Back to Blogs

Headless CMS performance monitoring and troubleshooting

The Contentstack TeamJun 27, 20246 min read

Talk to an expert

about something you read on this page

Contact an expert

Learn how to monitor and troubleshoot your headless CMS for better digital experience delivery. See the essential strategies, tools, and best practices for peak performance and CMS resilience. Switch to a headless CMS that does it all. Talk to us today!


You’ll learn about monitoring and troubleshooting headless CMS performance:

Key Practices:

  • Use monitoring tools: Use tools like Contentstack’s CDN, Datadog, and AppDynamics
  • Optimize APIs: Deploy caching to increase server response time
  • Enhance security: Secure APIs and secure the system via encryption
  • Deploy CDNs: Improve content delivery efficiency through CDNs

LADbible doubled editorial speed and reduced costs by switching to a headless CMS. You can achieve even more.

Keep reading to learn how!

 A headless CMS allows businesses to deliver content to multiple platforms, supports omnichannel experiences, and enhances agility and scalability. Due to its decoupled and API-centric approach, it offers an agile, scalable, and flexible way to manage and deliver content.

However, headless architecture may be tricky to manage. Hence, businesses must monitor and troubleshoot it to maintain optimum performance. But how can they do that? 

We look at practical strategies, focusing on performance metrics, common issues, and best practices for dealing with performance issues.

Headless CMS performance metrics

A headless content management system has a few performance metrics that help you understand its performance. They include:

  • Load time: The load time is how long it takes users to access content. It should be between 0 to 3 seconds in ideal cases. Higher numbers mean longer wait times for clients, which may make them bounce.
  • API latency: This is the time between an API request and its response. An optimal number is between 0.1 and 1 second, and above 2 seconds is a sign of high latency.
  • Server response time: Below 100 milliseconds is an ideal response time. Within 100 to 200 milliseconds is average, and over 200 milliseconds would signify a slow response time.
  • System uptime and downtime: A resilient headless CMS should be available as much as possible to avoid disrupting the user experience. 
  • Error rates: These are the errors users encounter when trying to interact with the system. Brands must ensure that error rates remain low. 

Traditional CMSes struggle with these metrics and tend to slow down as the workload increases. That makes a headless CMS the right choice. 

For instance, Taxfix struggled with WordPress until they opted for Contentstack’s headless CMS. Doing so improved their website’s load speed by 30% and reduced content update time from two weeks to five minutes.

Headless CMS Architecture

Tools and techniques for monitoring headless CMS

Several tools, such as digital experience, content delivery, content delivery networks, API insights, and load testing, can be used to monitor headless CMS performance.

API availability insights

APIs are an essential part of the headless CMS setup. They filter traffic, handle interaction within the CMS, and deliver content to multiple channels. Here are a few tools to get API insights:

  • Postman
  • API fortress
  • Azure Monitor

These tools offer real-time insights into API health, enabling you to optimize the APIs if required.

Digital experience monitoring tools

These tools help your IT and development team monitor your tech stack, ensuring they can address issues quickly to ensure systems availability:

  • Datadog: The Datadog platform provides so-called infrastructure and application monitoring as a service for cloud applications.
  • Glassbox: Glassbox tracks customer journeys and offers customer experience analytics for mobile apps and the web.
  • AppDynamics: AppDynamics is a full-stack tool to manage IT operations and entire tech stacks. It tracks traffic flow, allowing developers to troubleshoot and optimize the system.

Content delivery networks (CDNs)

Load testing tools

Load testing shows how your CMS responds to a higher workload. That allows you to know whether the system has adequate resources to handle a higher workload or traffic spikes. Some reliable tools for load testing include:

  • LoadRunner
  • Apache JMeter
  • Gatling 

Overcome traditional CMS issues with Contentstack: Are you tired of slow development times and rising costs due to legacy monolithic suites? Contentstack offers a modern, component-based solution designed for the needs of today's enterprises. Discover agility and improved ROI. Request a demo to learn more.

Best practices for headless CMS real-time monitoring

Follow the below best practices to monitor headless CMS in real time.

  • Setting up alerts: Setting up alerts automate the monitoring process, as you get notifications when there are changes or performance issues. 
  • Always review performance: Use analytics tools to track system performance and adjust or optimize it based on your findings.
  • Secure your headless CMS: Secure APIs with OAuth 2.0 and rate limiting, use data encryption protocols like SSL/TLS and automate system updates to improve CMS security and resilience.

Performance issues and troubleshooting tips

In most cases, vendors would provide headless CMS technical support to manage and troubleshoot many issues, but it is also essential to train your team to manage them.

Common performance issues

Get familiar with these common performance issues and the following solutions in the next section.

  • Slow server responses: Slow server responses can occur when the system lacks the resources to handle higher traffic. They frustrate users and increase bounce rates.
  • Slow load times: A lack of CDNs, no caching and too many large files from images, scripts and stylesheets are a few factors that may slow down the system and distort user experience.
  • API latency and downtime: API latency and downtime are issues that lead to poor user experience. You may experience slow API response when there is a congested network or if the server lacks adequate resources.
  • Data synchronization issues: Issues with data synchronization may happen if there are timeout errors, fault error handling, and inconsistent data updates or formats.
  • Security vulnerabilities: Inadequate security measures reduce CMS resilience, making it an easy target for breaches or other serious security issues.

How to troubleshoot performance issues

Here are practical tips to troubleshoot performance issues.

  • Identify root causes: Knowing the root cause of a performance issue allows you to use the right strategies to address them. 
  • Optimize systems performance: Depending on the root cause, there are several ways to do this. You may use auto-scaling and CDN, minimize payload size or use HTTP/2 to optimize API endpoints.
  • Perform load testing: Relevant tools include Gatling, BlazeMeter, and Locust. Load testing allows you to decide how many resources the system needs and to identify and address other performance issues that impact system stability. 
  • Encrypt data: Use data encryption protocols like advanced encryption standards (AES) and transport layer security (TLS) for added data security at rest and in transit.

Best practices for headless CMS web hosting

Headless CMS hosting allows easy API integrations with your website or web applications and provides technical support and server monitoring. Follow the best practices below to make the best of it.

  • Automate front-end hosting: Choose a solution that makes managing and automating front-end hosting easier. For instance, Contentstack’s front-end hosting deploys faster and allows you to update caches.
  • Use content distribution networks (CDNs): A CDN helps you achieve efficient content delivery. It delivers content faster and more efficiently by focusing on your users' locations. Contentstack’s CDN offers low reduced latency and fast load speeds.
  • Use a scalable system: Plan with an eye on the future by considering a scalable system. Implement microservices and deploy auto-scaling to manage higher workloads.

Enhancing security in headless CMS

Enhancing headless CMS security improves its resilience and protects it against data breaches. 

The basic strategies include deploying data encryption protocols like TLS and AES, using role-based access controls, and securing APIs. These measures enhance headless CMS security and resilience, ensuring that sensitive data is kept safe.

Contentstack: A Leader in CMS Performance. Experience the strength of Contentstack, a standout performer in Forrester's Q3 2023 CMS report. Contentstack simplifies your digital experience with our back-end extensibility and global deployments. Request a demo to learn more.

Case studies


When LADbible's in-house CMS started showing performance issues, they knew it was time to implement a headless content management system.

Opting for Contentstack allowed them to double the editorial process speed and manage their 55 brand sites with no fuss. They also increased speed and saved costs for new content launches.

Tom McGiveron, the Lead Software Engineer, said this. “Contentstack gives us a solid base that’s easily extensible. We’re now able to turn out new features quickly and implement them in an elegant way.”

Read more on how LADbible scaled content publishing with a headless CMS.


Using the WordPress CMS came with its challenges, as Elastic found out. It was slow, clumsy, and prone to crashes.

Contentstack's headless CMS solved the problems. They increased development speed by 500%, reduced cost by 78%, and saved time on staff training.

Hear from Our Sylvie Shimizu, the Webmaster. "Our company had a very aggressive timeline to both redesign and migrate our website. With Contentstack, we were able to make those changes in no time."

Read more about how Elastic benefited from a headless CMS platform.

FAQ section

Why is monitoring headless CMS performance important?

It is important to monitor CMS performance because it lets you know if your operations are efficient. It also helps you identify and deal with any issues on time. That way, you can improve content delivery and deliver a worthy user experience.

What tools are best for monitoring a headless CMS?

You may consider Datadog, Glassbox, and AppDynamics to track digital experiences and Contentstack’s content delivery network (CND) to manage content delivery.

How can I optimize my headless CMS for better performance?

You must first use monitoring tools to identify any performance issues. Next, check APIs to ensure they work well. Also, improve security and deploy CDNs for more efficient content delivery. 

What are common issues in headless CMS web hosting?

Server downtime, inadequate compute resources, slow response time, security issues, and API latency issues are a few common issues in headless CMS web hosting. 

How do I improve API availability in my headless CMS?

There are many ways to improve API availability, such as monitoring the APIs, using caching and load balancing to optimize API endpoints, and improving the efficiency of queries.

Learn more

Customers want to access data and enjoy the experience of interacting with your digital platform. Hence, your development team must find ways to ensure the system is fast and always available. You can achieve that through monitoring and troubleshooting.

Contentstack offers the best enterprise headless CMS that allows you to optimize content delivery and all aspects of the digital experience. No worries about downtime, high latency, or a disruptive digital experience. Talk to us today. We will show you a better way to enhance and future-proof your digital strategy.

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.

Follow Contentstack on Linkedin

Share on:

Talk to an expert

about something you read on this page

Contact an expert

Recommended posts