headless CMS web development

Businesses today run a parallel life in the digital world as much in real life. Businesses spend a lot of time and money in managing websites and connecting with customers. A content management system (CMS) allows you to create, edit, manage and maintain website pages on a single interface.

The history of CMS can be traced back to the early 90s. Since then a lot of progress has been made in the technology of delivering content. Currently, the most popular traditional CMS include WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.

Headless CMS has grown extremely popular in the past few years. But why? In the modern mobile world, consumer expectations are constantly changing and to keep up with their demands, businesses find themselves needing to change their approach to building digital experiences. Headless CMS has proven to be one of the best ways to keep web experiences flexible enough to meet the demands of the ever-evolving landscape of the digital world.

What is Headless CMS

A headless CMS is a back-end only content management system (CMS) built up as a content repository that makes content accessible using a RESTful API. The head in headless refers to the front end. This approach enables developers to provide content as a service (CaaS). This essentially means that content delivery and storage are handled by different software. Headless CMS can make the following tasks easier and more efficient:

  • Modelling, creating and authoring content
  • Organizing content repositories
  • Improving workflow and collaboration

From a technical perspective, a headless CMS uses API calls to render content within a website’s codebase itself rather than building complex relationships between code and content. This makes the headless architecture easier to maintain than traditional CMS. Headless CMS also eliminates the security and maintenance issues that come with traditional CMS. It allows developers to perform multi-channel deployment with relative ease.  

Advantage of Headless CMS

There are a number of benefits to using a headless CMS as opposed to traditional CMS. Some of them include:

  • Flexibility – Developers have often found traditional CMS frustrating. Using a headless CSM allows developers to build a frontend framework that makes sense to the project. Since headless CMS comes with an API, developers can focus more on content creation rather than content management.
  • Faster time-to-market – Since all updates are pushed across all digital properties, creators do not need to worry about how different frontends display their content. This speeds up production as well as allows reuse and combination of individual content items.
  • Compatibility – Headless CMSs allow the content to be displayed on any device and provides control for user experience from one convenient backend.
  • Extra security – Since the content is typically provided through a high-performance Content Delivery Network (rather than directly from the database), the risk of distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDOS) is reduced.
  • Scalability – As the backend and frontend are separate, no downtime is needed for maintenance. This makes the website upgradable and customizable without compromising performance.
  • Easy to use – Traditional CMS is often cumbersome and complex as vendors attempt to offer every available feature in one package. Headless CMS focuses on content management; keeping things simple for the users who use it frequently.
  • Low operating costs – Headless CMSs are usually cheaper to install and run than their monolith counterparts, especially as they are typically built on a cloud model keeping the running costs low.

A headless CMS gives complete control to the developers of how and where the content appears on a website. As headless CMS is not tied to an existing technology, developers are free to use whatever languages and frameworks they are comfortable with. Additionally, headless CMS in more future proof because of how easily it integrates with new technologies.

Headless CMS vs Traditional CMS

Below is the comparison of a traditional CMS against a headless CMS

Traditional CMS Headless CMS
Setup The website is built on top of the CMS. CMS is integrated rather than the foundation
Hosting Requires a database and server hosting. Does not require hosting.
Code Complexity Content, CMS code, and website code coexist and intertwine, creating interdependence and complexity. Content exists separately and is rendered within your website’s codebase via simple API calls.
Security Security updates are frequent and backups are necessary. As content is delivered as CaaS, there is nothing to maintain.
Flexibility The website must be built/re-built in a specific programming language or framework Headless CMS integrates with any codebase.
Most Popular Story Block, Butter CMS, Prismic.io, Sanity.io, Contentful WordPress, Drupal, Ghost, Joomla

Below is the comparison of a traditional CMS against a headless CMS


Headless CMS can be ideal for the following use cases:

  • Websites and applications that utilize advanced JavaScript frameworks like Vue.js, React.js and Angular
  • Websites that are created using static site generator frameworks like Nuxt.js, GatsbyJS, Gridsome, Next.js and Jekyll
  • Ecosystems where the same content is published across multiple delivery platforms

Mobile developers especially benefit from headless CMS as it allows them to deliver content to both, iOS and Android using just one common backend.

Headless CMS allows developers to create more engaging user experiences.


Managing content can be a tedious job. Fortunately, a good CMS can eliminate such problems and allow developers to focus their energy elsewhere. Headless CMS has proven to be one of the most optimal and efficient CMS in today’s mobile world.

Implementing a headless CMS is much more than just technology. Headless CMS generate content that can be used across all platforms. The idea of creating content once and sharing it across all platforms using an API is the core philosophy of headless CMS.

With the ever-changing consumer expectations and increase in the number of platforms that are accessible to users, the headless CMS, with all its benefits and advantages, is the future of CMS based website development.  

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