What you need to know about Headless CMS

The CMS that supports your digital presence isn’t necessarily something that business owners need worry about. As long as your content is out there, surely that’s enough? However, as the range of online channels increases, so do the pressures on a business CMS. You may have heard about the benefits to headless CMS and wonder how this could work for your organisation. So we look at the things that you actually need to know about headless CMS.

Features of Traditional CMS

A traditional Content Management System is designed to be a single solution that manages both the front end and back end of a website or platform.

  • Everything is stored in one place: content, images, and code. This makes traditional CMS extremely user-friendly.
  • The content is tied in with code and so it appears within a set form that is consistent with an organisation’s website branding.
  • The template based CMS enables straightforward administration. This means that it can be used by less technical editors and marketers within an organisation, without the requirement for developer expertise.
  • Editing or reusing content across different digital media and platforms needs to be done manually.

Features of Headless CMS

Headless CMS is designed to detangle content from code so it can be reapplied in a variety of forms. The ‘head’ that’s removed refers to the presentation layer of a website or platform.

  • As content stored in a headless CMS is unformatted, its final presentation can be developed to offer optimal user experience. This takes into account different requirements of functionality across devices.
  • Headless CMS helps to maintain a coherent presence over multiple spaces, such as a website, mobile apps, AI and social media. Raw content sits within a central repository, and is used in a way that remains consistent with branding.
  • Just one edit is required to update content across all platforms. This easing of editing labour means a considerable decrease in workload. This enables content creators to work more productively and cuts down potential errors.
  • The extra layers of code within a headless CMS automatically increase security. A read only API used to translate the content decreases the attack surface making it less vulnerable.

Business Benefits of Headless CMS

Clearly, headless CMS has many attractive features. However, what are the business reasons for implementing this type of solution?

1 – Futureproof

Separation offers the kind of module flexibility that is key in futureproof technology. A headless CMS approach enables freedom to adopt any future tech that works for your organisation. Teams of programmers and developers can integrate different technologies and evolve your online presence. This avoids the disruptive downtime caused by making single large scale updates.

2 – Organisation Growth

A digital presence must reflect the growth of an organisation. As your business grows, you may require improved website functionality, rebranding, or more platforms. With headless CMS in the background, these changes can happen incrementally to support your business growth rather than simply react to it.

3 – Centralised

With centralised content ready to be pushed out to customers across different media, marketing teams can turn their focus elsewhere. This means increased productivity and time for strategic and proactive working. As traditional CMS stores content and code intertwined, repeated edits would need to be made individually. Conversely, headless CMS requires just one edit.

4 – Functionality

Don’t underestimate the impact of developer empowerment. With headless CMS, developers can build the functionality that exactly matches your business needs. Freedom of front end tools, frameworks and languages will lead to better results for the business. As long as an organisation has access to a front end development team, their user functionality can really stand out from competitors.

5 – Loading Speed

With a separated front and back end, a website uses fewer resources in loading which speeds it up. Additionally there is no delay to page loading typically caused by installed plugins. This improves both user experience and Google core vitals.

Workforce Benefits of Headless CMS

There’s more to headless CMS than the benefits that it can bring to a business. For many developer and marketing teams, it is a hugely preferable system to use. It’s worth taking a look at the detail of why this is.

1 – Design

As centrally stored content is raw and unformatted, its final presentation isn’t limited by a front-end system. With flexible design and language at the front end, this opens up the aesthetic potential of a marketing campaign. In this way, dynamic content can be published across a range of platforms and devices with branding cohesion.

2 – Updates

For multiple development teams working in parallel, headless CMS can enable efficient working practices and joined up collaboration. Any updates that need to be made to specific areas can take place without having an impact on other areas. This is great for organisations that need to rapidly update new software in a responsive and agile way.

3 – Accessibility

Content is simply more accessible when stored centrally. Without the need to labour over content maintenance, resources are instead spent on great content creation. This central content can then be adapted and localised by different teams for different purposes.

4 – Responsiveness

With content and editing in just one place, headless CMS can enable more rapid scaleability. Should your organisation growth demand a change in developer tools, more flexible changes can be made. This streamlines process and optimises change.

5 – Branding

We recognise that headless CMS makes editing content easier. So how about the effect that this has on branding? Unification improves the consistency of your brand across all of your media presence, which is easier to implement.

Who uses Headless CMS?

With the uptake of headless CMS increasing, it is helpful to consider which types of business or organisation use this approach. It really depends on your circumstances, business size, personnel infrastructure and strategy.

  • If an organisation or business employs a team of in-house or outsourced developers, headless CMS is ideal.
  • Those organisations that are medium to larger scale, possibly growing, and with multiple media presence to manage will certainly benefit from headless CMS.
  • If future proofing, bespoke functionality and increased scope for strategic thinking sounds appealing, then headless CMS will support these ambitions.

To realise the potential that headless CMS can bring to your organisation, get in touch.