Headless CMS

Explained In 1 Minute & Deep Dive

A headless CMS is a content management system without a graphical user interface. It delivers content to different applications or devices, making it perfect for multi-channel publishing. Here's everything you need to know about them!

What You Need To Know In 1 Minute

A headless cms system is exactly what it sounds like - a content management system that does not have a graphical user interface. This means that you can use any programming language or framework to build your front-end, and the cms will provide an api for you to connect to.

The benefits of using a headless cms are numerous.

First, it allows for much more flexibility in terms of how you want to present your content.

Second, it decouples the backend from the frontend, making development and deployment much easier.

Finally, it provides a great way to manage and deliver content across multiple devices.

If you're looking for a powerful and flexible content management system, then a headless cms is a great choice.

A Deeper Dive Into Headless CMSs

A headless CMS or headless content system, is a content management system that enables you to manage and publish your content without relying on a particular front-end technology. It provides all the same features and capabilities as a traditional CMS, but without the need for a graphical user interface.

Why use a Headless CMS?

When it comes to managing website content, there are a number of different approaches that businesses can take.

One option is to use a headless content system (CMS). A headless CMS enables businesses to decouple their content from their presentation layer, giving them greater flexibility in how they publish and display content. As a result, businesses can easily publish content to multiple channels, including websites, mobile apps, and smart speakers. In addition, a headless CMS makes it easier to personalize content for individual users.

With a headless system, businesses can deliver a more tailored experience that meets the needs of their customers. As a result, businesses are able to increase customer engagement and drive better business results.

What is the difference between Headless and Decoupled Content Management?

Headless and Decoupled Content Management systems are both ways of managing content that are becoming increasingly popular. In a headless system, the content is managed separately from the front-end display. This allows for more flexibility in how the content is displayed, as the same content can be used in multiple different ways.

Decoupled systems also manage your content separately from the front-end display, but they take it a step further by making the content available through an API. This allows developers to build completely custom front-ends that can take advantage of the latest technologies.

Both headless and decoupled systems have their advantages and disadvantages, but they are both suited for different types of projects.

What is the difference between headless CMS and Traditional CMS?

A traditional CMS, or content management system, is centered around a database that stores all of your website's content. This content is then displayed to visitors through a templating system.

In contrast, a headless CMS does not have a templating system. Instead, it relies on an API to deliver content to your website or app. This makes it much more flexible than a traditional CMS, as you are not limited to the templating system. However, it also requires more development work to set up.

As a result, choosing between a headless and a traditional CMS will depend on your specific needs and resources.

Headless Content Management System - Technical Talk

A headless CMS is a back-end only CMS that makes it easy to store, manage and retrieve content. It's "headless" because there's no front-end website or interface - instead, the content is accessed via an API. This means that the content can be used on any platform, including websites, mobile apps and smart devices.

The headless approach has many advantages, including greater flexibility, faster development times and lower costs. However, it's important to choose a headless CMS that offers the right features and tools for your project.

In particular, you'll need to consider the following:

API: Make sure that the headless content management system offers a robust API that will allow you to easily access and update your content.

Content modeling: Choose a CMS that makes it easy to model your content, so you can easily create and update complex content structures.

Security: Headless CMS usually offers increased security compared to traditional systems, but it's important to choose a platform with robust security features.

Performance: Make sure that the CMS can handle the traffic levels and load times required by your project.

Why do you need a headless CMS?

There are many reasons why you might need a headless CMS. Perhaps you're looking for a more flexible and scalable way to manage your content. Or maybe you need a platform that can better support your mobile and multi-channel strategies. Whatever the case may be, a headless CMS can offer a number of advantages over traditional systems.

First and foremost, a headless CMS provides greater flexibility when it comes to how your content is presented.

With a traditional CMS, you're often limited to the templates and layouts that are built into the platform. But with a headless CMS, you have complete control over the front-end of your website or application, allowing you to create custom experiences for your users.

In addition, a headless CMS can offer better performance and scalability than a traditional system. Since there is no need to render pages on the server-side, headless CMSes can often handle more traffic without slowing down. And because they decouple the back-end from the front-end, it's easier to scale each component separately as your needs change.

Finally, a headless CMS can provide a more unified experience for your users across all devices and channels.

Who uses Headless CMS?

Headless CMS is a popular choice for developers who want the flexibility to build custom applications without being bogged down by the limitations of a traditional content management system.

Headless CMS provides a simple API that developers can use to access content stored in a database, making it easy to create custom applications without the need for a complex content management system.

Headless CMS is also popular with marketers and content authors who want to be able to easily update website content without having to learn code or hire a developer.

In short, Headless CMS is a versatile tool that can be used by anyone who wants to build a custom website or application.

What is headless CMS architecture?

You can use any programming language or framework to build your front-end. And because a headless CMS doesn’t care how you store or retrieve your content, you can easily use it with static site generators, serverless functions, and even JamStack sites.
Headless CMS architectures offer many benefits over traditional monolithic systems, including greater flexibility, faster development cycles, and easier integration with third-party applications.

What is headless CMS architecture?

Is a headless CMS just an API?

While a headless CMS does provide an API that makes it easy to manage content, it is not just an API.

A headless CMS also includes a robust set of tools for managing users, roles, and permissions. It also provides a way to easily deploy and update content on multiple devices.

As a result, a headless CMS offers a much more flexible and powerful way to manage content than an API alone.

Our Favourite Pure Headless CMS Platforms

There are many headless content management systems (CMS) to choose from, but Agility CMS, Magnolia CMS and Contentful are very popular and our favourites.

- Agilitycms is a self-hostedor cloud based CMS that has been headless for over 10 years.

- Magnolia CMS has a pure enterprise pedigree and is available as on premise, PaaS and soon, SaaS.

- Contentful is a cloud-based CMS that offers a graphical interface for creating and managing content.


All three offer a wide range of features, making them good choices for a headless CMS.


Some of the features offered by Agility CMS include:

- A flexible content model that makes it easy to reuse content

- A powerful API that makes it easy to access content from anywhere

- A mature user community that constantly pushes the functionality and capability of AgilityCMS


Some of the features offered by Magnolia CMS include:

- One of the most popular Java Content Management Systems on the market today.

- Magnolia offers a wide range of connectors such as Salesforce and CommerceTools

- Magnolia's core features include a user-friendly interface, live preview, content staging and workflow, versioning, and multilingual support.


Some of the features offered by Contentful include:

- A drag-and-drop interface for creating content

- A rich text editor for creating and managing content

- A flexible content model that makes it easy to reuse content

- A powerful API that makes it easy to access content from anywhere

Our Favourite Pure Headless Platforms Summary

Dotfusion has been a Premium partner with AgilityCMS for over 10 years and we know the product intimately, making it a great choice. Our customers love Magnolia CMS for it's product line flexibility (On Prem, PaaS and soon, SaaS) as well as their advanced personalization engine.

We are relatively new partners with Contentful but we have collected all the required developer certifications to consider ourselves 'expert Contentful developers'. We are currently working with Sunwing airlines developing their site on Contentful.

Both Contentful and Agility CMS offer a free trial, so you can try them out before deciding which one is right for you. Magnolia CMS offers a sandbox or proof of concept to ensure your publishing needs/workflows will be met.

Need Help Deciding on a Headless CMS Platform?

Dotfusion is a digital agency. We are platform agnostic and we always support our customers by suggesting the platforms that best fit the long term needs of our customers. There are pros and cons to every platform but our expertise and experience with most of the current CMS platforms is of great value in the CMS auditing process.

Our CMS Auditing service ensures all your presentation layer use cases and your author publisher use cases are satisfied by the capabilities of the CMS.

We start by helping your team define the requirements, use cases and expected component controls. We then match the documented functionality of the proposed headless cms solutions with your requirements and create a scorecard. This reveals the best match for you. In some cases we'll create proof of concepts in all the competing platforms so you can actually see how the platform works with your content infrastructure, landing pages and for, you content editors.

Contact us today if you are looking for help deciding on a decoupled CMS or visit:

Let's Wrap It Up

A headless CMS is a content management system that enables you to manage and publish your content without relying on a particular front-end technology. It provides all the same features and capabilities as a traditional CMS, but without the need for a graphical user interface. 

Headless CMSs are becoming increasingly popular due to their ability to work with any type of front-end technology, making them an ideal solution for businesses looking to create or update their website without needing to hire a developer. 

There are several different headless CMS options available, each with its own set of pros and cons. When choosing a headless CMS, it’s important to consider the needs of your business and how you plan to use the platform.