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Cover image for Project Benatar: Publishing DEV-powered websites with Stackbit
Ohad Eder-Pressman for Stackbit

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Project Benatar: Publishing DEV-powered websites with Stackbit

Hi, I'm the co-founder and CEO of Stackbit. We're working on making it easy for developers to build modern websites in minutes. With all the recent interest in getting off Medium, especially within the tech community, I figured it's worth touching on some of the relevant shifts that are happening in the world of content editing and publishing. I also want to share some details on an experiment we're working on with the DEV community, to empower you to own your content and publish it where you'd like.

The Monolithic CMS

Generally speaking, content, in our context mainly blog posts, used to be created, edited and presented in the same monolithic system. Wordpress is a great example and it's likely that many of you had a Wordpress blog at some point. Editing in Wordpress was a pretty decent experience for some time but it quickly became clear that it didn't do a great job in presenting your content. The main issue was page load times, but even just having editing and rendering on the same codebase created a massive security risk which the hackers of the world took advantage of at scale and continue doing so.

If we look at Medium we can see another example of how initially the platform worked well but then showed cracks of a different kind. Medium offers a great editing experience which people value greatly and they even delivered on the promise of traffic up to a certain point in time. The challenge emerged though when it became evident that Medium's interests as a publishing platform may not be aligned with those of the majority of the users writing on the platform. This started with eliminating the option of tying your own domain to your blog, continued with big DoNotTrack popups and some would say ended with the choking of the traffic firehose. The various Medium debacles also highlighted the value of having some ownership of where your content is published (e.g. by publishing to a website on your own domain) or at the very least having enough control over your data so that you can do different things with it.

You can see the disadvantages of assuming that the best place to create your content is also the best place/way to publish it. Let's look at some of the modern alternatives that have developed in recent years.

The emergence of the Headless CMS

Interestingly enough we've been witnessing the emergence of the Headless CMS, a category of OSS & SaaS products that focus purely on offering a CMS without much care or limitations on what you do with the content. Use it to statically generate a site with your content or drive content changes in a mobile app - it's all the same to the CMS. One of the greatest benefits of this unbundling is that the CMS stops being a security issue, you're much closer to owning your content and you can publish your content in one or more places of your liking.

Headless CMS come in two main flavor - those that store your content in a git repo as Markdown files and those that work more like a database with an API. If data ownership is extremely important you can even self-host an OS CMS. Learn about the top Headless CMS here -

If you aren't already familiar with Static Site Generators those are the tools we use to combine content from a source like a Headless CMS, with templates and generate a static copy of a website which you can then deploy to a service like Netlify. You may also want to read up on the JAMstack which is the architecture used to build these sites.

You can start seeing how these new workflows can enable you to publish your content how and where you like while creating it in a completely different environment.

DEV and Stackbit

Stackbit makes it extremely easy to create modern websites powered by a variety of data sources such as Headless CMS. Together with the fine folks at DEV we wanted to experiment with a couple of interesting workflows that give you more options with regards to how and where you edit and publish your content. The two approaches we're looking at are:

  1. DEV as a Headless CMS

    The DEV editor is awesome and we love it, plus a lot of you already use it to write content and publish on DEV. We want to enable you to have a personal website which is powered by your DEV content, or in other words think of DEV as Headless CMS where you mange the content you publish to your own site as well as to DEV.

  2. Automated cross-posting to DEV from your personal blog

    You can easily use Stackbit to kickstart your own personal blog powered by modern technologies and the CMS of your choice. We want to make it easy for you to automatically cross-post your content to DEV whenever you create or modify content via your CMS.

We're excited about both of these approaches and would love to hear feedback and thoughts from the community about the kind of workflows you've perhaps setup for yourself or would love to see materialize. You can expect updates from the DEV and Stackbit teams over the next couple of weeks as we zero-in on the best approaches and build out these workflows. Our goal is to enable you to have more flexibility with where your content gets created and/or published.

Top comments (14)

triptych profile image
Andrew Wooldridge • Edited

You should talk to sites like Netlify, and as well. If you want this to become an ecosystem, you want to be inclusive, and likely federated in some way.

Also reach out to which offers a really compelling alternative to medium blog posting, which also offers image hosting via and posts to Mastodon. They are doing great work in this area.

I should be able to do anything from write a one off message and have it go to Mastodon, Twitter, etc. and write up a longer form message which could be a blog post that goes to sites like, and then write even longer tutorials that post to sites like and ... Perhaps I write up a CodePen snippet, or a project, or a mini site through Glitch. These should flow through the system as well.

And say I want to roll up all my posts and make a book out of it. I should be able to connect to and auto publish to Gumroad and Amazon.

Think bigger than just blogs.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Yeah, I think this ends up being a question of finding the right tools for the job, having them be accessible and easy to use, and supporting open source.

We have friends at Glitch and and CodePen and are already starting to integrate in different concepts. Finding ways to collaborate in super aligned ways is not always the simplest thing to pull off but I think we're pretty aligned with the essence of what you're describing.

This was one interesting thing we've done and we would like to integrate more. The endgame is unclear, but we don't want to try and create sprawling universal tools that try to do everything.

Blogging is an extensible concept, and we definitely want to ultimately doing more exciting things on top of it.

triptych profile image
Andrew Wooldridge • Edited

Yes, taking the attitude of the early web where things were loosely connected is a good one. Having feeds that can be consumed. Web hooks. PubSub hooks, and rest / graphql apis would be another route to making bridges to other domains. I can write code in github and Netlify auto pushes a new site out via Hugo. I could see writing a blog post in Github/Gitlab and having it auto push to , etc.

Good luck! The fate of the internet is in your hands. Free us from the social network black holes :)

moneerrifai profile image

Love this project. My question though: how is Stackbit making money?

ohadpr profile image
Ohad Eder-Pressman

Stackbit is a young (7 month old) startup that currently only offers free products. It is not uncommon for startups to seek product market fit prior to beginning monetization which is usually done by releasing free products that are thin on features. Monetization usually follows later on by charging for things like advanced features, enterprise-grade capabilities, etc.

moneerrifai profile image

Awesome. Well I have been using it and it has been pretty amazing. I am excited to see more themes and more features. You guys are doing wonderful work. So excited about this. Best of luck!

shar1z profile image
Sharone Zitzman

This looks awesome! Way to go Stackbit and DEV teams! 💥

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