What Is A Headless CMS?

Traditional CMS is what most businesses will have been used to using, but headless CMS architecture is now being more and more dated and there’s perfectly valid reasons for this. The thing is, many businesses still are unaware of what headless CMS actually is.

What Is A Headless CMS

This guide will explain everything you need to know about headless CMS, what it means and how it can be useful.
So, let’s dive in.

What Does Headless CMS Mean?

In brief, the term “headless” has a specific meaning in the context of software development: it refers to a web application that does not require any user interface (UI) or other graphical elements on the client side.

It can be used as an alternative to traditional CMS systems like WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, etc., which typically rely on a front-end UI that allows users to interact with the system.

Headless CMS may also be referred to as content management systems without a GUI, or simply as Content Management Systems (CMS).

The goal of a headless CMS is to provide a platform that allows developers to build applications without having to worry about how those applications look and feel.

This means that the developer can focus their time and energy on writing code instead of spending time designing and building a user-friendly website.

A headless CMS works by storing data in databases rather than files. This makes it easier to scale up your site because you don’t have to worry about where all the files are stored.

A headless CMS also provides a way to manage content from different sources such as social media platforms, RSS feeds, APIs, and so on. It gives you the freedom to store your content wherever you want, and then use it however you want.

How Does A Headless CMS Work?

There are two ways in which a headless CMS works.

1. Content Management System

This type of CMS stores content in a database. Once you log into the system, you’ll see a dashboard where you can create new posts, change existing posts, delete posts, etc.

2. Static Website Generator

This type of CMS generates static files such as images, videos, and CSS. These files are then uploaded to a server so that they can be served to visitors.

Why Should You Use A Headless CMS?

There are several benefits to using a headless CMS over a traditional CMS. Some of them include:

Scalability

When you’re running a traditional CMS, you’re responsible for managing all the files yourself. If you decide to add another page, you’ll have to find a new place to put it.

With a headless CMS, you just create a new file and upload it into the right folder. There’s no need to change anything else.

Security

Your traditional CMS relies on a database to store information. Because of this, if someone manages to gain access to your database, they could potentially see sensitive information. With a headless CMS, the only way they’d get access to your data would be through your API keys.

Flexibility

A traditional CMS is built around a particular framework. For example, WordPress was originally designed to work with PHP.

If you wanted to switch to Python, you’d have to rewrite your entire website. With a headless All you have to do is update the API key.

Speed

A headless CMS doesn’t require a browser to run. This means that it’s much faster than a traditional CMS.

Cost

Since you don’t have to pay for hosting, you save money.

User Experience

The main reason why people choose to use a headless CMS is because it looks better than a traditional CMS. Users prefer to use websites that are clean and easy to navigate.

Customization

A headless CMS lets you customize everything about your site. You can even write custom plugins that allow you to extend its functionality.

SEO

Search engines love headless CMS because they make it easier for search engine spiders to crawl your site.

Control Over Data

A headless CMS gives you complete control over what data gets stored and how it’s stored.

No Need To Learn HTML/CSS

Many headless CMS come with drag and drop editors that let you easily edit pages without knowing any coding at all.

Easy Maintenance

Once you’ve set up a headless CMS, there’s very little maintenance required.

Easier Integration

You can integrate other systems like Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Ability To Add New Features

As long as you’re willing to learn how to program, you have the ability to add features to your own headless CMS.

More Secure

Because a headless CMS doesn’t rely on a database to store data, it makes it more secure.

Better UX

Since a headless CMS uses less resources, users experience a smoother user interface.

Headless CMS Examples

It can be useful to know what some headless CMS are. Here are some examples of headless CMS:

  • Drupal
  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Wix

CMS Made Simple

There are many types of headless CMS out there. One of the most popular ones is called CMS Made Simple (CMSM). It’s an open source project that allows anyone to build their own headless CMS. The best part? It’s free!

Here’s how you can build your own custom CMS from scratch:

  1. Install CMSM
  2. Create a Database
  3. Set Up Routes
  4. Setup Authentication
  5. Configure Content Types
  6. Handle File Uploads
  7. Add Plugins
  8. Build Pages
  9. Test Your Site

Conclusion

We hope we were able to help you decide whether a headless CMS is right for you. If you still aren’t sure which one to go with, here are some things to consider:

  • Security: Are you worried about hackers gaining access to your site? Do you need to keep certain information private?
  • Usability: How comfortable are you with using a new technology? Would you rather spend time building something instead of learning how to use it?
  • SEO: Does your business depend on getting high rankings in search results? Will having a headless CMS affect this?
  • Control: Do you want full control over every aspect of your site?

Once you’ve assessed these main points, you will be able to decide if headless CMS is right for you.

Matthew Jacobs
Latest posts by Matthew Jacobs (see all)