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    What is a headless CMS?

    by Iain Thomson Project Lead

    A headless CMS is a type of content management system that does not provide a user interface for managing content.

    Instead, it provides an API or other interface for developers to access the content and display it on the front end. It is a popular choice for businesses that need to provide customised content experiences for their users.

    Five benefits of a headless CMS

    1. Flexibility

    A headless CMS provides more flexibility for developers to create custom experiences for their users. With a headless CMS, developers can create websites, apps and other content experiences that are tailored to their users’ needs.

    This helps businesses create better customer experiences and increase customer satisfaction, which all boils down to retention and sales.

    2. Scalability

    Scalability is important for a headless CMS because it allows businesses to easily adjust their operations as their user base grows.

    With a headless CMS, businesses are not limited by the size of their content database, and they can quickly and easily add more content or users to the system. This allows businesses to grow their operations without having to worry about upgrading their hardware or software.

    3. Speed

    Content delivery is faster with a headless CMS, as the content is sent directly from the API. Speed is important for a headless CMS because it helps improve user experience and engagement, as users can access content quickly.

    A headless CMS delivers content directly from the API, which makes it faster than a traditional CMS that requires a full page load.

    That can also have significant SEO benefits, as the search engines measure page load speed and it can often be a ranking factor.

    It’s also well known that users are very impatient when it comes to pages loading, and will click back after just a few seconds if they’re not seeing the content they expect.

    4. Security

    Security is important for a headless CMS because the content is not exposed to the public web. This means the content is secure from hackers and malicious actors.

     Additionally, a headless CMS offers more control over user access to content, allowing businesses to customise user permissions and protect sensitive data.

    5. Cost savings

    A headless CMS can help businesses save on development costs as compared to a traditional self-built CMS, as they don’t need to build a custom UI.

    It’s worth pointing out that building a bespoke custom CMS is something that’s generally reserved for large, established businesses as it’s an expensive and time-consuming process, although the advantages are that everything, from security to user interfaces and features, is under the control of the client.

    For smaller businesses, it’s usually fine to use WordPress, which is free and open-source. It can be easily installed, comes with security and functionality built in, and there are thousands of plugins and themes to add to it, both free and paid-for.

    A good compromise for a unique website is to use the WordPress back end, but have a professional bespoke WordPress theme and plugins built for your specific look, feel and functionality.