CMS, short for content management systems, has been used for over 20 years now. It provides content solely to one platform at a time, making it one dimensional in its usage. Traditional CMS seemed to be a great program for the utilization of websites, but it wasn't scalable. Enter the Headless CMS.
In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of going with a Headless CMS over a traditional content infrastructure like Wordpress.
Let's start by explaining the basics.
What exactly is a CMS?
Basically, it's a program that helps users manage content. So if you don't know how to code, CMS solves this issue for you. Because it delivers content through an API, it can seamlessly deliver content to any capable device. WordPress is one of the most familiar CMS programs on the market today.
One great aspect of most headless CMS programs is their ability to expand. Third-party plugins, templates, widgets, and bots are just an example of its expansion capabilities. With today's technology thriving exponentially, CRM has expanded its capabilities. Well, that's enough of the appetizer, time to indulge in the main course.
Why is Headless CMS so popular?
The modern way to organize content is through content infrastructure. Meaning creating a hierarchy of implementations for a broader user experience.
The future for Headless CMS is bright. As a matter of fact, it's very bright. Data analytics has shown us that audiences retrieve content on many devices other than traditional computers. Technology has shifted away from just desktops and laptops, to more mobile options. The crux of this emerging technology has created a trend that delivers amazing value by multi-faceted means.
The power of the cloud enables us to upgrade content management systems (CMS) into multifunctional versions. Headless CMS is that technology. Finding resourceful information about this technology can be an arduous task though. Being new technology, some are left confused about its capability.
By the end of this article, you will have a clear picture of what Headless CMS is all about and be able to decide if it's the right move for you.
So let's break down the dynamics of going headless.
The Benefits of going Headless
Studies have shown that people experience content on their mobile phones more than any other device. Businesses have to span beyond their traditional frameworks, toward providing the same digital experience on mobile platforms. Headless CMS gives the site moderator the ability to make a site functional no matter the accessibility.
Devices such as smartwatches, personal assistant devices like Alexa, and smart wristbands now have the ability to provide unique content to an audience. Parking meters can be implemented with data that'll enable users to pay, record and even extend usage, all through an app. Even outdoor trash cans are implemented with Headless CMS technology. They notify the issuing company to empty the bins when they reach their capacity.
Of course, we can't forget the traditional means of providing content. Websites will always be the frontrunner for providing valuable content. This platform has the most customization features to express to any audience. The presentation model (i.e websites) still are the core medium for content dispersal.
The ability to provide information, a product, or services to an audience has expanded to kiosks. The fact that kiosks can be controlled through the cloud, gives businesses an efficient reach to their target market. Being that your content is an asset to your company, it is imperative that its maximized to its optimum potential. Kiosks are just an example of the capabilities at can be implemented.
If you haven't seen the capabilities that the new Samsung Family Hub offers, its a must see product. Businesses should be creating a Headless CMS for this product as we speak. From streaming music through Spotify, to watching tv shows, to having the ability to actually speak to your fridge, the possibilities are just on the brink.
Businesses now have the ability to market directly to their audience from the most consumed device in the home. Content can be personalized to appeal directly to their users. With the ability to interact seamlessly with prospects or customers, the possibilities seem endless. This is a true example of what the power of the Headless CRM can do. Having the ability to share your brand across multiple mediums creates loyalty and trust. This is where products such as a smart TV come into play. Haven't you bought a product where you just trusted the brand itself?
This AI the technology has enabled business to delegate its interactions through artificial means. Chatbots can be programmed to converse with end-users to accommodate their specific requests, all without human interaction. This technology means more efficiency for the business regarding customer service, lead generation and a host of other capabilities.
It gives businesses the capability to scale their business content across multiple devices. Businesses can have a more personal interaction with their clients outside of the traditional methods.
Some products or services can be personalized for that specific device. This gives the target audience an opportunity to act immediately to offers provided by the company. This especially works great when a sense of urgency is implemented into the campaign.
Having the ability to instantly communicate to your audience has immense value. Being able to interact to customers with questions, instructions, or comments can keep your business at the forefront of their awareness.
Depending on the device, content can be optimized to be more direct. This also requires less work to implement. Separating content storage provides tremendous flexibility to perform a task expeditiously, without having to navigate through layers to accomplish a simple task.
Probably the largest benefit of using a headless CMS, is that it's cloud-based. This enables businesses to discard the traditional server infrastructure. Maintaining the CMS system can take up a lot of time, this allows business to free up many hours of valuable time to do more pertinent projects. No more configurations, installations, or security patches to attend to, just the important tasks.
As with most technological advances, drawbacks are also part of the equation. Headless CMS is highly innovative and efficient but not perfect. A lot of CMS programs have its drawbacks too. Here are some obstacles one must take into consideration when utilizing the headless CMS technology.
Drawbacks to Headless CMS
Businesses will have to manage their content and application manually. In certain cases, this requires a re-engineering of the user experience. From visual design, to platform implementation, and content organization, these aspects have to be managed by an implementation team on a consistent basis. It's much different than the traditional content campaign a website entails.
Businesses will have to contract a developer or team to manage the content on various devices. This is a ongoing process, so it's best to have someone specifically obligated for this task. Headless CMS entails separating content, from the presentation of that content. It sounds easy enough, but it's a little arduous to achieve. One must have an expectation of architectural endurance depending on the number of applications in use.
- More Consistent Messaging
Your developers must create repetitive content that automatically streamlines your messages. This will save a lot of hours and continuously deliver consistent messages. Your overall message should be displayed from all of its devices. Cohesiveness is viewed as organization, which is admired from the user's standpoint. If no one is assigned to this important task, this could potentially lead to abandonment on the part of the audience. There has to be consistent content management no matter how the platform is used. If the content is just created for information purposes, then periodic monitoring will be suffice.
A headless CMS must be based on an API model first. In other words, your content must be available to all authorized systems by an unbiased platform set of API methods. If your consuming application is an iPhone App built with Swift, a .NET application hosted in Azure, a Node.JS Module running in AWS, or any other combination of technology the only factors that matter is that the tools can leverage standardized web-based communication protocols to retrieve the data.
Another drawback that has to be considered, is that with whatever medium used to display content, it will be fixed. Meaning it will only allow for content to be presented in only a few ways. Unlike a website, which has many ways to rearrange, reshape, and resize content for observing. The secondary medium is stagnant in its delivery options. An example!e of this would be a kiosk or a mobile app container. The content is limited to the display layer which marginalizes the content presentations.
If you don't have a team of in-house developers at your convenience, then additional costs have to be in consideration when deciding to go headless. Options like CMS programs, the site's infrastructure, and of course the developers, can take a toll on your business's operating budget. I personally would suggest creating an expense budget solely for headless CMS implementation.
Headless CMS can create some security issues. The reason being, that it's difficult to determine which users are allowed accessibility. This creates the risk of delivering confidential content to unauthorized users. Since headless CMS products tend to be cloud-based, security and privacy are more subjected to being compromised.
Developers also need to create multi-language content which requires a lot of work. One good thing though, is that many CMS already has multilingual support installed. Plus, with the separation of content and delivery, editors aren't able to preview the content they want to publish it.
3rd party integration will be more challenging and time-consuming. Data integrated from 3rd parties has to be done either natively or to integrate the content partially via an API connector.
Is a Headless CMS right for you?
Headless CMS is at the forefront when it comes to scaling digital content. Business content is published through an API or web service that has the ability to push content directly to any capable smart device.
The biggest benefit of utilizing headless CMS is that identical content can be integrated into a website, app or anything connected to the internet of things. The headless CMS approach has practical ramifications for the IoT and artificial intelligence. It allows managing content across different formats a lot easier since the content isn't constricted to a static structure.
Headless CMS is just at the seam of digital integration. Published content is a digital necessity. Whether it's on a website, mobile application, or any other channels and devices. This type of customer management system will allow you to do that seamlessly. Many people view it as a conduit to efficiency, speed, and agility. Bottom line, deciding to go headless regarding CMS programs, will allow you to focus on the things that really matter, creating rich, interactive digital experiences your customers can enjoy.