Say Hello to Arboretum - The Sitemap for Contentful

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Intro to the article

If you’ve dabbled in headless content management, you probably know Contentful- an industry-defining CMS. We’ve been enthusiastic Contentful evangelists for years, and together with Contentful, we're well aware that no software is 100% complete. While solving a problem of our own, we identified a much-needed improvement to the software- and now we are happy to share our solution with you: meet Arboretum - the sitemap for Contentful.

Arboretum made its debut at the 2021 Contentful Fast Forward conference. If you want to get up to speed, this is what you missed:

The Missing Sitemap for Contentful

If you work with Contentful you already know that it doesn’t offer out-of-the-box sitemap functionality- leaving it open to clients and partners to implement their solutions. That means as a content creator, finding specific content entries can require many clicks in the UI, and the performance of the Preview- and Publishing functions can ask lots of your patience, especially if you’re dealing with larger amounts of content. In addition, you’re missing a visual overview of the website hierarchy in your Contentful environment.

As a developer, you may have already had headaches caused by increasingly complex and inefficient GraphQL queries when dealing with sitemap-related requirements. You may even have run into some hard limits when it comes to GraphQL. And while dealing with increasingly large and complex websites, you may have started to spend lots of your time implementing elaborate caching strategies to speed things up – which often results in cache revalidation issues that cause a suboptimal user experience of the Preview and Publishing functions for content creators.

Why Do You Need a Sitemap?

While a visual representation of the sitemap is not essential for Contentful to function, it is vital for efficiently managing larger websites. For developers, a sitemap is necessary to populate the website navigation and is essential to other functions that depend on the position of pages in the website hierarchy. With a visual sitemap directly in the CMS, your content creators get an overview of the website structure and can more easily find pages as they relate to other pages.

Building a Sitemap Tool Yourself Is a Waste of Your Resources

Doing everything on your own is not always the best idea. Think about it:

  • You need to spend a lot of time building and testing your DIY solution. 

  • When you change your environment, or Contentful changes something in their product, your tool might not be compatible anymore- costing you more time.

  • You’ll need to handle the internal knowledge transfer about your self-made tool.

  • You’ll have no support from Contentful for your tool.

Arboretum, the App To Create Sitemaps Within Contentful

We built Arboretum as a solution for Contentful users just like you. Installing the app is simple and immediately frees up time, so you can focus on other tasks.

Arboretum does not need to create a copy of all your website information outside the platform every time you make a change on your website. Instead, it can incrementally build the next versions of your sitemap (without the need to do full rebuilds every time). This way, the sitemap is always automatically updated instantly.

Arboretum Icon Inverse

Why Is the App Called Arboretum?

It's simple, a sitemap shows the tree-like structure of your website, and an Arboretum is a botanical garden filled with trees. Think of Arboretum as a botanical garden for your website's structure- with the added benefit of making your site lightning fast and easier to manage.

However, Arboretum offers more than that: 

  • As a content creator, you can directly open a page from the sitemap, or you can jump into the content entry of the page in Compose or in the Web App. 

  • As a developer, Arboretum offers you a few simple query commands which speed up your querying tasks.

We've sped up managing our own websites with Arboretum and we want to share the benefits with you. We built our solution as a Contentful app to make it easy for you to use in your own Contentful environments.

Want To Know More About Arboretum?

Head over to getarboretum.com to learn about all the features and functions of our extension, its availability, and how to install and configure it in your Contentful space.