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Bridget Black August 19th, 2020

For a long time, the only content that users wanted to publish online was a simple text page, and the only forum they wanted to publish this on was a desktop web browser. When compared to the wealth of devices and content forms that are available to developers and consumers today, the internet has been a historically simple place.

Fast-forward to 2020 and we have videos, infographics, podcasts, quizzes, eBooks, banners, headline tickers, weather updates, polls, animations, games and more — all found on the same page. The challenge for marketers and developers moving forward is ensuring that their valuable content will remain forever accessible, regardless of prevailing forms of technology.

This is where headless CMS comes into the picture. A headless CMS is exactly what it sounds like — a content repository system that has no front end (or head). This emerging form of technology is considered to be the future of web development and promises increased freedom for users, marketers and developers alike.

What is a headless CMS?

It might be useful to describe a headless CMS by first outlining the features of a traditional CMS.

Traditional CMSs are made up of both a front-end and a back-end, which are closely interlocked and cannot function without each other. A simplified explanation is that the back-end is concerned with the creation and storage of content, whilst the front end focuses upon presentation. A popular example is WordPress, which hosts over 75 million websites.

The emerging issue with traditional CMSs is that content is pushed from the back-end to the front-end into a predefined layout, so developers often have to spend excess time creating workarounds to present specific forms of content on specific devices.

Headless CMSs don’t have this issue, as there is simply no front-end. A headless CMS is a repository that delivers content to any platform or device via the use of an API (Application Program Interface). Marketing and editorial teams create the content and handball it over to engineers and developers who create the relevant APIs, depending on the requirements of the project.

Both the type of material and method of delivery are not in any way restricted.

Who should consider using a headless CMS?

Headless CMSs are particularly useful for companies that are required to deliver multiple forms of content across multiple platforms. They provide front-end freedom, security and scalability so you can proportionally expand your range of content as your business grows.

Headless CMSs are also considered to be future-proof. With the rate at which technology is evolving, the last thing you want to do is spend valuable time and resources on content that will soon no longer be compatible with current tech standards, or look old and outdated to your clients. If design and innovation are important to you, certainly take a look at how Headless CMS can be integrated into your business.

Potential drawbacks

Headless CMSs are not for everyone. If you are running a simple blog or traditional website and your content is not updated that often, you are unlikely to need one.

A headless CMS will require the dedication and resources of a tech-savvy development team, who can engineer the relevant APIs in order to deliver your content. If you don’t work with a large team, or have front-end developers available at your disposal, headless CMS may not be your best option

Headless CMSs are touted as the web development tool of the future, and they could offer a wide range of benefits to you and your business. If you want further information, be sure to reach out to us at [email protected] to discuss all your CMS requirements.

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