Rated the #1 Headless React CMS

Meet the headless React CMS that integrates with your app using a straightforward API. Smooth, simple, and tasty content integration — that’s Butter.

Posted on July 6, 2024

ButterCMS is Uniquely-Suited for React Dev Environments

ButterCMS is a headless cms designed to work seamlessly with React. It embodies the design philosophy and principles of React, offering several features that are inspired by the React way of doing things. This enables developers to build truly responsive and content-driven React apps with ease.


React’s component-based architecture allows developers to write manageable and maintainable code for the most complicated UIs. In a similar vein, ButterCMS offers components that streamline the process of building complex, multi-faceted content architectures.

Multi-channel and multi-site

React’s component-based architecture fosters the creation of reusable UI elements. ButterCMS’ multi-channel and multi-site support complements this approach by empowering developers to create content components that can be reused across different React apps. This not only saves development time, but also ensures a consistent user experience.

Moreover, React’s dynamic content rendering pairs perfectly with Butter’s multi-channel content delivery. Enterprises can deliver personalized content to different channels, while utilizing React’s capabilities to efficiently render this content based on user interactions and preferences.


Effortless updates and scalability

React introduced the concept of a virtual Document Object Model (DOM) which revolutionized how frontend apps process change. React apps often need frequent updates and seamless scalability to accommodate dynamic user behavior, growing user bases, and changing business needs.

ButterCMS facilitates this limitless dynamicity and on-demand scalability by offering a globally cached API. This empowers organizations to add new features to their React apps at will, and expand their digital presence across the globe.

Marketing site

ButterCMS is a perfect fit for building marketing sites, especially when combined with React. Marketing sites often need frequent content updates to reflect changing business data, promotions, or events.

ButterCMS's intuitive dashboard makes it easy to apply these updates on the backend, at scale. React's efficient component re-rendering strategies make it easy to handle these changes on the frontend.

Moreover, ButterCMS comes with built-in SEO tools that complement React’s rendering capabilities. This combination ensures that marketing sites built with React and ButterCMS are not only responsive and visually appealing, but also optimized for search engines, offering businesses a formidable competitive advantage.


React blog engine

With ButterCMS, you don't have to create a blog from scratch like with other CMSs. Instead, you can integrate with Butter's built-in, API-based React blog engine in minutes. It's designed to be SE-optimized and offers an engaging interface for creating content.

This means that your developers can avoid reinventing the wheel, while your marketers and content creators can jump right into content production without any delays!


React and ButterCMS are both designed to be developer-friendly, making them a perfect match for building modern web applications. React abstracts away all the complicated rendering logic from the developers with its APIs, and offers a large ecosystem of libraries and packages to implement new features.

ButterCMS provides client libraries and starter kits for several technologies, including React. This allows developers to set up a React-ButterCMS project within 2 minutes. Comprehensive documentation, ability to configure webhooks, and an intuitive API explorer further enhance the development experience.

Compare React CMS Solutions

In the realm of React CMS solutions, you'll find various options, each with its own unique offerings. However, ButterCMS stands out by not only incorporating the strengths of different solutions, but also adding its own set of user-friendly features. The result is a comprehensive, all-in-one headless solution that’s tailor-made for modern React applications.

Backing up this claim are concrete facts and numbers. Official G2 ratings put ButterCMS ahead of other React CMSs, including Contentful, Sanity, and Strapi, across multiple key areas. Whether you look at "ease of use," "ease of setup," "ease of administration," or "quality of support," ButterCMS consistently outperforms its counterparts.


In fact, ButterCMS has earned the prestigious title of "easiest to use headless CMS" for React and other frontend applications on G2, based on actual user feedback. This recognition underscores the exceptional usability of ButterCMS, and solidifies its position as the go-to CMS platform for React projects.

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“Best CMS on the market”

headshot of Hampton Catl

After shopping the market, it was clear that ButterCMS was the perfect choice. It allows our developers to build powerful components and makes it easy for our marketing team to drive a better customer experience. Hampton Catlin Creator of Sass and Haml

Deploy our React Starter in 30 seconds

Or follow the below commands to clone a copy of the repo from github, install dependencies, set your free Butter token, and run your local server on localhost:3000/.

$ git clone https://github.com/ButterCMS/react-starter-buttercms.git
$ cd react-starter-buttercms
$ npm install
$ echo 'REACT_APP_BUTTER_CMS_API_KEY=your_free_api_token_here' >> .env
$ npm run start

What Key Criteria Should You Look for in a React CMS?

When choosing a Content Management System (CMS) for your React app, your only real option is to go headless. A headless CMS is a backend-only content management system that allows you to build a centralized content repository for serving content to all your digital channels, whether it's websites, mobile apps, kiosks, chatbots, or even smartwatches.

While there might be ways to integrate your React app with a traditional CMS, through workarounds or custom code, it's not a recommended approach, and can lead to architectural complexities down the road. Therefore, when evaluating a headless CMS for your React project, it's crucial to keep the following criteria in mind:


React is known for its flexibility in creating dynamic user interfaces. Your CMS should match this flexibility, allowing you to seamlessly structure and deliver content across the various components in your React apps.


React apps thrive on speed, dynamicity, and responsiveness. A performant headless CMS is crucial for delivering content quickly and reliably to React components. Fast content retrieval and rendering enable smooth user experiences, especially in React-based real-time and interactive applications.



React apps are designed to evolve and expand. As you add new features and components, you need a scalable CMS that can keep up with the growing content demands and traffic. Look for a CMS that uses a globally cached CDN to serve content, like ButterCMS. This will ensure that your app remains responsive and fast, even as it scales.

Developer friendliness

React developers are accustomed to the convenience and built-in capabilities that React provides. They prefer CMSs that integrate well with other software products, and offer well-documented APIs for data retrieval and manipulation. Client libraries and starter kits are also desirable, as they enable developers to get started quickly. Choose a headless CMS solution that ticks all these boxes.

Ease of use

React-based web projects often involve collaboration between developers, marketers, and content creators. An easy-to-use CMS ensures that non-technical users can manage content without depending on developers. This streamlines the content update process, and allows React developers to focus on app enhancements.


React apps may handle sensitive data or user information. A secure CMS is paramount to protect against data breaches and vulnerabilities. Ensure that you choose a headless CMS that offers robust security features to safeguard your React app's integrity and user data.



React is a JavaScript framework, and search engines typically struggle with indexing JavaScript-heavy content. An SEO-friendly headless CMS helps address this challenge by offering built-in SEO capabilities. This ensures that your React app ranks well in search engine results.

How to integrate ButterCMS into your React application

Just follow the simple steps below to complete the integration and begin creating pages with Butter. Be sure to check out our full guide to creating pages using the ButterCMS React API.

Set up a new Customer Case Study page type

First, you would set up a new Customer Case Study page type in Butter and create a page. With your page defined, the ButterCMS API will return it in JSON format like this:

    "data": {
        "slug": "acme-co",
        "fields": {
            "facebook_open_graph_title": "Acme Co loves ButterCMS",
            "seo_title": "Acme Co Customer Case Study",
            "headline": "Acme Co saved 200% on Anvil costs with ButterCMS",
            "testimonial": "<p>We've been able to make anvils faster than ever before! - <em>Chief Anvil Maker</em></p>\r\n<p><img src=\"https://cdn.buttercms.com/NiA3IIP3Ssurz5eNJ15a\" alt=\"\" caption=\"false\" width=\"249\" height=\"249\" /></p>",
            "customer_logo": "https://cdn.buttercms.com/c8oSTGcwQDC5I58km5WV",

Create a src/Customer.js file

To create these pages in our app, create a src/Customer.js file, as follows:

import React from 'react'
import butter from './butter-client'
import { Helmet } from 'react-helmet'

export default class extends React.Component {
  state = {
    data: {
      fields: {}
  async componentDidMount () {
    const { match } = this.props
    const resp = await butter.page.retrieve('customer_case_study', match.params.customer)
  render () {
    const product = this.state.data
    const { customer_logo: customerLogo, headline, testimonial, seo_title, facebook_open_graph_title } = product.fields

    return (
          <meta property='og:title' content={facebook_open_graph_title} />
          <img src={customerLogo} alt='' height='124' width='124' />
        <div dangerouslySetInnerHTML={{ __html: testimonial }} />

Set up the Customers Page

Next, set up the Customers Page to list all our customers. To create a new file src/Customers.js. In this file, we should:

     a. Initialize the butterCMS library.
     b. On the componentDidMount hook, fetch the list of case studies.
     c. Return the response data as the component state.

Here’s what that looks like in practice:

import React from 'react'
import { Link } from 'react-router-dom'
import butter from './butter-client'

export default class extends React.Component {
  state = { data: [] }
  async componentDidMount () {
    const resp = await butter.page.list('customer_case_study')
  render () {
    return (
        {this.state.data.map((customer, key) => {
          return (
            <div key={key}>
              <img src={customer.fields.customer_logo} height='40' width='40' />
              <Link to={`/customer/${customer.slug}`}>{customer.fields.headline}</Link>

Update the routes in your app

Finally, update the routes in your app to route to the specified components. You can create the route for your page in src/index.js as follows:

import React from 'react'
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom'
import { BrowserRouter as Router, Route } from 'react-router-dom'

import Customer from './Customer'
import Customers from './Customers'

const AppRouter = () => (
      <Route path='/customers' exact component={Customers} />
      <Route path='/customer/:customer' component={Customer} />

ReactDOM.render(<AppRouter />, document.getElementById('root'))

That's it! If you browse to your homepage you'll see your homepage populated with the content you created in Butter.

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