Light Development

Inspired by frontend development practices, Magnolia's unique light-weight development approach will get you started faster and finished sooner.

Highlighted benefits

Low code

​​​​​​Use slim YAML configuration files to accomplish the most common CMS tasks: content modelling, provisioning REST endpoints, templating, creating apps, and more. Magnolia configuration is super DRY, thanks to custom YAML directives to include and reuse YAML fragments. 

Work your way

Everything is configured in text files, so you’ll work in the comfort of your favorite editor, IDE, and tooling. You don’t need to muck about in a tedious GUI, or worry about exporting configuration. We know that the GUI is for content authors, not productive developers.


Our CLI helps you every step of the way. Download, install and start a new Magnolia server in a couple of minutes. Then use our generators to instantly create modules, templates, apps and content types. Configuring new generators to match your team's coding standards is easy too.


Every change you make to your configuration and templates is instantly detected and applied on your Magnolia development server, resulting in excellent developer ergonomics and turnaround time. No compile. No restart. No waiting.

Hot deployment

Autoload works on your production servers too. Deploy changes in Light Modules to your servers, and they are instantly live. Customers appreciate the agility this gives them in rolling out new features to integration servers, test servers, and their live website.

With or without Java

Light development allows you to implement enterprise CMS projects with a frontend developer skillset, and no code. But it also dovetails perfectly with Java development when desired for some “heavy lifting”. Magnolia projects are often a combination of Light modules (light development) and Java modules.

All you need is Jamstack – and a passion for frontend

Could you ever love a CMS?

Let’s get something out of the way. We know developers typically have a hate/hate relationship with their CMS. Does it have to be like this? We went on a three year quest to remove obstacles, streamline and simply get out of the way. Light development is the result. We solve content, you do the rest.


Parallelize your teams

Thanks to Magnolia's modular approach, it’s easy for developers to work independently. With file-based Light modules, frontend developers can contribute directly to projects without waiting for the backend devs to integrate their work. Backend developers contribute maven-based Java modules. And as soon as you define a content model, your content authors can start entering content, even before your templates or frontend are built.


Front and backend developers are collaborating much better with light development. We’re working together on the same thing, not blocking each other. On the frontend, I have control until the very last minute and can make changes on the code base.

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