It's no secret that selecting the correct content management system (CMS) is crucial to increasing your revenue and keeping current. Even still, according to W3 Techs, 40% of websites aren't utilizing a known CMS, and while not every business requires a CMS, most companies aiming to scale will eventually require one.
When selecting a content management system, it's a delicate balancing act between addressing your most pressing business issues and catering to the various stakeholders who contribute to creating your content. As a result, the decision-making process can be perplexing and daunting, especially when there is no silver bullet solution.
Each CMS has its own set of pros and limitations, and what works for one firm may not work for another, prompting the question, "What is the best CMS for my company?"
There are a variety of content management solutions to consider, ranging from traditional page-based systems for editors to headless products for developers and content distribution across channels. And finally, hybrid systems that combine the best of both worlds while also connecting and sharing data across channels.
Here's our guide to help choose the most effective CMS for your website as you weigh your alternatives and sort through all the technical jargon.
Middleware-Based CMS: Pros and Cons
Traditionally CMS’s were made as middleware, using a programming language like PHP and a database like MySQL to serve content to site visitors on demand. Some common middleware CMS’s you may have heard of include WordPress, Drupal, and Concrete CMS.
Middleware-based CMS makes it easier for website owners to update their site in new ways on their own. Without bringing in a new developer, a decent middleware-based CMS will allow you to add additional types of content to a page. For example, if you plan to repurpose your existing online podcasts and turn them into blog articles, a CMS can help organize that content successfully.
It is easier to add interactive capabilities to a middleware CMS. Forms, surveys, guest books, and creating an online that requires login are more accessible with middleware-based CMS than headless CMS.
With built-in templates, modules, and control pages, it has a very visual interface. Without learning a single line of code, any content editor may build a website. Using pre-built components, you may sample content and observe how it interacts with design. Additionally, editors can rapidly and easily expand on the CMS system without developing or developers.
Benefits of a Middleware-based CMS
The main advantage of a middleware-based CMS is that the backend and frontend are inextricably linked. This makes it more simple for content specialists to produce and publish digital experiences and manage the deployment in the long run. Video creators can take full advantage of CMS. For example, YouTube marketing can be made easy with CMS, as it helps in editing, organization, and distribution.
Traditional content management systems (CMSs) have a lot of advantages for businesses that aren't interested in creating omnichannel experiences.
Easy to bring employees onboard
Because the backend and frontend are closely linked, bringing people together to collaborate and generate content is frequently easier. All this is certain to make employees onboarding a cup of tea.
Development and simpler setup
While many CMSs make it easy for users to handle content, traditional CMSs are generally easier to set up and deliver content effectively within the tool's limits.
No coding knowledge required
Traditional content management systems (CMSs) are frequently easier to maintain for non-technical users and make it easier for people to manage the content editing process, even if they aren't familiar with coding. In addition, it makes it all but easy for the project manager to complete the task with ease.
There are numerous themes and templates to choose from
Most traditional CMSs have many templates and themes to choose from, minimizing the time to obtain a specific look and feel, so kudos to the employee, whoever comes up with the best design.
You can build interactive functionality
Because there is a programming language and database involved, it's easy to build highly personalized content, private communities, filtering functionality - anything that requires logic to display different content to different people in different situations.
Headless CMS: Pros and Cons
A headless CMS is a content management system that manages and organizes content without using a frontend or display layer. All of your content and assets are stored in the headless CMS. Then you use a content API to distribute that material to your website, mobile app, email marketing, CRM, and other places where you need it.
Digital content has progressed much beyond ordinary web pages in recent years. As a result, today's digital marketers and web administrators must support their web users across many media types, including websites, portals, apps, print, and search, which in turn help in acquiring new customers.
Because we live in an omnichannel environment, a headless CMS can save you time. Content created for a company's website must also appear in applications, integrations, newsletters, and other platforms. Managing a duplicate copy of the content for numerous channels is a hassle.
If a company changes the way it represents a product, it shouldn't be duplicated across 20 different systems. Instead, you should modify one central location and have it propagated to all appropriate sites.
CMS plays a crucial role in the sequence, whether you are selling online courses or the latest gadget on your eCommerce platform. It serves as a spot of reference for all of your company's content and assets. It allows you to manage, edit, update and publish your content all in one spot.
This is the promise of a headless CMS.
The benefits of a headless CMS
A typical CMS' architecture might be somewhat restrictive. But, on the other hand, a headless CMS allows developers to create your frontend framework in whichever form and medium you deem fit for your company.
Every headless CMS comes with a well-defined API, allowing developers to focus on content placement rather than content management.
Content creators edit content in one place and have it updated to many digital platforms. As a result, content creation is quicker, and material may be reused.
The CMS tool is solely for storing material and isn't crowded with features useful to business users or other development-related items.
Disadvantages of a headless CMS
Building the frontend
Unlike traditional CMS architecture, you must create your design and structure with a headless CMS.
Because frontend rendering must be handled by different software, developers who want to use headless CMS must be familiar with several codebases.
A headless CMS will have particular formatting concerns because you can't always preview what content will appear like on the page. As a result, different processes will be required to estimate how the material will appear on the front end.
Application stack management
To set up and manage the display component of any site, app, or other experience, you'll require infrastructure.
A headless CMS may not acquire enough customer data to return personalized content because the content and delivery are separated.
A headless CMS has only two things in common with a conventional CMS:
- A method of storing data.
- A user interface for CRUD operations.
Because the headless CMS separates the head from the body, the material can be displayed in any way. A digital display can be a website, a smartphone application, or anything else. The content is kept in a centralized cloud-based repository and made available via an API to any application or platform.
Hybrid CMS: Pros and Cons
A hybrid CMS can be the best of both worlds by delivering content to 3rd party applications via an API, but also having a way to use templates to power a live site with dynamic content.
Benefits of Hybrid CMS
Easier to set up and maintain
Out of the box, a headless CMS is a back-end-only solution. Marketers may have to hire a front-end developer to create a custom front-end for their marketers, which will be patched together with the marketer's tools. This will cost time and money, as well as make maintenance more difficult.
Marketers using a hybrid CMS platform have access to front-end templates, allowing them to set up and build quickly. So, whether they are working on an email marketing campaign, social media management, or website blog promotion, it’s easier to keep control of everything regarding content.
The alternative to the CMS platform is template generators. Your email marketing strategy can become more engaging through SaaS email templates which can save your time in the everyday mailing process.
Distribute content to other platforms through API
A hybrid CMS, like a headless CMS, saves material in a back-end repository. This allows you to provide the exact content across all channels, in any format, using API calls.
The capacity to integrate alternative content distribution techniques in a phased fashion is also provided by the omnichannel delivery capabilities of a hybrid CMS. For example, you can start with a website and then expand to other channels and touchpoints in a systematic and easy-to-follow manner.
Empowers both marketers and developers
A hybrid CMS gives your marketer and developer more power to give your end-user a better experience. Marketers have greater control over how they engage with their customers, while developers have more freedom to innovate.
Building and maintaining a CMS is difficult work and you should be looking at the many products available on the market instead of trying to create one yourself.
If you have simple needs, a traditional middleware-based CMS will get you going quickly. If you’re building a complicated application or have many channels your sharing content across, a Hybrid CMS may be a better choice.
Finding a Hybrid CMS that can both deliver the ease of use of managing content organically from a web editing experience, but also provide that content via an API is an ideal solution for many companies.