A recent Forrester research shows that almost 70% of the respondents either use or are planning to implement a content management system (CMS) in one form or the other. But unfortunately, the pace at which CMS tools are evolving is slower than the rapid strides taken by technology evolution. So it is not uncommon to see new age tech like mobility and IoT finding it difficult to see total integrations with the monolithic CMS architectures.
This is precisely why developers are popularizing the use of headless CMS. Interested to see what it is and how it benefits the development project? Then read on and be informed.
Introducing the concept
Traditional CMS tools consisted of a backend and frontend to work. Decoupling the two would denote a headless CMS. So while the backend tech will still be integrated with the CMS, for front-end integration, it will make use of an API. This approach will help developers to deliver content as a service (CaaS) via an API.
In simpler terms, the backend and frontend will now be managed by two different servers. CMSs like Drupal and WordPress typically have the frontend presentation integrated through the multiple themes available to developers. But now the preference is for a headless CMS, where developers can focus on content management, administrative, and editorial activities while requesting front-end access via an API.
Characteristics of a headless CMS
We see the following differentiating characteristics with a headless CMS architecture-
1 – Front end decoupling
With the flexibility to disassociate front end, developers can handle presentation in a number of ways including interactive Angular JS, to static generators, or even mobile apps.
2 – Content as a Service
In this framework, content is available through a RESTful web-service API
3 – Backend Similarities
Just like traditional CMS, a database-driven CMS is maintained by developers to have an administrative interface behind the scenes.
Why headless CMS needs to be a part of smart development?
A number of advantages prompt developers to go for headless CMS:
1 – A Better scope of the functionality
The same content can be delivered to a website, an app, or any actuator/ connector that is a part of IoT architecture.
2 – Better development focus
Every project needs a different frontend framework based on its distinct technical specification and use case. With a headless CMS, developers can focus more on the creation of content rather than its management.
3 – Better security
Vulnerabilities like DDoS attacks can be effectively countered with the headless CMS policy. This is driven by the fact that the content publishing front-end is not directly available from a CMS database and both are hosted on different servers.
4 – Better flexibility
Headless CMS allows for only creation, retrieving, updating, or deletion (CRUD) of the content. As an outcome, you can use any front-end tool to present the content correctly – from smartwatches and wearables to IOT and mobile apps.
Enterprise headless CMS to watch out for
Here are the top 5 headless CMS solutions worth exploring for the developers:
Though a relatively new entrant, it has become popular because of the short learning curve it presents. It allows the quick and easy building of content APIs for use across multiple types of front end platforms. It uses GraphQL instead of REST.
The company delivers full headless CMS to allow for simplified CMS development with features like custom content types and WYSIWYG editing capabilities. The CMS seeks to make DevOps easy by handling the infrastructure side of development.
In case your development project needs deeply customized databases, then Directus can be a good choice. It provides RESTful APIs and comprises of power-packed features like internal extension points, asset management, versioning, and commenting.
Contentful offers a range of features at a cost-effective price point. This makes it a popular option for startups and SMEs. For those who are used to working with the traditional architecture, getting used to the decoupled system may take time as developers would need to familiarize themselves with terms like content modeling.
This CMS too offers a ‘liquid’ state of front-end integration via API. As a result ,the content can flow into any channel. It also offers features like email marketing integration and drag-and-drop content modelling.
To sign off
With the rising demand for headless CMS, we can expect to see a lot more exciting launches happening in the near future. Stay tuned as we bring more updates about headless CMS in upcoming posts.