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Static Content Server

This tutorial describes how to create JSON files from content stored in Markdown files, that can be served from a static server. It can be used, for example, to simulate a content API for an Angular 2 project.

Step 1: Create Content in Markdown

The content is stored in Markdown files in a content folder, further separated by folders for each content type. The Markdown file name should be an integer ID of the content, unique for the type with the extenson .md.

Create folder content/entires. Create files,, with some content:

title: "Some Entry"

Some Content

Step 2: Setup Gulp

Gulp is used to read the Markdown files from the content directory and create a JSON file in a server directory. Three Gulp tasks will be needed:

  • clean
  • markdown
  • server

clean will clean the server directory, markdown will read the Markdown files and create a JSON file and server will post-process the JSON files.

Install gulp:

npm install gulp --save-dev

Create file gulpfile.js:

/* jshint esnext: true */
/* jshint node: true */
"use strict";

const gulp = require('gulp');

gulp.task('clean', function () {


gulp.task('markdown', ['clean'], function () {


gulp.task('server', ['markdown'], function () {


gulp.task('default', ['server']);

Step 3: Clean Task

The clean task will use del to cleanup the server directory.

Install del:

npm install del --save-dev

Require dependencies:

const del = require('del');

Implement the clean task:

gulp.task('clean', function () {
  return del('server/**/*');

Step 4: Markdown Task

The markdown task will use gulp-markdown-to-json and gulp-util to create the JSON files.

Install gulp-markdown-to-json and gulp-util :

npm install gulp-markdown-to-json --save-dev
npm install gulp-util --save-dev

Require dependencies:

const markdown = require('gulp-markdown-to-json');
const gutil = require('gulp-util');

Implement the markdown task:

gulp.task('markdown', ['clean'], function () {
  return gulp.src('content/entries/**/*.md')

Step 5: Server Task

The server task will use gulp-json-transform to post-process the JSON file. The JSON object will be converted into an array and the ID in the file name will be written into the content object.

Install gulp-json-transform:

npm install gulp-json-transform --save-dev

Require dependencies:

const jsonTransform = require('gulp-json-transform');

Implement the server task:

gulp.task('server', ['markdown'], function () {
  return gulp.src('server/**/*.json')
    .pipe(jsonTransform(object => Object.keys(object).map(key => {
      object[key].id = parseInt(key);
      return object[key];

Step 6: Result

The result is a JSON file with an array of of content entries.


  "title": "Some Entry",
  "body": "<p>Some Content</p>\n",
  "id": 1
}, {
  "title": "Some Entry",
  "body": "<p>Some Content</p>\n",
  "id": 2
}, {
  "title": "Some Entry",
  "body": "<p>Some Content</p>\n",
  "id": 3