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Going Headless CMS without any headaches 

clock-iconJune 10, 2022

According to Forrester, more than 70 percent of North American companies either use or plan to use a content management system in some capacity. Traditional CMS tools like WordPress or Drupal provide little flexibility when it comes to integrating new delivery formats.

Introducing mobile, IoT, or Digital Signage functionality to your application architecture can present challenges, which is why more and more companies and their marketers decide to try and implement a Headless content management system approach.

I am not sure who is coining those words, but once again the wording "headless" is poorly chosen and does not represent the true nature of a content management system whereby content and presentation layers are handled by separate software. Still, most people are used to calling this technology headless CMS (sometimes decoupled CMS) and so we will stick to this here.

The "head" in "headless CMS" refers to the front end of the content management system. A headless content management system consists primarily of an API as well as the backend technology required to store and deliver content.

  • The headless CMS approach allows us to provide or manage content as a service, abbreviated as CaaS, which simply means that content storage and delivery are handled by separate software. A headless CMS can make the following tasks less of a headache:
  • Modeling, creating, and authoring content
  • Organizing content repositories, basically the whole content management process
  • Improving content management workflow and collaboration

As a trade-off, headless CMS platforms lack web delivery layers like templating systems. Unlike traditional content management system architecture, which requires you to follow specific rules and use designated programming languages, a headless CMS gives you complete control over how content is presented to the user. By losing the head, you can integrate with any codebase and use your preferred coding language.

This means it is easier to create structured content and it is smoother to integrate your content with mobile apps and other presentation laters for different devices. Organizing a content repository is also a breeze, even if you're managing multiple websites and microsites. The point is that headless content management systems help website owners, content managers, business owners, and even web developers make their daily jobs easier.

From a technical standpoint, a headless CMS simply uses API calls to render content within the website's codebase rather than creating complex relationships between code and content. For this reason, many companies find headless architecture and the content repository that come with it easier to maintain.

Also unlike a traditional CMS, a headless CMS typically doesn't require a host, yet self-hosting options do exist. You also don't have to worry about all of the endless security updates and other maintenance issues that come with managing content using a traditional CMS like WordPress.

The benefits of a headless CMS architecture

There are a number of benefits to using a headless CMS over a traditional CMS. The top five benefits of headless CMS include:

  • Flexibility: traditional CMS architecture and older generation static site generators can be frustratingly limiting. Using a headless CMS gives you the freedom to build a frontend framework that makes sense for your project. Since every headless CMS comes with a well-defined API, developers can spend more time focusing on content creation rather than content management.
  • Faster time-to-market: Speaking of which, creators needn't concern themselves with how different frontends display their content since all updates are pushed across all digital properties. This not only speeds up production but also allows you to reuse and combine individual structured content items.
  • Compatibility: You can display content to any device while controlling the user experience from one convenient backend. Whether you wish to create and manage content for mobile apps, desktop landing pages, tablet portals, etc. - compatibility won't be a big headache. Content management systems that help you do this are simply wonderful, don't you agree?
  • Extra security: Since the content publishing platform isn't accessible from the CMS database, using a headless CMS lowers your risk of DDoS attacks. There are also more headless CMS solutions related to website and user security available to you.
  • Scalability: Keeping the backend and frontend separated usually means no downtime is needed for maintenance, so you can upgrade and customize your website without compromising performance.

The biggest headache of Headless CMS Systems

Life Without Page Management

At the start of developing company websites, a developer usually determines all the pages and routes in your site so that then they can build the digital content types to represent them.

But what about pages we want to add in the future? I'm not talking about merely adding new blog posts or articles here, but instead adding actual new primary website pages, perhaps nested under other pages. What about landing pages, new lines of business, and so on?

The second complication here comes when we've got many pages and digital content we want to create on our website. If we have to create a different content type to articulate that, we will have a ton of content types to define.

Some traditional CMS options limit the number of content types, charging overages at a certain point. That's limiting in and of itself, but the bigger deal-breaker here is who is doing this work: Developers.

When we predefine our pages, a developer has to do the work of actually setting up those routes in code. Then they have to map those routes to the content types we defined earlier. Not only is that a great deal of work, but it means we have to get a developer involved again every time we want to add a new page! There's a better way.

What is Page Management?

A headless CMS acts primarily as a content repository to store content and generate interest on multiple channels. This isn’t enough for the modern-day marketer and limits the capabilities of the organization as a whole, plus affects the digital experiences of potential customers.

Most developers and architects start building their content using simple content definitions, particularly in the case of traditional CMSes, and while that’s a good way to get started, it doesn’t scale well.

That’s why built-in page management is in high demand these days. Page management empowers editors to create and manage content using reusable building blocks, also called components.

Using these building blocks, editors can manage their site’s page tree (which helps avoid the pitfalls of duplicate content), edit SEO, and determine content relationships and the functionalities of each page.

Also, because of how a decoupled CMS is set up, developers can choose which components editors can add, where they go, and what they do. Think back to traditional CMSes wherein you cannot do this freely at all and you'll see how headless CMS is so much better.

Page management also includes page templates. Developers create templates to narrow down the possibilities of what kind of content and digital experiences your website shows, giving the editors the tools to customize them but with a consistent output. Each page template has content zones and focused content that gives editors a location to add, change or delete components.

Why Headless CMS needs Page Management?

Let’s recap this one day in a life of a content editor from a typical marketing team:

  • I need to create a new landing page specifically for the press. It will have the same content layout as the website home page, but just different content.
  • I need to set the SEO properties for each page, such as Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions. I also need to improve sitewide content infrastructure to boost the website's performance on the search results.
  • On the home page, we want the YoutTube video to be BELOW the Main Rich Text, but on our press page, we want the YouTube video to remain ABOVE the Main Rich Text.
  • Our CEO doesn't like it - can we have the YouTube video ABOVE the Main Rich Text area on the homepage again?

In the scenarios above, you can see that the editor's needs are impossible to predict. It's not their fault. It's just the nature of the game. Managing content comes with a lot of changes.

Not taking advantage of Page Management and the benefits of headless CMS for your digital solution means It's not flexible for editors. Hence, developers spend most of their time taking orders, tinkering with existing code to support content requirements, and wishing they were doing something else! Content infrastructure changes should not have to involve developers.

So what does this ultimately mean?

  • Editors cannot create/manage website pages on their own without a developer
  • Editors cannot control which components are on each page developers get bored or burnt out
  • Companies will find that more development resources/expenses are required over time
  • Productivity on the website suffers

And, who's at fault for this? I'll give you a hint, it's not the editor, and it's not the developer... It's the architecture!

The Benefits of Headless CMS with Page Management

Using Page Management, you can empower editors to create and manage pages for your digital solutions using reusable building blocks.

With headless CMS page management, content editors can manage your site's page tree, and page-level SEO properties, and determine what content and functionality will be on each page. Content delivery becomes a breeze.

Compared to traditional CMS, a developer and architect will still have full control over what page templates are available to the editor, where they can place modules within the page, and what the modules can do. To sum up, the benefits of Page Management:

  • Empowered editors who can do more without a developer
  • Happier developers who can focus on new functionality and enhancements, and less time responding to new website content requirements
  • Increased productivity for the website and the team behind it
  • Fewer resources/expenses required

Confused about how to start with Headless CMS – try WebriQ Studio

The architecture of WebriQ Studio is built on the 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


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.

Pricing of WebriQ Studio

WebriQ adopts value-based pricing throughout its entire service portfolio, including WebriQ Studio.

Each customer will receive an unlimited service, for an all-in fixed monthly recurring fee. We use a unit-based approach to make creating unique and customized service packages as easy as possible. Each unit is valued at $1,000. Units can be broken into ½ units, ¼ units or ⅛ units.

We come to value-based pricing by analyzing and quantifying any or all of the following criteria

  • Expected usage of the product
  • Branding and design of all components
  • Additional Data modeling needed
  • Data migration complexity
  • The complexity of additional features requested
  • Further API integrations needed

Manage Your Content Infrastructure with Ease

It is the nature of companies to always seek functional and profitable avenues for what they do. When it comes to website and content infrastructure, it also makes sense to find what works best and what gives value for money.

Traditional CMS such as WordPress may still have a place today but the benefits of decoupling the backend from the presentation layer of websites are way beyond their reach at the moment. Just imagine being able to change any part of your content without it affecting the presentation layer so much and without bothering your developers too often, isn't it amazing?

So when it comes to CMS concerns, a headless CMS with page management functions is definitely in line with what companies, marketers, and content editors need these days.

So all in all it is a headless CMS implementation without any of the possible headaches associated with a headless CMS implementation. Content schema and pagination are prebuilt based on a set of components that can be customized at will. The product includes a complete workflow to easily create, manage and update any content. New content publications or changes in your content, will trigger a new build so that all updates are published on your digital assets.

We especially invite you to try out our very own WebriQ Studio. See for yourself how much better it is compared to WordPress and similar brands. Build main websites, landing pages, and microsites without the headache.

Take full control of your content management and marketing strategies.