What are Traditional and Headless CMS? What are benefits of Headless CMS?

If you want to make your website compelling and content in control, then CMS is the best choice. The content management system helps in improving businesses because it is easy to use and allows multiple users. Because of its streamline scheduling and desirable design changing your content is in your control.

Regarding site maintenance CMS is the king, you don't have to change each page, make changes in architecture on the go and switch to desirable change. If you have the bulk of content to manage, then content management systems are the best choice. Traditional CMS is available as an open-source, free, and multilingual front end editors.

The best thing about CMS is their easy to use customization to the extent to be used for massive sites like a government site or small site like a grocery store site. What is the difference between the traditional CMS and headless CMS? Above mentioned features are of every traditional CMS. But, still, before jumping towards headless CMS, we would provide a quick view of the conventional CMS.

Traditional CMS

If you want to edit, store, deliver, and display content on the internet, then traditional CMS is all in one. It requires specific server hosting and database. The user-friendly front end and backend easily accessible through database make it the first choice of developers for building websites. When anyone thinks of using CMS, WordPress is the first choice that comes in mind.

It is the most used CMS because of the easy installation (like takes only 5 minutes) and customizations.  But there are also other CMS which can be useful to you like WordPress and suit fit to your requirements. It includes such as Gatsby, Squarespace, Jekyll, and Wix, etc. The traditional CMS align UI (user interface), design, and content management to provide easy customization.

Contrary to headless CMS, the traditional CMS give us with a versatile range of templates. It couples the content delivery application and content management application into one application. These CMS can easily manage primary websites and blogs because of all the things in one place.

Do not confuse the decoupled CMS with the headless CMS as both are two different concepts. There is a vast difference between the couple and decouple CMS as the decouple CMS manages the content on the backend and then present at the front end, whereas the headless CMS wait for the request for the content management. Here is the proper concept of headless CMS.

Headless CMS 

The headless CMS is replacing the traditional CMS because of its pure content---no dependency on the design, display, and website structure because of the loosely coupled or stateless APIs. These are also known as API based CMS. It provides you with the ultimate control of where and how the content will appear.

Headless CMS is all about the administrative interface for content creators. Unlike the traditional CMS, it does not combine the presentation layer and content and provide engaging on-demand content for the digital and business sector. Headless CMS is best for innovative and dynamic content management. But, with no front end and works based on the back end and APIs to store and manage content.

The famous headless CMS are ButterCMS, Squidex, Strapi, Netlify, and contentful. New CMS integrates headless CMS for content delivery support to mobile applications and the external web. For example, you can also use Angular with headless CMS for blog application. The headless CMS work mainly by using the predefined schemas and page builders.

Here arises one question that if headless CMS has to work by using predefined schemas, then why not WordPress. It is user-friendly and easy to use for beginners and can also be converted into headless CMS. Here we are going to highlight some more differences between the headless CMS and traditional CMS. 

Headless CMS
Traditional CMS
Backend only
Front end and backend both
Content accessible
Through Rest API
Organization of content into taxonomies
Content components
Mainly focuses on administrative interface and is a content component
Combines the content and the presentation layer
Has no dependency on-site structure, presentation layer, design or templates
Fully dependent on the combination of presentation layer with content site structure and design display
Pure (Omni channel readiness)
Mixed because of the link with the presentation layer
Initial built up
Fully with the API first
full monolith CMS with APIs attached afterward
Cloud scalability
Elasticity of the cloud platform
Has not the elasticity as the headless CMS has because of the stateless APIs
Easy to use
Complex because of integration of many features in one CMS
Operating cost
Low operating cost because of multitenant options
Comparatively high
Highly flexible because of APIs integration to make CMS front end
Comparatively less flexible and need a specific framework or programming language
Highly system security because of no dependency on database and content delivered from content delivery network
Content delivery from the database so there is a risk of system data’s compromise
Marketing empowerment
Functionality creation
Engages developer in creating functionalities because of no link with the presentation layer
Most of the functionalities are one click far away of plugins installation
Content organization
Bit difficult because of pure headless CMS
Yes, need maintain for database and security updates

Benefits of headless CMS

The above comparison table highlights the significance of headless CMS more than traditional CMS. Here are some other benefits of headless CMS, depicting that it is highly adaptable than traditional CMS.

Data management

The headless CMS only based on the backend, with no front end, so its focus is on managing and storing data. It also provides you with an interface for easy data management with the help of an API.

Easy Data fetch

The headless CMS comprised powerful API to fetch content into any application from the database. Fetching of data is also easy because of the independence of the interfaces for displaying and storing the data. Its decoupling feature makes it more desirable than traditional CMS were storing and content display are tightly linked.

Build Unique Applications

The headless CMS helps in building unique, scalable, and flexible applications. It allows you the content display across multiple platforms. You can integrate headless CMS in virtual reality, mobile apps, and smart devices. The stateless APIs in headless CMS provides a scalable cloud platform.


Besides all other benefits, it is cheaper to install as compared to traditional CMS. The low operating cost because of multi-tenant options makes headless CMS a perfect choice for building websites.

System Security

Unlike traditional CMS, the headless CMS uses a content delivery network for content management. There is no involvement of the database, which reduces the risk of DDOS (distributed denial of service attack).

Redesign independence

Contrary to traditional CMS, headless CMS makes you independent to update or redesign the application from any part you want. It also saves the updating cost by focusing on redesigning a specific part. That’s why traditional CMS operational cost is high because updating an application demands to start all over again, time-consuming and costly approaches.

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