Digital Transformation – From Traditional to Headless CMS
Since a very long period of time Traditional Web Content Management System has dominated the market, but with the rapid growth of mobile and voice channels, companies started opting for Headless CMS. This sudden popularity of Headless CMS has lead to a complete change in content management model that brands now use to stay in tune with new devices and channels. Headless CMS is truly revolutionary, as it has separated the content and presentation, unlike the traditional model.
The Headless Concept
#1. Think about content prior to presentation – Whenever a website needs to be redesigned, traditionally we start with designing its key pages and then adding content to it. The content here is created around the design. So, again if we have to change the design or make a mobile version of it we have to recreate content according to the new design. That means we have to create design as well as think again to create the content as per new design which takes unnecessary time.
The Headless CMS saves this time at it is designed with a strategy content-first. This means you have to start with a clear content strategy like who will be the audience? What will be the channel of communication? And how we can create the content that it can be reused?
Once the strategy is made you can then create the content and can then work on design for various channels.
#2.Designing the content model for reuse across channels – Before writing content you should define the content model. That means you have to define the content type (what content do you want to create), attributes (how the content will be structured), metadata, taxonomy and the relation between content types.
Headless CMS provides you the ability to create content that can be used on any channel or device. Since the number of channels and devices are growing day by day it’s a better approach to design your content model so that the same content can be used easily on different platforms.
#3. No more addiction to WYSIWYG –The WYSIWYG text editor is used since a very long time to edit text as it provides the most accurate view of the edited page. But, by creating content with WYSIWYG we are creating it for a particular channel and design. In Headless CMS the editor stayed focused on creating reusable content.
#4. Allow marketers to build on their own –The drag and drop page builders are most popular these days. They provide the ability to the users to easily create landing pages without the help of any developer. In Headless CMS you can split the page into key elements, like hero image, latest articles or featured products and can use them anywhere on the page by drag and drop, again making the content reusable.
#5 Navigation – In traditional CMS the navigation is defined by using tree hierarchy of pages to organize the content. This restrict its use to a particular website modal as the mobile app or other channels may have different structure.
Headless CMS gives you the ability of modelling your navigation similar to content. We can create a custom content type that represents a menu item with attributes like Name, Target URL etc. It also provides you a way to create relation between menu items that makes it easy to create sub-menus as well.
#6 API’s in place of plugins – The way of building a website or an application using a Headless CMS is very different. Traditionally we install the CMS and build our website on top of it. It is also leveraged by build in modules and plugins that we just need to install to achieve a certain functionality. The problem in this approach is that if you wish to change your CMS you have to completely rewrite your application.
Since Headless CMS is focused on content first approach the content delivery is done using API’s instead of plugins. So basically we build a standalone project and use CMS as an API that provides content.
Creating an application in Headless CMS requires a different approach then traditional CMS. Unlike design in Traditional CMS, Headless CMS creates application around Content. CMS is no longer a development platform here. The application is build using standard development frameworks and leveraging various APIs. This may require more work initially but provides a clean solution architecture.
If you wish to try Headless approach, you can try using ButterCMS, which is a Headless CMS that helps you build CMS powered application using any language including, Node.js, Python, .Net, Ruby, Rails, Flask, Django, Angular, React, PHP, Go, Elixir, Meteor and Laravel.