In recent years, an increasing number of companies operating within the world of development are making the switch from the traditional(coupled) and decoupled CMS, to headless CMS. According to the Global Business Technographics Software Survey conducted and released by Forrester’s in October 2015, more than 70% of North American companies either use or plan to use a content management system in some capacity.
Traditional CMS tools offers little flexibility when it comes to integrating new delivery formats. Therefore, introducing mobile or IoT(internet of things) functionality to your application architecture may present challenges, which is why a growing number of developers are currently making the aforementioned switch.
Today, we’ll walk you through the essential differences between a headless CMS (eg. Storyblok, Contentful, Prismic) - and more traditional CMS (like Typo3 and Wordpress.)
The Basics Of Headless CMS
The first, and maybe most obvious characteristic separating the two systems, is the “head”. The term “headless” derives from the concept of removing the “head”, also known as the front-end, off of the “body”, which is the back-end or the content repository of the system.
Headless CMS was born from the industry progressively requiring further and greater focus on engaging customers with personalized content, through various channels and devices, at any point throughout the customer journey.
Technical Aspect Of Headless CMS
From a technical standpoint, headless CMS remains with an interface to add content and a RESTful API (JSON, XML) in order to deliver its content wherever you need it. Therefore, headless CMS does not care about how and where your content gets displayed, it’s only focus is on storing and delivering structured content.
Headless CMS simply uses API calls to render content from within the website’s codebase instead of creating complex relationships between code and content. Consequently, a great deal of developers find headless architecture easier to maintain. Unlike traditional CMS, headless CMS usually doesn’t require a host, although self-hosting options do exist. Another element making the headless option more viable is not having to deal with the endless security updates and other maintenance issues coming with the use of a traditional CMS like WordPress.
Benefits Of Headless CMS
There are a number of various reasons why a lot of developers are deciding to go with the cloud-based CMS option over the likes of traditional or decoupled CMS. The main benefits of this option are boiled down below.
For any CMS platform out there, similar to a great deal of other data systems on the market today, security plays a major role in determining its usability. One difference between the most popular CMS system in world today(which also has an awful history in terms of security) and the cloud-based choice is the ability to hide it. Headless CMS can be hidden in a variety of ways due to its separation from the user layers.
Some developers experience traditional CMS architecture to be frustratingly limiting. Using headless CMS provides the freedom to build a front-end framework that makes sense for your project. Since every headless CMS comes with a well-defined API, developers can spend more time focusing on their content creation instead of content management.
Keeping the back and front-end components separated usually opens up for the possibility of upgrading, customizing or maintaining any feature of your website with no downtime, without compromising any of its performance.
You have the possibility of displaying content to any device whilst being in control of the user experience, all from one convenient back-end.
5. Faster Production
Developers and creators does not need to concern themselves with how different front-ends display their content since all updates are pushed across all digital properties. This does not only improve production time, it also allows its user to reuse and combine individual content items.
Although managing content can be a tedious task, someone has to do it. Fortunately, the need for further personalization and increasingly seamless experiences across various platforms and devices are constantly pushing the Content Management discipline to evolve.
By finding a good and robust CMS you can eliminate much of the unnecessary hassle developers have to deal with, allowing them to put their focus and creative energy onto more purposeful assignments. Whilst using a headless CMS might not be the best option for every web project, it’s definitely worth familiarizing yourself with the concept since it’s going to become increasingly popular within the content management system world.