So, you’ve made the decision to ditch your traditional management structure in favor of a content management system that operates entirely without a central control panel. It was no simple effort to settle on a headless CMS over competing architectures. And neither is the following one: settling on a single headless content management system to adopt. Following the steps in this manual will help you make some excellent decisions.
The decision to use a headless content management system (CMS) will have far-reaching effects on any given business. When it comes to choosing a CMS, developers, marketers, and content creators all have unique perspectives and requirements. However, the greatest impact of this choice may not be on any particular position inside the company, but on the group as a whole. After all, your ability to reach clients across many content channels and touchpoints throughout their digital journey will depend on the content management system you select. The success or failure of many modern businesses hinges on the quality of the digital experience they provide their customers.
What is a Headless CMS?
The term “headless CMS” refers to a system that does not have a user interface. Headless content management systems, as opposed to more conventional systems like WordPress, do not have a presentation layer. Instead, they serve as a data storage facility for you.
API-first architecture is at the heart of a headless content management system. Content may be sent to your audience via the channel of your choosing thanks to the availability of RESTful and GraphQL APIs that return data in JSON format.
Choice of a Headless Content Management System: Key Factors
Specific Requirements of Your Company
When looking for a headless CMS, it’s important to first determine what features and functionality are most important for your company. To what mediums and gadgets does your company want to spread its content? Which features of a content management system are most important to the marketing department? What about coders, though? Because headless CMSs are typically more technically demanding than conventional systems, the development team will play a crucial role in bringing the ensuing digital experience to life.
Find out what your most important stakeholders want from a content management system and work backwards from there. While not every member of the team will have their CMS wishlist items covered, the resulting list of requirements and preferences can serve as a good starting point for vetting potential headless CMS solutions.
Functionality for programmers and user friendliness
Choosing a headless CMS will require the support of the development team, since these systems tend to be more technically focused than standard CMSs due to their open-ended front-end design. When deciding on a headless CMS, every company worth its salt will take the developer experience into account. Since the front end is essentially a clean slate, the development team is free to utilise any code and user interface frameworks they see fit. Pay attention to details like which APIs and native SDKs are utilised and how familiar developers are with them when it comes to back-end functionality that is tailored specifically to developers. Because application programming interfaces (APIs) play such a crucial role in headless systems, it’s important to investigate factors like the system’s level of maturity in terms of REST APIs, the level of security provided by preview APIs, and the APIs used for managing content. Does the number of API requests have a cap? When it comes to the end user experience, little things like these matter a lot. One feature that is generally at the top of developers’ wish lists is GraphQL support for APIs. This allows for more flexible data querying and manipulation.
One of a headless CMS’s primary advantages is its ability to support several channels simultaneously. Do not be taken aback by jargon such as “omnichannel”; rather, take the time to learn what this possibility for cross-channel publication entails and which channels are most important to your business.
It’s assumed that you’ll publish to the web and mobile applications, but where else will your material be housed? Make sure the backend APIs are prepared to accept less conventional outputs like Internet of Things devices, digital signs, and voice-controlled UIs. To ensure that material like as headlines, images, and body copy are delivered to different content channels in a manner suitable for the device or interface, a good headless CMS will make use of content APIs.
Workflow for Managing Authorship and Content
You shouldn’t lose sight of the content in the midst of all the technical bells and whistles that are available in a contemporary content management system. You should make sure the content management system (CMS) you chose supports the workflows of the authors and editors who will be adding new content to it on a regular basis. These users will spend the second most time in the CMS, behind developers, therefore their ease of use and, most importantly, their independence from developers in terms of content management, are key to the success of the system.
Sales and Technical Assistance
Support for content management systems is needed for both technical and commercial reasons, just like any other software solution. Despite the fact that in-house programmers usually have no trouble resolving most issues, there are occasions when you may need to contact the CMS provider for assistance. You may avoid potential problems for your team if you make sure they have enough support employees available at all times.
With the proliferation of headless CMS options in recent years, it can be difficult to sort through the many features and services each claims to provide. While the allure of a rising star amongst vendors might be strong, it’s important to weigh all of the options to choose the one that’s best for your business.