FreeSewing uses Sanity content needs to be edited/written by non-technical contributors, and for images uploaded by users, such as for their profile image and so on.
You can manage FreeSewing’s Sanity content at cms.freesewing.org
By content that needs to be edited/written by non-technical contributors we mean:
- Newsletter posts
- Blog posts in all languages
- Showcase posts in all languages
The (historical) reason that we use a (headless) CMS for this lies with the showcase posts. Our documentation is still hosted in git as MDX, and historically this was also the case for our blog posts and showcase posts.
However, while documentation is written by contributors who are familiar with how we work, and blog posts are typically written by Joost, showcase posts are often provided by users of the site for whom submitting a pull request is a steep learning curve.
So for this reason, we started using an external CMS to host the showcase posts. And, since blog posts and showcase posts are so similar, we decided to use this platform for both. Later, we added newsletter content to this list because this too is sometimes provided by people not so familiar with the git workflow.
Prior to version 3, we used a self-hosted version of Strapi for this. And while that did what we needed, self-hosting adds workload to people and our backend systems, so it’s not without its drawbacks. Then, with the release of Strapi v4, they dropped support for MongoDB, which was the database we are using, so we were stuck on v3 of Strapi.
So for FreeSewing v3 we started looking for alternatives, and after trying various solutions Sanity came out as the best solution for our needs. It’s a SaaS solution — which is nice because it means we don’t have to host anything — but the flip side of the coin is that as a communal open source project, we obviously cannot afford it.
Fortunately for us, the same reasons that mean we don’t have any money also mean that Sanity took pity on us, and they agreed to waive their fees and let us use their service free of charge. So, Sanity is now a FreeSewing sponsor, and since everything is in place already, we also use them to host user images because honestly it’s a really nice service.
As Sanity is a headless CMS, you essentially have to talk to the API to manage your content.
Fear not though, we don’t expect you to do that. The Sanity Studio is a web-based frontend that allows you to manage the content in a web environment, and we have an instance of it deployed at https://cms.freeseiwng.org/ that is pre-configured to manage FreeSewing’s content.
If you’re looking to learn more about how to interact with the Sanity API, please refer to the Sanity reference documentation.