Knowing when and why you should go with Headless CMS is foremost vital than the actual deployment; learn more.
Are you still struggling to understand what type of CMS you need for your project? That was precisely the question we are asking wherever we write or post. Many of our eCommerce clients have asked us, “Hey Webnexs, what kind of CMS should I use for my eCommerce project?”
And you know what, that’s an excellent question. It’s something that many of you out there are struggling with today. What type of CMS should you use? So here’s a straightforward model and a simple walk-through that we hope helps you understand how to choose a CMS in today’s modern world. So let’s waste no more time; let’s get to it.
Headless CMS – A New-age Content Management Tool For Commerce
So we’re going to start this model first with an axis of opinionated. On the left, we’re going to start with generic, including CMSs that cover a wide range of use cases. And on the far right, we have thoroughly opinionated CMSs that have been designed for particular use cases. We’ll use it to specify a high or low value on the vertical axis. So the first line we’re going to plot on this chart is that of flexibility and agility.
And in this case, the generic CMSs will have much higher flexibility, and agility than the CMS is that are very opinionated with how they’re built, what they’re made for, and what they’re being designed to do. So next, let’s plot usability, And what we mean by that is how user-friendly is the CMS and how easy is it to use?
Also, how sympathetic is it to help the business user achieve the tasks they are working on? It’s no surprise that the opinionated CMS will be much better at the task that it has been designed to do and be far more user-friendly.
And therefore, the user experience should be far more intuitive for the business user. The generic CMS may be much more flexible and agile, but that often means compromising the user experience. The more opinionated CMSs are more user-friendly. Because they have been built for specialist tasks and control their environment by defining the tech stack, contemplating languages, how pages are built, the types of components that you can use, and pretty much everything is predefined. This allows us to have specific workflows and WYSIWYG interfaces.
What is Headless CMS?
The non-opinionated, generic CMSs focus on open technologies, particularly APIs, which means they are far more flexible and can be used for many more cases. And it can easily adapt to many diverse channels. But the interface they use for content management will be universal and more generic. So using this simple model, we can now divide it up and show where each type of CMS sits. So our traditional monolithic web CMS can be placed on the right of the diagram, as these are being developed into very opinionated CMSs for very specific purposes, such as marketing websites and microsites.
This is also the home for all the specialist CMSs, those used for managing native applications, social networking, and even CMSs that have been embedded into e-commerce systems—using these CMSs where you get CMS across all your different channels. And it is where we get our headless and MACH-based CMSs. Using these cloud-based systems with open technologies, and delivering content through microservices and their APIs means these systems can be used for almost any content management use case on any deployment architecture.
So also we have our open-source CMSs, which are much more flexible because they have open architectures, but as they’re not MACH-based API-driven cloud-based systems, they are far less agile. And on the other side, we have our SaaS-base point solutions, which are user-friendly as they’re designed for particular purposes, but they often only come with a limited set of APIs.
There is usually a gray area between these two types of systems. What’s really interesting is how headless CMS open source is moving more towards the right by using things like Composable Frontend or building solutions specific to certain verticals. Such as e-commerce makes them much more intuitive for these markets without losing the flexibility and the power of headless CMS. And similarly, the web CMSs are also trying to become more flexible and adapt to more channels.
And to do this, they’re adding APIs and becoming decoupled CMSs, and if you want to know more about the differences between headless CMS and decouple CMS. So how can we use this model to choose what type of headless CMS platforms we will need?
So here let’s go a little deeper on the scope of a CMS down here:
Scope of Headless CMS as A Service For A Brand
So what we’re going to do is show you how we can use this to apply the model we’ve just walked through. So obviously, web CMS is adapted to building web-based sites and web-based apps. And they’re not very good at dealing with any other channel, and often not that good at dealing with e-commerce web channels.
If they’ve got a decoupled option, they might be able to wing a native app or two, but generally, they’re good at what they were initially built for. For all of these areas, there will be specialist CMSs that have been specifically designed to deal with the challenges of that particular area.
And these are delivered as SaaS-based products, but implementing these means creating content. But what’s fantastic about headless or MACH-based CMSs is that there can cover pretty much every single one of these use cases; they can adapt to every area of CMS. So what are our recommendations?
Headless Vs. Traditional Platform: Which One We Recommend?
Headless cms or Traditional cms? but first of all, if you’ve already got some websites and you’re not expecting to make any significant changes, things are pretty stable. You don’t expect to be doing anything in the next year or two, then even if you’ve got a web CMS, you may as well stick with it; there’s no point moving.
Now, if you’ve got an elementary brand site you want to build, that’s the only thing you’re going to develop and is the only thing you’re going to manage. It only has to be on the web. Then it makes sense to go down a simple SaaS CMS solution, especially when you’ve only got a small team or even one person managing the content. And we guess we say the same with every area of CMS. If that’s the only thing you’re doing and it’s an isolated use case, it’s probably best to use a simple CMS, a SaaS-based CMS.
If you’re going beyond one area of CMS, you will have multiple channels spread across different technology sets like native and IoT. And if you need to deliver content consistently across all of these channels, you need to choose a headless MACH-based CMS. This is even more important if things are rapidly changing in your environment, and you need to respond to change quickly.
Now, some of you will be asking, “What about e-commerce?” What about if you have a mini CMS built into the e-commerce platform, which comes down to the complexity of your business and your content requirements? If you have some sophisticated content requirements, you have to produce large volumes of complex content with lots of reuse. If not you have to deliver that content across multiple channels or multiple brand sites.
Then you’ll need a headless CMS, one that can integrate with your e-commerce platform. Then it delivers content consistently across all your other channels. It’s even more helpful if your current e-commerce system is a monolith, and you’re migrating toward a MACH-based architecture.
We’ve done that a lot with headless ecommerce samples, as it puts our customers on a path to headless. Everything is without throwing away any of the content produced when switching to a MACH-based headless architecture.
So, we hope you find that helpful model to help you understand what kind of Headless CMS you need to choose for your project. It won’t help you identify the exact CMS you’re going to use, but it should help you understand what kinds of CMS you need for the type of problem you have and the scope of the problem you’ve got.
So if you did find this helpful, do comment your queries down here and contact us to develop a headless eCommerce platform here today!