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Live Preview paves the way for the future of headless CMS

Austin ChenMar 05, 20243 min read

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A recent wave of innovation has emerged in headless content management and digital experience creation, reshaping how content editors and developers collaborate. The rise of real-time content editing has become a prevailing trend, empowering content creators and optimizing workflows. While others are now following suit, it's crucial to acknowledge the pioneering efforts of Contentstack and our platform that first introduced real-time content editing and previewing capabilities in a headless environment. Today, we'll delve into the significance of Live Preview and its role in resetting the stage for the future of headless content management systems (CMS).

A trailblazer in headless CMS

Contentstack, as a trailblazer in headless content management, was the first to recognize this need for seamless collaboration between content editors and developers. With the introduction of Live Preview, Contentstack empowered content editors to create autonomously without burdening their developer counterparts.

Live Preview allows content editors to visualize their edits or changes in real-time within the context of the website or application, eliminating the need for constant toggling between editing and preview modes. This means that as content editors make modifications, they can immediately see how those changes will appear to end-users. This breakthrough feature has not only streamlined the content creation process but also fostered a more efficient and collaborative workflow.


Key benefits for content editors

While the headless CMS landscape is continuously evolving, the real-time, in-context editing capabilities offered by our Live Preview remain central to this growing trend. This ability to seamlessly edit and modify content aligns perfectly with the core principles of visual editing experiences, which are gaining significant traction within the industry.

  • Real-time visualization: Content editors can see their changes reflected instantly within the website or application, allowing them to iterate and refine content without publishing or relying on developers.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Live Preview fosters a more efficient workflow by eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication between content creators and developers.
  • Contextual editing: Content edits are displayed in the actual context of the application, providing a clear understanding of how changes will impact the final user experience.
  • Comments & Discussions: With in-line commenting within the entry editor, drive discussions with your team throughout the content creation and review process, whether together in the same room or spread across the globe.

Easier implementation for developers

In our previous blog, we announced the expansion of our REST support for Live Preview service with Preview Tokens, complementing well with our existing GraphQL support. This enhancement ensures a more streamlined and intuitive preview experience, providing comprehensive and versatile support for development needs and preferences. The APIs for this enriched service mirror the familiar structure of our Delivery API, maintaining consistent API contracts.

We also introduced Preview Tokens, a new way to provide improved security and control for our Live Preview Service within Contentstack. Upgrade from read-only management tokens to Preview Tokens for enhanced security measures and to prevent unauthorized data access. A Preview Token can be created for the same scope while creating a Delivery Token.


The future of visual editing with headless CMS

As the market leans towards visual editing, the need for autonomous, real-time, in-context content editing is more critical than ever. Content editors demand the ability to iterate and experiment with their content within the parameters and guidelines set by design and engineering teams.

Live Preview is not just a feature; it's a testament to our platform's commitment to anticipating the needs of our users and staying ahead of the curve. With Contentstack, there’s no disjointed experience navigating between interfaces – you’re building, managing, editing, and previewing your content all in one place. Our foresight has positioned us as a leader in providing a seamless, immersive, collaborative content creation experience for you, and will continue to guide us moving forward.


Live Preview is a visionary move that aligns with the future of headless CMS. By offering a user-friendly visual editing experience, Contentstack has paved the way for other vendors to recognize the importance of visual editing experiences. As the market continues to evolve, Contentstack remains at the forefront, providing content editors with the tools they need to excel in a fast-paced digital landscape. Stay tuned for more exciting developments coming this year as this journey from pioneer to trendsetter showcases our commitment to innovation and unwavering dedication to empowering users in the ever-evolving world of digital experience creation.

In the meantime, dive into our Live Preview documentation and explore where creativity and functionality intertwine to deliver remarkable user experiences.

About Contentstack

The Contentstack team comprises highly skilled professionals specializing in product marketing, customer acquisition and retention, and digital marketing strategy. With extensive experience holding senior positions in notable technology companies across various sectors, they bring diverse backgrounds and deep industry knowledge to deliver impactful solutions.  

Contentstack stands out in the composable DXP and Headless CMS markets with an impressive track record of 87 G2 user awards, 6 analyst recognitions, and 3 industry accolades, showcasing its robust market presence and user satisfaction.

Check out our case studies to see why industry-leading companies trust Contentstack.

Experience the power of Contentstack's award-winning platform by scheduling a demo, starting a free trial, or joining a small group demo today.

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