/ ghost

Playing with Fire(base)

Anyone that has known me for any amount time knows that I have not been satisfied with many of the content solutions that exist.

I've been through Drupal, WordPress, Ghost, Duda, Publii, and more. I've created my own, edited static sites out of frustration, but they each of their detractions for me.

Today, I am trying to put work towards using Firebase. Again.

Yes, I have played with it before. I like the responsiveness, and the flexibility a realtime and NoSQL database lends towards development. But I do like bits of many of the other options.

NoSQL I hear some of you thinking. What is that?

SQL means Structured Query Language. I am talking about data being stored more willy-nilly. No tables that map to other tables.

Others I am sure will be asking, "Why are you using NoSQL. It isn't very structurally dependable." To this I can say "true, but...".

I gain more flexibility in the considerations of creating new data which is greatly attractive since I am at the beginning of writing my new architecture.

This leads me to how I am writing this. ( Update: this had been how I wrote most of this... Initial publication actually on Ghost )

Today I am playing with Fire with Flamelink.

Flamelink is a dashboard that manages the Firebase environment as a content manager does. You can create special content types to fit your needs, create forms, and manage your media.

Flamelink comes with 3 template bits you might need for content type development. There is a blog template, SEO template, and an image template.

The blog template comes with a WYSIWYG editor, Title, Summary, Author, Date, and Status fields included.

The SEO template comes with all of your SEO needs including Meta Title, Author, Canonical URL, Meta Description Open Graph information, and Twitter Meta Information.

The Image template includes the Image, Image title, and description.

Images you say? Surely these images aren't maintained. Nope, they are in fact well maintained. There is a full media management system for uploading, reviewing, and sharing via the built-in Google Cloud Storage CDN.

In fact, it will upload sized images automatically based on the sizes you specify. Yes, with a plural. In addition, you can upload files that can live in your CDN easily.

The administration of the content gives you the ability to create permission levels and manage the users with access to content creation.

What is the rub? Unlike Ghost and the other software solutions mentioned above, it doesn't come with a head developed. It gives the framework for storing the content but allows you to manage the visuals yourself. This does mean you will be talking to a developer, certainly, but the website is now very flexible about what is shown and how. Even better, it can be built with a technology that the developer is most comfortable.

Now for my irk. It is built to use the Firebase Realtime Database. The data is there, but the simplicity and benefits of a NoSQL datase are not.

I have seen in the Slack channel that they plan on it and are interested in using Firestore, but they won't focus on it until after they release from beta.

Makes sense. It might not be for me though.



I have looked at Pushtable, a CMS that looks like a table input. I stores properly into Firestore.

Rub? No media integration with Firebase Cloud Storage. It is very straight forward and easy to work with.

If you aren't looking to write articles, news, etc. This might be the good stuff for which you are searching.



An open source project is catching my eye right about now - Tamiat CMS.

This open source project uses Firebase and Vue. It has media management, pages, posts all setup. It appears to create static pages, which may or may not be something you are looking forward.

At this point, I am just starting to look at it. It might give me the start to build an admin that does what I want it to.


In closing, for now...

I might be to picky.

I keep running into issues that I feel should just work. I love Ghost but for an obvious (to me) issue of image management.

I am leaning towards a serverless, headless cms solution. I don't want to manage the server any more, and don't want a given platform's architecture to get in my way.

I could join a team and become a contributor. The closest match is in a closed product, and the others feel like they are aligned to the wrong direction for me.

I would love to join the Flamelink team. They are so damn close to winning, and their platform is pretty well nifty and clean.

Darren Odden

Darren Odden

The charismatic megafauna of love. Built by Divine Design architecting strategies designed to engage. Frank Lloyd Wright shed a single glistening tear at the beauty of his application architecture.

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