Frontend Tips Episode 17

Let's Checkout... Directus 9

In this episode we are going to take a look at another headless CMS that is very similar to Strapi.

So I have been using Directus 9 for a few weeks now. And actually my new website is made using Directus 9 and Next.js, I’m going to show you that setup near the end of the video.

Now, I know I told you in one of the videos that I’m using October CMS for the backend of my site, but I decided to change it because it was very slow when I put it online. I thought it was because of October CMS, but it turns out it was not.

Actually the problem was with the Image component from Next.js, but by the time that I found that out, I already migrated my backend to Directus 9.

This was a good thing in hind site, because since Directus 9 is a Node.js app, just like Next.js, and because of that I was able to put both backend and frontend of my site to the same Digital Ocean Droplet, without much trouble. Doing the same thing with the backend that runs on PHP would be much more difficult, at least for me, since my DevOps skills are very limited. So this turned out pretty nice all in all.

So as you can already guess I’m going to be talking about Directus 9 in this edition of “Let’s checkout…” series. And also I’m going to be comparing it with Strapi… like, a lot… since they are very similar applications.

So Directus 9 has a pretty interesting history, and that is why I’m calling it Directus 9, and not just Directus, because Directus 8 and versions before it, where entirely different applications, … I mean, they did the same thing but they were written in PHP - Zend framework to be exact, and Directus 9 is a Node application.

Since Zend framework got depricated, Directus team decided to port it to Laravel framework, and also they wanted to test it out in Node as well. Node version turned out to be pretty fast to build, and it showed great promise. Main thing being that API responses were 10X faster than the PHP version.

As far as I know they are still developing community driven Laravel-PHP version, but Node version is the official API version for the platform, and that is the version that we are going to be focusing on.

Ok, first of all what is Directus 9. Well it’s just a headless CMS, like Strapi that we covered on this channel. That means that you only get the CMS part, that will serve your data through an API, but you need to build the frontend yourself, with something like Next.js, Nuxt.js, React, Vue or even use it as an API for your mobile apps.

As I’ve said, I will be comparing it to Strapi since they are very similar applications, but I will tell you right of the bat that I like Directus a bit more. Main difference from Strapi is that is a bit more technical, but not too much, and editing experience is for the most part very nice.

Also one difference is that for self hosted version of Directus 9 you get everything free, but for Strapi you have to pay $29/month to get up to 30 custom roles, even on self hosted version.

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