Content and its effect on clients is one of the most powerful things on the internet nowadays.
The production and delivery of content can result in an iconic digital experience, but a poor one can be a major roadblock to your clients taking an effective digital trip.
As a result, to stay competitive, every organization must manage and supply high-quality content.
A new form of Content Management System (CMS) is on the rise to serve content.
At this time, it appears like Headless CMS is unstoppable, thus Hashdork has chosen to provide insights into Headless CMS and the finest platform for 2022.
What is Traditional CMS?
We normally refer to classic CMSs when we talk about content management systems.
A typical CMS (also known as a linked CMS) is a software tool that consists of two sub-systems: one for storing and managing information (referred to as the “back-end”), and another for presenting that material to end-users (referred to as the “front-end” system).
Traditional content management systems (CMSs) give website owners everything they need to manage and publish digital material, including back-end tools for organizing digital assets on the webserver and front-end formatting tools like WYSIWYG editors for presenting it on a web page.
They are designed particularly for handling website content. WordPress, CMS Hub, Drupal, and other well-known content management systems are all linked.
These CMSs, in general, contain content databases, a mechanism to produce, read, and update that content, and interface tools for turning that information into web pages.
What is a Headless CMS?
A headless CMS is one that just manages back-end content. Unlike a traditional CMS, a headless CMS has no control over how content is shown to end-users.
An application programming interface(API), rather than a front-end system, is used by a headless CMS to offer its stored resources.
The API is basically a set of protocols that can be used by any software program to get data from the CMS. In the creation of headless CMSs, REST APIs are commonly employed.
An external publishing tool can use the API to fetch content from the headless CMS and present it on any channel, whether it’s a website or not.
Marketers and content producers leverage a WYSIWYG-like editing interface to contribute material to a headless CMS, which appears very like or identical to a backend like WordPress.
Developers can use their favorite tools to construct flexible, attractive interfaces when the backend administration of the site’s content is separated from the frontend that shows it.
To build quick, secure, and scalable sites, they are free to employ React and GraphQL, as well as a Git process.
Why use Headless CMS?
The concept of a headless CMS might appear confusing at first. Why would you want to get rid of the tools that make it easier to post material to your website?
But here’s the thing: today’s internet is much more than just websites and web pages, and businesses are capitalizing on it.
Content can be presented through mobile applications, ads, digital assistants, smartwatches, televisions, and any other gadget with an internet connection. Multichannel distribution is difficult at best and impossible at worst with a standard website-oriented CMS.
Without a way to show the material itself, a headless CMS isn’t much use.
The advantage of a headless architecture, on the other hand, is that it allows developers to apply their own bespoke front-end solutions to raw material rather than customizing a standard CMS to meet their requirements.
The front-end delivery system can accept data from the CMS and format it whatever it wants, as long as it knows how to use the CMS’s API.
To put it another way, developers can attach as many “heads” (display channels) as they like to the “body” (CMS), which can be quite useful.
Top 5 Headless CMS Platforms
The following are the top headless CMS platforms:
- Butter CMS
Strapi is an open-source Node.js headless content management system that relies on contributors. After installation, Strapi produces a functioning RESTful API or uses GraphQL for developers in minutes.
A configurable API is used to make data available. Strapi is a self-hosted content management system rather than a SaaS service. In the near future, the organization will provide a hosted version.
Strapi’s main purpose is to create a reliable API while also providing an easy-to-use admin interface.
While Strapi offers features that make managing user sessions and apps easier, users have had issues with the drag-and-drop interface and array of data types occasionally.
It lets you create your own content-type structure, including categories like Text, Date, Media, Password, Relation, and Number. You can also customize the API code by editing it.
It also has auto-generated documentation, framework integration, and plugin ecosystems that are ready to use.
- It comes with a fantastic interface for modeling data straight out of the box. This implies you won’t have to write queries or build database tables.
- It also allows you to manage who can use your APIs to consume your data.
- It began as a NodeJS MVC framework, and it remains such internally. You can easily add new API endpoints as needed and build custom logic in models and controllers to support them.
- You can construct any type of relational data using Strapi’s admin UI, including One-to-Many and Many-to-Many connections.
- It provides documented REST and GraphQL APIs right out of the box. You can obtain the Swagger/GraphQL documentation for free if you build your entities in the Strapi Admin.
- It handles any form of content type creation/updates transparently into the database. This implies that you must manually manage database migrations across numerous environments.
You can start using the platform with its community plan, which is free forever. It also provides premium plans which start from $9/admin user/month. In the near future, the organization will provide a hosted version.
Sanity is one of the greatest headless CMSs on the market, as organizations like Nike, Figma, National Geographic, and others have demonstrated by utilizing it.
In terms of growth, sanity is quite adaptable. Open-source support, various plug-ins, and the flexibility to construct bespoke components as needed allow for extensive customization.
Live previews, real-time collaboration, and full version history are all included out of the box. It offers a lot more flexibility, but it also requires a lot more technical expertise to run.
It is a cloud-based headless CMS system that allows members of your content team to collaborate in real-time.
Creators and marketers can offer comments and ideas on any piece of content, as well as track changes in the content log, within the Sanity Studio editor.
- It is quite flexible.
- Aside from standard online experiences, you might have a variety of use cases.
- There are a lot of ready-to-use plugins and extensions.
- Documentation that is well-written and easy to understand.
- To set up the product, advanced technical knowledge is required.
- It needs more management than other platforms.
You can start using the platform with its community plan, which is free forever. It also provides premium plans which start from $99/project/month.
If you have a modern SQL database, Directus is a fantastic headless CMS. It’s developed in vue.js, the public API is RESTful, and it’s powered by Node.js. Because Directus is open-source, you can use it without any restrictions.
The product package includes a free self-hosted admin app for editors and a content API for developers.
It’s notable for allowing you to pick and choose the libraries, tools, and stacks you want for your project. Developers can use Directus to access content via an API or SDK, a direct database connection, or as a standalone application.
The Admin App also enables non-IT users to manage material. The platform offers a robust version control mechanism that allows for version rollbacks and retrieval.
It is best suited for tasks that require a lightweight and highly adaptable solution.
- It’s free and open source.
- It supports many hosting options, including self-hosting and multiplatform hosting.
- The database has a history as well as a backup.
- It is simple to use even for non-technical individuals.
- It includes a dynamic API reference.
- It is well documented.
- Relational databases are the only ones that can be used.
- API has unique characteristics to which you must adapt.
You can start using the platform with its community cloud plan, which is free forever. It also provides premium plans which start from $25/month.
4. Butter CMS
Butter CMS is a headless CMS that allows for seamless data migration from older CMS systems.
Custom content types, a media library, a CDN for assets, a testing environment, webhooks, and more features are included in ButterCMS.
Flexible content modeling, multi-site and environment support, extensive revision history, scheduling, and much more are all available. It offers a user interface that is pleasant, clean, and easy to use.
The dashboard, blog posts, pages, collections, media library, users, and valuable links such as their knowledge base and documentation are all available from the left-hand sidebar.
Or was designed from the ground up with developers in mind to allow for the quickest possible integration.
- It offers a simple and user-friendly UI.
- It includes a blog engine by default.
- Tags can help you organize your Media Library.
- Before saving your photographs to the Media Library, you can modify them.
- There is no autosave.
- It is due to the absence of an advanced rich text field and a renderer plugin.
- It is difficult to maintain content for sites that are growing in size and complexity.
You can try the platform for free. It offers premium plans which start from $83/month.
Contentful is a cloud-based headless CMS geared for businesses that are widely recognized as one of the best SaaS CMSs available.
Top companies like Audible, Lyft, and Spotify use it. This solution aims to provide developers with the freedom they want while also providing marketers with the content management and interface they expect.
Contentful’s API interfaces with any tech stack, allowing your development team to use their chosen tools for content display.
Easy-to-use administration capabilities, interfaces with cloud storage services like Dropbox, and a robust content editing experience will appeal to content creators.
Contentful is not a CMS; rather, it is a content infrastructure or CDN that provides content.
It enables you to construct your own content models and schemas to be presented.
- The UI is clean and uncluttered, focusing on the information rather than external variables.
- This CMS is easily extensible and can offer access to dynamic material.
- The version control is excellent.
- It includes excellent built-in versioning tools, including history and draught states, making it simple to make changes and reverse as necessary.
- Most likely, you’ll need the help of a developer.
- The user interface is not as user-friendly as that of other server-based CMS solutions.
You can start using the platform with its community plan, which is free forever. It also provides a premium plan for teams which is at $489/month.
Headless CMS Use Cases
A headless CMS can send content to any channel, be it an iOS app, a single-page web app, or digital signage. Following are some use cases:
1. Build Native Applications
The headless CMS was born in native apps. A typical CMS is unsuitable for delivering raw material for your new app, however, a headless CMS allows you to keep control.
It’s great for when your iOS or Android app contains text or digital assets that you wish to keep up to date regularly.
In this scenario, the headless CMS enables content management features such as picture handling, workflow approvals, publication dates, and taxonomy.
2. Label & Text Management
Assume you’re developing an internet retail app. It’s not content-driven, and it needs so much bespoke code and back-end connectors that your engineers would never consider implementing it using a standard CMS.
But the app still requires some type of content management system—consider all of those photos, labels, help instructions, and localized information.
Your team can develop and manage content in a controlled manner with a headless CMS.
3. IoT & Wearables
So, your company has chosen to enter the realm of wearables and IoT. It’s a forward-thinking concept, but one that a typical CMS could never handle. However, with a headless CMS, developers are free to create innovative interfaces that were previously hampered by CMS coupling constraints.
Creating, organizing, and delivering high-quality content is critical for every company that wants to compete online.
Finally, we can state unequivocally that selecting the correct headless CMS has a direct impact on your business.
All of this suggests that the headless method has a bright future ahead of it, and we can look forward to many exciting developments.