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Why and how you should move to headless CMS

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clock-iconAugust 29, 2022
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Why and how you should move to headless cms

Why and how you should move away from all-encompassing legacy CMS systems and adopt a headless CMS strategy

Countless organizations are in the midst of adopting a whole new stack of web development tools, away from legacy all-encompassing CMS and e-commerce platforms and towards an open-source stack of tools: React or Vue, headless CMS (e.g. Contentful and Sanity), APIs & microservices, and so on.

The transformation is driven by the fact that management, sales, and marketing want to create a unique online brand experience and that development teams need to find better and faster ways to deliver that brand experience to the customer. A traditional all-in-one content management system is not cutting it.

What's driving this change?

To get the brand experience just right, enterprises small and big need a responsive, fast, modern website and web experience, unshackled from many painful constraints of legacy content management systems.

Often, it’s a wish to switch from a monolithic does-it-all platform - that was once hailed as the big solution but now feels too much like a big weight - into an interconnected stack of best-of-breed tools.

Of course, there are quite a bit of challenges

  • Learning new development languages like React, or outsourcing development to React and headless specialists
  • Gluing front end, headless CMS, and serverless function together in one smooth experience for the content managers and stakeholders of the new web presence
  • Get acquainted with a new workflow, where content publishing and design are decoupled
  • Make sure that you do not need the development for every tiny change you need to make

It takes a big effort in time, money, and conflict management skills to get the rebuild delivered. But the promise at the end usually goes beyond look & feel, it is a totally new experience for each and every visitor of the website.

React, React Everywhere!

Here’s an interesting metric I personally like to track from time to time:

Worldwide search volume for React vs. WordPress. Here’s the trend for the last five years:

(source: Google Trends)

Apples vs. oranges, you might say.

And technically, you’d be right: one is a library for building front-ends. The other positions itself as a website builder that has it all.

I think it is a useful view nonetheless: with WordPress you commit to the all-encompassing platform first. With React, you typically build bottom-up. While monoliths are sinking, development engineers all over the world are passionately preaching the new stack. Business people and marketers are embracing the new stack because it can give their brand the personal touch and feel they feel they need to deliver to their customers.

The benefits of a headless CMS architecture and a React front-end framework like NextJS

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 focus more on content creation than content management.
  • Faster time-to-market: Creators needn't concern themselves with how different frontends display their content since all updates are pushed across all digital properties. This speeds up production and 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 missing link - a React components web publishing tool.

No matter how you look at it, new stack or no new stack, the fact that React is a library for building front-ends and that headless cms is nothing more than a content repository is enough to scare away most organizations that are not in the early adoption category.

React and Headless CMS has reached the early majority for developers, but for business, it has not even reached the early adopters because of the lack of web publishing tools that can deliver on the promises of React and Headless CMS. Businesses will only jump- on the new stack if they see products with a proven track record or products that are surrounded with enough services that will make them work for a sufficiently large business community.

So what businesses and enterprises are looking for are our products and services that are built on the React and headless CMS promises, but are sufficiently developed so that any organization can run and use them without breaking the stack or breaking the bank for that matter.

WebriQ Studio is removing all obstacles to Headless CMS you may encounter when moving away from legacy CMS systems

  • WebriQ Studio is a full product for businesses large and small
  • WebriQ Studio is built with the following philosophy in mind
  • Individual pieces of business functionality that are independently developed, deployed, and managed. Basically the philosophy of React components and microservices
  • All functionality is exposed through an API, not plugins
  • SaaS that leverages the cloud, beyond storage and hosting, including elastic scaling and automatically updating.
  • Front-end presentation is decoupled from back-end logic and channel, programming language, and is framework agnostic
  • No code for those who use it as a web publishing tool only
  • Low code for those who use it as a web publishing tool and want to make design changes through CSS or directly through code changes

WebriQ Studio has removed the steep learning curve that comes with moving to a React and Headless CMS stack

  • With the built-in NextJS React framework, you can jump-start and do not need to learn React right away. You can grow into it.
  • With a ready-to-use Headless CMS and the Component Content schema pre-built for you, you can start building content right away. No need to go and learn how to set up a headless content repository.
  • No need to glue this together into a workflow and worry about hosting. It is all done for you through a robust Enterprise Edge Network
  • See how you can publish content with WebriQ Studio .WebriQ can deliver services around WebriQ Studio to make the product unique for your business usage and business application.

Manage your 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.