Strapi: What is it and Why You Should Use it?

What Is Strapi and Why You Should Use It | by Nitin Sharma | JavaScript in  Plain English

If you’re a part of the tech industry, you’ve probably heard about the rise and use of headless CMSs. You may have wondered whether you or your team should follow this trend after reading stories regarding its popularity, or perhaps after comparing monolithic CMSs to Strapi headless CMSs. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

What is Strapi?

Strapi is a headless CMS that is used to develop websites, mobile applications, eCommerce sites, and APIs. It allows you to create an API without knowing anything about the backend or databases. The system builds APIs based on content models automatically, making it easy to view data in the CMS with Strapi examples.

  • Strapi CMS is a free, open-source headless CMS that uses an API to link your frontend to Strapi’s backend.
  • It’s a developer-friendly open-source and free-to-use service.
  • Strapi is simple to learn and use, and you can get work done in minutes.
  • Strapi may be used with React, Vue, Nuxt.js, Next.js, Angular, Svelte, Sapper, and Flutter.

Why Use Strapi?

A headless CMS strategy makes it simple to get new greenfield projects up and running. Developers chop out chunks and use APIs to connect everything.

Designers and UX experts can now employ new tools without the constraints of the past. Designers and UX professionals are able to unleash their full creativity once free of constraints.

The basic line is that using a headless CMS gives you the flexibility to use any future technology that makes sense. You’ll know right now that adjustments can be made in the future without requiring you to rewrite the entire codebase.

How to Create the First API in Strapi?

Create a folder called Strapi demo and two directories inside it called frontend and backend, respectively, to create a Strapi API.

The frontend folder will contain React, Angular, Nuxt, or Vue. Strapi will be installed in the backend folder.

backend cd

  • The command cd backend changes the current directory to the backend folder.
  • Now you may add the Strapi backend to your project.

--quickstart npx create-Strapi-app

  • Alternatively, you might use yarn.

--quickstart yarn build Strapi-app

This command will guide you through the process of installing Strapi in your project.

Strapi bootstrap will be installed in the current folder thanks to the ‘./’ in the script. -- quickstart is a flag that makes it easier to get Strapi up and running quickly.

Is Strapi a Headless CMS?

Strapi is an open-source headless CMS for creating JavaScript APIs that are quick and easy to manage. The Strapi Content type Builder is a high utility tool that the CMS sports. It provides a nice user interface that allows developers to simply create flexible API architectures. Hers a bit of suggested reading to familiarize yourself with the concept of Headless CMS. Strapi works with a variety of databases, including MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and others.

Pros & Cons Using Strapi

Like everything else, there are two sides to the proverbial Strapi development coin. Here is a comprehensive analysis of the advantages and disadvantage of Strapi

Advantages of Using Strapi

There are numerous benefits to using Strapi as your headless CMS, including:

1. Versatile and Simple to Use

Strapi is really simple to use, thanks to its user-friendly UI. Plus, thanks to plugins, it’s entirely configurable. Strapi is ready to use out of the box, but plugins allow you to customize it to your specific needs.

You don’t know how to use WordPress? It’s no problem! Strapi comes with an ORM that lets you create simple or complicated content types without having to write any code.

Strapi also provides an easy and versatile architecture for backend developers, with the ability to integrate third-party libraries like Koa and AngularJS 4.

Strapi will prove helpful if you wish to design a more sophisticated project. Its modular architecture allows you to personalize it and add your own features. As a result, the system is extremely adaptable to any project.

2. Rapid and Scalable

Strapi is easy to scale and can handle a high volume of traffic. Data validation is also quite speedy because of its interaction with Koa and Joi.

Strapi also features an automatic brown-field function that prevents developers from developing code that isn’t being used. This allows them to concentrate on developing sophisticated features without having to worry about squandering computing resources.

3. It’s Open-Source and Free

You can not only use Strapi for free, but you can also donate to it on GitHub.

You won’t have to waste time looking for an alternative because everything is right on your dashboard. You also don’t have to be concerned about licenses or upgrades. Strapi always uses the most recent version of Node.js, ensuring that there are no compatibility issues.

As an open-source headless CMS project, it also has a strong developer community that works together to improve and expand the platform’s capabilities.

5. Sturdy Construction

This framework has a solid design that includes everything you’ll need to create an API that your frontend application can easily use.

Strapi’s modular architecture is responsible for all of its power. All of the plugins are installed via npm, which makes them extremely simple to set up. Each module also adheres to the Node.js standards and is designed to function with any server or framework.

POST, GET, DELETE, PUT, and OPTIONS are just a few of the queries that Strapi can handle. If you need to construct APIs or RESTful services, you won’t have any performance difficulties this way. It also has an admin part with a robust UI for managing content, which cuts development time in half.

6. Authentication System Built-In

Strapi offers a flexible authentication system that may be tailored to your specific requirements. You can establish a variety of users and groups, each with its own set of rights, utilizing ACL, Basic Authentication, JWT, or OAuth 2.0. Furthermore, it supports all common databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, so saving user credentials will be a breeze.

7. Plugins at Your Fingertips

Strapi not only offers a fantastic community, but it also has a fantastic collection of plugins that can be quickly put on your new or old app. Strapi also has certain unique plugins, such as Google Analytics integration, LDAP compatibility, and Swagger integrations, which set it apart from other CMS platforms.

People are continually creating new plugins to extend the functionality of Strapi, so you’ll always be able to find what you need. In only a few minutes, you can even create your own custom plugin.

The Drawbacks of Using Strapi

Nothing is flawless, just like many other things in life. Strapi is no exception, and it does have some drawbacks:

1. It’s Difficult to Migrate Existing APIs

If you already have a backend system in place (for example, WordPress), moving it to Strapi will take some time if you want a perfect 100 percent match. Strapi, for example, does not have native support for WP-CRM. Therefore, you will have to manually deploy it in the background.

Frameworks like Kirby or Craft come pre-packaged with everything needed to manage content out of the box, and they merely supply an API on top of that.

Furthermore, using Strapi shouldn’t be too difficult if you’re familiar with REST APIs, but converting old endpoints to Strapi can be challenging. That is why, rather than attempting to move something, most users utilize Strapi when starting from scratch.

2. TypeScript Support Is Limited

Strapi does not support TypeScript out of the box, which is a shame because it is a breakthrough technology. If you’re an advanced user working on a large or complex project, this missing feature may hinder your experience. However, a plugin in the npm repositories can quickly restore it. Because the source code is available online, you can even write your own plugin for any language.

3. Strapi isn’t Completely Free and Open Source

Strapi is open source and free to use, but it is not perfect. Strapi does, however, offer a Pro version with additional capabilities such as custom plugin support and professional assistance from their team with priority email access.

4. Continuous Updates

Strapi is a tool that is continually evolving, so expect frequent updates. Strapi’s stable version receives weekly changes, so keep an eye on it if you don’t want your platform to break unexpectedly. Although this is standard for most open-source tools these days, it is nonetheless inconvenient for developers who like stable software.