limited or niched into the javascript type of builds of web pages.

With the possibility to create single-page apps at hand for more developers given by the frameworks, the downside of managing dependencies, build-step and overall a complex environment to work in the discussion of frontend developer experience (dx) started to appear. 

What about the front-end dx with Cradle CMS?

The frontend development experience must give possibilities for efficient work. Enhancing a website should be easy (and fun). With Cradle CMS, you need not be a full-stack developer to get great-performing web pages. There is no build step. Dependencies other than what you wish to include in the project are already managed in each release. 

  • Prebuilt theme with full code access: To save time for smaller projects or to get started.
  • The software comes with a built-in code editor. 
  • Frontend themes are edited using HTML, CSS and JavaScript with liquid for contextual information. Add in the JS framework you wish. 
  • The front end is compiled with server-side rendering; you could even build a no-JS site.

Built-in code editor

Worth noting is that it is possible to reach the theme and frontend code through the API and thus develop locally in the preferred editor and with frameworks such as React that require a build step. 

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Error checking and reporting
  • Supports dark mode

Can you create a client-side rendered page with Cradle CMS?

Yes, you most certainly can, but you can also use a hybrid approach and mix in server-side rendered content or go in an entirely different direction and create a server-side generated web site completely without JavaScript, even though that might be taking it slightly too far!