ncms (NotionCMS) is so exciting to me personally.
The landscape of content marketing has been forever changed by generative AI and LLMs, and what we are seeing in 2023 is just the beginning. I am excited about NotionCMS, a seamless CMS solution, because it allows me to easily use LLM in a variety of powerful ways without the need for any other CMS to try and integrate an LLM.
Notion is now built for generating and organizing content. It also provides programmatic access. It’s the perfect CMS - almost.
I have been building content-based websites since 2017, starting with WordPress and then transitioning to 11ty in 2020. I spent the first 5 years of my web dev experience learning about SEO and thinking about how content sites can be used for good.
Over the years, I have been refining my systems for building content sites, from 11ty SSG to a more sophisticated approach leveraging better component-driven designs. My journey has been a nonstop one towards shortening the gap between ideas and outcome.
I had been self-hosting Ghost as the headless CMS for my sites for quite a long time and it worked just fine. It has a clean interface, my clients like it, it supports basic but limited predefined collections, and has an excellent API that is easy to consume. Compared to options like Strapi, which provides custom collections but is more work to get going, it was quick, easy, and painless.
are you okay with just fine?
But what if I want quick, easy, and painless AND custom collections? What if I want more? Can I have extensibility (plugin ecosystem), an API that is a breeze to consume and integrate into my builds, and the industry standard interface for organizing content and ideas?
Notion already lets me organize my ideas, coerce them into usable content, write in markdown, add media, link people, and has a great editing experience. Now, it lets me interface with the world’s most powerful AI models to help me do the heavy lifting.
Why isn’t everyone using it as a CMS? The API, while technically excellent and flexible enough to use for just about anything, is not what I would consider easy for the average content site developer to consume. A lot has to be done to get your Notion content into a usable form. This takes some effort, but there is an abstraction for that!
We know Notion lets you have it all, but we want all our content in a form that is as easy to consume as Ghost’s API. That’s where NotionCMS really shines. It takes the bulky data from Notion and converts it into a useful data tree that is extremely simple to consume.
NotionCMS gives you the simplicity of Ghost’s Content API with the organizational and generative powerhouse of Notion backing it up.
On top of all of this, the design is extensible.
You can provide your own renderers for converting Notion blocks to the exact HTML you want.
You can also build a plugin to do custom transformations of the Notion API data to build or alter the data model for your exact use case.
Reasonable default outputs include HTML, Markdown, and plaintext for use in anything from SSG’d websites to feeding LangChain agents.
Pages in your NotionCMS database can be built to be any sort of data collection you can imagine and ncms is built to handle it.
NotionCMS is the missing link that finally lets us leverage Notion to build on the web.
I am excited about the future of
ncms. It has given me a lot of flexibility when designing content-driven sites and gives my clients powerful ability to use LLMs as much or as little as they want in their content workflows.
It is open source, free, a work in progress, but it is a promising way to finally, fully leverage Notion in content site generation without having to deal with the headaches of the Notion API, or even read their docs!
You do not have to know the Notion API to leverage Notion content in an intuitive way, and that is what makes NotionCMS special ✨.
we make notionware. 2023 \c\