November 28, 2017
There are a number of benefits of storing and managing content and design within a CMS, but this does mean that the purpose of the content is limited to a particular channel. For example, if you build a website within your content management system, it’s not going to be easy to offer this content to native mobile apps or third-party content users. For most organizations, a single piece of content can be used across Web, mobile, tablet, social media and other connected smart devices, commonly known as the IoT (internet of things). Business users are looking to publish content updates and affect all sites and applications that use this content.
To solve this problem, many organizations are turning to systems that provide a “headless CMS” style of implementation.
With a headless CMS, the CMS is responsible for publishing content and media only; layout, presentation and front-end technology are the responsibility of the development teams that consume content and use as required. With the headless CMS, content is published that is available to any application via API data services. This is commonly known as content as a service (CaaS).
This sounds like a simple solution (and it is) to ensure content is available to any channel and that it is de-coupled from the design.
• The CMS implementation is cleaner. The CMS tool is purely storing content and isn’t cluttered with stuff that’s relevant to business users and other stuff that’s development only.
• With little technical involvement required in the CMS, it’s also a lot quicker for business teams to create new functionality. For example, if a marketing department wishes to create a new series of product mini-sites, it can go straight into the CMS and start creating the content immediately without having to wait for developers to build CMS-based templates.
• Companies no longer need large (and expensive) teams of specialist consultants who are knowledgeable in a particular CMS. Sure, some expertise is required, but not at the scale of a traditional CMS.
• It provides a better software architecture. A headless CMS is typically architected so that the CMS platform and the published content are separated. There are a huge number of benefits to this, including:
Security: Access to the CMS is restructured internally within the organization, while content that is published outside is either approved for public consumption or can be secured/encrypted as required.
Scalability: Need to add more servers to prop up demand for a particular application? Simply spin up a new app server and point it to the content.
Availability: Should the CMS application go offline, there’s no impact on the web applications.
• Future-proof updates. When it comes to re-branding one or more channels, there are literally no technical changes required within the CMS.
To summarize, a CMS is responsible for providing data storage, a user editing interface and a way to display and publish data, while a headless CMS provides a way to store and edit data but with a simple API to consume it without a specific way to publish such data.
While we remain vendor agnostic, a number of CMS tools are really showing leadership in the headless CMS space. One that stands out is Contentful, a CMS aimed at large-size companies. Another is SDL’s Tridion, a CMS for global enterprise clients, and WebriQ CMS, a Github based CMS system for small to medium sized businesses . While the majority of other CMS vendors such as WordPress, Drupal and Adobe have headless offerings, these are largely community-driven extensions that sit on top of the tools.
WebriQ CMS is bridging the GAP between Static Site Generators and Flat File CMS Systems. The days when a brand only needed one website to house its online presence are long gone. Today, webinars, events, pop-up shops and product promotions all require their own microsites or landing pages. When we moved into what some call the post-CMS landscape, the usage of static site generators and Flat-file CMS and Static Site Generator functionality overlaps in many ways ; so how do you choose between the two?
When we moved into what some call the post-CMS landscape, the usage of static site generators (SSGs) and flat-file CMS for these microsites (and at times for lightweight corporate sites), grew. And now, with the headless CMS hype in full flow, the interest in these front-end solutions is returning.
The rise of the headless CMS approach and the benefits it provides for users, developers and operations mean it’s only going to become the default way to implement true multichannel, multibrand applications going forward.
This article was originally published by Forbes