Headless CMS

02.11.2020 Stefan Welsch
CMS Tech headless magnolia aem gitops

The traditional CMS

To understand what a Headless CMS is, let's first look at how traditional CMS, or Content Management System for short, work like WordPress or Sitecore for example. These are designed to present content elements such as text, images, and videos on web pages. The data is stored in a database and read out again when the page is rendered, and presented to the user as a fully-fledged HTML construct.

The traditional CMS approach to managing content thus combines all the individual parts of a website - media such as images or sound, as well as HTML and CSS. This makes it impossible to reuse the raw content as it gets mixed up with code.

With the development of digital platforms, and especially since the advent of cloud computing, the need for more flexible solutions has become more concrete. Now companies are building (mobile) websites, apps, digital displays, conversational interfaces and much more. A traditional CMS quickly reaches its limits here. But why?

Since CMS content is output in a website-optimized manner, the same content cannot be adapted to other digital platforms without major intervention. This is where the Headless CMS comes into play.

The Headless CMS

A CMS software in which the content is separated from the presentation layer is called Headless CMS, alternatively also called Decoupled CMS. So there is an API that allows you to send content to a separate presentation layer, such as mobile devices. This is called headless because the presentation layer ("head") is separate from the content ("body").

While this type of headless CMS lets you choose an appropriate presentation layer for a digital platform, it does not solve an underlying problem: structuring content in a way that allows it to be reused across different platforms and channels.

Content Infrastructure

In order to be able to solve this problem, we go one step further from the "Headless CMS" to the Content Infrastructure. Content Infrastructure is a kind of more integrated Headless CMS. However, the content is not organized around the pages, but a separate Content Model is developed. A Content Model is a framework to organize different types of content and to link them together.

The content is stored in a content repository and can thus be reused. As a result, content is only produced once and is simply integrated in the places where it is to be displayed. So what does agility have to do with Headless CMS?

By dividing the entire content into its individual parts, these can be integrated into the agile process. Quick changes to content on websites are thus possible without any problems.

b-nova and Headless CMS

b-nova is already in the Headless CMS area. The blog you are reading has been captured in a central Content Repository. We use a Git repository hosted by AWS Code-Commit for this. In our traditional CMS Magnolia we have written a connector with which we can embed this content on our site as desired.

If you want to learn more about Headless CMS, Content Infrastructure or Magnolia CMS, you've come to the right place.


This text was automatically translated with our golang markdown translator.

Stefan Welsch - pioneer, stuntman, mentor. As the founder of b-nova, Stefan is always looking for new and promising fields of development. He is a pragmatist through and through and therefore prefers to write articles that are as close as possible to real-world scenarios.