Getting Started

This tutorial will get you comfortable with the basics of Contentlayer by walking through how to build a simple blog site using Next.js.

The blog will include a list of posts with a title, body, and date, rendered with the most recent on top. And each post will have its own page.

Try it Now

If you'd like to dive right in and start playing with Contentlayer, you can open the project in Gitpod.

Example Project

You can find a working version of this tutorial in this state of the example project.

See the examples page for a full list of examples.

1. Setup Project

Just to demonstrate how quickly we can start working, let's start with a new blank Next.js project.

npx create-next-app@latest --typescript --tailwind --experimental-app --eslint contentlayer-example

Answer any prompts that appear, then change into the new contentlayer-example directory.

cd contentlayer-example

Install Dependencies

Install Contentlayer and the Next.js plugin, along with a helper package for dates.

npm install contentlayer next-contentlayer date-fns

Next.js Configuration

To hook Contentlayer into the next dev and next build processes, you'll want to wrap the Next.js configuration using the withContentlayer method.

// next.config.js
const { withContentlayer } = require('next-contentlayer')

/** @type {import('next').NextConfig} */
const nextConfig = { reactStrictMode: true, swcMinify: true }

module.exports = withContentlayer(nextConfig)

TypeScript Configuration

Then add the following lines to your tsconfig.json or jsconfig.json file:

// tsconfig.json
{
  "compilerOptions": {
    "baseUrl": ".",
    //  ^^^^^^^^^^^
    "paths": {
      "contentlayer/generated": ["./.contentlayer/generated"]
      // ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    }
  },
  "include": [
    "next-env.d.ts",
    "**/*.ts",
    "**/*.tsx",
    ".next/types/**/*.ts",
    ".contentlayer/generated"
    // ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  ]
}

This configures the Next.js build process and your editor to know where to look for generated files, and to make it easier to import them into your code.

Ignore Build Output

Add the .contentlayer directory into your .gitignore file to ensure each build of your app will have the latest generated data and you do not run into issues with Git.

# .gitignore

# ...

# contentlayer
.contentlayer

2. Define Content Schema

Let's get our content schema defined and add some content to our site.

Add Contentlayer Config

Because we're building a simple blog site, let's define a single document type called Post. Create a file contentlayer.config.ts in the root of your project, and add the following content.

// contentlayer.config.ts
import { defineDocumentType, makeSource } from 'contentlayer/source-files'

export const Post = defineDocumentType(() => ({
  name: 'Post',
  filePathPattern: `**/*.md`,
  fields: {
    title: { type: 'string', required: true },
    date: { type: 'date', required: true },
  },
  computedFields: {
    url: { type: 'string', resolve: (post) => `/posts/${post._raw.flattenedPath}` },
  },
}))

export default makeSource({ contentDirPath: 'posts', documentTypes: [Post] })

This configuration specifies a single document type called Post. These documents are expected to be Markdown files that live within a posts directory in your project.

Any data objects generated from these files will contain the fields specified above, along with a body field that contains the raw and HTML content of the file. The url field is a special computed field that gets automatically added to all post documents, based on meta properties from the source file.

Add Post Content

Create a few markdown files in a posts directory and add some content to those files.

Here's an example of what a post file at posts/post-01.md might look like:

---
title: My First Post
date: 2021-12-24
---

Ullamco et nostrud magna commodo nostrud ...

The examples to follow will have three posts in this structure:

posts/
├── post-01.md
├── post-02.md
└── post-03.md

3. Add Site Code

Now we can tie it all together by bringing the data into our pages.

Replace Home Page

Replace the default home page (app/page.tsx) with a listing of all the posts and links to the individual post pages. Notice that you'll get an error when trying to import from contentlayer/generated, it's normal but we're going to fix it later by running the development server.

// app/page.tsx
import Link from 'next/link'
import { compareDesc, format, parseISO } from 'date-fns'
import { allPosts, Post } from 'contentlayer/generated'

function PostCard(post: Post) {
  return (
    <div className="mb-8">
      <h2 className="mb-1 text-xl">
        <Link href={post.url} className="text-blue-700 hover:text-blue-900 dark:text-blue-400">
          {post.title}
        </Link>
      </h2>
      <time dateTime={post.date} className="mb-2 block text-xs text-gray-600">
        {format(parseISO(post.date), 'LLLL d, yyyy')}
      </time>
      <div className="text-sm [&>*]:mb-3 [&>*:last-child]:mb-0" dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{ __html: post.body.html }} />
    </div>
  )
}

export default function Home() {
  const posts = allPosts.sort((a, b) => compareDesc(new Date(a.date), new Date(b.date)))

  return (
    <div className="mx-auto max-w-xl py-8">
      <h1 className="mb-8 text-center text-2xl font-black">Next.js + Contentlayer Example</h1>
      {posts.map((post, idx) => (
        <PostCard key={idx} {...post} />
      ))}
    </div>
  )
}

Notice that we imported the process post data directly into the page component. We then sorted allPosts to sort the post in reverse chronological order, and rendered a series of card components.

Run the App

Run the Next.js development server.

npm run dev

And visit localhost:3000 to see the post feed on the home page.

Add Post Layout

Right now, clicking on a post leads to a 404 error. Let's fix that!

Create the page at app/posts/[slug]/page.tsx and add the following code.

// app/posts/[slug]/page.tsx
import { format, parseISO } from 'date-fns'
import { allPosts } from 'contentlayer/generated'

export const generateStaticParams = async () => allPosts.map((post) => ({ slug: post._raw.flattenedPath }))

export const generateMetadata = ({ params }: { params: { slug: string } }) => {
  const post = allPosts.find((post) => post._raw.flattenedPath === params.slug)
  if (!post) throw new Error(`Post not found for slug: ${params.slug}`)
  return { title: post.title }
}

const PostLayout = ({ params }: { params: { slug: string } }) => {
  const post = allPosts.find((post) => post._raw.flattenedPath === params.slug)
  if (!post) throw new Error(`Post not found for slug: ${params.slug}`)

  return (
    <article className="mx-auto max-w-xl py-8">
      <div className="mb-8 text-center">
        <time dateTime={post.date} className="mb-1 text-xs text-gray-600">
          {format(parseISO(post.date), 'LLLL d, yyyy')}
        </time>
        <h1 className="text-3xl font-bold">{post.title}</h1>
      </div>
      <div className="[&>*]:mb-3 [&>*:last-child]:mb-0" dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{ __html: post.body.html }} />
    </article>
  )
}

export default PostLayout

Notice again that we're importing data from contentlayer/generated. This is the beauty of Contentlayer. Now clicking on a post link from the home page should lead you to a working post page.

Next Steps

You now have a simple blog site with Next.js and Contentlayer!

This is just the beginning. Now you can dig in and add all the bells and whistles necessary to build a site with great content using Contentlayer. Here are a few suggestions:


Was this article helpful to you?
Provide feedback

Last edited on December 08, 2023.
Edit this page