Don’t Be Afraid Of The Headless CMS

1K Blog Marathon: Day 46

What!? A headless CMS? Is it Halloween already?

Yesterday we learned about CMS, or Content Management System. If you missed our blog post yesterday, you can check it here: Things You SHOULD Know About CMS

CMS, as we know, is a software that helps content creator and webmasters Create, Publish, Update and Delete web pages and blog posts seamlessly. It is a very easy and time saving approach in creating websites.

Many industry uses CMS for their websites for these reasons. Also, you don’t need to be technically in-depth to use a Content Management System. In some cases, you only need one developer to set it up for you, or if you are the developer, you can have more time to create contents.

But as digital content deliveries transforms, many form of media is now available. To reach more user and to have greater engagement, businesses jumps from one platform to another – Desktop, Mobile, Wearable, Web apps, the list goes on. With this, the need for a flexible approach is rising.

This is when a Headless CMS is appropriate subject to talk about.

But what is a “Headless CMS”, sir?

Headless Content Management System is a CMS with no front-end – only back-end. In other words, you can only access its database and contents but not its UI. Let’s go technical.

In a normal CMS, you have a front-end (CMA) and a back-end (CDA). You store the contents (blog post) on the database with the help of the CDA, and you show it to the user using the CMA, along with the design and UI of your website.

You cannot use a CMS without accessing the back end and showing the contents on your front end. You show your contents in a website that is only accessible as a website. It can be mobile-friendly or mobile-first, or even desktop-only approach, but you can’t have so many template of a single website that can cater so many screen size and media type.

In a headless CMS, you strip away the CMA, or you remove the design of your website. You are only left with the back end contents inside the database. These contents are delivered to your user via API. Using API requests, you can provide contents to multiple output media.

With this approach, your contents are not limited to only one type of media. You can show your contents via website, web apps and even via desktop software. Because you are not limited to only website using your CMA, with the contents delivered to you, you can divert these data / contents to different digital outputs – be it a website, web app, mobile, etc.

A Headless CMS: One back end can serve multiple outputs via API

Is Headless CMS Helpful?

Absolutely, it’s very helpful. One good thing is that headless CMS is not limited to websites. For example, you have a hotel booking website. Your contents are shown in a WEBSITE, one type of media. Using headless CMS, you can get the data or your contents via API and show it as an Android App, an iOS app, and as a legacy software. You can change the design depending on the media you are using – mobile-friendly, wide view desktop, or even wearable. You just need the data from the API.

Aside from the above mentioned, you can create different output media using different frameworks. Example, you create you Android App using JAVA, your iOS app in Swift, you can create multiple sites using Angular, React, Bootstrap, Hard code – anything!

The “Less” in this approach

Headless CMS is not an all-out unicorn, it has disadvantages on its own also. First is Diversity of channels, which can lead to overwhelming job. Managing multiple approaches could be a tedious task – get ready your Dev Team. Another is that the “lack of head”, or the lack of UI, is another task. You or your team has to do the front end, either manually of by using other frameworks.

Platforms

  1. Netlify CMS
  2. Zesty.io
  3. Directus
  4. Prismic
  5. Contentful
  6. Butter CMS
  7. Bloomreach

Assimilation

As a generalization, a CMS is a very helpful way to produce web contents faster and efficiently. A Headless CMS is a type of Content Management System that allows contents to be delivered through different media, via API. For a more flexible approach, a Headless CMS is a new and fresh way to solve this issue in a dynamically moving digital life.

“And that’s one blog, stay hungry!”

“I do believe losing your head has made you more intelligent.”

― Vivian French

Published by Christian Foster

Code-blooded, coffee-lover, tall, dark and chubby. I love to draw, has motion-sickness and a sleepy-head. BTW, graduate of BS Computer Science, Associate in Computer Science and certified UiPath RPA Developer. Loyal to my partner and a father of a cute bouncing baby daughter!

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