Tech specs

Wings is the missing link in your progressive organization's tech stack. Here is a broad overview of the underlying technology.

What is Wings?

Wings is an end-to-end solution to manage content and campaigns, and to host serverless web applications that present this content and let users take action. Wings uses a so-called JAMstack architecture, which can be defined as:

‌Modern web development architecture based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs, and prebuilt Markup.JAMstack.org

Adopting a JAMstack architecture means a radical departure from traditional web development. While one of its more immediately noticeable upsides is a drastically improved website performance, the most important benefit, more generally speaking, lies in its superior web development experience. From connecting to other services' API's to creating elegant frontend experiences to easier scaling, the entire development workflow is improved.

Wings consists of multiple parts:

1. A headless CMS

The Wings CMS is a headless CMS-as-a-service. It is a centralized platform – on admin.wings.dev – that provides an administrative interface for content creators and campaign managers.

The modern web requires a strict separation of content and the presentation layer – which may be a website, a mobile application, or a smart interactive speaker narrating stories on demand. Content is therefore stored in a presentation-agnostic format and made accessible via APIs.

2. A themeable frontend companion

Hummingbird is the frontend companion for Wings. Although other frontend systems and framework may and will be used in integration with the Wings CMS service, Bolster created Hummingbird as a frontend framework of choice for campaign websites.

Hummingbird is a theme for Gatsby, the blazing-fast static website generator – and it is designed to be customizable and themeable, allowing third party designers and developers to create a unique frontend experience, while still benefiting from Hummingbird's strong foundation. That said, creating an entirely different frontend based on on, say, NextJS, is possible as well.

Key characteristics

Here's an overview of Wings's most distinguishing characteristics.

  • Wings consists of a headless cms service, allowing you to store content in a platform agnostic content format;
  • The CMS users a Wysywig editor based on the open-source Mobiledoc format (also used by the blogging platform Ghost, for example);
  • Wings uses a powerful GraphQL API to connect Wings with the admin interface and allowing the frontend to pull in content into the generated website;
  • The frontend is a theme for the open-source website generator Gatsby;
  • Wings uses a forms system based on the JSON Schema specification.

The development team would be more than happy to provide additional information. Feel free to contact Bolster, the digital agency behind Wings.

Differences with other platforms

If you are wondering how Wings would compare against other types of solutions, here is a rough overview.

Wings vs. WordPress/Drupal and others.

As the number of digital interfaces – mobile apps, websites, digital assistants, smart watches – grows, a reorganization of your digital infrastructure is in order. Traditional monolithic CMS'es like WordPress and Drupal, meanwhile, have been developed with a tight integration between the content editor, the site structure, a templating system and the presentation layer.

Although these monolithic systems can – to a certain extent – be used as headless CMS's by adding API's, they have not been built from the ground up to serve as frontend-agnostic content repositories. Wings is made for the modern web.

Wings vs all-in-one campaigning toolkits.

Many policital and ngo campaigns use all-in-one campaigning toolkits such as Action Network, BSD Tools, NationBuilder and others, which offer CRM services combined with email campaigning & community organizing tools.

These offer a lot of value, and Wings is perfectly capable of integrating with them using webhooks and APIs. This is a superior alternative to using the often limited landing page templates and embeddable web forms they usually provide.

Wings vs Contentful or others headless CMS’s.

Wings is definitely not the first headless CMS service, and a lot of them are awesome. But Wings is opinionated, it is geared at non-profit campaigns – where others are aimed at other markets or serve as a generic platform for any use case.

Wings has built-in structural support for non-profit campaigns and stories, such as a fully functional petition and fundraising system, allowing for faster innovation and shorter production times.

Note: also have a look at the features.

‌Interested?If you are ready to take your progressive organization to the next level, hop on board and we'll keep you updated.Hop on board