Now that I've made this little site I have good idea of the plusses and minuses of Forestry with Eleventy. As I mentioned in the first post, I created a simple Eleventy site locally, uploaded it to GitHub and imported it to Foresty via the "Import site" flow. From there I created a bunch of posts, tried a bunch of things and figured out what Forestry has to offer.
I wrote several posts about specific features, such as using snippets, images and setting up drafts. I didn't try everything that Forestry has to offer, but what I did try worked well with a few notable issues.
My goal was to learn about Forestry so I can decide whether or not it'll be suitable for non-techy people who need to maintain content. For my own sites I have a nice content creation flow that starts in Obsidian and then moves to my editor (Atom), and I'm not looking to replace that.
For the most part I think there's a lot to like, especially that's it easy to set up.
- Getting up and running is easy when importing a site.
- If you're familiar with CMSs in general the configuration of setting up directories and pages is straightforward.
- There seems to be a good amount of flexibility for setting up front matter, creating snippets, etc.
There were just a few small things I didn't like or wished I could configure. I also found at least two accessibility issues, but found alternatives or workarounds.
- The front matter Date Time field component cannot be used with keyboard, but a text field for manual date entry can be used as an accessible approach.
- In both the WYSIWYG and raw editor, the light green link and bullet point color is too light, only a 1.3 contrast ratio, falling far below the 4.5 ratio needed for WCAG compliance. I used the Stylus plugin available for Chrome and Firefox to change that color to something accessible and easier to read and would do the same for any client I set up to use Forestry.
- I'd like to be able to customize a few things:
- Set the default display of files in a directory (e.g., the Posts listing page) to display by date, newest first. You can change it to date but it defaults to alphabetical by title.
- Ability to display values from front matter fields in the directory listing page, for example displaying a post's draft status.
- It would be nice if images added to the body of a post included lazy loading. I created a snippet for images as a work around but that takes away from the ease of use of adding an image.
- It would be nice to be able to set the default editor to raw rather an WYSIWYG.
- It would be nice to be able to delete multiple files from directory at once rather than one at a time.