Is Headless CMS the Future? 5 Reasons the Answer Is a Big Yes
The term "headless CMS" has been gaining momentum in recent years. However, it's more than a mere buzzword in the world of web development and digital marketing. It has made quite an impact on developers and content creators alike by making content delivery a much easier experience.
It's no surprise that some of the largest companies in the world are adopting this technology in a bid to improve their content marketing. But what is it about headless that is driving this uptake and making it the preferred CMS of choice?
Among other things, a headless CMS is popular because it keeps you ready for future innovations and advancements. Let's take a look at five headless CMS features that scream "future-proof."
1. Omnichannel publishing
This is perhaps the most commonly mentioned benefit of a headless CMS – and for good reason. Just think about the variety of channels and devices consumers have at their disposal nowadays. It ranges from different websites and mobile apps to VR, chatbots, voice assistants and much more.
Omnichannel marketing has certainly become a crucial factor in customer satisfaction. In fact, a strong omnichannel strategy yields an average customer retention rate of 89%, while a weak one brings only 33%. This has become even clearer with the impact of COVID-19. Ultimately, there is no doubt that the constant advancement of technology will maintain the importance of omnichannel content.
The journey of creating omnichannel content can be tremendously challenging. After all, 90% of customers expect a consistent experience across all channels. If you fail to deliver, chances are they will turn to your competitors. If you succeed, they will remain loyal to you.
So, the benefits of omnichannel content are clear, but how does that relate to our question? Well, if omnichannel publishing is the future, then so is a CMS that enables it. The content you create in a headless CMS is automatically published to multiple platforms via an API. You don't need to spend time specifically tailoring content to multiple channels. The system does it for you, and a seamless omnichannel customer experience is guaranteed.
2. Flexibility for developers
Where a traditional CMS is limited, a headless CMS is liberating. In other words, a traditional system typically requires a particular programming language and framework. This restrictive character of a traditional CMS may put a strain on your developers. On the other hand, a headless CMS provides developers with much more freedom.
More precisely, it does not have a fixed structure for the coding/development. Developers have the flexibility of working with tools of their own choosing. This allows them to make the most out of their expertise and facilitates integration into other systems – no matter how complex.
Because a headless CMS integrates easily into different systems, technological advancements and innovations won't be an issue. Therefore, flexibility is an essential factor in keeping you ahead of the game.
3. Easy to use
With great content management systems comes a great learning curve. However, once you become familiar with the headless architecture, you'll find that it's not so difficult to use. This applies both to developers and marketers.
We've seen the major advantages for developers – flexibility and easy integration. Another one is that headless architecture does not require the extensive coding and file compilation that traditional does.
For marketers, an API-driven headless CMS means a more straightforward approach to content creation. Because the presentation layer and backend are separated, functionality and user experience are not their responsibility. They can focus on content alone, which means that both developers and marketers get to concentrate on what they do best.
Moreover, headless allows content be repurposed and adapted to new needs easily. You can make changes in the future without compromising the functionality of the product. Modifying content in a traditional CMS is far more strenuous because the frontend and backend are tightly linked. Changing your frontend in a traditional CMS basically means rebuilding everything from scratch, which is both time-consuming and costly.
Being easier to operate on all levels, headless saves you a lot of time and money. That way it ultimately proves to be an excellent long-term solution for your business.
4. Up to par user experience (UX)
User experience is a significant factor in your digital presence and brand success. In fact, every 1$ invested in UX results in a return between 2$ and 100$. We've seen how a headless CMS benefits a content-first approach, but what about the users' digital experience? Well, content-first does not mean UX-second, and a headless CMS allows you to bring both up to standard.
Consumer behaviour is constantly changing, so channels and devices are developing along with them. Headless CMS platforms follow easily because they allow the user interface to be modified without changes to the underlying implementation.
A great example to look at is artificial intelligence. AI plays a huge role in user experience, especially in terms of personalisation. We have already discussed what is content personalisation and why it matters for digital marketing. There's no doubt AI-driven technologies will continue to evolve, and it's vital to keep pace with them.
The ease of integration makes a headless CMS suitable for AI platforms. That means you can rest assured that you'll be able to keep up. Meeting new user demands is a key point in future-proofing your CMS. Being so adaptable, headless architecture makes that possible for you.
5. High level of protection
Security may be the last item, but certainly not the least important. We've previously discussed headless CMS security, but it's definitely worth mentioning in regard to the titular question.
Because a traditional CMS is so code- and file-heavy, there's a lot more material vulnerable to cyberattacks. This warrants tedious maintenance, since every new security patch requires you to update all of it. There's always a risk of file errors involved, as well as more stress on your server memory. This takes away a lot of time and can lead to a negative impact on user experience.
The enhanced security a headless CMS provides makes it easy to counter risks of this nature. As you know, your content is inherently safer due to the layer separation and additional security options for the API. Couple security with flexibility and easy integration, and maintenance becomes a piece of cake compared with traditional CMSs. This means the benefit of less anxiety and more productivity.
Ultimately, the more secure your CMS, the smoother your adaptation to future demands.
There is no CMS that is universally suitable. However, where a traditional CMS leaves much to be desired, a headless one keeps on giving. The 5 big features we listed give headless the agility and adaptability you need to be ready for any new developments. So, be sure to remember them next time you wonder: "Is headless CMS the future?"
If you have questions or need help going headless, digital agency GRM Digital offer services that will help you boost and future-proof your web development and digital strategy.