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Bridget Black December 10th, 2021

The digital revolution has transformed all industries, not least of all marketing. Gone (largely) are the days of billboards, radio ads, and flyers. Now, discussion centres largely around SEO and PPC — or search engine optimisation and pay-per-click. A secure and engaging website is a marketer’s best friend, a place where they can share the latest news and implement strategies that are designed to attract the attention of both real customers and search engines.

However, with the speed at which technology is constantly evolving, one of the biggest challenges that digital marketers face is ensuring that their content remains both relevant and accessible for years to come.

How can this be achieved? Well, one of the simplest ways is through the use of a headless CMS. Here at Newpath Web, we believe technology should be harnessed to make our lives easier, and a headless CMS — like Drupal CMS — certainly achieves this goal for digital marketers, business owners, and all involved with web development.

What is a headless CMS?

To better understand the benefits of a headless CMS, it’s important to first define what a content management system is and how it works. A CMS is a type of software that enables developers to quickly and securely build websites. Without CMS technology, websites would have to be built using code from scratch, a process that requires much time and energy.

Essentially, a content management system operates in two parts. The content management application (or CMA), is the back-end of the system. It has an easy to use interface and makes it simple for even those with limited tech knowledge to create, upload, edit, and delete content. The content delivery application, or CDA, is the more technical side of the software and converts the content you have entered into the front-facing interface of a website.

While content management systems have been around, in one form or another, for over a number of decades now, it is only recently that they have evolved into their next form — the headless CMS.

A headless CMS contains only one half of the traditional content management system structure. This half is known as the content repository. Here, all content — be it written, audio, or video — is saved. The content is then delivered to the end device using what is known as an API, or an Application Programming Interface.

The thing about APIs is that they are developed to be device specific. In the case of a headless CMS, the API for a mobile phone will be different to that of a smart watch. Having to build a different API for each device type might sound consuming, but it is the greatest advantage of a headless CMS.

Advantages to using a headless CMS — for digital marketers, and anyone else

Digital marketers spend a lot of time producing content that is engaging and on-brand. Sometimes, this content is for a specific campaign. Other times, it might be a long-form article or video that provides on-going value to a company.

Having spent significant time creating this content, the last thing that marketers want is for it to disappear for reasons that are outside their control — like evolving technology.

The fact of the matter is, the type of technology we use to build websites today won’t necessarily be around forever, particularly if new devices keep being invented with unusual screen sizes or interfaces — think a virtual reality headset, for example. Eventually, your website will likely be migrated to another platform and you may lose all of your online assets and content.

However, using a headless CMS ensures that the core content that makes up your website will also be accessible, regardless of what type of device your clients are using. All content is stored in the repository and developers simply need to create a new API each type a new device is invented. The advantages are obvious, for digital marketers and business owners.

Headless CMS options

The advantages of a headless CMS are obvious. The question is, what type of headless CMS should I use?

Many of the top CMS providers have now moved to offer headless iterations of their software. Drupal CMS, for example, is a popular headless option used by many professional developers. Other headless CMS options include Kentico Kontent, Contentful, and Storyblok.

The great thing about working with a professional digital services company, like Newpath Web, is that we are able to recommend a specific platform that is best suited to your individual situation. While a headless CMS, like Drupal CMS, is a great option for many businesses, depending on the size and digital needs of your company, it’s not always necessary.

To learn more about headless CMS and our industry leading web development services, contact Newpath Web today.

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