Our Thoughts
Abhay Kumar
19 October, 2021
8 MIN READ

Navigating the landscape of Headless CMS

Traditional content management systems have features that help create, store, and present content elements for businesses under websites. The elements could include text, images, and relevant videos that showcase the brand position of the business. Traditional content management systems incorporate all the back content, images, HTML, CSS, and more. Hence, the need for flexible solutions increases.

Headless CMS is a back-end content management system that delivers content via APIs across different platforms and devices. It allows the content to be a separate presentation layer of the website. Headless CMS is an ideal solution that provides multi-channel distribution of dynamic content that can be branched across various platforms and devices.


What is a Headless CMS?

Headless CMS is an architecture that is known to separate back-end content functions from presentation and delivery or other front-end functions. The back-end content functions could include the creation, management, and storage of content. The audience is increasingly consuming content on new interfaces and various devices next to smartphones, wearables, virtual reality, and much more, and it is important to introduce a new content management system that effectively adapts and manages content.

Essentially, headless CMS addresses new content challenges and effectively creates and manages to deliver on different platforms. Headless CMS constantly focuses on storing and delivering structured content, allowing editors to collaborate with new and emerging content seamlessly. Hence, traditional CMS can be converted to headless CMS by separating the head from its stack and building a separate content management system for back-end solutions.


Today’s trends and uses for CMS

In current times, content is constantly evolving and developing. With new journals and devices emerging continuously, it is essential to deliver content effectively at appropriate channels. Hence, headless CMS helps marketers and developers build amazing content that delivers consistently on various platforms for higher traction with effective communication with the back-end system.

Headless CMS is also ideal for developers as back-end restrictions of programming languages can be changed and built to look according to the functionality of user experiences. Headless CMS essentially helps with flexibility, faster time to market, compatibility of user experience, extra security with lower risk of DDoS attacks, and increased scalability with customization for websites.


Features of Headless CMS

Faster speed

Headless CMS ensures improved performance with faster delivery of content and services. With an advanced content networking system, the distribution of content and its management becomes fast and convenient.

Scalable

Headless CMS is known to increase scalability and handle multiple levels of traffic. It has a decoupled architecture that is known to eliminate any database bottlenecks. This helps in automatically adjusting the cloud infrastructure that meets the requirement.

Flexibility

Headless CMS gives access to decoupled CMS with different frontend technologies and frameworks built with a well-defined API that helps in focused content creation and faster content management.

Compatibility

Headless CMS helps control user experience from the convenient back-end and ensures compatibility for content display. When the majority of the content is accessible on one digital platform, it makes access to resources highly compatible and reusable.

Extra security

Using headless CMS ensures a lower risk of DDoS attacks and creates extra security for content publishing platforms. Factors such as 2 Factor Authentication, Secure APIs, and Webhook authentication make headless CMS a reliable option.

Framework freedom

The headless architecture gives developers access and freedom to choose from various front-end frameworks and adapts to multiple frameworks to enhance the digital experience.

Extensible

The headless architecture/approach allows seamless integration between front-end frameworks with back-end frameworks with API support across external applications that help enhance content management while creating a safe space to experiment and enhance the experience.

Personalization

Headless CMS can integrate with APIs and imbibe third-party tools such as marketing automation tools to create personalized experiences with component-based personalization. This helps filter relevant content before sending it to the front-end via API map. 

Time to value

Headless CMS contributes to speed and is relatively faster to develop since content managers and developers work simultaneously, allowing easy integrations and retaining marketing tools to speed up the process.

Push content

Headless CMS seems to allow you to push content through multiple platforms and different channels and adapts to current trends in content marketing and merchandising. Essentially, headless CMS uses the multi-channel approach that helps publish content faster across various digital touchpoints and makes it easier for marketers to use.

 

Benefits of using headless CMS

Speed and flexibility

Headless CMS is known to increase scalability and handle multiple traffic levels while focusing on content creation and management by integrating a front-end framework with a well-defined API.

Resilient and intuitive interface

Headless CMS architecture does not deal with the rendering of multiple things and focuses on more specialized parts of your stack, hence creating a faster editing experience. This helps in making the process faster and a user-friendly interface that cooperates according to needs.

Safety and security

Headless CMS is separated from the core presentation layer and hence prevents the risk of DDoS attacks and increases the security for publishing content. This helps in creating a safer environment and platform for distributing content. A high-performance CDN service reduces the risk of attacks and protects the framework.

Independence and freedom

Headless CMS is detached from the main presentation layer and acts as an independent management system. This gives developers the freedom to test new platforms and devices, change interfaces or parts of the stack, or adapt to a new framework without affecting the main CMS.

Simple and convenient usage

Headless CMS allows you to manage content from a single source of truth and gives the liberty to change developer settings at any time. This benefits you from sending content to two cloud-based hosting services that require high performance, increasing scalability.

Third-party integration

Adding a list of CMS allows personalization and integrates with APIs to imbibe third-party data such as marketing automation, CRM, DAM, and more. With component-based personalization, relevant content is determined by this CMS before collaborating with the front end via the API map.

Scalability and wider purpose

Since headless content management systems allow you to access content from a single source of truth and manage accordingly, it allows the developers to change the framework according to your content and its high-performance cloud-based hosting; we stopped this increase in scalability and offered a wider purpose for headless CMS to be incorporated.

 

The top Headless CMS platforms today

Drupal

Drupal works under the basic concept of using an administrative back-end and started the first API initiative a few years ago. The APIs are seamlessly integrated into this CMS and easily manage the workflow, relations, and content management processes. With Drupal, developers can create their modules and work with the headless part of the CMS and further for the front-end part. Drupal is also known to have the largest open-source community that offers secure integration and content management. Learn more about Headless Drupal here.

Strapi

Strapi is among the leading open-source headless CMS that is fully customizable and 100% JavaScript. Strapi helps in building personalized, self-hosted, and performant content API seamlessly and helps create content structures that are flexible according to the needs. As it is self-hosted, it increases data privacy and helps keep control of it. With Strapi, developers can easily build apps without distractions from CMS complexities. 

Contentful

Contentful is ranked among the most popular headless CMS and has the largest ecosystem of both partners that provide integration from innovation. Contentful is an ideal solution for headless CMS and offers a reliable infrastructure with high levels of security under 24 X7 customer support.

Kontent

Kontent is a popular headless CMS that allows you to control your content and process it further with advanced management. Kontent is also known to carry out multiple processes with high levels of security; it is known to offer SLA-guaranteed uptime and keeps the content organized in various collections to make the responsibilities clear. The most important feature of content is multifactor authentication, which is GDPR-compliant.

Magnolia

Magnolia is a popular headless CMS that provides optimum speed and solutions for both developers and authors and creates a perfect system for higher rates of publishing and managing. With Magnolia, developers can easily build sites and apps using their preferred front-end framework with exclusive features like live preview and custom personalization. While the developers build sites, marketers can work on content in parallel with a complete WYSIWYG authoring experience.

Agility

Agility is known to be one of the oldest headless CMS created to enhance the experience of both editors and developers. Agility has fast and flexible features that help editors and content management authors carry out proper functioning. Agility is known to take a content-first approach and structures your content by delivering digitally with a simple setup.

Contentstack

Contentstack accelerates the content management process with higher scales of digital content, apps, and much more that bring in new experiences. Contentstack works on an omnichannel distribution process that allows powerful integration and easy connectivity with content management systems with a flexible UI. It is known to effortlessly collaborate with the entire content management process and effectively work with the editorial team.

 

How to choose the best fit for headless CMS?

While looking out for headless CMS, a few features and aspects need to be taken into consideration:

  • Avoid building custom in-house content management software as it outweighs the cost of selecting and purchasing a headless CMS.
  • Ensuring that the headless CMS is scalable helps to adapt with quicker solutions that grow effectively and scale as per needs.
  • It is important to choose a headless CMS that supports omnichannel distribution and allows effective distribution over various digital platforms.
  • Choosing a headless CMS that allows developers to utilize their resources and create codes in their preferred programming language is important.
  • An ideal headless content management system allows developers to work without hampering content creation and management, saving time and business revenue.
  • A headless CMS must include APIs and support integration with other apps and microservices and easily connect with third-party content management tools.

 

Conclusion

Headless CMS acts as an ideal solution to traditional content management systems and is equipped with multiple benefits that help enhance the content creation and management process. It also helps developers try out various frameworks and templates and enhance the user experience without affecting the main CMS.

Headless CMS is also known to support omnichannel distribution that allows distribution and management of content over various platforms and channels since new platforms are continuously emerging in modern times. A headless CMS equipped with APIs helps integrate third-party data such as marketing automation and creates personalized experiences.

Now you know more about headless CMS, explore how you can build delightful omni-channel experiences with Decoupled Drupal.

 

Abhay Kumar