Contentstack is an API-based, headless content management platform that allows developers and content managers to create and manage content simultaneously and independently, to create websites and applications quickly.
Because of its headless nature, Contentstack enables Developers to build websites and apps using tools of their choice, thus alleviating their pain of working with unfamiliar technologies. On the other hand, Content Managers get to work independently without the help of developers, giving them complete control over the content creation process.
In this article, we’ll cover the general concept of Headless CMS, how it’s different from other CMSs, and why Contentstack could be the ideal content solution for your content management woes.
Traditional vs. Decoupled vs. Headless CMS – know the difference
When choosing a CMS, it’s important to understand the differences between various architectural approaches used by other CMSs.
Traditional (Coupled or “Monolithic”) CMS
Here’s what Traditional CMSs are all about:
- Tightly bound frontend (user interface for content managers, design templates) and backend (the application code, the content repository)
- Predefined themes/templates
- Predefined user interface to manage content
- Predefined database
- PHP code for retrieving the requested content from your database and serving it to the theme layout
Best fit for:
- Designing simple websites for small businesses
- Personal website
- An enterprise-level website (ONLY if you do not need omnichannel support)
Characteristics of a decoupled CMSs is as follows:
- Separately housed databases for frontend (user interface for content managers, design templates) and backend (application code, content repository)
- Frontend-agnostic CMS architecture retrieves and delivers content via web services and APIs
- Frontend component has a defined frontend or a specific presentation environment
Best fit for:
- Projects that allow developers to experiment with their choice of tools and technologies
- When creating simple single-page websites
- Companies who want basic websites that need not require much coding or designing
A Headless CMS shares almost all of the benefits provided by the Decoupled CMS.
What it’s all about:
- Does not have a frontend layer; instead, it’s a backend-only CMS built from the ground up as a content repository
- Provides omnichannel support as it retrieves and delivers content to any platform or device through its Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Presentation layer can be more flexible, as this architecture is not dependent on the frontend system
Best fit for:
- Developers who want to write applications using any programming language and use any tools and frameworks in the development process. Thus you have complete control over how and where your content appears.
- Enterprises that have multiple domains can easily and efficiently manage content
- As frontend is not directly involved, it makes this CMS the best choice if you intend to support content delivery in multiple channels.
How do Headless CMSs Work?
A headless CMS is an API-driven CMS without a “head,” i.e., the presentation layer. It provides all the backend tools that are needed to create and publish content via APIs, but it leaves the frontend tasks for the developer, providing a clear separation between content management and presentation.
Headless CMS gives the development team the liberty to use the best-in-breed technology to develop the frontend, and content managers create content without worrying about how it would be displayed. It serves a better alternative to traditional (Coupled) CMS and Decoupled CMSs that rely hugely on specific frontend tools for displaying content.
With Headless CMS, content management is conveniently simplified for users primarily because it selectively addresses the needs of developers as well as content managers.
How Contentstack Will Benefit You?
Contentstack benefits both Developers and Content Managers equally. Let’s look at some of the benefits in detail.
- Write applications using technologies, programming languages, and frameworks of their choice in the development process.
- Contentstack’s rich set of RESTful APIs and SDKs for a lot of major languages makes it easier to implement websites and applications. Thus have complete control over how and where content appears.
So, the happier they are, the more efficient they will be!
Content Managers Can Work Independently
- No need to bother with the presentation, instead content managers can focus on the content itself
- Can create, manage, and publish content without involving developers
- Update content in websites and applications, and preview change instantly and independently
- The user interface provides a plethora of editorial features such as rich text editors, live and shareable preview environments, collaborative editing, revision history, scheduled publishing, etc.
- With Modular Blocks, Content Managers also has the partial ability to decide how their pages should appear
- With Workflows, distribute content creation process among authorized users of your organization
- Deliver content to any channel and on any device at a faster rate.
- Compatible with any technology.
- Content in Contentstack is retrievable via APIs, so any website or application can fetch it.
- Create content once and deliver it anywhere, anytime.
- Being headless makes Contentstack capable of serving content to constantly emerging devices and touchpoints.
- Higher scalability makes it possible to future-proof your content and benefits marketers without stripping them of the user experience they need to expand.
No Infrastructure Management Required
- Easy and safe to integrate third-party applications into your websites or apps.
- Users can start building their projects immediately, without having to perform any kind of setup, configuration, or maintenance activities.
- We have a dedicated team of developers who strive to maintain both the software and the infrastructure where it’s running.
- We have support engineers who provide 24x7 assistance to anyone, anytime, if something ever goes wrong.
Who Can Get the Most out of Contentstack
Contentstack may not be an ideal solution to you if all that you want to build are one-pager websites. However, it may perform exceptionally well in some of the cases discussed below.
Different Web Pages, Different Designs
For websites or applications that involve creating customized designs and UX for all of its pages, going for a headless CMS is quite favorable.
Build Large Websites
If you are building an ecommerce website with a considerably large amount of content that needs constant content creation and updates, a headless CMS is the best bet.
Add Omnichannel Support
If you want to be able to achieve omnichannel support and scale your content to multiple digital channels to deliver tailored customer experiences. The primary reason being that the headless, API-first architecture lets you fetch and display content through APIs, in any device.
If you prefer to create and release large projects quickly and intermittently, choosing a headless CMS can prove to be very beneficial.
Integrate Easily with Third-party Apps
If you want to leverage the potentials of third-party applications (video, forms, commerce, etc.) by integrating them with your application.
You can customize roles and permissions to keep your content safe from external threats as well as from internal threats.
The list can go on and on!
How to Switch to Contentstack
If you are convinced by now that Contentstack is the ideal CMS solution to you, you can contact our Support team to get a demonstration.
If you are already using a CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, you can migrate your content to Contentstack. Refer our Content Migration docs for a detailed step-by-step process on how to get started with Contentstack.