What is the best Open Source CMS for HUGO?

Can someone suggest the best, easy to setup and user friendly headless CMS for hugo, we are currently using bitbucket for SCM & AWS for hosting for our hugo microsites.

You should definitively give a try to Netlify CMS:

I’m sometime missing tiny features (compared to Forestry or Stackbit, both closed-source - I didn’t test Bitbucket CMS) but it does an excellent job.

Note that some Hugo themes provide preconfigured Netlify CMS, here are two of them:

I’m playing with NetlifyCMS since a month now, so feel free to ask questions.

The official forum is a nice place to hang out, it’s a lovely and super active community


+1 for Netlify CMS, I love it. Would heartily recommend!

Forestry has a good integration with hugo . Its also free (forestry.io)

Yep, Forestry is powerful and has a nice UX.
The CMS is only available in english though, AFAIK

Here is a list of Hugo themes shipping Forestry I bookmarked and successfully deployed:

Almost all of them are produced by ThemeFisher, their code is super clean and commented, most of the time based on Bootstrap. As they also sell premium themes, double-check the license and potential paid features.

I’ll try to write a review of some of them in the next few months.
(I’m actually trying to define a method to choose a few themes to work with, listing the criteria and required features is a damn’ headache!)


Thank you so much for your nice reviews . This means a lot for us .
Can you please check your inbox please

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Hey @Mehedi , congrats for the themes you produce, and thanks for sharing them.
Nice to know you’re around!

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I checked my notes and here are two other themes shipping a config for Forestry:

One thing is still not clear to me: is the CMS from Forestry open source? (this is the initial request of this topic)
A quick look leads to this blog post about Tina on Forestry. Tina seems powerful and open-source, but different from the actual CMS provided on Forestry.

Even as a free user, I’ve found the Forestry team to be super helpful in trouble shooting. It is also nice that (on the free tier) only pushes and pulls to your Git and is just an nice interface without having to host anything.

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Not Open Source, but Cloud Cannon is really pushing hard on new features to support Hugo sites and helping me migrate away from Forestry. With TinaCMS as the primary focus and some recent services issues with Forestry, I wouldn’t point anyone to it anymore. :frowning: Which is sad because for a while I was pushing everyone to use it for Hugo sites.


Minor addendum: The themefisher version of the airspace theme is actively maintained (i.a. by me), it’s found here.

Hi @salim , I updated the link and the comment, thanks!

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Hi @zivbk1 ,

Could you please share some details? Forestry is a good candidate (despite closed-source) and I consider using it in production…

IMHO Forestry works well for now and I still have some sites on it, but in private conversations with people in that organization, and from the apparent shift in focus to TinaCMS away from adding new features to Forestry, I would see Forestry as a shorter term solution who is on the way to retirement. It is my understanding that there is work planned to make Tina work for SSGs like Hugo, but it is not available yet (that I know of).
I know that Cloud Cannon is actively working on features to support a handful of SSGs and I would consider it the replacement to Forestry. I am currently moving my sites from Foresty to that solution.


You might also look at this https://frontmatter.codes/ which works well with GitPod.io

The combo is an excellent way to manage git-backed content directly from the repository.


The Front Matter Headless CMS runs within Visual Studio Code.

That looks quite impressive. Thanks for sharing.

I will be testing it.

Hm… actually I think that this deserves its own topic. Hugo users need to know about it.


Confirmed, Forestry will be shut down in the near future:

“we’ll have a generous migration window to help our existing Forestry users migrate to Tina Cloud before we officially sunset Forestry CMS”
Source: Tina Cloud, the next iteration of Forestry | Forestry.io


I would never lie to you my friend. :blush:


I would never lie to you my friend. :blush:

I guess internet made me paranoïd! :grin:

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CloudCannon is absotely awesome. It is the best option currently available. It is much more user friendly than Netlify, as it is much closer to ‘zero-config’, which I value highly. CloudCannon has a great free tier and is even better than the sunsetting Forestry. CloudCannon is currently integrating Tina-like features, which work like magic! I speak from experience, as I am a heavy CloudCannon user. CloudCannon even featured me on their website: Usecue | CloudCannon

PS. I did quite some research on Hugo CMS systems while creating my own niche (high-end) oriented Hugo-specific CMS (which is NOT free NOR open-source).