If you are a developer or managing a dev team, you surely must have heard about the emergence and adoption of headless CMSs. Through articles about their popularity, or perhaps through comparisons between monolithic CMSs and headless CMSs you may have questioned whether you or your team should move forward with this trend?
In this article, we will attempt to give you an overview and a convincing set of reasons to now seriously consider adopting a headless CMS solution for your project.
A headless CMS is a content management system that allows you and members across your organization to manage and write content, and then access it across all your applications using an API.
It is differing from a monolithic CMS in the sense that the presentation layer (the "head") is not coupled to the CMS. Rather, you control the presentation for each channel with the appropriate front-end tech suited to that channel. For example, native phone apps versus an IoT device channel versus the web.
In a sense, the front-end code is now freed from ancient CMS dictatorship.
It's the front-end dev revolution.
Why is this revolution so important and why is it the new trend?
We will attempt to give you an overview and a convincing set of reasons to now seriously consider adopting a headless CMS solution for your project.
Developers maintain "legacy" software due to the pain and cost involved in updating their applications. Companies thus fail to innovate and fall behind in the marketplace.
You future-proof your application by separating your presentation layer from your data and logic layer. New greenfield projects are easy to get up and started with a headless CMS approach. Programmers adopt the headless CMS approach to the parts of their existing stack where it makes sense. They carve out pieces and use APIs to make it all work together.
Designers and UX professionals may use modern tools without the traditional limitations. Free of limitations, designers and UX professionals are able to unleash their full creativity. The bottom line is that by adopting a headless CMS approach you ensure the freedom to adopt any future tech that makes sense then. You will know today, that changes can occur in the future without changing your entire codebase.
Content management has historically included magazines, billboards, newspapers, etc... The arrival of the digital revolution of the 90s added web pages. For many years, displaying content as a web page was the only way on the internet. Today, content management includes native phone apps and other IoT device channels.
The number of connected devices is increasing rapidly. With a headless CMS, you can adopt an omnichannel approach, thereby offering a seamless experience to your users. Whether your users are in contact with you online from a desktop or mobile device, by Alexa, or in a brick-and-mortar store.
Tomorrow, your content will even be consumed in ways you wouldn't have expected before.
The ability to manage your content for multiple channels is a fundamental reason to implement a headless CMS solution for your project or company.
Every year brands raise the bar for improved user experiences. As standards rise, so do the expectations of your users.
You can make use of a headless CMS and offer cutting-edge digital tailored experiences across any device. Thereby you ensure your features for user loyalty, e-commerce or product information offer the same omnichannel experience. Naturally, a better user experience leads your users to become fans and advocates of your brand.
Another aspect, headless CMSs can help answer to accessibility. A headless CMS can assist developers struggling with web accessibility to be compliant and offer a similar level of experience to all users.
Instead of having content scattered on many different platforms and having to use tens of solutions just to get your content published, you can manage all of it from a single location.
Headless CMSs help you to do that by making your content available in a universal format and centralizing content management. That way, you manage your content from a single, agnostic and neutral place.
A headless CMS will let you and your dev team prototype, test and deploy your applications efficiently. Developers and teams using headless CMSs save time and are able to iterate faster due to a singular focus on the front-end user experience and accomplishment of business objectives.
A headless CMS allows companies to try out new and additional channels without breaking or even touching existing and workable parts of the overall project. Risky channel tests become relatively benign and companies are able to move fast to take advantage of new opportunities.
Microservices are a big evolution in modern software architecture. Internal and external services make up a system all connected via their APIs to your application. By doing that, you can quickly stitch together applications using many APIs. Not only is it often easier to do it that way, but you can also adopt expert solutions to get the best within their specific domains.
Microservice adoption using a headless CMS makes building complete applications easier.
You can check this informative article from Altkom Software, it explains how to use headless CMS as a microservice.
Security is the top priority as long as CMS is concerned. Some of the most used traditional CMSs in the world have been known for having terrible security breaches.
When you're using a headless CMS, content management admin is not needed on top of your website. You configure all components when building the website. By doing that, you don't need a database, and that means no data storage point to be attacked. And sensitive content can be secured by using authentication services and secure protocol.
It gives an extra layer of security and protection against the millions of anonymous attacks happening each month.
Let's say you want to refresh your website. With a monolithic CMS, you would usually restart from scratch and rebuild everything. Yet, those using a headless CMS can refresh a section or part of the entire application without a complete rebuild.
With a technology-agnostic headless CMS, any front-end framework can be used to build your stack. This allows your existing developers to use whatever technology they are already familiar with.
Content creators can create their content in parallel with the developer team allowing for greater efficiency and project management. Developers can innovate on the front-end without any disruption to the efforts of those who must create content for any channel. This separation and parallel workflow speed up your time-to-market.
As a site owner, you prepare your website for the future: your content sits neatly in an API and you can very easily refresh your design without having to re-implement the whole CMS. It doesn't matter if in the future you have to add another channel or device, your content is available wherever it needs to exist.
If your designed application is outdated, refreshing your website will be much faster than with a traditional CMS.
By adopting a headless CMS you future-proof your tech stack by making it API first and so component/module based which allows a seamless transition to better tech for each part into the future.
Content is gold. And that gold needs proper investment. You can scale as high and fast as possible; a lightweight headless CMS allows you to publish as much content as you desire and scale it across many channels quickly.
On top of that, by keeping the back-end and front-end separated, you can upgrade your applications, customize your website or redesign your next campaign without downtime for maintenance and all without compromising performance.
Now that you know the key benefits of a headless CMS, you might be interested in starting your next project with this technology.
Whether you’re a CTO or a developer working for an omnichannel brand, you'll see the difference when you get started.
Strapi.io is the most advanced Node.JS based open-source headless CMS. In minutes, you will be able to create your first content type and immediately make it available through a lightweight API.
We are always available for our community so feel free to reach out whenever needed!
Yves was the second hire for Strapi back in 2018. Since then, he's been curiously dwelling into various aspects of marketing. He's a creative art lover and in his free time loves to sing, dogs, and travels.