Year in review 2018: Contentful blog

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2018 has been an exciting year for Contentful. We’ve continued to grow so much and change the way content is managed for the better. We even received a new round of funding as the year wrapped up. What’s just as important is we’ve continued to provide you, the reader, with deeper coverage of a broader scope of topics on ways you can work better and make the most out of Contentful. We’re going back in time today to help you discover (or rediscover) reading material that will help you become a more knowledgeable expert and developer when it comes to content management.

The top trends for our blog probably won’t come as a surprise for developers working with the latest and greatest. The posts that saw the most traffic on our blog covered the themes of GraphQL, static sites, and how-to’s on developing with Contentful. As a whole, blog traffic increased by 50% in 2018 over the previous year and we only have you to thank.

GraphQL

GraphQL made waves across the development world last year as an excellent facilitator of digital transformations in many organizations. Simply put, it’s a generally agnostic query language that pairs well with just about any programming language. GraphQL’s smaller, organized payload (responses are returned in the same order as requests)makes for a superior development experience compared to REST, as well as faster loading times.

In the second half of 2018, Contentful launched its GraphQL alpha which quickly made its way into its present beta form. We’ve uniquely allowed for dynamic schema generation to address different, changing data models that depend on users, and highlighted how and why that’s an advantage for you. We also introduced GQLi, a GraphQL consumer domain-specific language that allows you to write GraphQL queries in native Ruby.

Abstract syntax trees play a huge role in how GraphQL schema is handled, and one of our expert developers wrote a piece just on that and why. GraphQL is expected to remain a trending topic through 2019 as it sees more widespread adoption.

Static sites

Static sites are also a popular trend in the development world, so their appearance at the top of our content list is not surprising. Static sites, which have a smaller attack surface, are inherently more secure compared to dynamic sites. They also work very well with popular JavaScript stacks; this popularity is fueled by the advent of various static site generators.

Speaking of static site generators, Contentful’s CTO has written his thoughts on their understated potential. We also started an ongoing series reviewing various static site generators, albeit for PHP (part 1 and part 2 are currently online).

Modernization

Chances are, if you’re looking at Contentful, you’re probably looking to equip your site with the best option for your own development workflow and the workflow of your content creators. You’re not alone. Many loved reading about how they could easily get started with Contentful or how to build a portfolio website using Contentful, NextJS and Netlify.

Those guides serve as great kick-off points to dip your toes into content infrastructure, and finally moving from that legacy CMS you had to hack together in order for it do the things you wanted. One of our community members wrote about how he was charmed over to using an API-first solution like Contentful, and why you should too. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, you too can write for our blog –– keep reading for more details.

Many of our other blog posts focused on helping you develop better web projects, such as improving perception of loading speed using SVG images, are just as worthy for your time and attention. But you’ll just have to explore our blog for that, or we’d spiral down an endless list here.

Readers loved a mix of blog content

In our quest to bring you the top highlights of the year, we found that our readership as a whole loved a mix of different types of blog content. Both concept-based articles or those which highlighted ideas in the tech industry (such as where cloud computing is headed with GraphQL and serverless) as well as tutorials and guides for helping them achieve their development goals (such as Contentful’s Gatsby video tutorial series and the guide on writing reusable API-based components) made it to the top of our charts. That’s in addition to the ones already mentioned in above.

We also found that folks already using Contentful particularly enjoyed blog posts related to our features, such as space environments, incoming links and content graphs, composable entries and editing structured content.

Community contribution program

In early 2018, we launched the Contentful contribution program where we give the community the chance to be heard and share their spiffy implementations and amazing things they’ve done using Contentful with the rest of the world.

The program runs year-round, and you get to work with our friendly and knowledgeable team of developer evangelists and professional writers to help you find the best words and distribute your finished piece (that’s then published on our blog) so it’s seen by the right people. To top things off, we also give away free swag and a thank you gift for being a Contentful community author — what are you waiting for, check it out today!

Wrapping up

As we’re getting back in gear to deliver another year of epic, useful pieces that will help you become a better developer in general and Contentful user, we wanted to thank you for your readership and look forward to your continued support of the Contentful blog.

If you’ve got any questions or specific topics of interest you’d like to see on our blog, feel free to get in touch. Better yet, have a hand in crafting the piece via the Contentful contribution program. Don’t delay, write blog posts with us today.

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