Headless CMS: The Future of Web Development
Traditional CMS architecture has been the standard for some time now; however, modern companies are seeking the enhanced flexibility and scalability offered by headless CMS solutions.
Here, we outline the key differences between headless CMS vs. decoupled CMS architecture, and discuss why businesses are embracing content infrastructure.
Traditional CMSs have been around since the beginnings of web development. Platforms such as WordPress were introduced to store and present an array of digital elements, including images, text and video on websites.
When managing content through the traditional CMS approach, everything was intermixed in one location – including images, content, HTML and CSS, making it incredibly difficult – if not impossible – to reuse the content.
Over the years, digital platforms have evolved. As a result, the need for more flexible solutions has arisen.
Traditional CMS' are struggling to keep up with the need for web development, mobile site development, apps, digital displays and so on. This is because the traditional CMS organizes content in webpage-oriented frameworks.
This has made it impossible for the same content to be used on other digital platforms, as it cannot seamless adapt to the platform it is being used on.
Introducing Headless CMS’
A headless CMS is a back-end content management system where the ‘body’ of the content repository is disconnected from the presentation layer ‘head.’ Content stored in a headless CMS is delivered via APIs, ensuring a seamless display no matter which device it’s being viewed on.
In some instances, traditional CMS platforms offer a ‘headless API.’ This enables you to store content in its own presentation layer. The reason this is referred to as ‘headless’ is because the presentation layer is distinct from the body.
While the traditional CMS presents a number of limitations, there is a way to solve this. One way is to implement a ‘headless’ CMS, whereby the presentation layer of the site is the ‘head’ of a CMS. By cutting off that presentation layer, this ultimately results in a headless CMS.
However, there are limitations to this type of headless CMS. While you are free to choose an appropriate layer for a digital platform, this doesn’t solve the biggest issue: structuring content in order to reuse it across a number of channels and platforms.
When it comes to headless architecture, it can certainly be compared to a headless CMS. This is because it is a multichannel solution that effectively publishes dynamic content across a range of platforms and devices. When you store content in a headless architecture, it is raw and unformatted. As a result, its final presentation is not limited by a front-end system.
Headless CMS vs. Decoupled CMS
When seeking a CMS system, you’ll notice that some platforms offer a headless CMS option, while others offer a decoupled CMS option. Either way, this still doesn’t solve the issue of managing the content itself.
There needs to be a way to organize content so it’s easy to reuse across digital platforms. It needs to be stored separately from the code, so the code doesn’t impede the wide range of digital applications.
Introducing CMS and Content Infrastructure
Content infrastructure is an alternative approach to organising content. Instead of organising content around pages, as with the traditional approach, it begins with a content model, or a framework for organising different types of content and determining how each type of content relates to the other.
Using this approach, the content model is fully customised to each organisation, thus ensuring that content creators don’t struggle with a pre-programmed model (the only option available with traditional CMS’).
ach piece of content is broken down into individual elements, including the blog post headline, the content itself and the call-to-action button. It’s up to you how each element relates to the other, thus offering utmost flexibility that’s fully customised to any digital container.
Why use Structured Content?
Modern enterprises are embracing structured content for a number of reasons. Firstly, it eliminates the need to duplicate content from one CMS to another, including a website CMS, an app CMS and a digital display CMS.
This eradicates the need to copy/paste endless amounts of work, as it unifies all content into a single, centralised headless content hub. This makes the entire editing process so much easier, quicker more straightforward.
Once you make one change to content or images in one location, this change is automatically applied to all content or images, across the board.
Unification is fundamental for improving brand consistency whilst adhering to compliance requirements. It makes the work of an editor much more seamless and straightforward, as it avoids the need to go through every channel and platform to update content or images.
Finally, content infrastructure facilitates simultaneous collaboration. Instead of the traditional waterfall approach, teams can work in parallel with one another within an agile framework. If enterprises need to quickly create new landing pages and microsites, they can do so quickly and seamlessly, which gives them an immense advantage over their competitors.
As you can see, content infrastructure is a simple and easy way make your latest campaigns a breeze. When all content is accessible across all digital platforms, brands can capitalise on features such as personalisation and localisation.
Contact the team at EWM today to discuss your web design, development and content requirements.