To best understand what a headless CMS is, it’s easiest comparing a headless CMS vs a traditional CMS.
While traditional CMS platforms manage the creation and display of content to a website, a headless CMS ‘decouples’ the management of content from the platform that displays it (e.g. website, mobile app, internet-enabled device etc). A headless CMS therefore offers greater flexibility to deliver content beyond the web, allowing you to embrace omni-channel and deliver your content via multiple of channels.
- Create once, deliver broadly: A headless CMS eliminates the need to duplicate your content efforts. It provides a centralised source of content for distribution across a wide range of channels, saving time and resources, and making it easy to keep content up-to-date across a range of channels.
- Faster project timelines: With a traditional CMS, there is a high degree of dependency. In other words, one stage of the process cannot begin until another is complete. With a headless CMS, all members of the team can be working simultaneously, enabling speedier project delivery.
- More design flexibility: With a headless CMS, you have the flexibility to create the presentation layer of your digital experience with any tools or programming language you like.
- Freedom to deploy best-of-breed microservices: A headless CMS provides the ideal foundation to take advantage of a microservices architecture approach. Rather than being locked into the tools provided by a traditional all-in-one CMS – such as email, marketing automation, forms and analytics – you have complete control to choose the tools that work best for the needs of your organisation.
If you’re trying to decide whether to ‘go headless’, below are a few considerations that may help to guide your decision. If you answer yes to any of these questions then headless CMS development may be a good option for your organisation:
- Do you have multiple delivery channels for your centralised content?
- Are you already reliant on one or more existing systems (such as mailing lists, forms, or e-commerce) that you wish to continue using?
- Do you have a strong preference for a presentation technology that does not provide content management?
- Do you have a need to quickly deploy a stand-alone campaign, range or product site?
Conversely, if you answer yes to these questions, you may be better off with a traditional CMS:
- Do you require your marketers or content editors to create their own pages with a high degree of flexibility?
- Do you need an all-in-one solution that provides content management, marketing automation, e-commerce, or other connected digital features?
Chat to our team on whether the best solution is to ‘go headless’. Tell us about your project and request a call back or strategy session.