If you’re curious about headless CMS solutions and have been looking into them lately, you might have come across headless CMS solutions that use Firebase storage.
You may be wondering what they are, and why might you need one?
Below we’ll break down headless CMS solutions and Firebase, and take a look at some other headless CMS solutions too. Let’s get into it!
What Are Headless CMS Solutions?
Headless CMS solutions are back-end only content management systems, and in this instance a CMS that has a Firebase interface and uses a Firebase database and storage as a backend.
This can be a Cloud Firestore database or a Realtime database.
What Is Firebase?
Firebase is a BaaS platform, and BaaS stands for ‘backend as a service.’ It has a wide range of services on offer for mobile app developers, so they can develop applications for iOS, Android, and web apps.
Plus, it also offers a wide range of tools to help developers fix crashes, report bugs, and track analytics. Let’s take a closer look at these features:
Google Analytics are at the core of Firebase, and Google Analytics is a favorite analytics solution for developers and web administrators.
As well as posting and managing content, you can also track the users of your apps.
The predetermined SDKs will log user activity automatically, but you can also set up your own custom events to monitor the important parameters and calculate the ROI.
Backend Services Integration
Firebase was mainly designed to offer unrivaled performance and convenience.
The platform effortlessly integrates with multi-sign in platforms to give secure sign-in options through trusted platforms such as Facebook, Google, and GitHub.
It also integrates with other services too, such as Google Ads, Play Store, and AdMob, to make the app as efficient as possible and so you can manage the data precisely.
This makes it simple to expand your app to numerous mobile OSes without tweaking the complex backend infrastructure of the core app.
Why Would You Use A Headless CMS With Firebase?
User experience is definitely the most compelling reason you would use a headless CMS with Firebase.
Posting and managing content by inputting data straight in a database is a tedious exercise and errors are more likely to be made.
But with a CMS it becomes a lot less tedious, and also lets users who are not technically inclined contribute and carry out tasks by themselves without damaging anything.
It also gives developers a chance to dedicate time to what they really want to do – developing!
The first solution we’re going to look at is Firebase-CMS, created by Alex Abbot. It is an open-source solution.
Some have found it hard to set up the Firebase CMS, and as it sporadically updates some configuration instructions and the setup may be out of date and lead to error messages.
It’s pretty easy to add and manage content, although you are limited to pages, posts, products, or product categories.
The user creation was a nice touch, but was also restricted to specific user roles such as admin, editor, and super-admin.
Main Features And Benefits Of Firebase CMS
- A realtime database for data storage.
- Ability for user creation.
- Back-up and restore abilities thanks to Firebase.
- Documentation available.
- Good content management
PushTable is one of the simplest CMS solutions out there. A creation of Trellis Technologies Inc.
PushTable is a free solution and offers an interface similar to a spreadsheet that is intuitive and simple, which lets users get started in no time.
It takes mere minutes to link a Firebase project to PushTable and establishing data models for unique types of content and adding new content is simple too.
As you add more content, you’ll also find the search and filtering capabilities come in handy too.
At the moment PushTable only supports Firebase Cloud Firestore databases, which is a good one thing in some respects because it makes it more cost-effective to run than a Realtime database.
However, Cloud Firestore databases are still in beta at the moment, which makes it difficult to back up and restore your database.
PushTable has no user creation or management features, which makes it more likely that nontechnical users will make errors.
For example, they may modify a data model rather than adding content to that data model.
Main Features And Benefits
- Can manage content via content models.
- Data storage is backed up by a Cloud Firestore database.
- Documentation and support available.
- Multi-project support.
- You can filter and search for content and data.
We’ve saved the best for last! Flamelink is arguably the best headless CMS solution.
Flamelink has free plans and ones you have to pay for, depending on your need for multiple user creation functionality and management features.
It has an attractive, intuitive interface that will probably look familiar if you’ve had any experience of using a CMA like Ghost or WordPress.
The documents have video tutorials that are short, sweet, and helpful and make connecting a Firebase project a breeze!
Flamelink uses schemas to add and manage content rather than content models, but it has a lot in common with PushTable and you’re still able to add a lot of content pretty quickly and easily.
Filtering and search is also useful as you add more content.
Unlike PushTable, at the moment Flamelink only supports Realtime databases. This is fine if you would like to just back up and restore your database, but is a little more costly than running a Cloud Firestore database.
An important aspect that sets Flamelink apart from the others is its user creation and management features.
User access can be configured in a way that lets non-technical users add and manage content, while preventing modification to content schemas that will negatively affect your site.
While this is a feature you have to pay for, it’s definitely worth it, and let’s face it, the main reason you use a headless CMS.
Main Features And Benefits
- You can back up and restore data with Flamelink and Firebase.
- Content is managed via schemas.
- Documentation and support available.
- You can upload and store media with Firebase storage.
- Support in lots of environments such as production, staging, and test.
- Support in multiple languages.
- Supports multiple projects.
- You can store data with Realtime database.
- Search and filter functionalities.
- Allows user creation and management.
So now we know what Firebase and headless CMS are, and explored other headless CMS solutions, what have we found?
If you would like a free and easy solution then we recommend PushTable. But if you’re after something with plenty of features and are happy to pay a small monthly fee for extras then we recommend Flamelink.
Unfortunately, we can’t really recommend Firebase CMS as updates are slow and sporadic, it’s not as flexible as the other solutions, and there are outstanding security issues.
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