I have been blogging for almost 10 years now. When I started blogging way back in 2011, I used Blogger. Blogger is still around. It’s free to use and owned by Google. I never liked Blogger as a CMS. In contrast, a headless CMS has been a major leap and maintaining content across multiple platforms is much easier now.
After a year or so, I switched to WordPress which gave me more flexibility. More importantly, I owned everything — domain, content, themes etc. Even back then, WordPress was popular in the blogging community. Since then, the popularity of WordPress has only grown. It now powers around 35–40% of all websites and has more than 60% market share in the CMS market.
Why use a Headless CMS
WordPress is a traditional CMS which basically means that the front-end and back-end are tightly coupled. The issue with WordPress here is you cannot distribute the content easily without the back-end. Sure you can have a blog and a mobile responsive to cater to your audience, however it restricts the distribution of your content.
Some of the other issues with using WordPress is you’re looking to create only content, then you would need to have someone support the front-end for you. With headless CMS, that isn’t the case. The content is centralized and you don’t have to worry about the distribution. Content can be distributed freely to multiple platforms simultaneously using content APIs. The APIs can then be used from any front-end framework.
Let’s check out some of the headless CMS that you can use.
There are multiple ways to get started with Strapi —
Strapi can be deployed on multiple platforms like AWS, Azure, Google App Engine, Heroku, Digital Ocean etc.
Strapi has an intuitive UI for writing content. Strapi also exposes a certain number of REST API endpoints. When it comes to consuming your API, you have multiple options like React, Vue.js, Angular, Next.js, Nuxt.js, GraphQL, Gatsby, Svelte, Ruby, Python etc.
One of the best features of Strapi is it’s administration panel which can be used to change configurations. Strapi also comes with GraphQL support.
GraphCMS is a GraphQL Headless CMS with content APIs. One of the biggest advantages of using GraphCMS is all GraphQL queries are served through edge POPs. POPs or Points of Presence refers to servers that are placed at the center of high-density Internet Exchange Points around the world.
GraphCMS provides a simple UI to add content. Like Strapi, GraphCMS also supports GraphQL. GraphCMS has an inbuilt GraphQL playground with which you can test your API calls.
I recently wrote an article on how to get started with GraphCMS which you can check out.
ButterCMS uses JSON for each API call. Because of the microservice architecture, a headless CMS is platform independent. Whether you’re using Angular, React, Vue, Express or any other framework, the only thing that you need to do is make an API call to display the content.
ButterCMS is a paid platform. However, you do get a 30 days free trial.
The editor in ButterCMS works like any other editor where you can edit the content and publish it. The changes would get reflected wherever the API call is made.
I had tested ButterCMS a while back. You can check it out to know how you can get started with ButterCMS.
Storyblok is a headless with an extremely powerful content editor. The visual composer gives you a preview of the changes you make to your website, even before those changes go live. It’s similar to how the popular Divi theme works for WordPress.
Storyblok also allows you to reuse content blocks. You may already create components like teasers, grids or feature sections. Content blocks allow the developer to reuse those components elsewhere, refilling them with new content each time if necessary.
Storyblok has a robust and flexible plugin system to give you the power to extend the editor with custom fields like a color picker or a google maps location selector.
You can jumpstart your own collaborative workspace with an open source editing environment that empower everyone on your team with Sanity Studio.
Sanity lets you treat content as data so you can flow it across APIs to power experiences wherever you might need them.
So, that’s for this article on headless CMS. Stay tuned for more.