7 December 2022
Chiara Hiller, Marketing Editor
It's 2023 and everyone is talking about headless CMS, short for headless content management system.
But have you ever wondered: What is a headless CMS? And why it's considered so useful?
If you're curious, keep reading because this blog post is for you.
So what is the buzz around headless CMS really about? Headless CMS stands for headless content management system. And what does that actually mean? A content management system is a tool that makes it easier to develop, edit, save and publish digital content, such as websites, apps, e-commerce, newsletters and more.
If a content management system is headless, like caisy, that means the backend (the part where content is created and managed) and the frontend (the interface that users get to see) are separated. No frontend = no head. A perfect example for “less is more”.
Because headless allows for limitless possibilities: Developers can retrieve content from the backend using application programming interfaces (APIs) like GraphQL and RestAPI. Then they are free to build the frontend independently to be displayed on any device, platform or channel using any framework/technology of their choice. This is the perfect foundation for an omnichannel strategy.
Now that we have a solid understanding of what a headless CMS is, let's take a closer look at how it differs from traditional CMS. Unlike headless CMS, traditional (monolithic) content management systems have a tightly integrated backend and frontend, meaning the presentation of content is rigidly defined. Some common examples of traditional CMS include WordPress, Drupal, and Sitecore.
For a quick comparison, here's a table highlighting the key differences between headless and traditional CMS.
Headless CMS vs traditional CMS:
Frontend and backend connected
Frontend and backend separated
Unlimited devices, channels and platforms
Limited to one programming language, mostly comes with a fixed templating language
Developers can choose their progamming language of choice, build ontop of command standards like Graphql, allowing for lots of customization and integration with other API based systems
Get started fast, sometimes without developers
Developers are needed, takes more work to get started
Combined front-end and back-end systems come with security risks
Reduced risk of security threats such as SQL injection, protecting sensitive content and user data
For more details on headless vs traditional CMS read this blog post.
Now that we've covered the basics of headless CMS technology, its advantages, and differences from traditional CMS, let's consider when to implement a headless CMS solution like caisy and what practical benefits it offers.
In today's world, the devices, channels, and platforms we use to consume content are constantly changing. A headless CMS provides the agility and scalability needed to keep your content relevant and future-proof. A good example for a practical use case is an enterprise website with an omnichannel strategy. A headless CMS allows the company to distribute their content to a variety of channels and devices simply by calling the API, ultimately improving SEO, performance, and user experience.
By separating the backend (content management) and frontend (user interface), a headless CMS ensures that your content remains intact and reusable, even if you decide to switch technologies in the future. Furthermore, should you ever wish to add more functionalities, support new platforms or devices, a headless CMS is the right choice.
Another common reason for switching to a headless CMS is scalability. Content changes and deployments can be made quicker and easier, allowing for more efficient management. Editing content in one place ensures all websites, apps, and other systems are updated simultaneously, making it a lot easier to scale platforms or add new integrations.
The Headless CMS architecture allows you to focus on the user experience, content creation and distribution while freeing you from the limitations of a traditional monolithic CMS. This makes it easier for you to evolve your digital strategy as your needs change. Still, to set up a content model for working with a headless CMS, technical and development knowledge is needed.
Some of the common solutions built with headless CMS are static websites, web apps, mobile apps, e-commerce, and even content for smart devices, but there are no limitations. Check the caisy solutions page to learn more.
Nevertheless, whether you should choose a traditional or a headless CMS depends on your content strategy and individual needs.
Are you interested in seeing a headless CMS in action? Sign up today (we offer a generous free plan) and start building projects with caisy.