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Headless CMS: The future of websites

Website Content Management Systems (CMS) have been helping businesses and their marketers efficiently manage brand and service exposure since the world turned digital – acting as a central tool to any businesses’ technology stack. However, as businesses grow and become more complex, the demands on a website CMS increase beyond the limits of standard tools.

With businesses wanting to reach more audiences across more channels, more of the time, traditional CMS tools (like WordPress) are struggling to handle complex requirements. For 57% of users, the answer has been to integrate more than one CMS into their technology stack. In fact, 11% report to be using a combination of four or more of these platforms to support one website.

On the surface, products and services are delivered to audiences. However, the back-ends of websites are becoming more complicated, difficult to manage, slower across user devices and threaten customer data security. But now there’s a new digital solution emerging that overcomes all these challenges, and more – Headless CMS. Out of those already using this forefront tech solution, 84% report multiple business-wide benefits.

So, what exactly is Headless CMS, how does it work and what are the direct benefits it can bring to your business?

 

What is a headless CMS?

A headless CMS (Content Management System) is a backend-only content management system that stores and manages digital content (such as text, images and videos) without dictating how that content is presented on the frontend.

This decoupling solution allows digital agencies to use any frontend technology or framework to display the content, offering greater flexibility in designing and delivering unique digital experiences to customers across various platforms and devices.

In short, Headless CMS offers greater flexibility, scalability, and adaptability to emerging technologies, making it a preferred choice for projects that require a high degree of customisation and flexibility in content delivery across various platforms.

 

Headless vs traditional CMS

Headless CMS (Content Management System) and traditional CMS represent different approaches to building and managing websites. Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore the benefits of headless CMS in comparison to traditional CMS:

 

CONTENT FLEXIBILITY:

Headless CMS: With a headless CMS, content is stored separately from the presentation layer. This allows for greater flexibility in delivering content to various platforms and devices. Content can be easily repurposed for different interfaces, such as websites, mobile apps, smart devices, etc.

Traditional CMS: The frontend and backend of traditional CMS are tightly integrated, making it less flexible when it comes to choosing and changing frontend technologies.

 

PERFORMANCE:

Headless CMS: Since the backend and frontend are separate, it allows for more efficient content delivery. Developers can optimize the performance of the frontend independently, resulting in superior fast loading times across all devices.

Traditional CMS: The integrated nature of traditional CMS systems might introduce some overhead, potentially affecting performance, especially as the complexity of the website increases. This can cause websites to load slowly across some devices, specifically mobile.

 

SCALABILITY:

Headless CMS: Headless architectures are inherently more scalable as they allow for the independent scaling of the backend and frontend components. This is particularly advantageous for large and complex businesses that have multiple middleware systems (such as; Hubspot, Stripe, Typeform, Zapier etc).

Traditional CMS: Scaling a traditional CMS might require scaling both the backend and frontend together, which can be less efficient, demand increased financial spend both on the advancements and ongoing maintenance cost of the website.

 

TECHNOLOGY AGNOSTICISM:

Headless CMS: Since the frontend and backend are decoupled, digital developers can use different technologies for each, allowing for greater flexibility and adaptability to emerging technologies and ongoing innovations of a business.

Traditional CMS: The technology stack of a traditional CMS is often more rigid, and changes to underlying technologies can be more challenging and costly to achieve.

 

FUTURE-PROOFING:

Headless CMS: Headless architectures are seen as more future-proof as they are easily adaptable to changes in technology and user experience trends.

Traditional CMS: Traditional CMS systems are facing more and more challenges in keeping up with rapidly evolving technologies and user expectations.

 

What are the commercial benefits of a headless CMS?

Headless CMS models were developed to meet the demands of modern content management and rapidly changing technology advancements. Built to meet the agility and dynamism of today’s digital experiences, here are some direct commercial advantages of a headless CMS.

 

MULTI-CHANNEL CONTENT DELIVERY:

Headless CMS: A headless CMS allows businesses to deliver content seamlessly across multiple channels and devices (websites, mobile apps, IoT devices). This flexibility ensures a consistent brand experience and wider audience reach.

Commercial Benefit: Increased reach and consistent brand messaging contributes to higher customer engagement and conversion rates.

 

ENHANCED USER EXPERIENCE:

Headless CMS: Digital Developers can use the latest frontend technologies and frameworks to create dynamic and more personalised user interfaces, resulting in a more engaging and user-friendly experience.

Commercial Benefit: Improved user experience often leads to increased customer satisfaction, higher retention rates, and ultimately, a positive impact on sales and revenue.

 

FASTER TIME-TO-MARKET:

Headless CMS: The decoupled nature of headless CMS enables parallel development of the frontend and backend, reducing dependencies and speeding up the overall development process.

Commercial Benefit: Faster time-to-market allows businesses to launch new products, campaigns, or updates more quickly, gaining a competitive edge and maximising revenue opportunities.

 

PERSONALISATION AND TARGETING:

Headless CMS: Headless CMS allows for more sophisticated personalisation strategies by delivering tailored content to specific audiences based on user behaviour, preferences, and demographics.

Commercial Benefit: Personalised content can enhance customer engagement, increase conversion rates, and drive revenue growth through targeted marketing efforts.

 

ADAPTABILITY TO EMERGING TRENDS:

Headless CMS: Businesses can easily adopt emerging technologies and trends on the frontend without disrupting the backend infrastructure.

Commercial Benefit: Staying ahead of technological trends ensures that the business remains competitive and can quickly respond to changing customer expectations – faster than competitors using traditional CMS.

 

Put simply, a headless CMS website build offers large-scale businesses the commercial advantages of flexibility, efficiency, scalability, and adaptability, contributing to improved user experiences, faster market responsiveness, and increased revenue opportunities.

 

Are there many businesses using headless CMS?

Not ‘yet’!

Currently, headless CMS is being used by a handful of forward-thinking industry leaders, such as SONOS, Gymshark, Puma, Nike and Shopify.

Beyond the few industry leaders, Headless CMS is still relatively brand new and there aren’t many business that have switched to the new website model. This is in most part due to the higher level of expertise required to build in Headless CMS, therefore currently, it is not a standard offering that many digital developers or agencies can provide.

However, for businesses that need a CMS that can handle complex system requirements, using a headless model should be considered.

 

Who can help you build a headless CMS website for your business? – we can!

Our agency dedicated a year and a half to gain the expertise and knowledge of building in Headless CMS. We are very proud that we can showcase an example website of an enterprising client who we worked with to build their website using this forefront tech solution.

That client is, Harley Academy, the UK’s leading aesthetics training provider and pioneer of the Level 7 Diploma in Injectables.

The Academy’s online materials need to regularly change seamlessly for the students using the educational portal of the website, alongside any instant announcements of aesthetics regulation and licensing rules.

To ensure complete accuracy and maintain the business’s highly established, authoritative reputation, these content updates needed to be made as quickly as possible. Plus, the online presence of the business needed to be built on a model that could continue to innovate, grow and provide a versatile management system for their large internal team.

Using a headless CMS solution, we provided a website that could handle complex interfaces and multiple third-party integrations, whilst importantly performing optimally for the end user.

 

Our digital team achieved this enhanced performance and expansive scalability, whilst efficiently integrating multiple third-party platforms into the website. These included enterprise-level HubSpot, Sanity, NextJS, Totara LMS, Typeform and Stripe.

Using this industry-leading tech solution has delivered a flexible, agile website for our client that can be easily and quickly updated according to their fast-changing needs.

Plus… the website speed across devices is unmatched in comparison to traditional CMS builds. What this means is that the end customer is experiencing a fast-loading site on whichever device they are using, ensuring a positive experience and higher possibility of converting sales.

Don’t believe us, see the speed data metrics of the website on Desktop and Mobile, below…

 

….

Dr Tristan Mehta, Founder & CEO at Harley Academy, said:

“Designmc implemented a cutting-edge solution that not only showcases our brand effectively but also seamlessly integrates with multiple third-party platforms. This ensures adaptability and scalability to accommodate our projected business growth. Their commitment to ongoing multi-channel marketing support has been instrumental in driving effective marketing activities.

 Attendance figures for our monthly Open Evening events have seen a substantial increase. Furthermore, the refined content management system and processes implemented by Designmc have streamlined internal workflows, empowering our teams to deliver content more efficiently. This comprehensive approach reflects their dedication to not just meeting but elevating our business objectives.

 Designmc’s expertise in rebranding, website development and marketing strategy has been pivotal in achieving measurable outcomes aligned with our vision and requirements. Their collaborative and forward-thinking approach has positioned our business for sustained success.”

….

You can read more about what we did here: www.designmc.org/work/harley-academy/

 

Interested in upgrading your business to headless CMS?

Our team has the right expertise to discuss, explore and plan the best headless CMS option to suit your business needs.

As one of the few agencies in the UK offering headless CMS development, working with us means you can set yourself up for content success and get the edge over your competitors – before it becomes the norm!

Give us a call for an informal chat today on 01926 754038 or, drop an email at hello@designmc.org and one of our team will get in touch.

LET’S TALK

Looking to realign, refresh or redevelop your brand or business marketing strategy? Send us an email at hello@designmc.org or, give us a call direct on 01926 754038 for an informal chat.

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