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How Digital Agencies can become Headless CMS experts

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clock-iconJuly 06, 2022
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Why outsource to a Headless Competence Center


What is a Headless Content Management System?

A headless CMS provides all of the capabilities of the backend of a traditional CMS (i.e., the “body”), while giving the responsibility for content presentation/layout to the delivery channels (i.e., the head). For clarification purposes, “traditional CMS” from this point forward will refer to the next generation CMS described in the prior section, with back-end and front-end as part of the same platform and vendor.

Content is no longer pushed out to a channel in a predefined manner. Content is pulled or requested from the CMS by any channel, by way of a RESTful API, enabling each individual channel to take advantage of its own unique presentation capabilities. A RESTful API is an application programming interface (API) that uses the internet protocol HTTP to request data for a data source - the CMS in this situation.

In a pure-play headless situation, the headless CMS doesn’t generate any front-end code and provides content as a service, which is why headless CMS is sometimes referred to as “Content-as-a-Service” (CaaS). This process results in the best available digital experience for the end-users of a particular device since front-end developers are able to continue developing new functionality for any channel independent of the core/backend CMS.

As Wikipedia indicates, “a headless content management system, or headless 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.” Headless CMS can also be defined as only having the ability for creation, reading, updating and deleting (CRUD) of content, while downstream channels that pull content from the headless CMS are responsible for its presentation to end-users.

With that said, headless CMS can also be called decoupled CMS because the backend is separated or "decoupled" from the frontend. So when you see decoupled CMS terminology out there, then you are dealing with headless CMS technology.

What is Headless eCommerce

Headless eCommerce is also known as Composable Commerce allows e-commerce teams to select and assemble best-of-breed commerce solutions and compose them to satisfy their unique business needs.

Instead of using a one-size-fits-all e-commerce functionality to serve business needs, Composable Commerce leverages modern technologies and approaches like MACH (Microservices, API, Cloud, Headless) and JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, and Markup) or HALO (Headless, Agile, Low-code, and Open) to adapt to the ever-changing market dynamics of today and tomorrow.

The basic tenets of Composable Commerce are:

  • Business centricity. It empowers business users to make changes to digital strategy, enable new business models and create unique experiences without heavily relying on IT. 
  • Modular architecture. It supports more agile delivery, faster time to market, and improved experiences across all touchpoints.  
  • Open ecosystem. It empowers brands to assemble best-of-breed solutions using various accelerators, third-party applications, pre-composed solutions, and best practices.

Gartner defines Composable Commerce as using packaged business capabilities (PBC) to move toward future-proof digital commerce experiences.

By 2023, Gartner predicts that organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace the competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.

The message is clear: the future of commerce experiences requires application leaders to adopt a composable approach






Technical Challenges agencies need to overcome when implementing headless infrastructures

  • Manage multiple vendors.
    • If there’s one advantage you can give to the monolith approach, it’s that you only have to deal with one vendor. Negotiating terms of subscriptions, reviewing terms and conditions, integrating with the software — it takes a lot longer to do this when you’re talking about upwards of 40–50 vendors versus just a few.
    • Service level agreements pose another challenge. Resilience to traffic spikes will vary across vendors, and the guarantees they offer in their SLAs will, too.
  • Require high digital maturity levels.
    • Think of microservices like Lego blocks without an instruction manual to piece them together to build that creation you had perfectly envisioned,” said Duvall in an article for Forbes last year.
    • Headless CMS and Composable commerce are complex models that require a digitally mature organization and deep, cross-functional collaboration among sophisticated developers. “It can be extremely difficult — and potentially expensive — to put all of those Lego pieces together in a way that creates a compelling and manageable customer experience,” Duvall said.
  • Change infrastructure and monitoring tool needs.
    • Switching to a microservices architecture might change the infrastructure and tools you need to monitor those different microservices. Be aware of what changes will be required and factor them into the total cost of ownership.
  • DIY control panel.
    • A pure microservices or completely headless experience requires merchants to build a cohesive user interface on top of other components. Because everything lives in different systems, tasks made simple by a more out-of-the-box platform become much more difficult to manage.

How WebriQ can help you overcome the entry barriers of Headless CMS and Headless eCommerce

Managing Multiple vendor's issues

With WebriQ as a service provider for your technology stack, there is no real need to manage multiple vendors because that is essentially WebriQ's job as a service provider. We have a ton of experience with Headless CMS systems, Static Site Generators, Git workflow, CDN Hosting, Front-end storefronts, commerce back-ends, payment gateways, tax and shipment providers, Search, and CRM. The migration to headless CMS and Headless commerce does not need to happen in one go. You can start with portions of your main website that f.ex. Content that is specific to a certain audience or content that needs very frequent updates. For eCommerce, the main thing is to start with commerce and search, and then integrate your other tools into a datahub, in order to democratize all data available to whoever needs access to that data. It is possible to build an entire composable stack on essentially open-source software and on software that has a pay-as-you-go structure.


The high digital maturity level requirement

WebriQ has the required expertise and digital maturity level to get you into the learning curve quickly. As an organization, you can acquire that maturity level over time from your hands-on experience with your composable commerce stack. Or you can leave it up to WebriQ to advise you on the b3est-of-breed services that can and should be integrated with your stack. We can interface with the business owners, marketers, content managers, and users of your composable stack and get you as an organization to the level of digital maturity required to operate the platform on a day-to-day basis.


Monitoring tools needed

Part of the implementation could encompass the integration of monitoring tools into your datahub. The monitoring tools become part of your control panel and you can extract data from those tools as and when needed.


DIY Control Panel issue

  • Headless CMS and Headless eCommerce has by definition a single source of truth and a single UI that manages all your content, product data, media, pricing, etc.
  • All the other data, whether it is coming from commerce, shipments, tax, or CRM can be integrated into a single control panel with data coming from the datahub, if and when required by your business model and the need to expose that data to other parts of the organization. It is really something that is built for you, based on your business model and needs. It evolves and scales with your organization as it grows in digital commerce.

WebriQ Can get you started in the Headless world without any entry barriers

WebriQ Studio is built on headless CMS principles, but also around the MACH philosophy.

What is MACH?

M: Individual pieces of business functionality that are independently developed, deployed, and managed.

A: All functionality is exposed through an API.

C: SaaS that leverages the cloud, beyond storage and hosting, including elastic scaling and automatically updating.

H: Front-end presentation is decoupled from back-end logic and channel, programming language, and is framework agnostic

Architecture

MACH technologies support a composable enterprise in which every component is pluggable, scalable, replaceable, and can be continuously improved through agile development to meet evolving business requirements.

WebriQ Studio has four major components:

  • Sanity and Sanity Studio for the headless CMS
  • Nextjs as the production framework
  • Serverless forms and payment forms through AWS
  • Netlify for the entire publishing workflow and Edge functionality

The content schema is prebuilt and serves as the core of the publishing tool and as the only UI that users need to learn and understand.

For each page you build, you can choose from 20 different components and each component has 5 different variables.

Examples of pre-configured components are Navigation, Header, Footer, Text, Call to action, Testimonial, Portfolio, FAQs, Blog, and more.

Each page with a distinct URL can be populated with one or multiple components. All components can be reused on other pages and all components that are uniquely tagged are updated throughout all pages when content updates are done to that component. All components can be uniquely designed and branded through a Windtail CSS library.

All pages can be previewed before publishing.

SEO settings can be done on all pages separately and there is an SEO preview functionality embedded.

Last but not least, we provide the possibility to publish your WebriQ Studio to any TLD or subdomain of choice and all WebriQ Studios are de facto integrated with WebriQ analytics.


WebriQ is a Top-of-the-line Headless Competence Center

  • A group of dedicated designers proficient in all aspects of modern designing and design to code implementation
  • A group of developers highly specialized in NextJS, GatsbyJS, React, GraphQL development, microservices, and edge functionality
  • Expertise in headless CMS ( Sanity and Strapi) and headless eCommerce (Bigcommerce, Swell, and Medusa)
  • Expertise in serverless functionality such as web forms, payment forms, gated content, and paywalls.
  • Strong API expertise with applications such as Stripe, Zapier, Bigcommerce, AWS Serverless, and Hasura amongst others
  • In-house project management
  • In-house Level 2 Support

Dedicated Partner Portal for all your projects

  • Unlimited number of projects
  • Git-based workflow
  • All sites are hosted on Netlify High-Performance Edge Network


Outsource Your Web Development

There are a wide variety of excellent reasons why you should outsource your web development sooner than later. Not only will this free up your hands so you can devote more time to other important aspects of your business, but you will also have access to experts who can go above and beyond for your cause.

Of course, make sure to partner with the right web development experts for your needs. At WebriQ, we are mad about designing and developing top-notch content and transactional websites for our clients. Request a DEMO of WebriQ STUDIO and learn how we can take your web development to new heights.