What is a headless CMS you might ask? Well, it is definitely not a website with the top cut off riding a horse during All Hallows Eve, but rather it is the Content Management System portion detached from the client facing website.
If you are unfamiliar Content Management Systems, they are simply systems in place allowing you to publish content of your application as well as some of the layout/visual aspects of your website. Arguably the most popular CMS would be WordPress, which we at Scotch & Ramen Media, Inc. use a great deal in many of our projects. And although there are many benefits of storing and managing content and design within a CMS, it also becomes quite limiting and forces your content to only be accessible in a single avenue. For example, if you are building your website directly inside your CMS such as WordPress, your content is then only easily accessible within that particular website.
With a headless CMS, the CMS is only responsible for publishing content and media; the layout, presentation, and technology being used are the responsibility of the developer or development team. Developers can create an API (Application Programming Interface) that each platform can connect to, receive updates, and utilize content within the remote (headless) CMS. For example, if you have a blog as well as a phone application which you would like to share content from, you can update your headless CMS and have all of your applications updated simultaneously. Since neither your website or app are built inside the CMS, but rather connected to a remote system, you gain the ability to share data across all of your platforms.
Having a headless CMS also allows business teams with little technical experience to easily update or add content such as new product lines or blogs posts without needing the development team to build out templates to house the newly created data. This significantly decreases the amount of time spent waiting for things to be built simply because the website and CMS do not directly rely on each other to function.
To summarize, the benefits of using a headless implementation of your Content Management System are as follows.
- Better architecture: You are no longer confined to working inside the limitations for the content management system.
- Easy to update: Since a headless CMS is strictly for handling content, anyone within your team can make updates or add new content.
- Everything in one place: Additions only happen in one place, allowing all platforms to be updated simultaneously.
- Availability: Due to the decoupled nature of a headless CMS, if it were to ever go offline, your websites and applications will not be affected.
- Future Proof: There is no technical change requirement for the CMS so your data all remains the same while updating the technical or visual aspects of your applications.
I would highly recommend exploring a headless CMS for your next data-centric product or CaaS! You will, no doubt, experience a host of benefits for both your software quality and content updates. Both your business teams and development teams will be enthusiastic about the accessibility and flexibility a headless CMS provides.