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Sep 21, 2022 • 5 min read

A 5 minute Guide to Headless Content Management Systems

Even though the word “Headless” translates to gore and carnage, I assure you the concept of “Headless CMS” is something completely opposite to it. Being a techie, I had never really given this translation much thought until I asked the daunting question to my mother if she knew what a headless CMS is!


Do not get this twisted, my mother is one hell of a tech-savvy woman but her reaction after hearing the question was rather hilarious. After a long pause and what seemed like 10 minutes of utter horror, she mumbled “Is it… Is it some sort of a technological cult?”


Needless to say, we look back at it now and share a good laugh.


So, what is a “Headless Content Management System” and how in the world did it end up with such a horrid name?


Well, a headless CMS is a back-end-only content management system built and developed from the ground up as a content repository that makes content accessible via a RESTful API or GraphQL API for display on any device.


If you aren’t a techie, this probably hovered over your head. 


Think of it as this – In a headless Content Management System, the content repository, the “body,” is separated or decoupled from the presentation layer, the “head” enabling you to manage content under one roof and still be able to deploy that content anywhere you want.

The “head” here relates to where your content ends up and the “body” is where your content is essentially stored.


What is the need for a Headless CMS?

Although Traditional Content Management Systems ruled the archetype for web design and development, it was not very flexible or scalable.

What a headless Content Management System does is that it does not interact or integrate with the front-end part of the development AT ALL, unlike traditional Content Management Systems. This is why more and more companies in the modern day and age prefer Headless Content Management Systems due to the flexibility and scalability to get their content out in a myriad of ways.

Due to the complexities associated with Traditional Content Management Systems, Headless Content Management Systems were curated to meet the demands of brands and creators who have relatively lesser technical experience.

When switched to Headless CMS, 35% percent of marketers have felt better user experience, and 43% think they are less reliant on IT.”

Source


Advantages of using Headless Content Management Systems

We can go on and on about the advantages of Headless CMS over Traditional CMS but let us look at 6 main benefits that you need to be aware of!


Lets you create and distribute content among all verticals


Type “ best campaign” or “best advertisement”, and you will find an endless list of brands - some known and some unknown with a cutting-edge content strategy.


You must have heard of the phrase through the grapevine - Content is King.


Well, it truly is.


It is the need of the hour for brands to create and distribute content anywhere they want. In a traditional CMS, due to the monolith structure, one needs to manage each platform separately leading to complexities.


With Headless CMS, you can sell across all touchpoints and leverage the market to the fullest!


Headless CMS will not burn a hole in your pocket


Brands, no matter how big or small, need to carefully spend their resources - both from a marketing and technical standpoint. In my opinion, mindful choices translate to great success.


As opposed to traditional Content Management Systems, Headless Content Management Systems offer lesser technical requirements thereby resulting in lesser costs associated in terms of development.


Also since expensive hostings are not required, Headless Content Management Systems are the ideal choice for companies who are a little tight on budget.


Security breach? Not under a Headless CMS’s watch


On September 6, 2021, WordPress users incurred a major setback after a security breach took place that opened information on 1.2 million active and inactive users that used and managed WordPress.


This was detrimental to their users as it powers a whopping 42% of all websites currently on the internet.


Since Headless Content Management Systems does not interfere with the presentation layer, the chances of a breach messing with your data are minuscule.


Headless CMS and Compatibility are a match made in heaven


Let me tell you an interesting story. I am a part of a tech group on social media that discusses new trends, technological advancements, and basically all things design. Although I do skim through it once in a while, there was this one post that caught me off-guard.


“My brand is falling as I can not keep up with the development side of the website. My competitors regularly update their website in accordance to the industrial trends but my budget does not allow me to spend more than a certain limit on development.”, it stated.


I obviously did the honors to make her aware of how a Headless CMS would be best suited for her needs.


How you may ask? 


Since the presentation layer is separate from the Headless CMS, one can easily make adapt and scale content. It is also extremely compatible with almost all kinds of technological frameworks so even heavy technical changes would be easily adapted. This is probably the USP of Headless Content Management Systems if you ask me. 


It’s just Easy, Breezy, Lemon Squeezy! 


Technology does not have to be hard. I always believe that technology was meant to supplement mankind and not make people’s lives harder. If you live by this narrative, you will grasp the essence of technology effortlessly.


Headless Content Management Systems are extremely user-friendly. Whether or not you know how to code, your outcome will all be under your control.


The execution is relatively neater as Headless Content Management Systems store content and the platform is not stuffed with unnecessary things that may be irrelevant to your brand so you can focus on what matters the most- YOUR BUSINESS.


Market Overview and Predictions for Headless CMS
  • Headless CMS Software Market was valued at US$ 328.5 million in 2019 and is projected to reach US$ 1,628.6 million by 2027; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.6% from 2020 to 2027.
  • The headless CMS market is segmented on the basis of deployment, enterprise size, and geography. By geography, North America held the largest share of the headless CMS software market in 2019, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific.
  • Asia Pacific is projected to witness the highest growth rate during the forecast period. Based on deployment type, the market is bifurcated into cloud and on-premise. The cloud segment represented a larger share of the market in 2019. Based on enterprise size, the headless CMS software market is bifurcated into SMEs and large enterprises.
  • In 2019, the large enterprises segment accounted for a larger market share.
  • Headless CMS adoption rates are expected to double in the next year.
  • 86 percent of people feel positive about headless CMS.
  • 63 percent of people who use a headless CMS love it.
(Source - Click here)
Headless Content Management System Use Cases

You may be wondering by now, “ How do I know if I am a good fit for Headless CMS? Should I really invest my resources in this? “. Let us discuss use cases to help you get clarity on whether or not you should consider a Headless Content Management System in your current strategy.

  1. If you are someone who has a website that runs on Javascript Framework.
  2. If your website is created with static site generators.
  3. If you want to separate your content from the tech stack of your website for speed and performance.
  4. If you have an Application.
  5. If you are someone who wants to amplify your e-commerce stack.
  6. If you want to communicate with users across different touchpoints.


Strapi


-Source

Strapi calls itself the next-gen headless CMS, open-source, javascript, enabling content-rich experiences to be created, managed, and exposed to any digital device. It is one of the most popular Headless CMS in the market and a lot of cult brands like Walmart and IBM use strapi for their operations.


I love the NodeJS integrations as well as the modern interface that Strapi offers but getting the hang of the documentation part may take time and not every feature is directly useful to everyone’s needs.


Pricing : Paid but Free trial available.


Apric



-Source

Apric is a Growth-First Content Management system that helps you manage your content, marketing and analytics to supercharge your website growth.


The Enterprise plan is for companies that want to grow their websites using Blogs, Dynamic content, Products, and landing pages along with analytics and lead management.


The headless CMS allows you to align your content and marketing efforts to streamline your website’s growth with seamless integration and an SEO-friendly approach.


Apric is now available for enterprises which allows all your teams to focus on growth.


Pricing: Free for Creators, Paid for Enterprise 


Amplience


-Source

An API-first, cloud-native headless Content Management, Amplience is a user-friendly platform and can be used for e-commerce. It offers great flexibility in terms of integrations and additional UI extensions are available for use. 

Although it's great in functionality, if you have two websites, Amplience is not the right fit for you. 

Pricing: Paid but Free trial available. 


Ghost


-Source

Ghost is a Headless Content Management System curated for blogging. 


With Ghost, you can redirect content shown on a website to a mobile app. It offers a text formatting feature called Markdown through which you can add special characters to your words. 


Although it does not provide extensive features like other Content Management Systems in the market, Ghost offers great support without any additional plugins for SEO.


Pricing : Free


Don’t be Mr.Know-it-all….


Now that you are well versed with what a Headless Content Management System is and how you can take advantage of it (ALL IN THEORY), It is time to delve into the practical aspect of it.

Go on, don’t be shy! Harness your brand’s full potential by leveraging awesome Headless CMS platforms and see the magic unfold.

Have any questions about Headless Content Management Systems? Drop us a DM on Instagram @apricweb and make sure to check out our array of informative and fun  blogs

Until then, Stay tuned for our next blog! Ciao! 🙂