MDX and Content Management with Headless CMS

By: O Wolfson

Managing content efficiently is crucial. MDX has emerged as a powerful tool for embedding dynamic components in markdown documents. Meanwhile, headless CMS platforms like Contentful, Sanity, and Strapi are redefining how content is managed and delivered. This article explores the integration of MDX with these headless CMS platforms to enhance the content management experience.

Understanding MDX

MDX combines the simplicity of Markdown with the power of JSX, allowing developers to embed React components directly into markdown content. This capability significantly enhances the flexibility and interactivity of content, making it ideal for complex web applications.

Overview of Headless CMS Platforms

Headless CMS platforms like Contentful, Sanity, and Strapi offer backend content management capabilities without dictating the front-end presentation. Each platform has its unique features: Contentful is known for its scalability, Sanity for its real-time collaboration tools, and Strapi for its open-source nature and customizability.

Why Integrate MDX with Headless CMS?

Integrating MDX with a headless CMS combines the flexibility of MDX in content authoring with the robust content management and delivery systems of headless CMS platforms. This integration is particularly beneficial for building content-rich applications with complex layouts and interactive elements.

Integrating MDX with Contentful

To integrate MDX with Contentful:

  1. Set up a Contentful space and create a content model that includes a field for MDX content.
  2. Use the Contentful API to fetch MDX content in your application.
  3. Render the MDX content using an MDX compiler, allowing React components to be displayed.

Example use case: A blog where posts are written in MDX, enabling interactive components like quizzes or surveys within the post.

Integrating MDX with Sanity

Sanity offers real-time content management, which can be leveraged with MDX:

  1. Define a schema in Sanity that includes MDX content.
  2. Use Sanity's Groq query language to fetch this content.
  3. Compile and render MDX content on the frontend, incorporating interactive features as needed.

Integrating MDX with Strapi

For integrating MDX with Strapi:

  1. Create a new content type in Strapi for MDX content.
  2. Use Strapi's REST or GraphQL API to retrieve this content in your application.
  3. Render the MDX on the client side, allowing for complex layouts and interactive elements.

Best Practices for Integration

  • Ensure consistent content modeling across the CMS to make the most of MDX's capabilities.
  • Reuse components within MDX to maintain a consistent look and feel.
  • Test interactive elements thoroughly to ensure a smooth user experience.


Integrating MDX with headless CMS platforms like Contentful, Sanity, and Strapi offers a powerful solution for managing dynamic and interactive content. As the web continues to evolve, this combination is likely to become increasingly popular among developers and content managers.