Headless CMS has gained a lot of traction in the past few years, thanks to its various advantages compared to its traditional CMS counterparts such as the likes of WordPress, Optimizely, Drupal, Adobe Experience Manager etc.
With new trends and technologies constantly cropping up to the website stages with the likes of Webflow, Wix and Squarespace, it's safe to say that Headless CMS is here to stay for a long time.
When it comes to creating and managing the content, Headless CMS has a different approach that makes it easy to handle all the aspects of digital content for multi-channel.
But what makes it different from its contenders? What makes it stand out from the rest that it's winning hearts from left to right?
Let's find out!
Before we dive into the depths of the Headless CMS world, let's see how it is different from traditional CMS.
The main aim of a CMS is to offer seamless content publishing and management. However, certain aspects of monolithic CMSes make it difficult for businesses and marketing teams to publish and manage content.
CMS was originally introduced as a solution that'd merge with the site design to make updating the content a less of a task back in those days.
However, with time, as sites shifted from being static to interactive, the importance of creating original and relevant content became a requirement. CMS allowed different users with different permission levels to make and update content from a single place for their website.
And, an important point to remember: For the traditional CMS, it's a must that there should be a "defined" front-end and back-end, in other words, the data and presentation layer tightly coupled together, which isn't the case when it comes to our star of the show, the Headless CMS.
Headless CMS on the other hand, only has a dedicated back-end, while the front-end is detached. Now, unlike the traditional CMS, an API will deliver you the required content. Since the front-end is not attached with the back, you get a whole lot of freedom on how you want the content to be delivered. You also get to determine the content location, i.e., digital channels. There’s simply no restriction similar to the conventional one.
Traditional CMS offers certain benefits, such as, you don't need to know any programming languages, including the most basic ones, i.e, HTML and CSS, nor do you need any developers to manage or update the existing or the new site contents, it is easy to manage the content and site design from a single place, free from any complex process.
So, what’s wrong with the conventional CMS?
Well, there are indeed many issues that act as a hurdle for businesses who are looking for optimal performance and scale themselves without getting burdened by heaps of maintenance and site security upgrade bills.
Performance is one of the issues when using traditional CMS.
Did you know that each second is extremely valuable for site loading speed?
The conversion rate will decrease by 7% for each second the website takes to load. There will be an average drop of 4.42% of site conversion for every second the site takes to load within the first five seconds.
For ECommerce sites, 18% of customers will abandon their cart due to the slow loading of the checkout page. Studies have found that businesses can count a hefty $18 billion loss because of the abandoned carts.
1 in 4 customers will leave a site that takes more than 4 seconds to load. Furthermore, if it takes more than 6 seconds for a site page to load, it can increase customer stress by 33%.
Therefore, each second counts for a successful conversion.
The constraints of the traditional CMS model causes website pages to load quite slow, something any business would want to avoid like the plagues after checking the above stats.
It’s the legacy code that is tightly knit, and it is the culprit that can slow down websites that run on traditional CMS. If you don’t carry out the necessary installments and updates on a regular basis, chances are your website will start to perform slow.
Think about it?! It gets tiresome having to stay always on alert and monitoring the website page loading speed, checking if any optimization is needed… etc.
Headless CMS takes this worry miles away from you. Did you know that you can easily use A/B testing with Headless CMS?!
There are also security problems as coupled CMS is vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Let's consider Distributed Denial-of-service AKA DDoS attacks, a type of cyber attack.
A DDoS attack happens when the cyber attacker hits the server with fake heavy internet traffic, preventing the site users from accessing the site services.
There are various reasons for attackers to carry out a DDoS attack. The motivation for such attacks can be financial, extortion, or simply breaking the business down by exploiting its weakness.
Data figures show that the number of DDoS attacks is on the rise. According to Cloudflare, DDoS attacks compromised around 56% of cyber attacks in the third quarter of 2020 alone. Worth noting that Amazon AWS, being one of the largest global corporations, became a victim of it in 2020.
If the site security is not up to the mark, a successful DDoS can slow down the site considerably. In the worst-case scenario, it can become unavailable to its users.
Traditional CMS is in the top spot for becoming a DDoS attack victim due to its rigid architecture.
In traditional CMS, the server and the client-side are tightly knit together. Its back-end and front-end layers have a common pathway as they are inter-connected.
Plus, these sites use plugins to make their website more flexible. There's no limit on how many plugins you can install.
And, there's the problem: using too many third-party plugins can maximize the site's overall security vulnerability.
The back-end and front-end of a Headless CMS aren't connected. It only has a dedicated back-end layer, and it uses APIs to connect to various front-end, thus acquiring the name - Headless. Here, you don't need a database to publish the content. Instead of a database, the API ferries the content from the content repository, separate from the front end.
Consequently, this offers a smaller surface for an attack, which you could easily monitor and enhance the security as needed.
But, it doesn't mean it's completely free of any chances of becoming a DDoS victim. If it does go on to become a targeted attack, only a single channel will get affected, instead of the whole bunch, without crashing the entire site.
That's a much better deal than what a traditional CMS offers, which is more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Yes, you can beef up the security of a conventional CMS, but that would come with a super hefty price tag, and it's also time-consuming.
Furthermore, if you don't pay enough attention to any security loopholes or carry out proper back-end security updates could increase the chances of a potential cyber threat, including data breaches and loss resulting from such attacks.
Another shortcoming of the traditional CMS is the problem of content adaptability for digital platforms.
Times change! Unlike the past days, to reach out to your audience, it’s a must for your business to have access to your audiences through various digital channels.
The regular CMS works smoothly for a single channel, i.e., a website. If your business is having two different channels, for example, website and mobile, you need two different databases, dashboard, and this takes a lot of time to prepare the present content for your audience.
However, this is not the case with Headless CMS. In fact, it’s a great option for marketing teams, which we will explain in the next segment of this article.
Calculating from various angles: Headless CMS is a clear winner here.
It allows businesses to publish content across various digital platforms. With it, you get to store all your required content in one single database and publish them through whichever channels you want, without having to spend extra time trying to retype and reupload the whole content from scratch.
Benefit? - Your team’s work efficiency will see a high upwards curve and they can put more effort in creating better content for your audience, instead of spending time redoing the same content for various channels.
It’s the amazing benefits that turning every heads towards headless CMS, and these are:
If, as a business, you want to grow your client-base and retain your previous customers, it’s important that you give them the best customer experience through any devices and digital medium they are using.
Using Headless CMS will allow marketers to better reach out to their target audience through multiple digital channels and devices, where they are found to interact. Traditional CMS doesn’t offer this benefit. Its restrictive model means, you need different databases, retyping, reuploading the same content again and again depending on the number of digital channels your business has.
And, that, ladies and gentlemen, significantly reduces the performance level of your marketing team. They are spending more time doing the unnecessary steps that you can get rid of using Headless CMS.
With Headless CMS, you only need to create the content once, and upload it all in a single database. Want to publish a particular content? Access it from the database and publish it on your desired digital channel.
Another thing happens above. Your marketing team will get way better flexibility when checking and tracking the data and analytics. Your team will get to work more efficiently in launching your marketing campaigns faster than others as loads of times are saved thanks to the Headless CMS model.
To explain in brief: Headless CMS will help to enhance the digital existence of your business for your web audience. And, a strong digital presence means that you’ll get to meet new customers and meet your customer demands efficiently.
Traditional CMS is unable to provide the technology, infrastructure, and the security to help your business thrive and grow online.
When it comes to Web vitals, marketing teams know how important it is to score high on them. Certain inbuilt features of the Headless CMS allows your team to check the boxes.
Not only that but, since Headless CMS can easily integrate with a third-party software and tools, marketers can easily get the flexibility of using a variety of popular CRMs and automation tools to come up with stronger marketing campaigns for your business.
If you want your business to reach out to your customer base, content is the king.
So, you are creating loads of content, but is it reaching out to your target audience?
Is it engaging them with your business?
Is it solving the pain-points of your potential customers?
This is where Agile Content Strategy steps in to give you more benefits with less work, and solid results, resulting in reaching out to your customers online. Plus, you won’t be going crazy while churning out the required contents.
With Agile content marketing, your team won’t be wasting any unnecessary time in creating content which won’t help to reach out to your clients and convert them, while creating consistent content within much less time than they would have before.
But, how does headless CMS help with this?
Since headless CMS uses API to deliver the content, your team can work with modular chunks, which gives them more product freedom, and complete smaller projects in chunks with greater efficiency, while increasing work productivity.
Traditional CMS doesn’t help with the flexibility that teams are looking to implement agile principles, whether it’s the workflow or content management.
Generally, a majority of the CMSs are developed considering the ‘Waterfall Method’, which is more of a sequential and linear approach, in contrast to the agile method. Where Waterfall is good for completing a single project, agile methods can easily tackle various smaller projects, improving the overall work performance.
If your business is looking to grow- it’s time to adapt the agile methodology, in order to drive innovation and streamlining the team’s creativity to break the glass ceiling.
Agile execution will help your marketing team to be more focused, and allow your team to create custom, unique content aligning to the brand. Undoubtedly, it will help your business to stand out from your competitors, attracting more customers.
Nothing is stagnant or constant in the world of digital marketing and business - with evolving technology, algorithm changes - you name it!
Therefore, if you want the best for your business, it’s time to futureproof your website to deal with any upcoming challenges that the future brings.
So, how do you do it?
With traditional CMS and its restrictive model, a lot of these steps would be possible but prove to be costly enough, but it will lower your business productivity and your time will go into monitoring and tracking your site over other important business processes, which would help the business to grow and innovate.
Headless CMS helps you to check all the boxes above. Since API is a major component here, it will help you to offer your audience with engaging content. Not only can you easily reuse the content, but share it on any platform as needed. Also, you can reuse the codes without any hassle. Thanks to headless CMS, no matter which tech device comes out in the market, your CMS will be ready to connect to it, staying ahead of all the competitors.
The headless CMS benefits clearly outweighs the ones offered by its competitor, traditional CMS. Industries, technologies, and the web evolve fast enough with time and Headless CMS is ready to deal with all those challenges.
Plus, not to forget how businesses are more into adopting Agile methodology for their business processes and content marketing, traditional CMS falls short in offering that would facilitate the methodology.
With all the advantages and the problems it solves, no wonder Headless CMS is turning heads left to right, winning hearts without any doubt!