API-first approaches and microservices have led to Headless CMS being offered as a microservice. Headless CMS is a content management system that is used for back-end content management. These systems are built from scratch to make content accessible using a RESTful API on any device.

There are four core subsystems of CMS:

  • Content creation and management
  • Content delivery
  • Content monitoring and analysis
  • Content publication workflow

Unlike traditional CMS, headless CMS focuses only on the content creation and publication workflow. The core elements of headless CMS include the content repository, authoring, and delivery. The content repository of a headless CMS is designed to store content and provide CRUD and search capabilities. Authoring is normally handled by a web-based app in a headless CMS to create and modify content while REST APIs are used for content delivery.

Advantages of Using Headless CMS

Flexibility: Headless CMS allows users to use any technology or framework for applications. There are no blocked functionalities, and headless CMS can be integrated into new channels as well. Headless CMS is also much easier to deploy and use than traditional CMS.

Scalability: Headless CMS scales much better than traditional content management systems. Content delivery can be handled through microservice-based solution landscapes as well.

Security: With responsibilities in a headless content management system being divided, authoring can be hidden very easily.

Disadvantages of Using Headless CMS

No Previews: Content authors are unable to preview the final output of any content from within the headless CMS. Users have to rely on external solutions for previews which can be frustrating.

Lack of analytics and personalization features: Headless CMS lacks the analytics and personalization features that are commonly seen in traditional CMS applications. The features need to be developed externally and implemented through separate apps.

When to Implement Headless CMS?

While headless CMS allows businesses to engage with their customers and offer personalized content, it is not meant for everyone. If you are a business that wants to offer content through smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, headless CMS can be a worthwhile investment. If you do not want to support multiple content delivery channels and want to stick to a single channel, it is advised to stick to traditional CMS platforms.

Headless CMS is ideal for businesses that offer their services through a native app only. If you do not have a website and want to deliver content through your app, headless CMS can be far more effective than traditional CMS. You do not need to manage content input for multiple platforms, making your job much easier.

Headless CMS takes advantage of APIs to render content directly within a website’s codebase. It does not interfere with any CMS code making it possible to integrate it without using any programming languages or development processes.


Many developers believe that using headless CMS makes content repository management very convenient. Headless CMS can be deployed to create and author content more efficiently, improve workflow and enhance collaboration. It is also much easier to maintain than traditional CMS as there is very little maintenance involved.

About the Author

Hemant is a Technical Architect and CMS expert with 12 years of experience in designing and developing applications in Wordpress. He is an expert in PHP, Wordpress, Zend Framework, Magento. He has played a phenominal role in migrating various CMS applications to Wordpress for multiple clients at Asentech.