Headless CMS

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Headless CMS is a content management system that provides the content as data by using an API. Although it is not a new technology, it is gaining significant popularity in recent years. Also, headless CMSs are improving to be more flexible to meet the users’ needs. Headless CMS is the back-end of a CMS that is being used as a content repository without a connected frond-end or display layer. Headless CMS stores all the contents and assets and uses an API to distribute that to wherever it is needed. Headless CMS is also known as Content Database, Content Backend, Content Repository, or Content API.

What is meant by headless CMS?

The term “head” refers to where the content ends up, and the “body” is where the content is stored and authored. The term “headless” means that the CMS doesn’t care about how and where that content will be displayed. Headless CMS only focuses on storing and delivering structured content.


How does a headless CMS work?

Most headless CMSs are provided as SaaS which comes with an interface to manage the content. Headless CMSs use APIs to deliver content, that’s why they can also be referred to as API-first and API-driven CMS. These APIs get the data by using REST or GraphQL languages. After defining the types and fields for GraphQL, it can get the data needed from the back-end. This offers extra flexibility because the content isn’t rendered by the same tool. The dedicated end-user application renders the content. It is possible to combine frameworks, such as Next.js or React.js with headless architecture. In headless CMS, the content is not limited to websites.


What is a headless CMS used for?

Most importantly, headless CMS allows organizations to unify all content in a centralized content hub, which makes editing much easier. It also makes multi-channel publishing easier since it makes it possible to update content across all channels easily and quickly. It also enables developers to choose the front-end tool they prefer. Headless CMS also reduces the attack surface since the content is separated from the display layer.


What is the difference between CMS and headless CMS?

The main difference between CMS, which can also be referred to as traditional CMS, and headless CMS, is the headless CMS only focuses on storing the content and uses an API to display that content. Traditional CMSs also handle displaying the content properly.


How do you use headless CMS?

Most headless CMS solutions are provided as Saas, it is where the developers can manage the content. To be able to deliver the content, an API is needed, which allows for gathering the content needed. And finally, to be able to display the content properly, the developers should create the front-end for each platform the content will be consumed.


What is an example of a headless CMS?

There are various examples of headless CMSs. Every day the way we consume content is changing and headless CMS makes it easier to adapt to new methods. Headless CMS is mostly being used in eCommerce sites, Covid tracking projects, hospital management systems, inventory management applications, mobile catalogs, and VR projects.


Do you need a headless CMS?

It depends on the organizations needs. If your website is enough to provide all the content, headless CMS isn’t that crucial. However, especially large organizations that need to deliver their content on multiple channels, headless CMS drastically simplifies the content management. By detaching the database and presentation layers, organizations can easily manage and deliver their content from a single source.


Is Headless CMS the future?

New technologies are becoming more popular every day and it affects how we consume content online. While it makes it easier for end-users to reach the content they need, it makes it more complicated for organizations to deliver the same content to multiple channels immediately. The headless CMS eliminates this challenge, thus it is beneficial for large organizations. That’s why it is gaining more popularity recent years. However, traditional CMS and headless CMS serves differents purposes, thus headless CMS will not able to replace traditional CMS completely in near future.


What are the most popular headless CMSs?

Some of the most popular headless CMSs are:

  • Sanity.io
  • Agility CMS
  • Contentstack
  • Sanity
  • Strapi
  • Butter CMS
  • Contenful
  • Magnolia
  • Kentico Kontent
  • Directus
  • Bold
  • Graph CMS

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