What is Headless CMS?

Sean C. Breen
by Sean C. Breen
Founder & CEO

What Is Headless CMS

With the recognition of the importance of Customer Experience, how content is delivered and stored on a website has been getting more attention. Headless CMS gives developers the ability to innovate while delivering great user experiences, allowing them to update the CMS design without disrupting the entire website. 

"Headless CMS means marketers and developers can build amazing content today, and—importantly—future-proof their content operation to deliver consistently great content everywhere." -Sitecore

By definition, a Headless Content Management System (CMS) "is a back-end only content management system (CMS) built from the ground up as a content repository that makes content accessible via a RESTful API for display on any device." (Wikipedia) 

In a Headless CMS, creating and storing content is the primary purpose. Because it doesn't include a front-end system, the content is pushed directly from the repository where its stored to any sort of device via an Application Program Interface (API) capable of pushing the content. This flexibility allows the content to publish to a website, an app, or anything connected to the IoT.

Essentially, a Headless CMS consists of:

  • an API
  • a content management system

The simplicity of the layers also lends an enormous benefit in the form of security. The API is typically read-only and placed behind layers of code, away from the administrative side of the Headless CMS, often housed on another server and domain. The separation ensures protection against the numerous anonymous attacks that can occur on a regular basis.

A few years ago, Forrester reported in their 2015 Global Business Technographics Software Survey, that more than 70 percent of North American companies either use or plan to use a content management system in some capacity.

In the short term, Headless CMS simplifies creating and managing content across multiple forms of delivery, while the long term benefits extend into the future developments in store for the Internet of Things, systematic improvements for developers, and even artificial intelligence.

For more information on Headless CMS, our eBook, Headless CMS: Putting Your Content First, is available for free download.

Learn More About Headless CMS