Headless CMS

Submitted by dryer on Sat, 06/18/2016 - 10:23
headless cms

Content Management Systems (CMS) are the most popular type of software powering websites. As the name clearly states they are used to create and manage information of all types. Content is no longer limited to being just text, but video and sound as well.

In addition to the core functionalities a CMS is generally expected to manage the layout and structure of a website as well. This translates to more features, which in turn means added complexity. With a massive monolithic CMS you can have all the features, but development is showed down.

This is why traditional CMSes are facing a new breed of competition from CaaS / Content as a Service operators. They only focus on the core activity of storing and managing content. This means that the creation of a web site or a web application can be decoupled from the management system itself. This content is then exposed in pure form through a public interface such as GraphQL or a RESTful API.

For large organizations a headless CMS offers flexibility and agility in site creation and deployment. Design and development partners can use a central and isolated content feed where content editors themselves can use a familiar interface:

In a world where content is consumed via countless channels and form factors across mobile, web and IoT, Built.io Contentstack reimagines content management by decoupling code from content. Business users manage content – no training or development required. Developers can create cross-platform apps and take advantage of a headless CMS that delivers content through APIs. With an architecture that’s extensible – but without the bloat of legacy CMS – Built.io Contentstack cuts down on infrastructure, maintenance, cost and complexity.

There are a number of options in the wild, including ones that build on existing CMS heritage and opening up new APIs. In addition there are specialised services like Contentful, Prismic and Directus. While all of them are valid options, it is worth understanding what are the benefits and disadvantages of decoupling with a headless CMS.