While the separation between back-end and front-end being maybe one of the most striking advantages of headless CMSes, it is not the only one. In this section, we will explore in more detail the aspects that distinguish headless CMSs from traditional CMSs.
Efficient Content Editing
If you have used traditional CMS platforms such as WordPress, Episerver, or Drupal, you may have noticed that content editing is handled from within the CMS itself. While this provides a quick solution for small to medium-sized websites and blogs, it is not the best approach for large sites that process hundreds of pages of new content per month.
In addition to the overhead that the flashy WYSIWYG editor has on resources, this approach treats each page and each post as a "bucket" where all elements converge. We are talking about the content (text), HTML formatting, images, videos, shortcodes, etc. From a structural point of view, traditional CMSs are also a nightmare. Imagine the layer of complexity of managing a multi-language site where you have to correlate all these elements.
On the other hand, a headless CMS like Contentful allows you to structure content in an efficient way, separating and classifying content into interrelated fields which can be restructured and reused flexibly. Moreover, since the main mission of the back-end is to edit and store content in a predictable way, this allows you to edit structured content in unique ways, as is the case with the new Contentful Slide-In Editor.
- Contentful Headless CMS provides you with a faster editing experience
- Headless CMSs allow content to be classified and stored in a convenient and predictable way
The idea of editing content more efficiently may not be compelling enough for you. But what about the ease with which headless CMSes can help you drive an omnichannel content strategy?
Traditional CMSs, even decoupled headless CMSes, are limited to serving only one type of content. This has a lot to do with their reliance on a monolithic approach. None of these platforms were designed to be a content repository; instead, they were designed to serve dynamic web pages.
Truly headless content management systems, on the other hand, are structured data silos. A developer can create an API that makes use of such data in many ways. For instance, the content stored in the back-end of a Headless CMS can be used for a blog, but it can also be used for a web application running on a mobile device, a chatbot, or provisioning an e-commerce site. The possibilities are endless.
- Headless CMS provides the flexibility to centralize content regardless of its intended use
- Structured content stored in Contentful Headless CMS can be leveraged when implementing an omnichannel strategy
The scalability of traditional CMSs such as Episerver or Drupal is limited due to its monolithic nature. Even using a load balancer, the performance of such a platform has its limits.
On the other hand, Contentful Headless CMS is built with current tech trends in mind. Being a cloud-native platform, Contentful's scalability headroom is basically unlimited. Furthermore, this type of scalability is not restricted to the back-end but also applies to the front-end.
Depending on the use case, developers can use services like Netlify to serve static web pages or use high-performance cloud-based services to host HA applications.
- In terms of scalability, the sky's the limit for both the Headless CMS back-end and the presentation layer consuming API calls.
DevOps & Agile Ready
Monolithic CMS(or ecom) platforms are not friendly to Agile development practices, let alone DevOps principles. Contentful, on the other hand, is built following all the principles used by modern development teams which allow taking CMSes to the next level, CMS As Code.
The tools that Contentful provides for this are versatile. For example, Contentful's space environments offer the ability to create and maintain multiple versions of the space-specific data and make changes to them in isolation. Moreover, developers can use CD/CI tools to create a pipeline that allows them to deliver content faster.
Best of all, teams trained in Agile and DevOps principles will feel right at home because they will be able to use the tools they are used to. All of the above allows you to leverage the inherent benefits of DevOps, such as increased security, higher quality content, greater collaboration between departments or development teams, and more.
- Contentful Headless CMS allows releasing content & shipping new software logic faster
- DevOps and Agile principles built in Contentful favor collaboration