People view content on their phone as well as their smartwatches. The same content can be consumed on IoT devices and connected TVs. The increasing number of devices poses a serious challenge to traditional content management systems or (CMS).
While it used to be okay to have the entire content distribution system – from the database framework to frontend interface elements – in one package, the same approach limits content distribution in today’s landscape.
A headless CMS is the answer to that web design challenge. What is a headless CMS? Is it the future of content management and distribution? Let’s find out, shall we?
What Headless CMS Really Is
The first thing to understand about a headless CMS is the way it is structured. As mentioned before, the traditional CMS platforms available today are designed to be one complete system that handles everything from end to end. That is not the case with headless CMS.
Instead, a headless CMS focuses more on control and management of content without worrying about the frontend interface, user experience (UX), and display layer. The headless CMS focuses more on backend user interface (UI).
A crucial element of a headless CMS is its API. The API handles content delivery to different frontend templates. The API can seamlessly push content to different channels, including channels that require special treatments (i.e. the smaller screen of smartwatches) for better UX.
The use of an API also makes the headless CMS UI-agnostic. Regardless of the way the content is displayed, the headless CMS will handle content management and other functions in a decentralised way.
Why Headless CMS is the Way Forward
The use of an API in a headless CMS makes the system very versatile. Individual frontend modules can take over the task of formatting and delivering content to specific devices or UI templates. For instance, the same content can be distributed to a smartwatch as easily as it can be displayed on a desktop website.
The use of an API also makes headless CMS suitable for native and hybrid mobile apps. There is no need to create a separate API for individual UI templates. Even better, you don’t have to burden the database server with more requests from different APIs.
Centralised API in a headless CMS structure is also handy for caching. The API part of the CMS can also handle some degree of caching, reducing the need for a capable database server even further. This may seem like a small cost-saving at first, but it’s a substantial improvement to long-term efficiency.
There is also the fact that headless CMS is easier to secure. You don’t have to worry about securing each endpoint or managing a large attack surface since UI elements are run separately. You only need to secure the API itself to prevent data theft and other cyberattacks.
A headless CMS makes it easy for content providers to work with multiple outlets or platforms. Creating a content syndicate, for instance, becomes easier now that unformatted content can be pulled directly from the API.
Migrating to Headless CMS
It is clear that headless CMS is more robust than the traditional CMS structure. You have plenty of benefits to enjoy from migrating to a headless CMS platform. The migration process itself is easy now that there are pre-made platforms and frameworks that can be customized to your specific needs.
Adopting the headless CMS framework is the last piece of the puzzle. Once you start using headless CMS to manage content and content delivery, branching out to more devices, creating unique UI templates, and giving more users access to your content is easy to do.