A lot of the technology we have now was unthinkable just a few decades prior. If you told someone in the 70s that modern-day phones are more powerful than the Apollo 11, they probably couldn’t imagine it. Yet that is our reality — and just the tip of the iceberg.
The fast pace at which technology is evolving has mixed effects. On the one hand, they make our lives as consumers so much easier. With the internet and a good smartphone, you can accomplish virtually any task.
But for business owners, it’s both a friend and a headache.
New technologies change consumer behavior and industry trends. To stay relevant, businesses must adapt to disruptive technologies and integrate them into business operations. This applies to activities happening on the web.
Publishing content is more complex now that there are a ton of gadgets and online platforms available. What’s more, users demand speed, quality, and convenience on all touchpoints.
In the past, you’d need unique content management systems for each platform that had to be customized one by one. Now, there’s headless CMS.
What is a Headless CMS?
Headless CMS is a management system that stores and publishes generic content on all channels. It’s “headless” because it is only concerned with back-end components, allowing front-end developers to customize client-facing elements as they please.
That means different “heads” (front-end) can be attached to the content repository “body” (back-end), allowing content blocks to be displayed on all types of devices.
How does a Headless CMS Work?
The main component of headless CMS is an API that renders content without tying it to the website’s code. Instead, it operates separately from front-end tech so you can integrate it into any codebase written in any programming language.
There is no graphical interface, just the back-end to add and edit content.
Using API, headless CMS displays text and media on virtually any platform, providing a unified dashboard for multi-channel publishing. It serves as storage and an interface for content development, management, and collaboration.
Headless CMS — the future of web
Headless CMS is popular because of frequent gadget upgrades. Traditional CMS allows multi-channel publishing, but it can’t keep up with the Internet of Things.
Every year, new gadgets are up on the market with more sophisticated specs. Smartphones, smartwatches, home assistants, and desktops get more powerful with every release.
While some upgrades are subtle, other brands tend to push the envelope. For example, Royole, a China-based manufacturing company, introduced the Royole FlexPai in 2018. The smartphone featured a foldable 7.8-inch display, disrupting the playing field in mobile design.
Technological leaps like this complicate web development and UX design. Basic variations of tablets, phones, and desktops already present a challenge to responsive web design.
Developers and designers juggle information architecture, visuals, functionality, and adjusting frontend elements to different screen dimensions and resolutions.
You can imagine how much harder the process becomes when new models, and more so completely new technology are rolled out.
What’s in it for you?
The most convincing case for headless CMS is flexibility. A common problem with traditional CMS is it’s difficult to serve the same content on different devices.
Because everything is made in a single system, there’s limited room to manipulate how content is presented. Headless CMS gives you the freedom to deliver standard content through the most suitable front-end framework.
You get to work with your favorite technology stack and support multiple API types from development to launch. So if new platforms and gadgets pop up tomorrow, you don’t need to worry. Headless CMS ensures that your content is ready to go.
Advantages of Headless CMS
Headless content management is perfect for websites built using static site generators. These kinds of portals don’t have access to a database, so they need an API to fetch data and display it on request.
Business owners who have both apps and websites are also great candidates to switch to headless CMS. It saves time in managing a separate CMS for mobile since its API displays data from a centralized back-end system. This means everything is synced more efficiently.
More reasons to adopt a headless CMS solution are as follows:
1. Future-proofing websites and apps
Upgrades aren’t limited to hardware, but software, too. Updating your websites and apps helps you serve your customers better. Unfortunately, many brands are stuck with legacy software because of the hassles and costs of migrating to modern systems.
Headless CMS future-proofs your platforms because it lets you keep the relevant parts of your technology stack and toss the rest. This way, front-end developers are free to use modern tools without outdated technology holding them back.
2. Faster development and release
Prototyping, testing, and launch are accelerated when using headless CMS. Since the user interface is independent of the server and database, teams can focus on a singular task.
Additionally, developers can test and iterate different versions of the presentation layer without the fear of breaking the underlying content framework. This advantage makes it easier to move fast and push products out into the market.
3. Improved user experience and accessibility
A tech-savvy consumer upgrades to the latest smartphone once every 1.5 to 2 years. But an average person isn’t likely to grab the newest release on a whim. The gadgets accessible to consumers matter because it impacts user experience.
Again, headless CMS renders content on any device. This enables brands to personalize shopping experiences and deliver responsive web designs that adjust to smart displays. Some headless CMS services also come with data analytics and engagement tracking to identify pain points and address them.
4. Added layer of security
Traditional CMS is more prone to security breaches because its database is managed alongside front-end components. Aside from offering flexibility, decoupling the two adds an extra layer of security to your website and apps.
Even if cyber attackers managed to infiltrate your pages, there’d be no data storage point to steal from or alter. Content and sensitive information are managed outside of the presentation layer and may be secured further by enabling authentication.
Finally, headless CMS is highly scalable. With it, you can publish as much content on as many channels with ease. You can also conduct web maintenance, optimize pages, and update tools with zero downtime.
What’s the next step?
We see glimpses of what the future of web development might look like every day. Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and voice command are only starting to take shape and will continue to pave the way for exciting tech.
Of course, it all depends heavily on users and what they choose to embrace. But if there’s one thing for certain, it’s that the web will always be a place for content. And where there is content, CMS is a big consideration.
The decision of whether or not to adopt headless CMS lies in where you see your business going and how you plan to get there.
But from the looks of it, headless CMS is only going to grow, and it’s taking its patrons long with it.
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