Simpla itself is a tiny (~4kb) JavaScript library that provides a low-level API for components and deveopers to set, get, and manipulate JSON data based on a standard content model. It also provides several adapters for content storage (eg: Github) and authentication (eg: Netlify), as well as a standard interface for developers to create their own custom adapters.


Simpla is available on NPM and the Unpkg CDN as simpla.

yarn add simpla

Import it as an ES6/UMD module

import Simpla from 'simpla';

window.Simpla = Simpla;

Or link it in with a script tag.

<script src="^3.0.0"></script>

The simpla package includes the core Simpla library (simpla.min.js) as well as seperate auth adapters. Currently only one adapter (for Netlify) is bundled out of the box.


Before you can use Simpla you must initialize your project with Simpla.init(config). Read the getting started guide for more information on how to setup the supporting services (Github, auth adapter) Simpla requires.

   * Github Repo
   * Repository where content will be stored (in a '_content' folder)
  repo: 'username/repo',

   * Auth adapter
   * Used to authenticate users with Github from your site
   * Included separately to simpla.js core
  auth: new SimplaNetlify({ site: 'mysite' }),

   * Public content source (optional)
   * Public URL of your content, defaults to fetching directly from GitHub
   * Push your content to a CDN like Netlify in production
  source: window.location.origin,

   * Commit branch (optional)
   * Git branch Simpla commits new content to, defaults to 'master'
   * Change this in development to make non-production changes
  branch: 'master',

   * Public directory (optional)
   * Base directory to store Simpla's '_content' folder
   * Defaults to the root of the repo
   public: 'dist'

Pro tip: if you save your content alongside your site’s codebase in the same github repo, set source to window.location.origin so you can save and read content locally in development


Authenticate users with Simpla.login and Simpla.logout. These methods hook into the authentication adapter you provided in Simpla.init

// Prompt for login from auth adapter

// Log user out locally

The login method prompts your auth adapter to log the user in. For OAuth adapters like SimplaNetlify, it will open a login window for your Github credentials. It returns a promise that resolves when the user is successfully logged in.

The logout method clears the user’s token and returns a promise when the user has been logged out.

Pro tip: the simpla-admin component includes all the UI for your users to authenticate with Simpla, save content, and more. Use these JS methods directly when you want more control.

Working with data

Simpla provides low-level methods for fetching and manipulating your content. All data operations are non-destructive and operate on a local data buffer until is called, which commits changes to your GitHub repo.


Fetch a content path with Simpla.get. It takes the path to fetch as a single argument, and returns a promise with the path’s data

  .then((data) => {
    // Content fetched

The object returned has the following properties

Property Type Description
path String Path to the content
type String Type of content that is stored in this path
data Object Custom data
createdAt String Timestamp of when this path was created
updatedAt String Timestamp of when this path was last modified


Create or modify content with Simpla.set. It takes two arguments, the content path to operate on, and the new data. It returns a promise.

Simpla.set('/content/path', {
  type: '...',
  data: { ... }
}).then(() => {
  // Data set to buffer

Remember, these changes won’t be persisted until you call

All custom data (ie: user content) must be set inside the data object, and most paths should also set a type. The type property is an arbitrary hint (not a JavaScript type) of what kind of content the path contains. The data object is immutable and gets overwritten with every set.

All properties outside of data and type are protected, and trying to set to them will fail.

You can set an entire new path at once, any nonexistant intermediary paths will be implicitly created by Simpla

Simpla.set('/path/to/item', { ... });

// Path /path/to/item created with data
// Empty paths /path and /path/to implicitly created by Simpla


Delete a path with Simpla.remove. It takes the path to remove as a single argument, and returns a promise.

  .then(() => {
    // Data deleted

Remember, these changes wont be persisted until is called

Removing a path will remove all of its data and all the data in all the paths below it. Given the paths


Calling Simpla.remove('/foo/bar') will result in the removal of all the following:



The method performs a diff between the local buffer and remote data, and commits all changes to your GitHub repo. It takes an optional path to save, and returns a promise.

// Save all changes => console.log('all changes saved'));

// Save changes at specific path'/home/title').then(() => console.log('home title changes saved'));

To call save, you must have first authenticated with Simpla.login and initialized Simpla.


Simpla uses a state tree to coordinate elements and data on a page. These are the public states currently managed by Simpla

State Type Description
authenticated Boolean Whether there is an authenticated user
editable Boolean Whether Simpla is in edit mode
buffer Object Metadata about the items currently in Simpla’s data buffer
config Object The parameters that Simpla was initialized with

Get a state

Get the current value of a state with Simpla.getState. It takes the state to fetch as a single argument.

Simpla.getState('authenticated'); // Returns true/false

Control the editable state

Enter and exit edit mode globally using the Simpla.editable method. It takes a single Boolean argument.

// Enter edit mode

// Exit edit mode


Simpla provides observers to react to changes in state and content

Observing changes to data

Observe changes to data with the Simpla.observe method. It takes two arguments, the content path to observe, and a callback to execute when the data in that path changes. It returns an object containing an unobserve() method used to destroy the observer.

// Create observer
let observer = Simpla.observe('/content/path', (data) => {});

// Destroy observer

Observing changes to state

Observe changes to a part of Simpa’s state with Simpla.observeState. It has the same syntax as observe.

// Create observer
let stateObserver = Simpla.observeState('editable', (value) => {});

// Destroy observer

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