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Thought & Insight

Headless CMS - What is it all about?

04.2023 | By Kevin Barter

Headless CMS platforms have been gaining popularity over the past few years. But what exactly is a headless CMS I hear you ask, and why are they such a great fit for websites?

To understand what a headless CMS is, it's helpful to first understand what a traditional CMS is. A traditional CMS, such as WordPress or Drupal, is a software platform that manages the content of a website. It typically consists of two parts: a back-end that allows content creators to manage and publish content, and a front-end that displays that content to users. The back-end and front-end are tightly integrated, which means that if you want to change the look and feel of your website, you have to make changes to the back-end as well.

A headless CMS, separates the back-end and front-end, allowing developers to build the front-end of a website separately from the CMS. This means that content can be delivered to any device or platform, such as mobile apps or digital media, without needing only to be tied to a very specific website design.

So why are headless CMS platforms becoming so popular?

They offer greater flexibility in terms of design and functionality. Since the front-end is decoupled from the CMS, developers can use any programming language or framework they choose to build the front-end. This makes it easier to create unique and custom user experiences that wouldn't be possible with a traditional CMS.

Headless CMS platforms are also great for websites that require frequent content updates, such as news sites or e-commerce stores. With a headless CMS, content creators can focus on creating and publishing content without worrying about how it will be displayed on the website. And since the CMS and front-end are separate, changes to one won't affect the other, which makes it easier to update content and make changes to the website without disrupting the user experience.

Another advantage of headless CMS platforms is that they're more scalable than traditional CMS platforms. With a traditional CMS, the back-end and front-end are tightly integrated, which can lead to performance issues as the website grows. With a headless CMS, the front-end can be optimized for performance separately from the CMS, which allows for greater scalability, faster load times and better cross-device displays.

Key benefits of a Headless CMS

1. Faster content editing
As the content is separate from the front-end code, editing content is much faster as it allows users to focus solely on the content.

2. Flexible content for more channels
Gives you the ability to use your content for multiple channels, from your website to apps, it's all stored separately to the visual front-end meaning you can tap into it as needed and display it anywhere you need to.

3. More flexibility for developers
Developers love it as it creates flexibility and options for them, allowing them to develop the front-end however they want, in a variety of languages, without the restrictions of the content.

4. Enhanced Security
With the front-end and the back-end separate it makes attacks harder for hacks and less likely to take your site down.

Who needs a Headless CMS?

We understand that a Headless CMS is not for everyone, there is a time and a place for more traditional CMS solutions like Word Press for smaller sites and or someone with no technical or development experience. But if you want a flexible and structured content management system that can feed content to your website and/or multiple platforms and devices and has the ability to support you with more flexibility and allow scale and growth for your business then Headless CMS might just be for you.

Although we are technology agnostic here at Klutch Studio, and asses the needs of each project based on the requirement we do have a soft spot for the Headless CMS, Craft. A flexible system that allows us complete freedom in what we build and its functionality.

If you’d like to talk to us about your website and content management system get in touch.

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