The history of content management systems came a long way – from brochure-type static content websites to dynamic ones to closed and open-source CMSs introduced in the early 2000s.
Now in the 2020s, we face trends that may change how we work with the market and manage the content.
In the logic of the traditional CMS, the back-end and the front-end of the website form one system. In practice, this means that each platform uses its own architecture, has its own content created for it, and has its own interface configured.
Traditional, monolithic CMS consists of the following:
- A database to read and write into.
- An admin interface where editors manage the content.
- Integration of reading and writing.
- A front-end, which combines data from the database with HTML.
The headless CMS lacks #4. Instead, there is a RESTful or GraphQL API accessible by other systems to access the data managed in the Admin UI.
How This Works And What Are The Benefits
Since the front-end is not there, the developers now need to craft the website by themselves and use the REST or GraphQL APIs of their headless content management system to access the content.
And here are some of the advantages of it:
- A developer can use any technology they prefer – they are not forced to work with the technology for a specific CMS.
- There is no need to deal with the bugs of the existing tech stack. It is easier to make radical tech decisions, relaunch part of the site or optimize for core web vitals and speed.
Headless CMS is not restricted to websites, though – it can deliver content via API to wherever it’s needed. There is a number of them available, with the following being among the most popular.
Companies such as Chase, Icelandair, Holiday Inn, Mattel, McDonald’s, Mitsubishi, Riot Games, Express, Sephora, and Shell trust Contentstack to take care of their content. It is a “headless” Content Management System that advocates for Microservices-based technology, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless. Its pricing plans start at $995/month, with a free trial available.
It is an API-first, “headless”, cloud-based content management solution available via SaaS or On-Premise. The pricing starts at $200/month for the SaaS version. Among its partners – Docker, Evolved Media, Metaversant, Tenthline.
WYSIWYG interfaces and drag-and-drop builders were around for a while, but in the future, AIs are going to offer even more possibilities to content creators.
An example of this is the integration of API through the AI-powered functionality to enhance the connection between the back-end and the display at the front-end.
By adding AI to the mix, headless CMS can make content available on mobile devices via chatbot interfaces.
In fact, according to the Driving ROI Through AI whitepaper, senior executives across industries shared that they intend to expand their AI-related budgets by 8.3 percent per year over the next three years.
Growing Adoption Of Hybrid And Cloud-based CMS
The headless CMS trend is growing, but not everyone buys into its concept – many publishers have issues with the absence of a visual interface there. That’s where hybrid and cloud-based CMS get a piece of the action.
Hybrid CMS blends traditional and headless approaches into a single system – achieving both flexibility and context and creative control. This path works with lots of technology – for example, the world’s most popular CMS WordPress got headless traits with the addition of REST API.
On the other hand, the cloud-based content management system is nothing new and has been around for a while. Yet it’s not going anywhere – more and more authors and businesses migrate to the cloud – this lets them simplify their content management and adds more efficiency and scalability to their operations.
Voice-Based Search Optimization
Forecasts suggest that the quantity of voice search assistants will rise to eight billion by 2023. One of the ways how content management systems can take advantage of this growing trend is to offer optimization for voice search as part of the functionality.
The most common type of query here is questions. People care about answers like who, what, where, when, why, and how, and they often look for something particular, for example: “Where is the best beach destination in Europe for an autumn vacation?” Smart devices prioritize different ranking factors and choose answers differently than text-based search. The answers they serve up are derived from SERP features, though, such as:
- Featured snippets.
- Knowledge panel, graph, and box.
- Directory listings.
- People Also Ask.
- Answer box.
In addition, there are multiple voice search technologies in active use today – Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana – so it is essential to keep all of them in mind.
All this means that a good CMS needs to meet several requirements:
- It should make the website convenient for users on mobile.
- It should make it easy to optimize for voice search.
- It should make it easy to present your content appropriately: automated use of structured data like Shema.org, social tags like Open Graph, Title Tags, H1s, H2s, image Alt tag, and so on.
- There should be available integrations with local listings, data aggregators, and directories.
- It’s best to make life easier with automation: automated checks for broken links, sitemap updates, internal linking suggestions, and so on.
While going headless or keeping the traditional CMS depends on business needs, the AIs and the voice search are here to stay. Their usage will only grow more prominent with time until website owners have to adapt or go out of business.
So why not move to secure an advantage now? Early adopters enjoy weaker competition, a bigger volume of potential customers. It is an excellent opportunity to consolidate the gains before the competitors catch up.