This guide will help you get started using Decap CMS with NextJS.

Creating a new project

Let's repeat some of the basics of setting up a simple NextJS project (check out for a more detailed version).

# Create new directory and navigate into it
mkdir awesome-kitties
cd awesome-kitties

# Initialize a new project
npm init -y

# Install required dependencies
npm install --save react react-dom next

# Install webpack loader for Markdown (Use version 3+)
npm install --save-dev frontmatter-markdown-loader

# If using NextJS v11.0.0 or above, @babel/core and @babel/preset-react has to be installed as dependencies of frontmatter-markdown-loader
npm install --save-dev @babel/core @babel/preset-react

# Create folder for pages (default for NextJS), and add a index file
mkdir pages
touch pages/index.js

# Create a folder for content, and a markdown file:
mkdir content
touch content/

# Create a folder for static assets
mkdir public

Next, we need to add some modifications to our package.json file to make it easier to run and deploy our new site:

  "scripts": {
    "dev": "next",
    "build": "next build",
    "start": "next start",
    "export": "npm run build && next export"

There is a lot of different ways to create and display Markdown content, but to make this as easy as possible we'll be using a webpack-loader that enables us to load markdown files directly in our React components (frontmatter-markdown-loader).

Add the following content to your content/ file:

title: Awesome kitties
date: 2019-03-17T19:31:20.591Z
  - description: 'Maru is a Scottish Fold from Japan, and he loves boxes.'
    name: Maru (まる)
  - description: Lil Bub is an American celebrity cat known for her unique appearance.
    name: Lil Bub
  - description: 'Grumpy cat is an American celebrity cat known for her grumpy appearance.'
    name: Grumpy cat (Tardar Sauce)
Welcome to my awesome page about cats of the internet.

This page is built with NextJS, and content is managed in Decap CMS

Next, we need to tell webpack how to load Markdown files. Create a new next.config.js file at the root of your project with the following content:

module.exports = {
    webpack: (cfg) => {
                test: /\.md$/,
                loader: 'frontmatter-markdown-loader',
                options: { mode: ['react-component'] }
        return cfg

Almost there! The last thing we need to do is to add some content to our pages/index.js file. With a little help of our webpack loader, we can now easily import Markdown files:

import Head from "next/head"
import { Component } from 'react'
import { attributes, react as HomeContent } from '../content/'

export default class Home extends Component {
  render() {
    let { title, cats } = attributes
    return (
          <script src=""></script>
          <HomeContent />
            {, k) => (
              <li key={k}>

Great! We now have a page that displays content from our Markdown file. Go ahead and start your development server to test if everything is working:

npm run dev

Adding Decap CMS

There are many different ways to add Decap CMS to your project. The easiest is probably just to embed it from a CDN, and that's exactly what we're gonna do. To avoid making this guide too complicated, we're just going to add Decap into a subfolder inside the /public directory (which is just served as static files by Next):

# Create and navigate into public/admin folder
mkdir -p public/admin
cd public/admin

# Create index.html and config.yml file
touch index.html
touch config.yml

Paste HTML for Decap CMS into your public/admin/index.html file (check out the Add Decap To Your Site section for more information)

<!doctype html>
  <meta charset="utf-8" />
  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" />
  <title>Content Manager</title>
  <script src=""></script>
  <!-- Include the script that builds the page and powers Decap CMS -->
  <script src="^3.0.0/dist/decap-cms.js"></script>

Notice that we also added the identity widget. This allows sign up when the project is hosted at Netlify.

Paste the following configuration into your public/admin/config.yml file:

  name: git-gateway
  branch: main # Branch to update (optional; defaults to master)
media_folder: public/img
public_folder: img
  - name: "pages"
    label: "Pages"
    - label: "Home"
      name: "home"
      file: "content/"
        - { label: "Title", name: "title", widget: "string"}
        - { label: "Publish Date", name: "date", widget: "datetime" }
        - { label: "Body", name: "body", widget: "markdown"}
        - label: 'Cats'
          name: "cats"
          widget: list
            - { label: "Name", name: "name", widget: "string"}
            - { label: "Description", name: "description", widget: "text"}

Awesome! Decap CMS should now be available at localhost:3000/admin/index.html. Unfortunately we can't edit our content just yet. First we need to move our code into a git repository, and create a new Netlify site.

Tip: If you want to test changes made to your config.yml file locally, swap out "git-gateway" with "test-repo" and navigate to localhost:3000/admin/index.html to view Decap CMS locally (you can't make changes or read actual content from Git this way, but it's great to verify how things will look).

Publishing to GitHub and Netlify

Create a new repository at GitHub (or one of the other supported git services) and follow the instructions on how to push existing files into your new repository.

Now is probably also a good time to add a .gitignore file:


When your project is under version control, go to Netlify and select "New Site from Git". Select GitHub (or whatever service you used in the previous step), and the repository you just pushed to.

Under the final step (Build options, and deploy!), make sure you enter the following:

Field Value
Build command npm run export
Publish directory out

Enable Identity and Git Gateway

Netlify's Identity and Git Gateway services allow you to manage CMS admin users for your site without requiring them to have an account with your Git host or commit access on your repo. From your site dashboard on Netlify:

  1. Go to Settings > Identity, and select Enable Identity service.
  2. Under Registration preferences, select Open or Invite only. In most cases, you want only invited users to access your CMS, but if you're just experimenting, you can leave it open for convenience.
  3. If you'd like to allow one-click login with services like Google and GitHub, check the boxes next to the services you'd like to use, under External providers.
  4. Scroll down to Services > Git Gateway, and click Enable Git Gateway. This authenticates with your Git host and generates an API access token. In this case, we're leaving the Roles field blank, which means any logged in user may access the CMS. For information on changing this, check the Netlify Identity documentation.


Great job - you did it! Open your new page via the new Netlify URL, and navigate to /admin. If you did everything correct in the previous step, you should now be able to sign up for an account, and log in.

Tip: Signing up with an external provider is the easiest. If you want to sign up by email, you'll have to set up a redirect in your index.js page (which we won't be covering in this guide). For more information, have a look at the Add To Your Site section.

Congratulations - you can finally manage your new list of cats!

Decap CMS

Maintained with care by PM TechHub and amazing contributors