Headless CMS

All you need to know: Headless CMS 202

by Arso & Ilona
5 min
23. Nov 2021.
CMS 202

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.

Headless CMS structure

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.

Gif Problem

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.

LET’S COMPARE: HEADLESS VS. TRADITIONAL CMS

Hover your mouse over every feature and find out the difference between a classic and a headless CMS.

Rotateable cards

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.

Fronted backend CMS

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

For this reason, many developers find headless architecture easier to maintain. Wanna check yourself? Try BCMS for free here.