Advancement of new technologies and proliferation of smart devices & platforms have made the need for seamless and consistent customer experiences across all touchpoints the topmost priority for businesses.
However, brands with traditional Content Management Systems (CMS) find it seemingly impossible to meet the growing demand of content that is both - responsive and adaptive to all the digital platforms.
"IDC believes headless content delivery is an essential ingredient of an omni-channel strategy." - Melissa Webster, Vice President, Content and Digital Media Technologies, IDC
Way to Headless CMS - for Omni Channel Delivery
Headless CMS has emerged as an approach to dissect content development (body/back-end) from the presentation layers (devices and platforms/front-end). Headless CMS has empowered CX leaders to be more flexible and versatile in reusing and remarketing content and delivering it across all channels without creating any disparity- with an API-first approach.
In an omnichannel centric digital world, headless CMS offers the right solution for modern multi-experience mandate - by delivering content that is no more restricted to just one device or one form of presentation.
2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management included Hybrid (traditional and headless) and pure headless capabilities for API-driven omnichannel content delivery as one of the key functionalities for existing WCM solutions.
Traditional CMS vs Headless CMS vs Hybrid (decoupled) CMS
A traditional CMS platform (like WordPress, Sitecore, Drupal, Joomla etc.) allows users and marketers to create, edit and design their content with default templates, HTML and WYSIWG editor and their work can then be saved in the back-end database. The presentation layer then displays the content to the end user according to what was built into the CMS by these editors.
In a Headless CMS platform however, there is no such presentation layer or front-end system (as it is being chopped off from the body or back-end) which allows the users to see - how their content would appear for their end customers. It enables the users to create the content as they like, which can later be published to any device and anywhere through APIs. With headless CMS, front-end developers are free to deliver content across any device and platform by letting CMS to respond to API calls.
Hybrid CMS (Decoupled) - Traditional Plus Headless
The absence of WYSIWG editor, user-friendly features and other editing templates of traditional CMS make it difficult for marketers to create and have perspective of their product and would depend on development teams to meet their needs. To solve this problem of marketers, a headless CMS is enabled with a hybrid feature for marketers can access the front-end delivery tools and make it more user friendly. This is also known as 'Decoupled CMS' or Hybrid Headless CMS.
This would mean, the content is still managed separately, and CMS remains front-end agnostic like in any headless CMS, but with the ability to use and have access to front-end tools for marketers. In a decoupled CMS, the front-end and back-end are not attached like in a traditional CMS and it is only through calls to an API- the front-end and back-end may communicate with each other.
Future for Headless CMS
"Headless commerce is the future of delivering outstanding customer experiences because it is an approach to building technology architecture that, as the name suggests, separates the experience of the customer from the back-end technology infrastructure, allowing brands to create personalized experiences."
- Forbes Council Member (Global CTO at Isobar)
With the proliferation of smart and IoT devices, the demand for headless CMS is ever growing. Gartner in its report of 2019 Magic Quadrant for WCM places headless as one of the core functionalities for web content management. In 2020, we all are witnessing new vendors with their headless only CMS models and traditional CMS providers competing with their own CMS versions.
With separation from the front-end, content will no more limit the design of front-end and will also play a greater role in other services like commerce which is evident with the rise of headless commerce. Content can now be easily used and re-used across all channels- for better customer experience and faster time to market. Being technology agnostic, headless CMS enables deploying of range of technologies- which helps in speeding up production and delivering a much reliable and responsive user experience.
A headless CMS architecture helps businesses save a lot of time and money as they can future-proof websites, redesign and upgrade it without the need to re-implement the whole CMS. Investing in a modern Headless or Hybrid CMS will turn out to be a long-term beneficial investment for businesses - with longer content life span and the ability to reuse content even with evolution of technology and platforms.
Contentful: The market-leading content platform for enterprises
Competitive pricing and hosted on a cloud-based infrastructure with AWS, makes Contentful faster and more reliable. It also includes simple markdown language - helping user to write content that is formatted quickly and easily. Contentful is ideal for businesses looking for a solution with faster time to market ability, rich editor interface, advanced caching techniques and integration with CDNs. Its centralised content hub for higher scalability and flexible APIs and SDKS makes it the market-leading headless CMS platform available today.
Espire Infolabs has a global partnership with Contentful to support brands with a multi-experience strategy for all touchpoints across the entire digital customer journey. This partnership aims to make content management and delivery - fast, secure, and reliable for brands, to be more agile and customer-centric while addressing the indispensable need for better digital experiences in the new normal.
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