Headless CMS : A Complete Overview

Headless CMS : A Complete Overview

By Ridham ModiApr 14,2023

Headless CMS

Have you heard of the headless CMS? It’s the new buzz in the Content management world. And if you are planning to switch from traditional CMS to a headless one, we are here with our list of the top 5 open-source headless CMS to manage content easily. 

Read on to know the what and why of Headless CMS and the detailed description of the best headless cms 2023. 

It is often said that content is king. If that is the case, every company must pay more attention to its management. Therefore, it is more crucial than ever to provide engaging digital content and experiences. CMS is a lifesaver for these problems, and its use is increasing in businesses. As of March 2022, 73 million active websites used a content management system.

Organizations increasingly turn to headless CMS development rather than conventional CMS systems like Drupal or WordPress to manage website content quickly and easily with little technical expertise and maximum efficiency. This article lists some of the greatest open-source headless CMS solutions available today.

 

difference between headless Cms and proprietary

What is Headless CMS

 

A Headless CMS is a Content Management System (CMS) that lacks a graphical user interface, relying only on a backend system, database, and API to distribute information. For this reason, it is referred to as a “headless” system.

If you are unfamiliar with CMS, they are systems or software solutions for organizing and managing information. You may quickly create new stuff, save, organize, and tweak it. With an effective CMS like WordPress, Wix, Joomla, etc., you don’t need coding or technical experience to create a website and post content immediately.

Returning to the matter at hand, headless CMS systems handle content without a presentation layer or front end; instead, the material stored in it is disseminated through API calls to various devices and platforms.

 

WHAT IS PROPRIETARY CMS?

A proprietary content management system (CMS) is software a company or organization creates. The company that created the CMS holds the rights to it. The public can access or use the software after purchase. 

Examples of proprietary content management systems are Adobe Experience Manager, Kentico, and SiteCore.

 

WHAT IS OPEN-SOURCE CMS?

An open-source CMS is content management software with open access to the public. Anyone can use the CMS without purchasing or paying a fee. 

Examples of open-source CMS include Enonic, Drupal, and WordPress.

 

What are the advantages of using a Headless CMS over a traditional CMS?

The issue with conventional CMSs is their limitations on design and functionality. These systems consolidate frontend and backend features, making it more difficult to implement updates and reuse existing material.  

However, Headless CMS is useful since it eliminates the “head” or front end. It functions only in an app’s background and communicates with the user interface through an API. In this approach, creators may distribute their work anywhere they see fit. 

The market for headless CMS is estimated to be worth US$ 328.5 million in 2019. By 2027, analysts anticipate this will have risen to USD 1,628.6 million. Because of this, more and more companies are transitioning to this technology.

 

Why to Use Headless CMS?

advantage of using headless cms

  • Scalability: You can grow either the front or backend independently of the other without impacting the other. This allows you to modify and expand your site as needed without affecting its speed.
  • Make use of Flexibility: Self-hosted headless CMS allows you to spend more time developing engaging content and less time administering it than traditional CMS since you may modify your front end and use APIs.
  • Enhance Security: Because databases can’t access the publishing environment, and APIs are the only point of contact between your content and your technology stack, these solutions may greatly limit the frequency with which malware is introduced.
  • Compatibility: As headless CMS work with a wide variety of hardware and software, you can reliably distribute high-quality content to any audience, at any time, on any device. Your CMS may be integrated with other languages and code bases to make your work easier.
  • Full control: Websites without a “head” no longer need a “frontend” or regular upkeep. As a result, you’ll have unrestricted authority over your organization’s finances, workforce, and material resources.

How does a Headless CMS Work?

Unlike traditional CMS like WordPress or Drupal, a headless CMS stores and manages the content and delivers it via APIs. It does not define the front end or how the content should be displayed. 

This headless architecture enables the display of content across any device or platform. The major benefit that a headless architecture offers is the reusability of content for all devices. 

The content stored in a headless CMS is relevant, compatible with current platforms and devices, and compatible with future devices and technologies.

How does Headless architecture work? 

  • A headless CMS stores and manages content. (Backend)
  • Websites or Apps display the content. (frontend)
  • The content is shared or communicated via APIs. (link)

Use Cases for a Free Open Source Headless CMS

use case of headless CMS

Multiple Channels

In the digital era, businesses are expanding their reach on multiple platforms. Be it a website, mobile app, or social media, they must be available on multiple channels. 

Presence on multiple channels means more content. The headless CMS architecture plays a significant role in omnichannel content distribution. The headless CMS stores the content and communicates it via APIs to the frontend layer, regardless of its type. 

An API-first approach

Companies can apply an API-first approach to make their business more flexible and adaptable. As the business grows, new platforms and channels add to branding. 

An application programming interface (API) approach greatly benefits this scenario. APIs aim at connecting different software and applications for communication. 

A headless CMS keeps the backend and front separate while prioritizing using APIs to enable those applications to communicate with each other. 

Thus, this approach reuses the content with all sorts of devices and platforms. For example, with an API approach, businesses can modify their website branding without modifying the backend. They can change the front end and use the same content with the new front end. 

Multiplatform Content.

A headless CMS enables organizations to seamlessly manage and deliver content across multiple channels. Since the backend is separate, only a single content source is used for all diverse platforms. 

For instance, a multinational company with websites or apps across multiple countries can effortlessly deliver or update content on different websites. In addition, if an organization wants to add a new platform or website for a location, it can easily deploy the content for that website using the same backend. Thus, headless CMS supports and makes scalability or business expansion easier. 

  • Development Ease

A headless CMS architecture that separates frontend from backend benefits not just businesses and customers. The development teams also benefited. 

Backend developers can focus on their work and never have to bother or wait for the frontend team and vice-versa. The edits and updates made in the front end will not affect the backend design or team operations. Thus, it helps in smoother and more consistent design and development of web applications. It helps develop applications quickly without many iterations. 

What are Headless CMS? Here is list of Top 5 Headless CMS

top 5 headless CMS

STRAPI

Strapi CMS is one of the best headless CMS that facilitates developing and deploying bespoke APIs for online and mobile apps. Strapi separates the content management and display layers to provide developers with greater autonomy and flexibility.

The free headless CMS gives content producers a backend admin interface to manage and organize their material while giving developers access to the content through REST and GraphQL APIs. This allows frontend frameworks like React and Vue.js to be used for UI development, while Strapi is responsible for content management.

To further streamline the development process and increase scalability, Strapi offers a variety of features and plugins, such as user authentication, role-based access control, media management, and localization. It is a Node.js CMS and can be deployed on Heroku, AWS, or DigitalOcean, among other prominent hosting providers.

Some of Satrapi’s many advantages are:

  • Strapi JS allows you to use any of your preferred databases since it is compatible with Postgres, MongoDB, MySQL, and SQLite.
  • By granting people access to your APIs (based on responsibilities), you may take the necessary steps to safeguard the endpoints.
  • Web applications and sites may be made international by localizing content, translating text, and implementing the page structure for each language.
  • Documents may be produced automatically and managed with a single click.
  • The CMS Strapi supports GraphQL and REST APIs for data consumption. The one-click deployment tool makes hosting services like Render, Digital Ocean, and Heroku a breeze. To further expand its capabilities, you may add plugins like Sentry, Redis, Algolia, etc.

GHOST

The next on our list of the best headless CMS is Ghost. This top Node.js CMS framework may be used either through templates or in a headless way. It is open-source and powered by an API. Ghost allows developers to create frontend apps and interfaces using their favorite tools and frameworks by decoupling the content generation and management elements from the display layer.

Using Ghost as a headless CMS has several benefits: 

Blog content generation and management are at the heart of Ghost’s design, so the platform has a minimalistic interface.

  • Ghost is a quick and scalable alternative for handling massive volumes of material since it is based on cutting-edge web technologies and tuned for speed.
  • Due to its API-first philosophy, Ghost is adaptable and can seamlessly integrate with various systems.
  • Ghost is a free headless CMS available for modification and extension by other programmers. 
  • Ghost is designed with SEO in mind, so it has features like canonical tags, social network information, and automated XML sitemaps that all work together to make your material more discoverable.

TINA

Tina is a headless CMS built on Git, facilitating communication and cooperation between programmers and writers. Tina allows programmers to design a visual editor unique to their site. In addition, you can provide your whole team access to a user-friendly interface for website modifications while retaining the benefits of a Git workflow for your data.

While changing your website’s content, you may increase output and observe context-sensitive alterations. Since it is a headless CMS React, you can give your content team the tools to create complex pages without breaking a sweat by including an editing interface inside the React components. 

Use the Tina CMS CLI to set up your Tina CMS project quickly and easily. A new Next.js site may be established with Tina pre-installed using the CLI, or Tina can be added to a pre-existing site.

Some of the major advantages of TINA CMS are as follows:

  • Tina CMS allows for live editing, meaning any changes you make will be reflected instantly. You may see the results of your edits immediately, allowing you to make any adjustments as you go.
  • The interface of Tina CMS may be modified to meet the demands of the individual user. You may personalize the content production process by selecting which fields to show, modifying the layout, and developing unique processes.
  • Tina CMS is built to work with your current technology stack, so you can use it with your favorite frontend framework (like React or Vue.js) and connect it to your existing backend resources (like an API or database).
  • Tina CMS employs Git for its version control system, allowing you to monitor how your material evolves, work with others, and revert to older versions if required.
  • Tina Material Management System’s malleable data modeling allows you to determine the structure of your material in any way you choose. You may set up several content kinds and configure additional fields to collect your desired information.

NETLIFY

The Netlify CMS is a single React program and one of the best open-source CMS. It is compatible with several Git platform APIs and may be used to design and develop special previews, user interface widgets, editor plugins, and backends. 

Developers can build versatile and speedier online projects using this Open-Source, Headless CMS and static site generator. The material is versioned and published across several channels, and developers can even manage content changes directly in Git thanks to this headless CMS open source. As a result, managing versions is easier.

You may provide editors with a nice UI and straightforward workflows with the open-source content management system Netlify CMS for your Git workflow. It may be used with any static site generator to create more agile and quick-loading websites. Additionally, it facilitates content changes within Git and multi-channel publications.

Some of the most prominent advantages of Netlify are: 

  • Netlify CMS is built with simplicity in mind, making it accessible even to those without any prior experience with content management systems. Editors can learn how to code to create, update, and publish material because of the system’s user-friendly interface.
  • Git-based version control: Because Netlify CMS employs Git for version control, all content changes are recorded and may be undone with ease. As a bonus, this facilitates cooperative content production and revisions among several team members.
  • Netlify CMS is extremely configurable, enabling programmers to build unique content models and adjust settings to meet their requirements. It also supports a large selection of plugins and connectors that may be used to increase its capabilities.
  • SEO-friendly: Netlify CMS is meant to be SEO-friendly, giving features such as automated sitemap production, customizable meta tags, and support for canonical URLs.
  • You can deploy your content to a worldwide content delivery network (CDN) with the help of Netlify’s deployment and hosting services, ensuring its speed, security, and scalability.

KeystoneJS 

KeystoneJS is a robust & one of the best open-source cms developed on top of Node.js and MongoDB. It’s intended to simplify the development of scalable, data-driven websites and programs. These flexible and adaptable headless cms open source allows you to build just the features you need, such as automatic CRUD, event hooks, and session management. The templates, styles, and designs used in the administration panel are all easily adaptable based on the underlying data model.

Some benefits of using Keystone CMS include the following:

  • You may determine the structure of your material with the help of Keystone CMS’s powerful data modeling system, which lets you construct your data models. You may set up several content kinds and configure additional fields to collect your desired information.
  • Keystone CMS’s admin interface is flexible enough to let you build a unique content management system for your editors. You may personalize the content production process by selecting which fields to show, modifying the layout, and developing unique processes.
  • Keystone CMS is founded on the robust and scalable technologies of Node.js and MongoDB. This facilitates the developing and distribution of highly available, scalable programs that process massive amounts of data.
  • Keystone’s active community is responsible for the system’s ongoing development and enhancement. Because of this, you can count on the platform to receive regular updates and maintenance.

 

Final Thoughts

So, here is the list of the best CMS 2023. We hope now you can easily choose a headless CMS for your websites. The choice of a CMS will depend on the specific needs of your web project. We hope that the above list will make your decision easier. 

If you need professional help or looking for CMS development services contact Glasier inc at +91 9099020109 or drop us a line at info@glasierinc.com to book a free consultation. 

FAQs

When properly built and maintained, headless CMS open-source systems may provide the same level of security as proprietary CMS platforms. Updating your content management system and any add-ons or plugins to the newest versions and adhering to best hosting security practices are crucial.

In many cases, CMS platforms are preferable to proprietary CMS systems because they are less expensive, more adaptable, and easier to modify. They also allow for a more transparent and cooperative design process and seamless integration with existing infrastructure.

WordPress is a flexible CMS and it can be used as a headless CMS. When in a website, WordPress is used as the backend software for managing content; it is called headless WordPress.

Businesses managing content on multiple channels can benefit from headless CMS. It helps in omnichannel publishing with no changes in the backend. Also, more and more organizations are investing in headless CMS technology. So, technology is here to stay and can be said as the future of content management systems.
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