What is headless CMS and Its benefits?

Safalta Expert Published by: Gaurav Bawa Updated Thu, 13 Oct 2022 01:46 AM IST


CMS is an abbreviation for content management system. This article describes the notion of a headless CMS, its benefits, and the types of businesses that are turning headless. It also demonstrates how the digital content apocalypse has prompted a shift away from traditional or outdated content management systems and toward more current headless solutions.

Table Of Content 

What exactly is a Headless CMS?
What Is the Purpose of a Headless CMS?
CMS Faces Diverse Digital Content Consumption
Who Makes Use of a Headless CMS?
CMS Headless vs. Legacy

What exactly is a Headless CMS?

A headless CMS is a content management system that maintains and organizes material without the use of a front-end or display layer. All of your content and assets are stored in the headless CMS. Then you utilize a content API to get that material to anywhere you need it – your website, mobile app, email marketing, CRM, and so on.

In practice, this entails the following.

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Source: Safalta

Let us refer to the component of the CMS that is concerned with presentation as the "head," as we do with the display of our physical heads.

Architectures for Decoupled CMS and Headless CMS

The advantages of a headless CMS are obvious and compelling:
  • Instead than implementing numerous, simultaneous content management system instances, for example, to cover web and mobile channels, a single headless CMS instance may service an unlimited number of digital channels.
  • A single source of material, such as a product description for an online catalogue, may adapt to its publication environment and display itself best for its destination automatically.
  • In a headless CMS, the separation of code and content makes life easier for content editors, who can ignore the code and focus solely on the material for which they are responsible.
  • Meanwhile, developers can utilise all of the newest tools and frameworks to bring content experiences to life on any contemporary platform, without being bound by a proprietary language or other content management system limits.
  • API-delivered content is more easier to integrate, alter, and disseminate, decreasing the time required to construct content-driven experiences such as websites and applications.
Since top analysis companies spotted the headless CMS trend (for example, Forrester Research with its namesake study on The Rise of the Headless CMS), corporations and their IT departments have taken notice. While traditional CMS design continues to serve many websites well, digital business executives want to benefit from the enhanced speed to market, appealing economics, and general efficiency that headless content management systems provide.
The headless CMS strategy is gradually becoming an essential component of the next generation of Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs). DXPs go far beyond online content management to deliver rich, engaging experiences to consumers across many platforms. What WYSIWYG was to CMS in the 1990s, headless CMS is to DXPs and future generations of content management. A more in-depth explanation of the commercial relevance and necessity for a headless content management system is warranted.

What Is the Purpose of a Headless CMS?

Because we live in an omnichannel society, the headless CMS is a vital piece of technology. The content that businesses publish for their websites must also appear on applications, integrations, newsletters, and other platforms. And handling a duplicate copy of that content for numerous channels is a nightmare. If your organization changes the way it defines a product, that change should not be duplicated in 20 separate platforms. You should be able to make the modification in a centralized location and push it out to all relevant locations. That is the power of a CMS without a head. It serves as a single point of contact for all of your company's content and assets. It allows you to organize, edit, update, and publish your material in one location. 


CMS Faces Diverse Digital Content Consumption

Whereas many web properties have been built using a traditional CMS — WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and so on — the emergence of the headless CMS offers some significant benefits for businesses that are expanding into new channels, launching new products and integrations, or simply transacting with customers across multiple platforms and devices.

Who Makes Use of a Headless CMS?

Aside from the theoretical, several sectors and verticals have adopted the headless CMS as a centralised platform that enables their complete digital experience across all devices and platforms. Companies can communicate with consumers at scale, respond swiftly to emerging market possibilities, and streamline content operations to ensure consistency while being nimble using headless CMS.

Some sectors that use a headless CMS are:

Sports Groups

Sports clubs may create an omnichannel fan interaction platform using a headless CMS. Teams may make fans feel more connected to the players they care about by combining content with individualized data.


Airline content regulations are among the most complicated of any sector. Their teams are responsible for vital, real-time communications, worldwide content translation and localization, and an omnichannel presence spanning hundreds, if not thousands, of individual customer touchpoints. A headless CMS allows clear, consistent, and streamlined messages that are always correct and up to date across owned web pages, mobile applications, email, third-party search sites, and physical displays.

Financial Services

Customers in the financial services industry rely on real-time material to help them make some of their most significant life decisions. They also want customized material to assist them in navigating difficult procedures and making better financial decisions. Firms must be able to innovate while keeping a rock-solid, dependable basis for managing content and how it is tailored and delivered to each consumer.

Online retailers

The consumer experience is king in online retail. Customers are quick to criticize firms that fail to satisfy their demands — or even add a small bit of pain to the purchasing process. Headless CMS enables online merchants to build 1:1 connections with their consumers by connecting marketing and product content into customer purchase history and other data to provide a completely personalized shopping experience at scale. Aside from these four main industries, we see many additional firms embracing a headless CMS to develop a contemporary tech stack that combines flexibility, speed, and creativity with security and dependability.
  • Among these industries are:
  • Gaming and media companies
  • Technology firms
  • Retail
  • Travel and logistics
  • Sports
  • Financial Services

CMS Headless vs. Legacy

The headless CMS is a newer technology. So, what prompted the need for a new method of creating and managing website content? What has brought us to the point where headless technology is ready to dominate content management debate?
Following the early days of the Internet, the CMS evolved as a vital tool that enabled businesses to more easily maintain their websites. IBM's FileNet and Vignette Story Server were among the first notable web content management technologies, laying the groundwork for what was to come. These content management systems excelled at website development, solidifying the world's first digital channel (the Web) as a vehicle for distributing digital material to rising online audiences. Soon after, blogging became popular, and some of the most well-known CMSs — Drupal, WordPress, and so on — appeared on the market. Because it enabled for speedier website construction and a quicker QA process for published material, WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get") editing became a popular content management system feature.Soon after, blogging grew popular, and some of the most well-known CMSs, such as Drupal and WordPress, debuted on the market. WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get") editing became a popular content management system feature since it allowed for faster website building and a faster QA process for published information. WYSIWYG editors are just not designed to handle this amount of complication. Legacy CMS implementations manage content distribution to a single web page in a 1:1 ratio. These technologies are incapable of dealing with the omnichannel world of mobile sites, applications, touchscreen displays, Alexa integrations, and wearable apps. All of this poses a huge difficulty for firms that rely on content management system technology that is over 20 years old. Whereas it was formerly desirable to optimise for a single digital channel, this highly streamlined CMS design is now unsuitable for a world where information must be offered on several digital channels. From a technological standpoint, the previous methodology of combining material with instructions for displaying it (i.e., HTML / CSS / JavaScript / etc.) falls short. You can't regulate or manage material under this approach since you don't know where your digital content will appear next.

What are the advantages of a headless CMS?

The advantages of a headless CMS are obvious and compelling: Instead than implementing numerous, simultaneous content management system instances, for example, to cover web and mobile channels, a single headless CMS instance may service an unlimited number of digital channels.

What exactly does "headless CMS" mean?

A headless Content Management System, often known as a content repository, is a back-end-only content management system. A headless CMS makes content available through an API for display on any device that lacks a front-end or presentation layer.

Is a headless CMS preferable?

While headless CMS is advantageous for developers, particularly in terms of user experience, it may not be necessary for tiny websites with a few pages. Using a standard CMS for smaller projects is more efficient and effective. Non-web content publication entails not running a website at all.

What exactly is a headless application?

In the software industry, the term headless refers to a software application or programme that does not have a frontend. To provide full capability to end users, it is frequently necessary to link it to another frontend application or interface through API.

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