Content Management Systems like WordPress allows you to create, manage and deliver content with just a few clicks, all in one place.
In recent years this has allowed websites that could only be changed by a web developer, to be modified by anyone with a basic understanding of computers.
From changing a banner on your homepage to creating a new article on your blog, the CMS makes editing and delivering content super simple.
While this makes life easier for personal websites and small business blogs, it presents a common problem in that content delivery is limited to one channel. I.e. your website. If you want to push the same content to your website, app, or e-commerce store, it’s going to be a slow and expensive process.
To solve this problem, forward-thinking businesses are turning to the next wave of content management. Aka the ‘headless CMS’.
What is a headless CMS?
A headless CMS also referred to as Content as a Service (CaaS) is the idea of splitting up content storage and content delivery.
This means that the back-end handling the content storage is hosted in a different environment and/or server than the front-end that takes cares of the content delivery.
So instead of being linked in one application, the front-end talks to the back-end using an API.
When a user visits a website, a request is made from the front-end to the back-end for all the content that should be displayed on that landing page. The back-end then gives the front-end that data in the form of a response which it can use to create a user interface.
What are the benefits?
Improved user experiences
Today’s landscape dominated by mobile users.
A headless CMS gives you the framework to create multiple channels from one back-end. You can create a front-end for a website, an iOS or Android App, content for campaigns, or an e-commerce website, all talking to the same back-end.
Any content updates published in the back-end are then reflected on all your sites and applications.
You can combine a headless CMS with a CDN (Content Delivery Network) meaning that no matter where the end user is in the world, accessing content is lightning fast.
This improves the user experience dramatically and allows you to introduce new features without the need for large and expensive teams.
Google loves it
Site speed not only improves the user experience, but Google has confirmed that site speed and performance has a significant impact on your overall rankings.
It’s easier to use
De-coupling the content storage from the storage deployment means that the CMS is purely used for managing content, and isn’t cluttered up with development jargon, plugins, and other distractions.
Where is the headless CMS heading?
We’re already beginning to see the advantages of headless CMS in our industry.
Magento Commerce is a huge e-commerce platform owned by Adobe and is in the process of creating a proof of concept for a headless storefront solution.
Having one e-commerce backend that serves categories, products, prices, marketing and content to different storefronts created for different devices.
Business owners could have lightning fast e-commerce, iOS and Android Apps and websites all managed in one place, allowing the user to go from homepage to checkout in seconds.
Do you need it?
For businesses who already have native and third-party content applications, or those looking to future-proof their website with a scalable and cost-effective CMS, the headless CMS is a no-brainer.
It makes operating on multiple channels more accessible and offers users an improved experience no matter where or how they interact with your brand.
To learn more or to find out how a headless CMS could work for your business, get in touch.