Discover the benefits and disadvantages of headless CMS, who is using, what are the headless CMS use cases and why is becoming so popular in 2019?
What is headless CMS?
Traditional CMS systems are coupled, monolithic systems. A single application is responsible for both content management and serving content to users. Maintenance, customizations, upgrades, security fixes can become hard, espacialy over long period of time from initial implementation.
Benefits of a headless CMS
Serving content to multiple channels/platforms
The content created in a headless CMS is served using standards like JSON and can be used across multiple channels, including website, mobile applications, smart watches and virtual reality etc.
Website is more scalable and secure
In headless architecture, content is typically served through a high-performance CDN (Content Delivery Network) rather than directly from a server connected to a database. The content purity and stateless APIs of headless CMSs enable high scalability.
Website implementation is cleaner and more agile
Headless CMS approach promotes agile software development practices and iterative development. You can form a team of front-end developers who can better split work and simultaneously deliver features faster. Content creators and developers can work simultaneously.
Website can leverage client-side rendering
Disadvantages of headless CMS
Marketers empowerment for graphic design will be limited
Many marketers are used to experimenting with content creation with CMS. With headless CMS they will be relying more on developers in certain scenarios, e.g. creating a landing page with a custom layout.
There are no ready to use themes
Headless CMSs don’t deal with the presentation layer so developers may have to create it. In doing so they can relay on purchased HTML template, but they will need to integrate it into static-site generator or server-rendering application.
What are headless CMS use cases
SEO & acquisiton campaigns
Featuring companies like Deliveroo, Canal+, Levi's, Made, New Relic to create highly contextualized rich content to boost your SEO and reduce your acquisition costs.
Mobile and web applications content
Used by BNP Paribas, Google, The Sun, Tabcorp to manage and push content painlessly to your native apps and web apps.
Ecommerce and catalogue
Featuring HolidayCheck, Chumbak, Lostmy.name, PeatchDish to enhance the editorial capabilities of their ecommerce platform.
Listing Amnesty International, Decathlon, Virgin media, ebay, rtl, Makelight to develop rich content for your website and produce content that brings value to the customer.
Corporations like Kaplan, FHLBank, AXON, Liverpool Philharmonic publish important scheduled publications (financial results, partnership announcements, press releases). Read More
Who is using headless CMS
Contentful from Berlin, one of most marketed Headless CMS lists following quotes and case studies from is customers:
TUI Nordic, is a part of the world's largest travel company
Contentful is a great fit with our speed-oriented architecture. Read More
Xoom, part of PayPal, the global leader in digital payments
The business benefits are huge. We don't have to spend so many resources now just getting content out. It allows us to use our development resources much more wisely now. Read More
The British Museum, the world's busiest museum
We have many digital channels from which people access our content and we need some way of storing and managing this information so that it can be accessible to general public. Read More
Summary: Why Headless CMS are becoming so popular?
Headless CMS and is rising in popularity in the development world, especially for ecommerce and publishers serving content via multiple channels. The performance of static generated and better mobile users experience helps to rank higher on google.
This model allows designing and implementing more engaging user experiences, especially for mobile users who are dominating web audience today. People search more on mobile than desktop.
Agile software development practices and iterative development enabled by separation of Headless CMS and website display layer gives developers great flexibility to innovate and ensures more future-proof websites by allowing refreshing the design without re-implementing the whole CMS.