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Top 6 headless CMS for developers and marketers

17 Aug 2022

Top 6 headless CMS for developers and marketers - what do these platforms offer?

If your company has a website, you probably make various content available through a CMS, or content management system.

A traditional content management system combines the so-called frontend (the content that site visitors see) and the backend (the part of the site used to manage it) into a single system.

Typically, traditional CMSs have a variety of tools and functions to meet the needs of any user, including e-commerce, allowing, for example, the creation of a website, management of databases, product catalogs, media libraries, etc.

The concept of Headless CMS is different. It is primarily a tool focused on content management, in a nested logic that allows other types of services to be provided as needed: for example, if you want to index content, a brick is added to handle search engines.

A headless CMS runs on an architecture that does not include a frontend. In this case, content delivery is done via APIs and web services, sent directly to any peripheral connections, such as websites, IoT interfaces and applications.

Ultimately, these are two unique approaches, and you should look at both options carefully before choosing a CMS solution for your business.

First, let's take a closer look at the elements that make Headless CMS unique.

What is headless CMS?

Headless CMS is primarily a content management system.

From a technical perspective, the Headless architecture separates content-related back-end functions (such as content creation, management and storage) from front-end functions (such as presentation and distribution).

Why is headless architecture becoming a trend among web content professionals and web agencies?

This is largely in response to the evolution of online content.

Traditionally, most Web content was delivered through a browser, usually in the form of a Web page.

Today, however, content of all kinds is consumed through new methods and devices, such as cell phones, AI-powered voice assistants and virtual reality headsets, each with their own features and formats.

That's where Headless CMS comes in: its architecture is designed to meet these new content challenges, making it easier for professionals to create, manage and distribute content through interfaces with different properties.

Unlike traditional CMS systems such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla, Headless CMS typically requires no hosting, security updates or maintenance.

Why choose a headless content management system?

Digital marketing experts believe that Headless CMS is the future of content management. There are two main reasons for this.

First, digital content shared online is becoming increasingly complex and demanding for users.

To stand out from the competition, you need to quickly import and modify attractive, and interactive content.

In addition, new user channels and devices are frequently emerging. What's the point of creating high-quality content if you can't deliver it optimally to all available devices?

Headless content management systems enable today's marketers to create and manage content across all digital media in a sustainable way. It's an essential part of an omnichannel strategy.

Headless CMS tools are not just for marketing teams. They are also robust solutions for developers and users.

Headless CMS offers developers the opportunity to overcome technical barriers, such as unfamiliar programming languages.

The advantage of Headless CMS is that developers can use their preferred site development tools and deliver content anywhere using the latest APIs.

At the user level, content is always rendered faster, more efficiently, more responsively and provides a meaningfully better experience.

For those who want to try out a headless CMS-style solution, we've compiled a list of the top 6 tools for 2022.

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1. Sanity

Sanity is a flexible CMS solution that helps you structure your content.

Developers believe that text and images are key elements of a product or service and that there should be no restrictions on their distribution. With the Sanity Studio solution, content becomes flexible. The tool allows quick configuration and any customization. The set of tools and plug-ins is complete, allowing you to create an optimal workflow.

Sanity Studio is available as a single page open source application. You can simply install the plugin using npm or create your own piece of software and integrate Sanity into your application.

With this Headless CMS, you can work faster and benefit from instant updates. You will be able to write and validate content templates, validate JavaScript UI structures and display content instantly.

The openness of the source code makes it an ideal tool for editorial needs, where navigation layout changes take place, and analytical data display takes place alongside content.

2. Contentful

Contentful is an intuitive headless CMS that gives you control over content management. With this tool, you can easily access it at any time. Since the text is completely code-independent, you can create blog posts, newsletters and other web content without having to wait for the development team to implement changes.

Contenful also allows you to keep your brand message consistent across all digital channels by consolidating your content into one central location. The simplest addition of a comma will be reflected across all online media every time you make a change.

What's more, Contentful easily integrates with your favorite marketing tools, allowing you to customize content, test new CTAs (calls to action) and experiment. You could say it's made for marketers who want to be efficient.

This headless CMS can help you quickly build a digital content platform, reduce time-to-market with out-of-the-box integrations, create custom applications to provide audiences with unique experiences in the digital world, or create a new CMS for your entire organization, from marketing to sales and developers.

3. Strapi

Strapi is one of the leading products in the field of open source, headless CMS. The tool is 100% JavaScript-based, fully customizable and developer-oriented. It's another open source solution, whose entire code base is available on GitHub and maintained by hundreds of volunteers. As a self-hosted solution (on its own server), Strapi also gives you constant control over your data and costs.

With Strapi, you can easily create a self-service, customizable and powerful content API. Unlike its predecessor, Contentful, it requires a bit more work and relational database development skills.

If you're a developer, you'll notice that the API, as well as the admin panel, can be easily customized, and content management can be transformed in any way you want in seconds with custom plugins.

Whether you prefer RESTful, GraphQL or other APIs, Strapi gives you the ability to use any client application programming interface (React, Vue, Angular, Svelte), IoT device or mobile application.

4. Kontent

Kontent is a SaaS (software as a service) content management system for the modern enterprise. What sets it apart is that it is cloud-based. It allows entire enterprise content management teams to create high-quality content with an omnichannel strategy orientation. At the same time, developers can use their preferred technologies to create engaging digital experiences.

Headless CMS Kontent removes all barriers to content sharing, allowing employees to focus on content marketing strategy and deliver the best possible messages to visitors across all digital channels. Kontent's versatility allows you to create content using any technology tool.

Content is delivered via a structured API, allowing developers to use their preferred technology to create the best possible digital experience. All content can be added, removed and replaced at any time.

In addition, by choosing this solution, you don't have to manage infrastructure or software, because as we mentioned earlier - it's a SaaS solution. This allows you to devote time and resources to the most important tasks, knowing that your content is always available and secure.

5. Butter CMS

Butter is a complete headless CMS that makes it easy to manage the content of your website.

It offers flexible content templates that simplify the work of the team responsible for editing web articles. It's a little easier to use, thanks to a "WYSIWYG" editor. You can efficiently and easily update the content of your pages without using HTML code or calling in a programmer.

Your marketing team will be delighted with the built-in search engine optimization features. Blogs on this platform can be quickly placed in site subdirectories and optimized for SEO with built-in metadata.

In addition, a feature called "Components" allows you to configure flexible layouts and change them easily, and quickly, according to your needs.

With the "Change History" feature, you will never again lose control of content changes and can easily see all the updates that someone has made to the pages.

6. Magnolia

Magnolia is still one of the best headless CMS from the developers' point of view, and that's because it focuses on productivity, which in the business world is the most important thing.

The Magnolia-based CMS can be integrated with Single Page Application (SPA) and Progressive Web Applications (PWA) built using any front-end framework, including React, Angular and Vue.

On the technical side, Magnolia consists of a "delivery API" and an "API template." The Delivery API makes content available across all applications and touchpoints, while the Template API allows marketing teams to easily modify web applications. The software supports low-level code development in the YAML programming language.

Most importantly, Magnolia is a solution that allows marketing teams to tackle any website content problem without technological compromise.

Convenience of use is ensured by a user interface that provides useful and interesting marketing features, such as content editing via a WYSIWYG editor, user experience demo features, and the ability to manage and plan distribution campaigns. There are also analytical tools to track results in omnichannel strategies.

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