Headless CMS - Simplified and Explained

When creating your website, you may be accustomed to “Monolithic” CMS (All-In-One Content Management System) platforms such as WordPress, where everything is connected; all the backend work is done, and the design must match to fit all devices and platforms. With Headless CMS, you get not only more responsive loading per device, but it’s easier to configure, future-proof, and more!

Let’s begin discussing what a Headless CMS is, and how it can benefit your website today.

What is a Headless CMS?

Briefly elaborated at the start of this, a lot of people get mixed up on what exactly a Headless CMS is. Imagine that the legs of a human are the content, such as the images, text, and blogs that you post on your website. The body would be the database. A database is where the information for your website is stored - updates are stored here, and updated for users to see. A database can be separate from a CMS, but would drastically reduce loading times and overall performance.

Now, we get into the head, which is where “Headless” CMS gets its name. The head of a CMS is the presentation layer. In layman’s terms, this is the design, the frontend, overall everything that the user sees. When a visitor on your store or website views your homepage, whether it be from their mobile device, PC, or other devices, this is all the head of a CMS platform. By separating this, you can make your website design unique to all sorts of platforms. This means that without changing the code, or getting someone to modify the backend content, you can always keep up to date with the latest devices coming out.

Brief Description of how Headless CMS Works

Normally, when working on a CMS platform, the code must fit to work with the design. You will have the content, which goes through the web server and database, and it all gets pushed into the design that you are your visitors and you see. With headless CMS, the content goes through an API which will allow unique designs to each device, and make it more responsive, and easier to update.

With how many new devices are getting introduced annually, from the introduction to the Smart Watches, to Smart Glasses, and many more in conception - you don’t want to find yourself with an outdated website. Statistically speaking, you will find yourself needing to call in the help of a developer far less often, and save yourself some money in the long run!

The Key Benefits of Headless CMS

It should be easy to see the benefits of a Headless CMS at this point, but let us recap what this could contribute to you in the long run, and why it’s worthwhile to make the investment and switch over.

  • Always up-to-date, upgraded and managed for you
  • Future-proof your website to all devices and platforms
  • A cheaper solution to monolithic CMS
  • Developers can develop on any programming language with no restrictions
  • Spend less time on design, and more time on content
  • Reusable content items
  • If maintenance or performance issues arise, no downtime for your website
  • Better security & more secure in general!

So, what have we learned from this? A headless CMS is cheaper, faster, more easily customizable, and allows you to focus on the business, not on the CMS. This is very important, and anyone who has been running on a CMS platform for an extended period of time can immediately see the advantages to this.

What’s the Catch?

Of course, with every system, there does tend to be some downsides as well. Although compared to the benefits, these are very minimal. You will need to manage another part of the infrastructure - the presentation aspect of your website. Additionally, even though it is generally cheaper, it does all depend on the developer, the infrastructure, as well as the CMS, which in rare cases could cause a higher cost.

A Look into the Strapi CMS and Rust Language

Using Strapi for your Headless CMS is our personal recommendation, although many great platforms exist out there. It’s open-source, easy to customize, self-hosted for privacy, and very fast; optimal for anyone looking for something quick, easy, and cheap. In addition, it works very well with Rust, a very powerful programming language which is similar to that of C and C++, guaranteeing memory safety.

Between these two, you’ll have a very unique and future-proof application or website which you can put minimal work into, while maximizing your content.

No matter how you look at it, Headless CMS has a variety of benefits to fit everyone’s wants and needs. While it does have a couple small drawbacks, you need to remember how fast the market is expanding everyday. New devices and platforms are constantly being released, and being prepared for them is never a bad thing.

If you would like to learn more or get a consultation to observe your requests, or if you’re considering making the transition, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss this with you!