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What is a headless CMS?

By Jamil Hussein - 06th February 2020

There is a lot of hype around headless CMSs. It’s something we’ve been working with in the past few years with our clients. But what is a headless CMS and how does it differ from a traditional content management system?
 

Headless vs. traditional CMS

CMSs deliver content to websites — that's what they were traditionally designed for. But in this era of delivering content on many channels and formats — from bots to voice assistants and IoT devices — the traditional CMS isn’t always the best fit.
 
This is where headless comes in. A normal CMS allows users to create content in a repository (the body) and deliver it via the front end (the head). A headless CMS only does the first part; the creation and storing of content. It doesn't worry about the second part; the presentation or delivery of content to a front end.

Instead, APIs deliver the content where it’s needed. This means content can be seamlessly delivered to any channel or device — for example apps, kiosks, VR headsets and any other future emerging tech — without the need to be re-authored or changed.
 

The benefits of a headless CMS

Organisations are increasingly looking to build content-centred digital apps and services leveraging cloud platforms. And a headless CMS provides the flexibility to do just that. 

With headless, you can also integrate your content into a DevOps and Agile pipeline. It helps transform the way authors, developers and operations collaborate. For example, code and content freezes, synonymous with traditional CMSs, don't work well with the frictionless efficiency DevOps and Agile demands.

For developers, it’s easier to maintain as it gives them control and autonomy. By decoupling the CMS from the front-end, a developer can use any language and codebase they are familiar with. They're not constrained by a particular technology or language, which would be the case with a traditional CMS.
 

Our experience — Crafter CMS

These were some of the motivations that led us to use Crafter CMS for some of our clients. And this year, acknowledging our pedigree of working with Crafter, Crafter Software awarded us the 2019 Solution Partner award.

Crafter recognised Zaizi's "outstanding delivery of consulting services and solutions" to customers and to its open source community.

Our founder and CEO Aingaran Pillai said: "It's a great honour to be named Crafter's 2019 Partner of the Year, We're passionate about building digital services with great user experience for our customers — and Crafter CMS allows us to do just that."
 
"This award validates our passion for creating and running great digital services," he added. 

Mike Vertal, CEO at Crafter Software, said: "Zaizi has done an outstanding job this past year expanding our enterprise customer base, building and delivering innovative customer solutions, and contributing to our open source community. We are delighted to recognize all their achievements with this award.”
 

If you would like to know more about headless CMS or about Crafter CMS, get in touch with us

About the author: Jamil Hussein
Jamil is the Content Manager at Zaizi. He specialises in video production and has worked as a journalist for various online news organisations for over 10 years.