Beginner pointers, customising templates

I am fairly new to the Netlify CMS. I was wanting to start a WP. But after reading more about JAMstack and using Git and Netlify… I decided to try Netlify CMS instead.

Can anyone tell me how I should go about beginning to customise the look of the template sites. I setup the template and point my browser at it and see what appears to be an active blog, already filled with content.

I was expecting to see a contributor’s UI for creating posts and was hoping to find it easier to customise the look of the blog (really… more WP-like tbh was what I was expecting)… can anyone recommend the best templates for beginners wanting a simple blogging experience… many thanks.

I haven’t used Netlify CMS myself, but, from what I know and understood about your question, what you’re asking for is not possible.

I think you want to be able to customise the website using Netlify CMS just the way you can do it with Wordpress. Netlify CMS is just a headless CMS, that is, it can just provide content to your website and not control its look and feel. You would have to generate a template using any of the static site generators out there, connect it to your Netlify CMS and then you can use the CMS to generate posts (you’d have to write posts using Markdown in most cases).

So, customising website from within Netlify CMS, just like Wordpress does it, is not possible.

Thanks for the help… yes my thinking was getting somewhat muddied there… I’ll look into SSGs some now… do you have any recommendations for noobs?

Also, I’ll add that I was following a certain tutorial that used Gatsby… though I’m on windows 7 and was finding that I was getting problems with the outdated node and npm I have on my computer… updating node was the obvious solution though, windows 8 was required for the latest node… thanks again.

“I was expecting to see a contributor’s UI for creating posts”, if you have netlify-cms enabled, and git gateway with netlify identity, you should be able to go to /admin where u can login and view the content that came with your tutorial blog. there you can add posts etc. Is that what youre after? :slight_smile:

Regarding the style/layout of site via CMS you could do this with specific settings and have your code react to it but it would be quite verbose and you’d need to make quite a few settings in a custom collection.

Thanks Aaron, I’ll try this… sounds like it was what I was looking for to begin with…

I have one of the template packages up and running on my netlify account… so I pointed my browser at the generated url for the site… and then appended: /admin to the end of the url and was prompted to enter an email and password (my netlify identity??)… I entered the email I used to register with and the password. I have got the message “email not confirmed”. I’m confused about this… thanks

update: I have also tried entering my email that I used to sign up to github as well, that’s not working either unfortunately 8S

I personally prefer Hugo. It’s one of the easiest ones to learn because it uses vanilla HTML, CSS and JS (with some Go template language) and there’s no need of Node Modules (however, you can use them if you want).

The downside to this however is that, the speed for the end user. Gatsby generates highly optimised websites in most cases and loads subsequent pages using JSON. This isn’t the case with Hugo. It’ll generate simple and traditional HTML, CSS and JS, thus, speed is something you’d need to take care of.

Hugo does have an amazing community that answers most of the questions though.

You need to set up netlify identity for your site, visit your site at

Thanks very much for the help all. The suggestions and directions are very helpful and much appreciated.