Headless CMS —

All you need to know: Headless CMS in 2022

by Arso and Ilona
15 min
23. Nov 2021.

Headless CMS is the perfect answer for all who need unlimited flexibility for their presentation layer. Learn what’s headless CMS and how it can be helpful to you.

Headless CMS recently boomed with its popularity. It’s not surprising. There’s now a more flexible solution instead of a limited webpage framework, impossible to adapt to other platforms. And developers are thrilled with it. And while there are many benefits (and we’ll present some a bit later), it is first essential to understand what headless CMS is and who it is for. Let’s dig in.

WHAT IS HEADLESS CMS?

Headless CMS is a type of content management system. Headless CMSs you use for creating, editing, archiving, publishing, and distributing content on your website. You write blog posts to inform your readers, photos, recipes, etc. WordPress is an example of CMS. But WordPress is a traditional CMS. Classic CMS puts all the website content into one big bucket. Your text, images, products, HTML code (developers use for building web), and CSS (a designer's framework). To put it differently, the authoring, storing, and rendering content happens all in one place. That's why this type of CMS is called coupled CMS. The so-called 'what you get is what you see' approach. If you pick one of their themes, there's not much space for changes. The CMS becomes the principal place of your website. The boss.

How’s headless CMS different?

At the same time, a headless CMS is an extension and a tightening of a classic CMS. The system takes in integral components to make it compatible with various outputs, applications, and platforms. This is possible because the front-end and backend of a headless CMS aren’t monolithically linked with each other anymore. So basically, we are talking about decoupled CMS. Instead of storing all the data in one place, building and having visual elements in that same place, headless CMS only manages the data itself. It focuses exclusively on managing content rather than its presentation. It has no front-end, hence, no “head.” It’s built for two purposes: an editor interfaces for managing content and an API for developers who access the content and build applications.

You also now have an explanation if you wondered how it delivers the content. It provides an API (RESTful API) that can consume in any way you want. Web pages, iOS or Android apps, smartwatches and TVs, and even intelligent fridges can get content from the same API if you have one. Usually, you send an HTTP request to an API endpoint. Instead of getting a web page, you typically get a JSON response to better integrate with other applications. You skip all those complex relationships between code and content. Awesome, right? If you want to know all the differences, you can check them here: Traditional CMS vs. Headless CMS - The Ultimate Comparison

WHY SHOULD YOU USE HEADLESS CMS?

Do you know what business owners, web developers, and authors have in common? Believe it or not, sometimes they have plenty of similar problems regarding the web they own or work on. And they all can benefit from the same solution. Authors who take care of their blog have quite a lot of work before even writing a letter. They need to take care of configuring a web server, installing to the CMS, keep track of upgrades, backup, security, and performance. Only after all that is handled they can work on their writing. It's the same with the business owners selling via the website. Sometimes it's frustrating. Now, you might think: "But, there are Content Management System providers that offer managed cloud hosting. They solve all the problems for us, right?" Wrong. What they miss the most is the flexibility: the possibility to suit the exact needs you have. On the other side of the same coin, there are web developers and web designers. To make the best of each website and give quality service to their clients, they NEED to play with that code. They need to reorganize the elements and make them visually better. Lack of customization is their main problem with older CMSes. With WordPress, for example. Do you recognize yourself in any of these situations? Headless CMS, therefore, is THE one solution to all these problems.

This brings us to maybe the most crucial question:

HOW can they (hence you) benefit from it?

  • Content creators, such as marketers, copywriters, editors, will experience significant improvements in their digital experience. Headless CMS is the only service that lets you create and store the content but doesn’t care about rendering. It improves your efficiency and takes off the burden of solving technical problems you know nothing about.

  • Developers, product owners, and other technical people benefit because headless CMS is built with an external API. That means complete control over the content for them and delivering the best possible solution for their clients. In other words, headless content is easier to navigate and manipulate.

  • Large businesses that need a collaborative framework have the possibility of brainstorming, editing, and working together to final publication. Instead of endless back-and-forth emails or full Slack channels, everything about content is in one place, and everyone can see it.

  • All who need to publish data to multiple channels now can do it more efficiently. For example, a project with an app, widget, and website pulling the same content can do it from the same platform. Since the content is apart from the backend, you have more control over integrating with the data.

Is Headless CMS a good fit for your business?

The immediate benefits of switching to a headless CMS are material. Only by implementing headless CMS to your content, you can get:

  • faster website loading time

  • better SEO optimization

  • fast deployment time

…and much more. If you’re still not convinced why you should give headless CMS a try, check our blog post: Top 5 advantages of headless CMS over a traditional CMS.

Delivering content via API to any device from the same backend

A pretty cool feature in the headline, correct? When we’re talking about headless CMS in its simplest terms, it’s precisely what it is. Traditional CMSes focus on appealing design for the user, leaving a hell of a mess in the backend.

Headless CMS enables simplicity and order in the backend, reusable content data, and leaves the front-end part to you.

Kinds of Headless CMS

The first step in understanding different types of CMS is to understand their underlying technologies.

API-based CMS

An API-based CMS, API-first CMS, or API-driven CMS is a headless CMS that serves content via an API, typically a REST API or GraphQL, separating content presentation. So, you get your data and its structure, but it is up to you to choose which framework and language you will use to work with it. API-driven headless CMS architecture allows developers to build the required front-end or other types of integrations. Reactions to specific updates and different outputs from the CMS must also be handled directly. The CMS handles content storage, editing, and general management.

Advantages of API-based CMS

Suitable for multiple frontends

  With the help of API, single, headless CMSs can easily serve multiple front-ends.

Outstanding customizability and choice

Since API-first CMSs are typically built from the ground up, there are numerous solutions. Custom CMSs can even be built atop more advanced APIs. Most available options allow you to customize CMS entirely to your liking.

Can handle large amounts of data

This varies depending on the CMS, but API-first platforms can typically handle larger data sets than Git-based platforms. You can handle huge amounts of data easily.

Capable of handling frequently updated content

Without Git in the way, updates can be delivered quickly and more precisely. Unlike Git solutions, most API-driven products come with the ability to upload and manage assets.

Disadvantages of API-based CMS

There is no GIT

Git features are not part of the CMS architecture; things like versioning and backup must be considered carefully.

Storage limits

The API might have storage or usage limits. Planning is essential.

Dev-centered

APIs are suitable for custom front-ends but require more customization and developer involvement. Significant changes need developers.

GIT-based CMS

Unlike a traditional web design platform, a Git-based or Git-backed CMS first pushes changes to a repository, triggering a new build of your site. CMSs built on top of Git interact directly with Git repositories. Git stores your files and their history of changes. The files you work with are stored in the Git repository.  When you use a Git-based CMS, you can use Git's functionalities or your CMS's Git-powered editor to manage your content. As a result, the CMS creates and updates your front-end based on the changes you specify (website or app, for example). Integration with large Git providers, such as GitHub or GitLab, is typically required.

Advantages of Git-based CMS

Git features

Full version control of all content, auto backup, and a clean control structure.

No bandwidth or data caps

Since this is a simple file and folder collection, you can store and use as much data as possible.

Low-Cost

Most Git providers are open-source, allowing you to switch between Git cloud providers and Git-based CMSs easily. Platforms that provide this service include Stackbit, Netlify CMS, and Jekyll Admin.

Integrated development

Because Git is already the most popular version control system for software development, it's simple to keep your front-end code alongside your content, keeping everything centralized.

Easy setup

If you have experience in Git, ​​setting up Git-based CMS is relatively simple.

Disadvantages of Git-based CMS

A restricted number of front-ends

The first and the biggest problem is that if you have several apps needing the content, Git-based is not the right approach. Implementing a Git-based CMS does not scale well for multiple, especially diverse, front-ends. So if you are looking for a technology that can serve multiple platforms, consider the API approach.

Incapable of handling frequently updated content

Git is not a good choice for frequent live content and heavy static assets, thanks to its architecture and update model.

Limited options for querying

However, Git-based platforms usually have limited data querying options, which limits the possibility of front-end customization.

Limited control

Less control over content model and formatting.

Git-based VS. API-based CMS

Choosing a suitable headless CMS can be a complicated and confusing process. So, how to choose the right headless CMS?  There seems to be no simple solution here. The main distinction between these two is the content, specifically how it is stored and consumed. For example, if you don't need to create hundreds of posts/pages or rebuild the website regularly, a Git-based CMS is better and less expensive. On the other hand, API-driven CMS is for you if your project requires easier scaling and an easy-to-use publishing feature. Depending on your needs, there are benefits to both Git-based and API-first CMSs. For rapid setup, guaranteed versioning, and simplicity of use, Git is great. Still, API-first CMSs offer more features, are more scalable, and allow for more planning flexibility for the future. Regarding needs, let's compare headless CMSs and determine which one provides adequate support.

Regardless of the type of CMS you choose, headless CMSs can dramatically improve content creation and management. Make sure your CMS has the features you need by considering your technical and business needs.

Hybrid CMS

Another type of content management system regards architecture. Hybrid CMS combines both approaches, traditional and headless. With this approach, Hybrid CMS complements the shortcomings of both content management systems.

How does Hybrid CMS work?

Because it uses headless architecture, with a Hybrid CMS, you can provide content as a service (CaaS) and incorporate deep third-party integrations (for example, your e-commerce system) as necessary. Through RestFul APIs and Content Services, developers can create and customize any front-end framework, just like in a headless environment. Hybrid CMSs also allow you to author and publish content using templates, as you would in a traditional CMS system.

Hybrid CMS benefits

Businesses can benefit from the best of both worlds with a hybrid approach to content management. Marketers can better control and optimize the customer experience, while developers can release application updates more quickly.

Greater scalability

Hybrid CMSs use cloud-based infrastructure for greater scalability. Cloud-based means that different team members can make changes and edit content in real-time without hindering the rest of the team.

Customizable APIs

Hybrid content management systems offer greater flexibility, such as tailoring APIs from vendors to meet your unique requirements, such as tailoring a "blog post API" to send blog posts from one application to another. You can integrate your content with other systems more quickly with a customized API. Public APIs, where you give others access to your data, are most applicable.

Reuse content

Same as Headless CMS, Hybrid CMS allows you to use the same piece of content in multiple places. Reusing your content can save time and create more consistent technical publications.

Faster employment

Using a headless approach, you can quickly and easily model data structures. By going headless, you can make your content and services available quickly. If you design your system for headless use only, you can go live with your content API within a few hours.  By combining a headless CMS with a hybrid one, you get the advantage of fast content deployment. The content you create has to go through regular templating development using traditional CMS features, but you can now deliver the content using presentation features.

Enhanced authoring

Marketers benefit significantly from tools such as template management, WYSIWYG authoring, and website navigation because they can see how their content will look once published.

Efficiently managing content

Besides using traditional and Headless CMS features, you can manage content and themes more efficiently across multiple brands.

URL handling

URLs are essential for the reasons stated above, but especially for SEO. Hybrid CMS gives you complete control over URL management, allowing you to be more flexible in your daily operations. You can, for example, mix letting your developers decide URLs for certain types of content intended for APIs and apps and letting the CMS decide URLs to other kinds of content intended for traditional website usage.

Centralized content

Hybrid CMSs use a centralized content repository with smart tags when pushing content to customers to find content faster.

Hybrid CMS downsides

The limitations of the traditional CMS remain

Since Hybrid CMS does not give up front-end, all the disadvantages of traditional CMSs apply to hybrid architecture. With hybrid systems, microservices and omnichannel delivery may present more challenges since they do not follow a structured content model like a headless CMS.

More strict publishing

A hybrid CMS lacks the flexibility of a headless CMS to publish optimized content dynamically across multiple platforms and IoT devices because of the designated front-end.

More complex to maintain

Hybrid CMSs require additional development setup and maintenance since they still require front-end and back-end code.

Vendors lock-in

CMS vendors may lock you into using apps and tools developed by the vendor, which means you can't use tools developed by other vendors. You can avoid this by choosing a hybrid open-source CMS with plenty of built-in integrations.

Headless CMS vs. Hybrid CMS

The Hybrid CMS seems to be taking the best of both worlds. Does that mean that it is the best solution? Again, the answer is: it depends! If your company needs a platform to manage dynamic content or deliver experiences to multiple platforms, I recommend going Headless. In contrast, if authoring is crucial to you, for instance, if you are building a desktop intranet or are not ready to take your business completely omnichannel, you are prepared to go Headless but not lose your head.

Frameworks that support Headless CMS

The framework handles tasks such as default browser settings, file structures, and layout templates for your website. The automation creates uniform designs for text, tables, forms, buttons, etc. With frameworks, even complex navigation menus can be standardized, as they can be used across your entire website. As a result, you will have to do less work initially. Essentially, being able to roll out a project faster draws this allure. In general, frameworks improve web development efficiency and performance by providing a consistent structure, so developers don't have to keep rebuilding the code. Developers can add many extra features to software with time-saving frameworks and do not require additional effort.

React

Currently, React is the most popular JavaScript library on the market. Web developers widely use it even after years of its release.

 React is the leading JavaScript UI library for creating user interfaces for websites and applications. Created by Facebook as a scalable solution for their news feed, React proved that it could handle very well with high-traffic websites. Therefore, it is not surprising that it served as a solution for other sites like Instagram or Airbnb. Here you can see the Top 10 Most Popular React Websites of 2020.

When to use React?

The React library is a very flexible, multi-purpose library. The wide range of features makes it suitable for many different projects. Anyway, if you are planning to have these kinds of projects, you should consider using React:

Single-page application

A single-page application keeps the repetitive parts of a webpage like a menu and a header and updates the content only when the user takes action, such as scrolling or clicking twice. One of the most famous and most popular single-page is Google Search.  React is ideal because single-page applications constantly update content on their sites based on web server data. With the provision of Virtual DOM, Redux, and unidirectional data flow, the library can handle the rigorous content update process well.

Mobile apps

React can be used to build mobile apps and Smart TV apps effectively. React allows you to be creative while providing the same functionality as a website in a mobile app with a more native feel and appearance.

Dynamic Websites

ReactJS is the best choice for dynamic websites that must handle multiple users and their requests. The virtual DOM makes React web pages extremely fast and responsive. In this way, the site can be refreshed without losing users. The perfect solution for these sites is Headless CMS, too, to manage content. But, which CMS for React is good? The answer is the Headless! Their integration can be the ultimate answer to those challenges.

Vue.js

Vue.js is an open-source framework, mostly popular for its progressive design, allowing developers to migrate existing projects gradually. This can be done by moving each feature one by one. Headless CMS for Vue.js is an ideal solution for migrating an existing project to new technology.

When to use  Vue.js?

Vue.js is a perfect choice when you need a solution that works as soon as possible for an app that isn't very complex if you want to migrate to new technology or prefer clean code and HTML templates.

Web applications with templates

If you need to create web apps with templates, you should consider Vue.js. Unlike React, Vue.js uses templates, a clear advantage for speed and simplicity.

Looking for a simpler design

In general, Vue.js has a more straightforward design. A Vue.js library can be added seamlessly to the whole project by uploading the app directly from your browser. Changing values in DOM is easy because the framework automatically updates it.

Smaller size but higher speed

The size of this technology is a primary reason developers choose Vue.js over other frameworks. Smaller size reduces the time spent in the entire framework installation procedure. As you can see, size does matter, but Vue.js provides a smaller framework and ensures that functions are performed much faster.

Angular

Angular is another framework part of the JavaScript ecosystem developed by Google to create modern web applications. Angular helps developers to build interactive and dynamic single-page applications and allows designers to use HTML as a template language and even extend HTML syntax to convey the application's components easily.

When to use Angular?

Angular is mainly used to build complex enterprise-grade apps like single-page and progressive web apps. So if some of these applications are your new project, Angular can be helpful.

Dynamic web apps

Angular apps with complex architecture and dynamic elements are easier to maintain. It divides large amounts of code into manageable and reusable components. Also, code reusability decreases time when it comes to the development process.

Single-page apps/progressive web apps

Suppose you need to design minimalist but highly dynamic apps. In that case, Angular is the answer because it enables you to create interactive single-page and progressive web apps that are clean, maintainable, and easily testable.

Cross-platform development

Angular was one of the first frameworks to combat smartphone migration issues and remained one of the best solutions for multiple platform development. Angular is suitable for building a cross-platform web app. The framework also works exceptionally well for desktop apps and is mobile-friendly.

BCMS and SPA

When you build an application with React, Vue, or Angular, everything is done on the client (in the browser), which means that your API keys are exposed to everyone. This can be a problem because if an API key can write something to your CMS, anyone who knows the API secret will be able to write to the CMS. The BCMS solves this problem by providing granular API key configuration and an unlimited number of API keys, which means that keys can have a single responsibility. In addition, you can create custom BCMS Functions, Jobs, Events, and Plugins and limit key access only to them. This way, your API key will not have direct access to the BCMS data, and you can validate each request. Using the BCMS Client library, integrating the BCMS with SPA is straightforward. With proper API key roles, you don’t need to worry about publishing the API key because the API key can do only what you allow it to.

Gatsby

Gatsby is used to building static websites following the Jamstack approach. As a React framework, Gatsby is full of excellent features comprehending it from other static site generators.

When to use Gatsby?

Gatsby has a wealth of themes and plugins that allow professionals to abstract away from specific features, data fetching, configurations, UI, and styles. These features make the framework an excellent choice for smaller projects, blogs, and portfolios.

Static websites

Gatsby is an excellent choice if you only need a static webpage that serves HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. It can be used to generate dynamic pages from almost any source. When you update content in your CMS, you can set up an automated trigger to update the static site's content. That is, the website is only rebuilt when the content is updated.

For progressive web apps

The Gatsby combines robust PWA features with an easy-to-use interface. You can split code bundles, load routes lazily with Gatsby, pre-fetch essential assets, and inline critical CSS. In Gatsby, your site is pre-rendered - there is no server-side code, database, etc. React takes over after loading to provide a rich app-like browsing experience.

CMS for Gatsby

Gatsby is an excellent framework powered by GraphQL. It can be seamlessly integrated with the BCMS using the gatsby-source-bcms plugin. This plugin will create a local cache of the BCMS data (improving development speed), update data automatically in real-time when the data is changed in the BCMS, and create a true GraphQL schema for the data. Unlike other Headless CMS implementations for the Gatsby, the BCMS plugin does not create GraphQL schema by in far JSON data, but rather, GraphQL schema is created for each data type using the BCMS templating schema. This means that if the object has an optional property that is not filled in the CMS, you will still be able to see it in GraphQL as optional property (Gatsby infers properties from JSON which are not present). In addition to this, the plugin will also auto-generate TypeScript interfaces for all data in the BCMS. This means that you do not need to write them manually. For example, in the BCMS, if you have a Group with the name Author and properties: first name and last name, in your Gatsby project, you will also have an interface called AuthorGroup, which you can use. If you, for some reason, do not like TypeScript and you are using JavaScript, the plugin is also automatically generating JSDoc for all types in the BCMS. This means that you can have IntelliSense over the BCMS data in JavaScript.

Next.JS

Next.JS is a React framework that gives you the building blocks to create web applications. With Next.JS, you can build a hybrid application containing both server-rendered and statically generated pages.

When to use Next.JS

Next.JS to build landing pages, SEO-friendly websites, eCommerce stores, and web applications that need fast, high-performance load times.

​​Large multi-user websites

The most significant part of a large multi-user platform is its performance, primarily because of its users' real-time data. Then there's the problem of real-time rendering, in which the latest information must be used constantly. Some popular sites with multi-user sites that use Next.JS are TikTok and Twitch. 

Client-side rendered applications

Instead of reloading it, these applications interact with the web browser by dynamically rewriting the current web page with new data from the web server. With this process, developers can build an exceptional and rich interaction between the user and your application.

 Big e-commerce websites

An e-commerce platform's conversion rate is critical since a user journey must lead to a purchase. Further, no matter how small, all changes must be visible everywhere. With Next.JS, you can easily make frequent updates that are visible immediately and keep your online store up-to-date by integrating it with third-party systems.

CMS for Next.JS

Next.JS is the most established and stable framework for building web applications. Using next-plugin-bcms, integration between Next.JS and the BCMS is simple and powerful. The plugin provides a local copy of the BCMS data, which improves page loading time because there is no network latency. The plugin also handles automatic data updates when data is changed in the BCMS, so you don’t need to worry about restarting a development server when you are developing a website. This is also true in production; when data is changed in the BCMS, changes will happen in a local copy of the data. With this, you are getting the best of both worlds, with no network latency for data fetching and real-time content updates. In addition, the plugin also provides automatic type generation, both for TypeScript (using TypeScript interfaces) and JavaScript (using JSDoc) users. This means that all data structures in the BCMS are available locally, so you don’t need to write them yourself. In your BCMS, if there is a Group called PageBanner, in your Next.JS project, you can import the PageBannerGroup type, and you will have IntelliSense. If the Group changes in the BCMS, it will automatically update the type in your project.

NuxtJS

NuxtJS is a Vue framework for building websites or full-stack web applications. With it, you can build server-side rendered applications and static websites, or by using middleware, you can build a backend application that complements the frontend.

When to use NuxtJS

NuxtJS is very similar to Next.JS in the way that it is used, with similar concepts. If you don’t like React, but like Next.JS, NuxtJS is excellent for you. Just like Next.JS, you can use NuxtJS to build landing pages, SEO-friendly websites, eCommerce stores, and web applications that need fast, high-performance load times.

CMS for NuxtJS

With nuxt-plugin-bcms, integration between NuxtJS and the BCMS is seamless with 0 configurations. The plugin injects itself into the NuxtJS context making it very easy to get data from the BCMS. The plugin will also create a local copy of the BCMS data, which is automatically updated once some data is changed in the BCMS. This means that once you have started a development server, there is no need to restart if to pull new data from the BCMS. A local copy of the BCMS data also removes network latency, which means that pages will load faster and builds will be shorter. In addition to this, the plugin also provides automatic type generation, both for TypeScript (using TypeScript interfaces) and JavaScript (using JSDoc) users. This means that all data structures in the BCMS are available locally, which means that you don’t need to write them yourself. In your BCMS, if there is a Group called PageBanner, in your NuxtJS project, you can import the PageBannerGroup type, and you will have.IntelliSense If the Group changes in the BCMS, it will automatically update the type in your project.

Headless CMS and hosting

Although a headless CMS platform can offer several advantages, there are numerous factors to consider when choosing the best one. You want to give your developers the editing experience your content team requires from the level of flexibility. And from a technical standpoint, you must decide if you wish to stake your digital strategy on an open-source or closed-source (proprietary) CMS.

Proprietary vs. Open-Source Headless CMS

Most importantly, open-source encourages future development by allowing anyone globally to download and modify the source code. This creates a community of contributors who improve the Headless CMS by creating their mods and plugins. The source code is usually free and works with a wide range of systems, hosts, and internet service providers. On the other hand, closed-source means it is kept secure and possibly encrypted. Because outside access is not allowed, nobody can't copy or modify it. A web developer or team creates closed-source CMSs specifically for one website. Headless CMS is the owner's intellectual or physical property in this case. If anyone tries to use it, they may face legal consequences.

Advantages of open-source CMS

Choosing open-source software, such as a headless CMS, has many advantages. These include:

Continual testing and development

The main benefit of choosing an open-source Headless CMS is the developer communities. Open-source communities provide support and innovation to help you drive your business forward and get more out of your headless CMS.

Extra security

Open-source communities are also crucial for assisting you in improving your security by responding quickly to help remove bugs and vulnerabilities that can cause problems for your headless CMS.

Easier to find new developers

It's much easier to find developers familiar with the open-source headless CMS. While many headless CMS platforms allow developers to use any front-end framework, others may be more restrictive and difficult.

Disadvantages of Open-source CMS

Lack of control

Open-source CMS's disadvantages might be lack of control, but the organization controlling the repository where the code lives has the authority to approve or reject changes. Coders can make copies of the code, but those copies will not be part of the original repository.

Lack of direct support

Many open-source systems don't offer direct support, but there are plenty of forums and guides that can help if you need it. Also, conflicts can arise from conflicting plugins and bad updates, so be careful when updating or installing anything.

Advantages of Proprietary CMS

Usually great support

Since the code is closed, the company must provide direct and practical support. Basically, most Proprietary CMSs offer outstanding customer support.

CMS created for a specific market

Proprietary content management systems can have the edge over open-source solutions because they are built by agencies to suit specific markets. For example, several CMSs created explicitly for the real estate industry, such as estate agents and letting agents. Having the functionality these sites require can be tailored to suit their requirements since they are explicitly created for a specific type of site.

More client-centered

A proprietary CMS can be more user-friendly than developer-friendly. Customization tends to be more straightforward due to its less flexible nature. Adding and editing content yourself can be helpful for organizations that do not require complex functionality.

Disadvantages of Proprietary CMS

Higher costs and dependence on vendors

The main risk of using a proprietary headless CMS is vendor lock-in. SaaS-based headless CMS vendors typically only offer hosting on their servers. However, while this has several advantages, it also means that you're at the mercy of your vendor. If there is a problem or licensing fees increase, it will be difficult to change providers. The most recent example of dependence on vendors happened when proprietary Webflow decided to raise prices for their services. Many developers, especially freelancers, considered this price hike that Webflow is going over the edge

Poor choice of features and templates

The top open-source CMSs offer endless possibilities for what you can do with your website, which most proprietary solutions lack. On most occasions, there are more limitations with a proprietary CMS. Sometimes you purchase a particular product, limiting your freedom and choice of features.

When to use an Open-source CMS vs. a Proprietary CMS

Finally, the decision is simple. The only thing that matters is whether you need an open or closed code. Based on that need, you will choose the suitable CMS for your company.

​​What to look at when choosing a headless CMS in 2022?

Headless CMSs grow year by year, giving new approaches and technological solutions. So how do you know if you have selected the right headless content management system? In addition to the type of work you do and your needs, you should also pay attention to some things that are integral to every CMS.

Headless CMS infrastructure

The infrastructure is the first thing you should look at. This is how a specific headless CMS solution is constructed. How it works, features, and integration into your workflow determine the right option. Here are some things to keep an eye out for: Headless CMS needs to use a Content Delivery Network The term Content Delivery Network (CDN) describes a geographically distributed network of servers that synchronizes content delivery over the Internet. CDN is a really must-have when it comes to Headless CMS. For any headless infrastructure is crucial to be fast and scalable, which is made possible by CDN.

Using a CDN, Headless CMS can transfer assets quicker than ever before, allowing Internet content such as HTML pages, JavaScript files, stylesheets, images, and videos to be loaded quickly and efficiently.

Security

CDN is also responsible for the security of Headless CMS because the content is sent through CDN and not as traditional CMSs through the database. Moreover, the API only publishes read-only content. A layer of code may also be placed behind it - an application layer and a security layer - making it even less vulnerable to attacks: security is tighter, and attack risk is lower.

Developer environment

Another important aspect when choosing CMS definitely is related to developers' experience. A better experience empowers developer workflow. 

Documentation

Development is all about documentation. Developers will have to fiddle with your headless CMS to figure out how it works in its absence. Many headless CMS solutions include documentation. To ensure it's effective, you should ensure it's informative and updated regularly. An easy way to check it is to ask your developers to look at it.

Powerful tools

Before choosing which CMS to use, don't forget to check out the list of tools included. In this case, Headless CMSs shine with rich SDKs and numerous options. The SDK consists of pre-built libraries, modules, and APIs that aid in encoding application functionality.

Easy content managing and production

After satisfying developers' needs, you should think about a non-technical part of the team. Marketers, content creators, and managers are important pieces of the puzzle. They want to work on a platform that can empower and facilitate their daily work. So, to give them what they need, you should look for these Headless CMS options:

User-friendly platform

Content creators want to have an efficient platform to manage their content effortlessly. The CMS is unsuitable for your team if only your developers understand it! In addition to making things easy for your whole team, a suitable headless CMS should keep things non-technical.

Analytics

Marketing professionals love analytics. Keeping your team informed can be difficult without the right headless CMS with a wide range of analytical tools. Insights into content performance will tell you what direction to take and when to ditch a bad idea.

Personalization

Nowadays, algorithms rule the Internet. They help us get to the content we are interested in as quickly as possible; one click is enough to find many songs from our favorite music genre. Based on the history of watching movies, they will let us know which ones to watch next. So, algorithms know our tastes and ponder them. Personalization content can greatly increase the quality and engagement of content created by your marketers. You can provide each user/customer with personalized experiences, making your marketing more effective. Personalization started with controlling your music and movie preferences, but now it's spreading to web applications across all industries.

Why do companies most often choose Headless CMS?

Did you know that 64% of enterprise organizations use a headless approach? This percentage represents a nearly 25% increase from 2019. Among enterprise organizations not presently using headless, more than 90% plan to evaluate headless solutions over the next 12 months. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing Headless CMS for your company, but there are numerous benefits when a company uses Headless CMS as the ultimate solution.

Technical Benefits of Headless CMS

You can adjust the speed and performance to fit your needs 

Manage your content across multiple platforms with Headless, switch developer tools anytime, and host your content on high-performance cloud servers.

Decouple presentations from code to minimize tech debt

Owning the code and hosting behind your site will give you better control over the user experience.

Utilize your favorite frameworks and coding languages to work faster

Developers can choose which frontend tools work best with headless CMSs since they are tech-agnostic. Changing frameworks or parts of your stack without affecting your CMS is possible.

Resolve the hiring bottleneck caused by a small number of legacy CMS experts

A traditional content management system cannot offer the custom integrations you need.

Business Benefits of Headless CMS

The latest digital products enable you to enter new markets easily

Headless CMSs deliver content to any channel, so you're ready for any platforms that arise in the future. You'll have to access their API and display the content in their format. Adopting cutting-edge platforms like smartwatches won't have to rewrite content.

Once you create and edit content, you can publish it to all channels

There is no specific presentation layer tied to a headless CMS. As a result, it can reach audiences across multiple digital channels (e.g., multiple websites, apps, TVs, smartwatches, etc.).

Working independently of development cycles

With a Headless CMS, you don't have to manage website concerns every time you publish content. This substantially increases the pace at which your business team and website team can work.

Increase your site's performance, SEO efforts, and marketing capabilities

Headless CMS enables users to write meta descriptions and titles quickly, enable compression, and manage URLs and site architecture. This is especially relevant for more significant sites that frequently add or remove content without extensions. For those reasons, many developers find headless architecture easier to maintain. Wanna check yourself? Try BCMS for free here.