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Selecting the Right CMS Platform for Your Business: Understanding the Benefits of Coupled, Decoupled and Headless CMS Solutions

Headless CMS Architecture—Suitable for High Volume Publishers With Strong Development Skills

A headless CMS architecture is a subset of decoupled. As a result, it shares many of the same characteristics. However, while a decoupled CMS has a predetermined front-end, a headless system does not. A headless CMS therefore has greater flexibility to publish content on different platforms because the content management back-end is unchained from a fixed front-end.

In addition, unlike decoupled, a headless CMS architecture allows you to publish dynamic content to any device connected via IoT. Of all three CMS architectures, a headless CMS offers the most control regarding how and where your content appears.

On the other hand, headless’ lack of content presentation functionality, out-of-the-box templates and themes means you’ll be looking for additional technologies to serve as the “head.” Headless CMS platforms typically do not come with a user interface, therefore seeing an accurate live preview can prove more challenging than decoupled. For these reasons, headless CMS platforms are best suited for organizations with a strong team of developers who prefer to use their favorite frameworks and tools as headless is the most developer-friendly of the CMS options. This type of architecture allows your development team to create a custom front-end framework that works for your project, your brand, your company and your end users.

Headless CMS platforms allow easy and secure third-party integrations, like decoupled CMS, and protects against security risks. Because of the design of a headless CMS, you can’t access the content publishing platform from a CMS database. This means you are less likely to experience a DDoS attack and be rendered offline, or unable to access systems and network resources. Your headless CMS can tightly secure any administrative, or data-holding, areas because it is completely separate from the actual displayed website. This gives you the ability to even restrict IP access to the CMS.

As an example, a popular method of hacking a website is through SQL injections—but headless combats that by running on a server without SQL or even without being connected to SQL. When a developer is truly creating a unique CMS from scratch, like with a headless CMS, nothing about your CMS is a known entity. Unfortunately, learning how to hack platforms like WordPress, used worldwide by a large number of people, can be easily found with a quick Google search.

Bear in mind though, if you don’t have an experienced developer/designer (or a team), headless is not going to be the right platform for you. While headless isn’t the best fit for everyone across the board, if you’re looking for a CMS solution that caters specifically to the needs and wants of your developers, provides control and flexibility and enhances your platform security it should be considered.

Today’s CMS Space

The CMS space has gotten very crowded and confusing for buyers.  Each CMS architecture has pros and cons and some are more appropriate in specific environments than in others.  If it’s time to redesign your digital properties, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between coupled, decoupled and headless CMS. Considering the points above will help you determine which type is right for your business.  Choosing the right structure will ensure you not only get what you want, but also what is best for your entire team—editors, developers, designers and marketers alike.

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