The term “headless CMS” refers to a distinct type of Content Management System or CMS which is comprised solely of a backend. Like traditional CMSs, you can create, manage, track and store content throughout its lifecycle- from creation to publication. But it comes sans any specific front end delivery systems. Headless CMSs give developers the freedom of taking their pick from any front-end tool to present the created content. In this means of content delivery, the content is stored in the cloud and businesses and marketers can use the service through an API. Headless development lets businesses and other organizations creating content for mass consumption deliver it into hereto difficult to access platforms. With headless CMSs the content becomes accessible not only through apps but also wearable devices like smart watches and even VR headsets. Further, the technology also facilitates the translation of the content into many different languages.
However, keep in mind that there is a large distinction between headless CMSs and BCMs or Business content management software tools. Though both can be open-source, there is a critical difference between the two- the API of a headless CMDS allows for publication across all platforms while open-source BCMs only grant edit permissions to users from varied locations. To enhance ease of use, headless CMSs need to integrate smoothly and seamlessly with WYSIWYG editors.
In stark contrast to the traditional concept of CMSs, headless development systems don’t at all connect with any kind of front end and focuses solely on the content. With a headless CMS you publish content through an API after you have created or edited them. The CMS itself doesn’t affect the presentation front-end in any way giving you great flexibility in terms of its presentation. The key here is that headless CMS web development works like authors in the creation of content while the specifics of publishing platforms and formats vary not unlike paperback, hardcover and electronic variants of a literary work. Headless CMS work all the same irrespective of the content consumption platform.
- You can present your content on almost any connected device
- Developers can focus more on presentation aspects of content consumption
- You can use a wide array of frontend tools and frameworks for presenting the content
- You don’t need to worry about using single, unified systems
Top Headless CMS of our choice:
The Netlify headless CMS is perhaps the most popular of its kind platform using Git and React. It basically creates a single page app which works seamlessly with almost all static. site generators making it a fast and flexible option for businesses. You can implement HTTPS protocols with a single click, and it also allows for continuous deployment.
Developers using headless CMSs usually prefer Netlify over other similar headless content management systems for the creation of static apps and websites.
- User-friendly interface that editors can use with ease
- Content teams can work at tandem through the intuitive workflow system of the platform
- You can provide access to the CMS to any member of your team thanks to Git Gateway
- Hosting sites on this platform is as fast as it gets for static websites
Strapi is one of the leading headless CMS of its kind that offers free community plant to get started along with enterprise paid plan. It is one of the favourite Headless CMS with 48k+ stars on Github due to its high scalability and versatility without any restriction on API.
Strapi is built on Nodejs and ReactJs that also support multiple database SQLite MongoDB, MySQL, PostgresSQL. It also supports both GraphQL and REST API that give flexibility to use the best it is require. Admin panel has super rich modern user experience so as its become a best alternative to WordPress CMS.
Strapi is an open-source system built on Node.js and React that allows you to use the database of your choice as currently supports SQLite, MongoDB, MySQL, and Postgres. It’s no secret that Strapi positions itself as an alternative to WordPress.
- Community edition is always free to use
- Supports React, Vue, Angular, Next, Dart, Flutter, Python etc.
- In-build default admin panel with access control
- Flexibility to use for Mobile, Websites, eCommerce, mCommerce etc.
- Choose between RESTful API and GraphQL API
- Media Library with plugins to use right away
This is a cloud headless CMS platform that lets you generate and manage static content meant for consumption through GitHub Pages. The platform is noted for the great security features offers, not to mention the speed with which you can get the site up and running. Appernetic strikes a fine balance between user-friendly headless CMS features and the simplicity of static websites.
- It provides a responsive layout that elegantly adapts according to the accessing device
- You can visually navigate between files and file systems thanks to the tree view.
- Easy configuration
- Comes with a built-in editor that makes it easy for users to create web pages and supports the use of design templates and formatting toolbars.
- It does the work of a static website generator by predesigning website content instead of using queries in the CMS database which makes page load speed slow.
The GraphCMS is a native implementation of the GraphQL CMS and focuses on providing top-class user experience while at the same time keeping the content management part simple and easy. GraphCMS is developed by the firm GraphCMS GmbH. It works independently of front-ends and the APIs which hold the content can be delivered across apps, websites and almost any platform.
- It facilitates digital asset management and accordingly lets developers transform their digital assets across a large number of structures and formats.
- The platform makes complex content-related tasks like flexible content modelling and content personalization easy. With the platform, developers can create dynamic content for the target audience-personalizing it to match the needs and preferences of users through suitable content modelling.
- The authorization of API requests is conducted through authentication tokens.
Any discussion on the current scenario surrounding headless CMSs remains incomplete without mentioning Contentful. The platform lets developers concentrate more on the key pieces of the content presentation puzzle- the backend and the content itself. By using the RESTful API, developers gain full control over the variety of relevant technicalities like digital assets, the content and even all programming
languages. The platform lends itself to easy and fast caching and even supports external CDN integrations thereby making delivery of API payloads significantly faster.
- It can display JSON snippets
- Sports a Rich-text editor
- The platform fully separates API read and write functions that make it certain that the system is fault-tolerant
- It sports content modelling abilities through which you can let content administrators arrange content fields and modules including but not limited to images, text and even calendar’s.
This headless CMS platforms comes with an open-source license. It lets content administers conduct in-context editing offers full preview and content personalization features. The platform sports built-in developer-friendly features like hot deployment, CI/CD and slim configuration files in the YAML format. It integrates seamlessly with leading front-end
technologies like Angular, React and Vue and can tightly integrate with emerging technologies through the industry-leading REST API that the framework employs.
- Content administrators can edit SPAs or single page apps in context through the Visual SPA editor. They need no longer be confined to form-based input methods.
- You get native access to critical data and content from outside systems like analytics. No needless transfer back-and-forth through systems!
- It comes with pre-built connectors for new-age content aspects like digital asset management, marketing automation and website analytics.
Why consider using Headless CMSs?
Headless CMSs might be the best option available to you in certain situations that include the following:
- You want to develop websites or web apps using leading JS-based frameworks like Angular, React and VueJS.
- You need a software environment that lets you publish content across several platforms simultaneously
- You are trying to create native mobile apps
- A static site generator would be suitable for your use
Feeling more or rather most at home by content producers is the perhaps the most critical factor that will decide your headless CMS pick. You experience with the CMS interface and the API itself are what will likely drive your decision.
iSummation has an in-house team of professional developers who have been part of decoupled CMS development from its initial days. Our headless CMS development services stand out by their excellence and effectiveness. Get in touch with us today!