FAQ / About Contentful

About Contentful

What exactly is Contentful?

Contentful is a powerful CMS (Content Management System) that lets you create, manage and distribute content. Unlike most CMS, we give you total freedom to create your own content model so you can decide which content you want to manage. We provide you RESTful APIs so you can deliver your content across multiple channels such as websites, mobile apps (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) or any other platform you can imagine (from Google Glass to infinity). With an uncluttered user interface, Contentful is an efficient tool for creating and managing your content online, either alone or in team. Assign custom roles and permissions to team members, add validations depending on the kind of content you have to insert and add media such as images, documents, sounds or video.

What is the difference between Contentful and other CMSs?

The problem with content management systems (CMS) is that they are created around one type of content they’re optimized to display, which is usually a website. Most CMSs became simple web publishing tools instead of general content management systems. They offer pre-existing content models that narrow the possibilities and are very coupled to one presentation layer.

Contentful, on the other hand, has a three-step process. First of all, you define a content model which is independent from any presentation layer that defines what kind of content you want to manage. In a second step, you and other internal or external editors can manage all of the content in our easy-to-use and interactive editing interface. Last but not least, we serve the content in a presentation-independent way, and you can take the content and create engaging experiences around it. Contentful is therefore completely adapted to your needs.

Here are some of the features that make Contentful so special:

  • Manage flexible content models. There are no pre-defined content models. You create the content model yourself.
  • Uncluttered UI. Tested to achieve the best results, Contentful offers you a beautiful and simple user interface. We care about author experience.
  • Mobile and web, all with the same system. Our API lets you deliver your content with the click of a button. Mobile, web and any other platform you can imagine can receive your content as soon as you publish it.

Is Contentful a website creation tool?

Contentful is much more than a website creation tool, but you can nevertheless manage content for websites.

To create a website, you will either have to code it yourself and load content from our API or work with an agency, freelancer or someone who can develop the website for you. Contentful is the platform where you can update the content of your website, a mobile app or any other platform that displays content. We save you the time and hassle to create your own backend to manage the content, and provide many tools which make it easier to actually generate a website or app.

Being presentation-layer agnostic is one of the strengths of Contentful, as you will be able to reuse your content across any platform. This is decidedly unlike most CMS, as they normally are web publishing tools. Creating your content delivery platform in two steps - setting up Contentful and separately developing it - might sound like a lot of work, but it's the most effective way of properly publishing content, especially across platforms. In doing so, you gain freedom to publish content to any platform, while still being able to change their look and feel at any given time. There's also more information on how to use content in HTML pages.

To learn more, check out our essential guide to the headless and decoupled CMS.

What kind of content can I manage?

Short answer: any. Be it video, music, images, text, code or structured documents – anything can be put in there, appropriately structured, and created by multiple editors.

Creating the content model, you would create content types and specify what fields they consist of.

Can I use Contentful without writing code?

Yes, you can create and organize the content without writing code. Building websites, apps and other experiences will require actual programming, though.

Contentful is a platform whose interface was designed so that everyone, with or without a technical background, can use it. If you use Contentful without writing code, you can add and edit content types, and also add and manage actual content. In other words, you can do the work of an editor or content strategist.

To actually display your content outside of Contentful, you will need to either create code or work with an agency, freelancer or someone who can develop a platform for you. They can help you create a website, a mobile app and many other experiences based on your content. Needless to say, your content will be shared between all of the platforms so that you only need to create and manage it once.

What do I have to do to get my content published on an app or website?

Overall, there are three steps you'll have to take in order to deliver content from Contentful to your apps and websites.

1. Create your Content Model

The Content Model is the first step to structuring your content properly. It consists of creating content types that will accept only certain types of data for entry. For example, when creating an interactive quiz, you will need to add something that is a question, multiple answers, an indicator of the correct answer and potentially an image. This can be set up in the content model, so you can then easily just add as many ‘Questions’ to your Quiz as you want.

2. Add Entries and Assets

Entries refer to the content itself. Entries could be blog posts, product features or ingredients of a recipe or anything else you can imagine. These entries will depend solely on your previously created content model. In this phase you can also add Assets like images, sounds, videos and many other files.

3. Deliver your content with our API

The delivery part of the content may or may not be left only to developers. In this third step you set up API Keys that will determine which content will go to which platform. After the delivery is set up correctly, your content is then available for consumption as soon as you hit the “Publish” button.

Which browsers does Contentful support?

The Contentful application runs on all modern desktop browsers. We only commit to support the latest version although it should run on older versions, too. However, we do not support mobile browsers. Users can check https://browsehappy.com to see if they are using the latest version.

This is the concrete list:

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Chrome, Firefox, Opera Latest version
  • Safari Latest minor version (i.e. 9.1.x)
  • Edge Latest stable release

In addition we also support the previous version for an additional six months after a new version has been released.