CloudCannon vs. Netlify CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide for Choosing the Right CMS

CloudCannon vs. Netlify CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide for Choosing the Right CMS


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison between two popular Content Management Systems (CMS): CloudCannon and Netlify CMS. Choosing the right CMS for your organization is crucial as it can greatly affect your website's performance, user experience, and overall productivity. In this guide, we will dive deep into the features of both CMS options, enabling you to make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's goals and requirements.

Foundations of CMS

Both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS are modern CMS platforms designed for static site generators. They leverage the power of static sites, which are fast, secure, and scalable. The main difference lies in their underlying technologies. CloudCannon is built on Jekyll, a popular static site generator that uses Ruby, while Netlify CMS is a headless CMS that is compatible with various static site generators including Gatsby, Hugo, and Jekyll.

CloudCannon provides a visual editing interface where you can easily manage your content directly on the live site. It offers an intuitive WYSIWYG editor, allowing non-technical users to update content effortlessly. On the other hand, Netlify CMS provides a simple and user-friendly interface that integrates into your Git workflow. It uses Markdown for content creation, making it a favorite among developers who prefer a more structured approach. Both CMS options support version control, allowing you to track and revert changes easily.

In terms of deployment, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS provide seamless integration with popular hosting platforms. CloudCannon offers its own hosting infrastructure, while Netlify CMS allows you to host your static site on the Netlify platform, providing features like continuous deployment, asset optimization, and CDN distribution.

Overall, both CMS options provide a solid foundation for building and managing modern static websites. CloudCannon excels in visual editing and live site management, while Netlify CMS offers a developer-friendly workflow and compatibility with various static site generators.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer flexibility and customization options. CloudCannon provides a drag-and-drop editor, making it easy to build and modify page layouts. It offers a rich set of pre-designed templates and themes, enabling you to create visually stunning websites without extensive coding knowledge.

Netlify CMS, on the other hand, takes a more developer-centric approach. It provides a simple and responsive design that integrates seamlessly with your site's existing front-end. It allows you to define custom content structures using YAML, giving you total control over the presentation and layout.

Both CMS options support responsive design, ensuring that your website looks great on any device. CloudCannon provides a preview feature that allows you to see how your site will look on different screen sizes. Netlify CMS, being a headless CMS, gives you the freedom to craft unique front-end experiences using your preferred front-end framework.

In terms of user experience, CloudCannon's visual editor and live site preview make it easy for non-technical users to make changes and see immediate results. Netlify CMS offers a minimalistic and distraction-free interface, ideal for developers who prefer a focused content creation workflow. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your team's technical expertise and the level of design customization you require.

Content Management

Both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer robust content management capabilities, but their approaches differ slightly. CloudCannon provides a traditional file-based content management system, where each page is represented as a file on the file system. It offers a visual and intuitive file manager interface, allowing you to easily organize and navigate through your content structure.

Netlify CMS, on the other hand, handles content management through Git. It stores your content in a Git repository, providing the benefits of version control and easy collaboration. You can manage your content using Git commands or directly through the Netlify CMS interface. It also supports media management, allowing you to upload and manage images and other assets.

Both CMS options offer support for multi-language content, enabling you to create websites in multiple languages and easily manage translations. CloudCannon provides built-in language management features, while Netlify CMS supports localization through its CMS interface or through external translation providers.

Overall, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS provide powerful content management capabilities. CloudCannon's visual file management interface is a great fit for non-technical users who prefer a visual approach, while Netlify CMS's Git-based approach is ideal for developers who prefer a structured and version-controlled workflow.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are important considerations for organizations with multiple content contributors. Both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer features that support collaboration and user roles.

CloudCannon allows you to create and manage user accounts with different roles and permissions. You can assign roles such as admin, editor, or author to control access to various features and content. It provides a user-friendly interface for user management, making it easy to add or remove users and adjust their permissions.

Netlify CMS also offers user management capabilities, allowing you to invite team members and set their access levels. It relies on Git for user authentication, so team members will need to have a GitHub or GitLab account to access the CMS. This approach provides an added layer of security but may require more technical setup compared to CloudCannon.

Both CMS options support real-time collaboration, enabling multiple users to work on the same content simultaneously. CloudCannon provides a live preview that updates in real-time as changes are made, allowing users to collaborate and see the impact of their changes instantly. Netlify CMS allows for Git-based collaboration, where changes can be made and merged using Git's version control capabilities.

Ultimately, the choice between CloudCannon and Netlify CMS for collaboration and user management will depend on your organization's preferences and requirements. CloudCannon provides a user-friendly interface and intuitive collaboration features, while Netlify CMS offers a more developer-centric approach with added security through Git authentication.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are critical factors to consider when choosing a CMS. Both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS deliver impressive performance and scalability for your static websites, but there are differences in their hosting options.

CloudCannon offers an all-in-one hosting solution, providing optimized hosting infrastructure specifically designed for Jekyll-based sites. It handles aspects like DNS management, SSL certificates, and automatic builds. You can choose to host your site on CloudCannon's servers or deploy to your own hosting provider. CloudCannon's global CDN ensures that your site loads quickly from anywhere in the world.

Netlify CMS, being a product of Netlify, integrates seamlessly with the Netlify hosting platform. Netlify offers a scalable and distributed infrastructure that includes features like instant cache invalidation, asset optimization, and built-in CDN. It also supports serverless functions, enabling you to add dynamic functionalities to your static site easily.

Both CMS options provide excellent performance, thanks to the nature of static site generation. They generate static HTML files that are served directly to the user's browser, eliminating the need for database queries or server-side processing. This results in fast page load times and a seamless user experience.

When it comes to scalability, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS can handle large traffic spikes without performance degradation. However, Netlify CMS has the advantage of seamless scaling on the Netlify platform, which automatically adjusts resources based on demand.

In summary, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer solid performance, scalability, and hosting options. CloudCannon's all-in-one hosting solution is great for organizations looking for simplicity and convenience, while Netlify CMS provides a more developer-friendly hosting platform with additional serverless functionality.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization, extensions, and ecosystem are important considerations when choosing a CMS, as they determine the flexibility and extensibility of the platform. Both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer options for customization and integration with external tools.

CloudCannon provides an extensive set of pre-designed templates and themes, allowing you to quickly customize the look and feel of your website. It also supports custom CSS and JavaScript, giving you full control over the design and functionality. Additionally, CloudCannon integrates with popular services like Google Analytics, Mailchimp, and PayPal, enabling you to add advanced features to your site.

Netlify CMS offers a flexible content model that allows you to define custom fields and content structures using YAML. This gives you the freedom to structure your content according to your specific requirements. It also provides hooks and serverless functions, allowing you to extend the functionality of your site with custom backend processes.

Both CMS options have active and supportive communities. CloudCannon's community provides resources like tutorials, documentation, and a forum for sharing knowledge and best practices. Netlify CMS benefits from the larger Netlify community, which includes a wide range of developers, designers, and content creators who contribute to its ecosystem.

In terms of third-party integrations, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS have an extensive list of plugins and integrations. CloudCannon integrates with popular services like Stripe, Disqus, and Zapier, providing you with a wide range of possibilities to enhance your site's functionality. Netlify CMS offers integrations with various external services, such as identity providers and form handlers, through its extensive plugin ecosystem.

In summary, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer customization options, integration capabilities, and active communities. Your choice will depend on your specific customization and integration needs, as well as the level of community support you desire.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

SEO, marketing, and monetization are important aspects of managing a website. Let's explore how CloudCannon and Netlify CMS support these areas.

CloudCannon offers built-in SEO tools that allow you to optimize your site for search engines. It provides options to set meta tags, create XML sitemaps, and manage redirects. CloudCannon also integrates with Google Analytics, enabling you to track and analyze your website's performance.

Netlify CMS provides similar SEO capabilities, allowing you to set meta tags and manage redirects. It also integrates with Google Analytics and other marketing tools to help you track and analyze your website's performance.

Both CMS options offer integration with marketing automation tools like Mailchimp and HubSpot, enabling you to capture leads and build email marketing campaigns. They also provide options for social media sharing and integration with content promotion platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite.

For monetization, CloudCannon and Netlify CMS support integration with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce. You can easily set up an online store and manage product listings using their respective CMS interfaces. Both CMS options also support embedding advertising code and monetizing your content through platforms like Google AdSense.

In summary, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS provide solid SEO, marketing, and monetization capabilities. Your choice will depend on your preferred marketing tools and e-commerce platform, as well as the level of customization and integration you require.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are essential considerations when selecting a CMS, especially for organizations that handle sensitive data or operate in regulated industries. Let's discuss how CloudCannon and Netlify CMS address these concerns.

CloudCannon prioritizes security and provides measures to protect your website and customer data. It offers SSL/TLS encryption for secure data transmission and provides automatic backups of your site's content. CloudCannon's infrastructure is hosted on reliable servers with 24/7 monitoring and denial of service (DDoS) protection.

Netlify CMS also takes security seriously and provides secure authentication and user management through integration with GitHub or GitLab. It supports access control and offers HTTPS encryption for secure data transmission. Netlify's hosting platform also provides security measures like intrusion detection and prevention, distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, and continuous security monitoring.

In terms of compliance, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer GDPR compliance features, allowing you to handle user data with transparency and consent. They also support integrations with compliance tools and services, such as cookie consent management.

Ultimately, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS provide strong security measures and compliance features. Your choice will depend on your organization's specific security requirements and any industry-specific regulations you must adhere to.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migration, support, and maintenance are important factors to consider when selecting a CMS. Let's explore how CloudCannon and Netlify CMS address these requirements.

CloudCannon offers a smooth migration process for existing websites. You can import your site's content, templates, and assets seamlessly. CloudCannon provides step-by-step guides and technical support to assist you throughout the migration process.

Netlify CMS also provides migration tools and guidance to help you transition from your current CMS. It offers importers for popular CMS platforms like WordPress, ensuring a smooth migration experience. Netlify CMS has an active community and customer support channels where you can seek assistance as needed.

In terms of ongoing support and maintenance, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS provide reliable customer support. CloudCannon offers email support, a community forum, and detailed documentation. Netlify CMS provides community support through their website, as well as dedicated customer support for enterprise customers. Both CMS options also have regular updates and bug fixes to ensure stability and security.

Overall, both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer reliable migration tools and support options. Your choice will depend on your specific migration requirements and the level of support you desire.


Choosing a CMS that aligns with your organization's needs is crucial for building and managing your website effectively. Both CloudCannon and Netlify CMS offer powerful features and capabilities, but they have different strengths and approaches.

If you prioritize a visual editing interface, live site management, and simplicity, CloudCannon may be the right choice for you. It provides an intuitive editing experience, extensive customization options, and an all-in-one hosting solution.

If you prefer a developer-friendly workflow, compatibility with various static site generators, and seamless integration with the Netlify hosting platform, Netlify CMS may be the better option. It offers a flexible content model, Git-based collaboration, and advanced developer features.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific needs, technical expertise, and organizational goals. We hope this comparison guide has provided valuable insights to help you make an informed decision between CloudCannon and Netlify CMS.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.