Breaking up with Forestry

Posted on June 4, 2020 with 436 words.

Forestry.io logo

Forestry.io

Yesterday, I pulled the plug with Forestry. I was tempted to install Netlify CMS on my site but I just went with the traditional way of writing content in Hugo: hugo new my-awesome-content.md. It sucks but I just have to live with it. Don’t get me wrong, Forstry is a great content manager but it irks me everytime I merge my content branch with my master branch.

Forestry.io
Forestry.io (image by alternative.to)

What is Forestry

Forestry is a git-based static CMS. If you’re using JAMstack with your website, you’re most likely be familiar with it. You write the content and the app handles the pushing of the commits. The way it designs the editor is solely based on your front matter. It also has an Instant Preview feature where you can preview the content before you hit “Publish.”

Forestry doesn’t store the content on their servers. You own the content and it’s saved on your git repo. The app is platform agnostic which means you can use if even if your website is hosted somewhere else.

Pricing

A generous free plan is available. It lets you host 3 sites and invite 3 users/website. Git sync, Forestry Remote (it lets you install Forestry on your website by visiting yoursite.com/admin) and many more. You can visit their pricing page for more information.

Why I pulled the plug

I’ve been using Forestry for a while. Actually, I’ve started using it 2 years ago but I abandoned the development of my website because I got busy with work. It was a trial and error stage because I was fairly new to git and static sites. I also utilized Netlify’s Victor Hugo template because I was using Hugo and my website was hosted then in Netlify. Right now, I’m using Github Pages + Cloudflare for my website.

For my current setup, I have 3 branches in my git repo. The master branch, the content, and for development. It irks me everytime I try to merge my content branch with my master branch because Forestry creates a new commit everytime I save or update a content. I know this is automatic but if you’re concerned with the cleanliness of your git commits, you shouldn’t opt with external content managers. It would be best if your files stay local until you’re ready to commit them to your repo.

The downside with this kind of workflow is that ideas pop-up at an unusual time and it would bum you if you didn’t write it right away. However, I’m very much satisfied with my workflow now and will probably go back to Forestry in the future.

This work is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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