Universal JavaScript Frameworks for decoupled CMS

Universal JavaScript Frameworks are a technology that allow developers to write code that is executed both on the server and the client. This opens up some interesting capabilities for use cases which require high performance and optimal Search Engine visibility through SEO techniques. One such case is Decoupled CMS implementations.

Over the course of 2016 and 2017 there were a number of Universal JavaScript frameworks announced. There has been a steady stream of alternatives, but for organisations the risk of selecting a technology that will remain a niche tool is real. The Content Management System world has long ago stabilised and there are credible options for CMSes all around.

For JavaScript React.js has become the most common JavaScript UI library. From WordPress to Drupal to eZ Platform a large number of tools have now adopted it. The common technology stack for CMS developers is now a PHP (often Symfony) based backend with a React.js front end. Vue.js is another mainstream framework that has been adopted by high profile projects such as Laravel and GitLab.

Building on the JavaScript trends, there are two clear winners in the space:

  • Next.js for React.js developers
  • Nuxt.js for Vue developers

Both of these offer virtually identical capabilities, and building rich content driven decoupled sites with these is sustainable. Depending on your company's experience and technical experience. Some were shaken by the exploits enabled by JavaScript in early 2018, but the megatrend is that JavaScript is where it is. Increasingly for CMS folks as well.

You'll want to keep an eye on Universal JavaScript Frameworks as you move forward offering and buying content driven applications and content focused sites. To keep options open, there framework agnostics Universal Rendering solutions like Razzle that are worth taking a look when considering the long term roadmap and technology strategy.