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Next.js + Contentful tutorial

This tutorial gets you up and running with the basics of Netlify Create using a Next.js site with Contentful as the content source.

# Project setup

Let’s begin by getting the example project setup on your local machine.

# Prerequisites

# Clone example project

Use create-stackbit-app to clone the example project and install dependencies.

npx create-stackbit-app@latest --example tutorial-nextjs-contentful

Change into the project directory when installation has completed. Unless otherwise noted, all commands will be run from the project root.

cd tutorial-nextjs-contentful

# Set environment variables

Copy .env.example to .env and set the appropriate values.


# Import content

Run the setup script to fill the new space with content models and sample content.

npx cross-env npm run setup

# Run the website

You should now be able to run the Next.js development server and view the site at localhost:3000.

npm run dev

Next.js development site.

# Netlify Create configuration

Adding Netlify Create’s local visual editor application to an existing site takes just a few quick steps.

# Install CLI

Install the Stackbit CLI for Netlify Create, which we’ll use to launch the local visual editor application.

npm install -g @stackbit/cli@latest

# Run visual editor

With the Next.js development server still running, open a new terminal session to run the visual editor using the CLI’s dev command.

stackbit dev

Now, if you visit localhost:8090, you’ll see the Next.js site that is also running on port 3000. The application running on port 8090 is a local Netlify Create application that proxies to the development server, and also contains a few assets and routes to facilitate visual editing.

# Register your project

One such route is /_stackbit. This will redirect to the authentication process that makes it possible to work with Netlify Create locally.

Open localhost:8090/_stackbit in your browser and create an account. You’ll be redirected to a new URL that is unique to your local editing environment. The preview here is the application running on localhost:8090.

Netlify Create visual editor

# Configure content source

Next, we have to add our configuration file to tell Netlify Create how content is stored. First, install a couple development dependencies. (Netlify Create does not require any production dependencies.)

npm install -D @stackbit/cms-contentful @stackbit/types

Then, add a stackbit.config.ts configuration file that specifies the source of content as Contentful. This is the minimum configuration needed to work with this project locally.

// stackbit.config.ts
import { ContentfulContentSource } from "@stackbit/cms-contentful";
import { defineStackbitConfig } from "@stackbit/types";

export default defineStackbitConfig({
  stackbitVersion: "~0.6.0",
  contentSources: [
    new ContentfulContentSource({
      spaceId: process.env.CONTENTFUL_SPACE_ID!,
      environment: process.env.CONTENTFUL_ENVIRONMENT || "master",
      previewToken: process.env.CONTENTFUL_PREVIEW_TOKEN!,
      accessToken: process.env.CONTENTFUL_MANAGEMENT_TOKEN!


Netlify Create automatically loads the content from .env into process.env.

# Basic content editing

Notice that the content tab is populated with the content in your Contentful space. This is editable via a two-way content sync.

You can edit in Netlify Create and it will be saved in Contentful. Or you can edit in Contentful, and the new values will be pulled into Netlify Create automatically.

Content editing panel.

# Page editing

Pages are a type of model that represent a single URL path in your site.

When the proper configuration, Netlify Create can build a complete sitemap and show the proper content fields as editors navigate between pages in the application. This requires specifying which models represent pages and how each page maps to a URL path in the site.

# Specify page models

Open the stackbit.config.ts file and add a modelExtensions property to declare the page model as a page model.

// stackbit.config.ts
import { ContentfulContentSource } from "@stackbit/cms-contentful";
import { defineStackbitConfig } from "@stackbit/types";

export default defineStackbitConfig({
  stackbitVersion: "~0.6.0",
  contentSources: [
    new ContentfulContentSource({
      // ...
  modelExtensions: [{ name: "page", type: "page", urlPath: "/{slug}" }]

This tells Netlify Create to extend its knowledge about the Contentful model with an ID of page — to declare it with a page type, and to map its URLs paths using the slug field within the page model.

# Sitemap navigator

Going back to the Netlify Create editor, you should now see the sitemap populated with the home page entry, which was added to the CMS when importing content.

Sitemap navigator with home page.

# Contextual page editor

This change also enabled the contextual page editor (pencil icon in left sidebar). Notice that you can open this panel and see the fields and values for this page.

Update hero heading.

As with basic content editing, making changes here will update content in Contentful in an changed (unpublished) state.

Updated content in Contentful.

# Inline editing

The most advanced (and productive) form of editing with Netlify Create is inline editing, which is made possible through the use of annotations.

These are simple HTML data attributes (data-sb-object-id and data-sb-field-path) that map content in Contentful to elements on the page. This enables editors to click directly in the preview, make a change, and find that change reflected in Contentful.

Here, we’ll make the heading field in the hero component editable inline.

# Set the object ID

The first step is to declare the ID of the content object using a data-sb-object-id attribute. This points Netlify Create to the origin of the content on the screen.

In Contentful, every entry has an automatically assigned identifier stored in its property, delivered from the API.

In the tutorial’s code, the utils/content.js module is tasked with fetching data from Contentful and returning it as JavaScript objects. The fetched value is mapped to an id property in the returned objects: property added to fetched JavaScript objects.

Add the data-sb-object-id attribute to the top-level div of this component to set the object ID.

// components/Hero.jsx
export const Hero = props => {
  return (
    <div className="bg-gray-100 px-12 py-24" data-sb-object-id={}>

This annotation associates the top-level div of the Hero component, and all elements under it, with the ID of the Contentful entry (of type hero) that is passed to the component as props.

# Add the field path

Now that the component is annotated with the ID of the hero content object, we can use the data-sb-field-path data attribute to make fields within the component editable inline.

// components/Hero.jsx
export const Hero = props => {
  return (
    <div className="bg-gray-100 px-12 py-24" data-sb-object-id={}>
      <h1 className="mb-6 text-5xl leading-tight" data-sb-field-path="heading">

That’s all you need to be able to edit the heading inline!

Update heading inline.

Like the previous two forms of editing, this will also update content in Contentful.

Content updated in Contentful.

# Additional capabilities

You have now added visual editing to a Next.js + Contentful site with Netlify Create! But this is just the beginning. You can expand on what you learned above, or explore additional ways to extend the visual editing experience for your site.

This is typically what developers explore next:

And as you progress, there are more advanced features to consider: