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In Development Last updated: April 27, 2023
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Need swift speed on your full-stack CMS platform but facing a hard time?

Customizing an open-source platform could be tricky. This is forcing the organization to think of better solutions. Cloud CMS platforms are there to provide one such solution.

Building a custom platform from scratch could be a costly investment, especially for small and medium businesses. Creating and maintaining a reliable backend system could turn out to be expensive. This is where the Cloud platform which offers headless CMS comes into the picture.

In this article, we understand Cloud CMS and detail out some excellent platforms ready to use in just minutes.

Understanding Cloud CMS

Cloud CMS platforms are pre-built ready-to-use systems that allow you to manage your content safely over the cloud. At a fair monthly price, it provides you with a pre-built administrative panel to manage categories, tags, and articles online. It helps you focus on the primary aspect of building a blazing fast website frontend by utilizing Cloud CMS as the backend for content management.

This architectural approach not only allows you to build an entirely serverless website but also relieves you of any challenges in maintaining the uptime for the backend services. Most of the platforms are built to scale quickly when you need it. You only pay the relevant monthly fees without any upfront investment.

Let’s explore them…

Magnolia CMS

Magnolia gives you the freedom to host on your own servers or opt for the convenience of its cloud offering.

Built for the needs of mid-sized to large enterprises, Magnolia Cloud’s Platform-as-a-Service model provides more control than SaaS platforms. You get a single-tenant environment that you can tailor as needed using front-end coding and configuration.

A Central Content Hub

Magnolia makes it possible to access all the content and data from your other core digital systems all from one platform. Its pre-built integrations, called Connector Packs, natively extend Magnolia into leading platforms like Google Analytics, commercetools, Marketo, Salesforce, Siteimprove, Bynder, and many more.

Going a step further, Magnolia brings these technologies into the user interface. For example, authors can view analytics data directly in Magnolia as they work on a page.

Faster Time to Value

Built for speed, Magnolia gives you everything you need to not only launch fast but work fast afterward.

You get access to integration, testing, and production environments out of the box. Plus, with Magnolia’s Light Development concept, key tasks such as templating and integrations can all be completed using configuration and front-end technologies.

Other benefits include:

  • A central point of access called Cockpit for managing all environments
  • Full support for multi-site/multilanguage and content re-use across sites
  • Use slim YAML configuration to complete common tasks like templating, provisioning REST endpoints, templating, and more
  • WYSIWYG editing and live in-context preview

  • Supports both GraphQL and REST APIs

Cloud CMS

Cloud CMS is an enterprise-grade platform that has excellent features like Git versioning, multiple environments, and easy team collaboration. It is priced at a premium compared to other CMS discussed further. However, the pricing comes with the benefits that it has to offer.

The primary benefit is the facility of unlimited content! Below are some of its exceptional features.

Project wise content management

Cloud CMS Project Dashboard

Cloud CMS allows users to organize content in separate projects. This will enable enterprises to manage content for their different websites or different modules within the same platform. This ensures that a common standard of APIs is followed across all the sites or modules. Within a project, you are allowed to create unlimited categories, tags, and the actual content.

Form builder for content type

Content Type Form Builder

In an enterprise, there could be a variety of content to be published like blog articles, website pages, whitepapers, news & events as well as rich media. With Cloud CMS, you can define each content type and the required fields for the content type. This ensures that all the relevant data is gathered for the respective content type. The GUI-based form builder makes it easier to add validations and information about what is expected.

And more…

  • Support for connecting various applications like Apache Kafka, ActiveMQ, Slack, Okta for Auth, and others
  • Supports MFA, OAuth, SSO support in premium versions
  • Supports workflows for managing content across different environments
  • Easy integration with NLP engines for faster translation to multiple languages
  • Ready to use SDKs for most of the commonly used languages
  • Support versioning of content

Pricing: from $200 monthly


Content Stack Headless CMS

Contentstack is one of the premium platforms, suitable for medium to big organizations. It provides a full suite of tools for managing content, creating beautiful pages with a visual builder, writing content using a rich text editor, and collaborating and publishing in various environments.

They are known for their enterprise-grade scalability, security, and reliability. Some of the exceptional features that you get with Contentstack include:

  • Full-fledged visual builder for creating entire pages using blocks and no coding
  • Integration with several popular apps like IBM Watson, Shopify, Optimizely, Youtube, Google Analytics, and others
  • Support to integrate any new application that has relevant APIs
  • Supports static site generation for your frontend unlike other CMS
  • Backend by CDN for faster static content delivery
  • Auto-scaling compute set up to handle heavy traffic spikes.
  • Auto-optimises content like images and other graphics for mobile phones and tablets
  • Premium uptime SLA for enterprises that can’t afford to go down

Pricing: Starting $3500 per month


ButterCMS is one of the most affordable solutions for small and medium businesses. Despite being the most affordable, it supports 20+ different programming languages and frameworks. It focuses on getting at every size of business kickstarted with SEO optimized blogs.

Some unique features include:

SDK for multiple frameworks

Ready-to-use npm modules and maven plugins for frameworks like Angular, React, Java, PHP, .NET, and others. With these modules, you can write a simple two-line code to get a paginated list of posts.{page: 1, page_size: 10}).then(function(response) {

Free for Developers

Free development and evaluation version for developers. There is absolutely no limitation in the developer version, and it is available on request.

Page format builder

GUI based editor for page type

It allows you to create custom page types to manage different blocks of content. For instance, a home page might contain details about the company, about the client and its products.

This content can be split into different types like about, product, and customers. Each type can be configured with relevant fields using the GUI-based editor shown above. This makes it quick and easy for a business person to create content.

Additionally, it has some features like:

  • Quick and easy setup – Quick sign-in with Google or Github and get started.
  • Excellent documentation and support for development using their SDK
  • Prebuilt fields for SEO to ensure all your blogs are SEO optimized before they are published.
  • Inbuilt support for Categories and tags managements
  • Support for migration from WordPress blogs

Pricing: Starts at $50 monthly


CosmicJS Cloud CMS

CosmicJS is a user-friendly simplistic CMS that provides a full-fledged content management platform with a ready-to-start code for multiple frameworks.

CosmicJS allows you to import some pre-built content for use or to start from scratch. It has its unique way of managing content in the form of buckets. Each bucket can ideally be an environment like development, staging, and production.

It has the below concepts and features done differently from the others in the market.


Object wise content management

You can create different object types like authors, categories, tags, posts, pages, and others to manage content for each purpose. These object types, in turn, contain a list of items of that particular type. The above image shows the object type creation screen for Cosmic JS.

Code snippet

code snippet

As can be seen from the image above, CosmicJS provides a code snippet for each content directly. This makes your development quick and easy with the pre-built NPM package or by leveraging REST APIs or GraphQL APIs as needed.

Other features include:

  • Migrate content from one bucket to another easily.
  • Block-based UI – Easy to navigate and build content
  • Preview your content live using its pre-built demo application layout
  • Support multiple locales configuration for each object type
  • Support GraphQL APIs which are becoming increasingly popular these days
  • Provides you with ready to use code snippet right where you create your content

Pricing: Starting at $99 per month


DotCMS is a completely different offering when compared to other CMS platforms in the market. It gives you the full flexibility of hosting the platform in your server, over your cloud, or on a managed cloud by DotCMS. This allows enterprises to ensure that their security constraints are met despite opting for a platform as a service. Some of the standout features of the platform include:

Cloud deployment options

DotCMS is available as a WAR(web application archive) package as an executable to deploy over the cloud as well as in the form of a Docker image. The enterprises can choose the configuration and deployment constraints for the CMS to run. The entire data is managed in a dedicated database, ensuring that your CMS data is isolated and secure.

Security and compliance standards

DotCMS, unlike the usual subscription-based CMS, is built for enterprises only. It ascertains that the required security standards, in general, are followed in the development of the application. It takes care of the majority of the compliance and security aspects like GDPR compliance, CSRF filtering, session security, monitor the use of cookies, and others.

Extensible with OSGI plugins

DotCMS runs on JVM. This means it can support extensions following the OSGi standards. This means you can easily extend the ability of DotCMS further by adding plugins. These plugins allow you to integrate direct gateways to your data with minimal trouble.

Some other benefits that come along include:

  • API first design allows you to interact using REST APIs as well as GraphQL APIs
  • Supports content templating to render fully customized pages
  • Auto-generates complete site-map based on the content created in the CMS
  • Support SaSS compilation which makes styling of the content simplified


Cloud CMS is a quick way to get a headstart in developing your content-based website. With the responsibility of backend completely shaved off, it allows you to focus on designing and developing the frontend elegantly. Moreover, with some of the platforms, you even get the boilerplate frontend code to rapidly develop on top of it.

  • Abhishek Kothari
    Abhishek is a Web Developer with diverse skills across multiple Web development technologies. During his professional career, he has worked on numerous enterprise-level applications and understood the technological architecture and… read more
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