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In Development Last updated: June 20, 2023
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Welcome to the world of Headless CMS! Imagine a CMS like WordPress but without the limitations of a predefined front end. It’s like having a versatile toolkit, allowing you to customize and choose the perfect components for your website.

In traditional CMSes, the backend and front end are tightly coupled. But with a Headless CMS, the front end is decoupled, allowing you to create your website or app using your favorite programming language or framework, whether it’s React, Next.js, or anything else.

What is a Headless CMS?


Here’s the magic: the backend and dashboard of the CMS stay the same, powered by a database like MySQL. However, the way your content is displayed to users on the front end is where the fun begins. With the help of a REST API, you can design and build a unique, interactive, and lightning-fast experience tailored to your needs.

The term “Headless” refers to the absence of a predefined front end. Instead, a Headless CMS consists of an API and backend system where your content is stored and delivered. It allows you to publish your content to an API or web service capable of displaying it on any smart device. Rather than relying on fixed templates, a headless CMS uses API calls to render content into web pages dynamically.

One of the significant advantages of a headless CMS is the ease of maintenance. A headless CMS doesn’t require specific hosting infrastructure, making it a popular choice among developers. You can focus on designing an exceptional user experience without worrying about the underlying infrastructure.

With the rise of IoT (Internet of Things), the demand for headless CMS is growing rapidly. Traditional CMS platforms struggle to integrate IoT into applications, making a headless CMS a necessity.

So, break free from the constraints of traditional CMSs and explore the possibilities of Headless CMS. It’s time to create modern applications that stand out and engage your audience in ways you never thought possible.

Features of headless CMS

  • Modeling, creating, and authorizing content
  • Organizing content repositories
  • Improving workflow and collaboration
  • Multi-language
  • Advanced image management
  • Digital asset management
  • Access controls

Why headless CMS?

Let us look at some of the benefits of headless CMS:

  • Flexibility: transitional CMS is very limiting and can be frustrating. Using a headless CMS will allow you to design your front end. Moreover, it comes with a well-defined API, thus, allocating more time to creating content rather than managing it.
  • Compatible: You can publish the content to any smart device while the backend can be controlled from one device.
  • Secured: As the Content publishing environment isn’t accessible from the database, using this will prevent malware attacks.
  • Scalable: Since the front and back ends are separated, no separate time is needed for maintenance. This allows you to customize your website anytime without compromising the performance.
  • Control: It has no rules and gives the developer complete control. The developer can integrate with any codebase and use any preferred language.

Now that you clearly understand what a Headless CMS entails, let’s dive into excellent options you can consider for your next project!


Magnolia provided headless content management long before its recent rise in popularity. Magnolia stands out in its ability to give authors, and editors benefits that headless CMS commonly lack, such as in-context editing, full preview, and personalization.


Developers can work with preferred front-end frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue and integrate easily with other technologies through Magnolia’s leading REST APIs.

Features of Magnolia CMS

  • Visual SPA Editor: Marketers can edit Single Page Applications (SPAs) in context, breaking free from form-based input limitations and achieving a seamless editing experience.
  • Pre-built Connectors: Magnolia comes with pre-built connectors for marketing automation, DAM, analytics, commerce, and more, enabling smooth integrations with essential systems.
  • Independent Content Management: Authors and editors can work autonomously, reducing reliance on developers for content changes and speeding up the process.
  • Multi-Channel Publishing: Create content once and publish it effortlessly across various channels, ensuring a consistent user experience with preview, in-context editing, and personalization capabilities.
  • Front-End Language Flexibility: Developers can leverage their preferred front-end frameworks, such as React, Angular, or Vue, integrating them seamlessly with Magnolia through its flexible architecture.

Experience the power of Magnolia CMS and unleash your creativity. 


Directus is an open-source CMS that is excellent for projects that require customized databases.

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Written with backbone.js, the public API uses REST. Like other traditional CMS tools, it is powered by PHP; developers will thus feel comfortable with the scripting language if known.

Features of Directus CMS

  • Customized Databases: Directus handles unique database configurations and complex data structures.
  • RESTful API: Seamlessly integrate with external systems and services using Directus’ robust RESTful API.
  • Database Flexibility: Design and manage databases that align with your project’s needs.
  • Seamless Integration: Connect and exchange data with other systems effortlessly.

Join the Directus community and revolutionize your content management experience!


Contentful manages a headless CMS infrastructure platform where you focus on your content and backend. It uses RESTful API development kits for all popular languages. Contentful is welcoming newcomers, so anyone can quickly create data entries.

It is one of the most affordable options for small to medium-scale businesses.


Features of Contentful CMS

  • Developer Flexibility: Manage and deliver content using preferred languages and frameworks via APIs.
  • Streamlined Content Creation: Easily create and manage content in the user-friendly web app, with instant access to new features.
  • Fault-Tolerant Architecture: Enjoy a resilient system with a fully decoupled write and read API.
  • Language and Framework Freedom: Developers can use their preferred languages and frameworks.
  • Unified Content Infrastructure: Edit content anytime, anywhere, from any smart device.
  • Seamless Integration: Integrate with services like Dropbox, leveraging existing tools without restrictions.

Experience efficient and affordable content management with Contentful, the ideal solution for small to medium-scale businesses. Unleash your creativity and streamline your content management workflow with Contentful’s innovative platform.

Butter CMS

Butter CMS, founded in 2014, is a Chicago-based platform that streamlines content management and offers two powerful products: Headless CMS and Blog Engine.

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Features of Butter CMS

  • Headless Efficiency: butterCMS operates as an entirely headless CMS, saving time and eliminating traditional front-end limitations.
  • Zero Maintenance: Enjoy worry-free content management as Butter CMS handles hosting, upgrades, security, and performance.
  • Powerful Admin Interface: Take control of your content with Butter CMS’s robust and user-friendly admin interface.
  • SEO Boost: Butter CMS provides exceptional SEO support, helping drive increased page views and organic traffic.
  • Quick Installation and Integration: Get started swiftly with butterCMS’s seamless installation and integration process.
  • Language/Framework Compatibility: Butter CMS’s API and client libraries integrate smoothly with any language or framework.

Discover Butter CMS and transform your content management experience today.


If you’re continually producing content, Kontent platform will be the right choice for you, as all your content can be created in one place. It’s a Content-as-a-Service platform that gives enterprises all the headless CMS benefits while empowering marketers simultaneously, thanks to its rich content operations features.


Features of Kontent

  • Cloud-Based Collaboration: Collaborate with your team through a cloud-based content hub, ensuring seamless organization and teamwork.
  • Lightning-Fast API: Utilize a super-fast API to render content on web pages, providing a smooth and responsive user experience.
  • Customer Experience Tracking: Track and analyze the customer journey to enhance engagement and optimize your content strategy.
  • Exclusive User Interface: Enjoy a visually appealing and user-friendly user interface.

Elevate your content creation journey with Kentico Kontent today.


With Prismic CMS, teams of developers and marketers can launch websites, also allowing front-end developers to customize the front-end and use any programming language.


Launched in 2013, Prismic is a SaaS-based headless CMS that leading companies like Google and eBay use.

Features of Prismic CMS

  • Multi-Language Support: Reach a wider audience by delivering content in multiple languages with Prismic’s built-in support.
  • Seamless Integration: Easily integrate Prismic with other resources to enhance your website’s functionality.
  • Scheduling and Previews: Plan and preview content updates before publishing, ensuring a smooth workflow.
  • Quick Installation and Setup: Get started swiftly with Prismic, saving time on installation and setup.
  • User-Friendly Experience: Enjoy a user-friendly interface that simplifies content management for developers and marketers.
  • Easy SEO Customization: Customize and optimize content for SEO using Prismic’s drag-and-drop rich text editors.

Discover Prismic today and elevate your content management experience.


Squidex is a particular type of headless CMS that puts you in complete control of your data. With its efficient user interface, you can create and edit content seamlessly using any smart device from anywhere.


Features of Squidex

  • Approval Process Control: Easily manage the approval process for your content, ensuring quality and consistency before publishing.
  • Document Management: Effortlessly handle and organize your documents within the Squidex CMS.
  • Rich Text Editor: Enjoy a feature-rich text editor that allows you to create captivating and engaging content.
  • Version Control: Keep track of content versions, allowing you to revert to previous versions if needed.
  • Efficient Content Creation and Editing: Squidex provides a powerful open-source platform for creating and editing content with exceptional Efficiency.
  • Reliable Content Distribution: Benefit from a reliable content distribution system, ensuring your content reaches the right audience at the right time.
  • Customizable System: Developers can configure the Squidex system according to their needs, making it highly adaptable.

Discover Squidex today and unlock a new level of control and productivity.


Strapi is a powerful open-source CMS that offers a perfect blend of CMS, framework, and automation tools, empowering developers to speed up backend development and management.

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With Strapi, you can build robust APIs and enjoy an advanced CMS experience, all in one solution.

Features of Strapi

  • Elegant, fully customizable, and extensible admin panel
  • Plugin-oriented architecture for seamless integration
  • Compatible with any frameworks for enhanced flexibility
  • Create, read, update, and delete data quickly using the blueprint feature.
  • Convenient management of user sessions
  • Simplified application management for streamlined workflows

Discover the power of Strapi, unlock endless possibilities, and take your projects to new heights.


Hygraph is a cutting-edge headless CMS that harnesses the full potential of GraphQL, establishing itself as the first GraphQL native, API-first solution. Its standout feature, Content Federation, sets it apart from the competition.

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With Content Federation, Hygraph seamlessly integrates and aggregates content from multiple sources and systems, creating a unified content experience within a single CMS interface.

Features of Hygraph

  • Schema Builder: Easily customize your data schema to fit your project’s unique requirements.
  • Scheduled Publishing: Plan and automate content publishing for a streamlined workflow.
  • Granular Permissions: Maintain control over content access with precise permission settings.
  • Rich Text: Create captivating content with rich text editing capabilities.
  • Webhooks: Seamlessly integrate Hygraph with external services and workflows using webhooks.
  • UI Extensions: Customize the CMS interface to enhance productivity and add custom functionalities.

Experience the power of Hygraph’s GraphQL native approach and Content Federation. Simplify content management, unify data sources, and unlock new levels of Efficiency and creativity.


Contentstack is a leading headless CMS that empowers businesses to create, manage, and deliver content across various platforms. With a rich set of RESTful APIs and SDKs for major languages, Contentstack offers developers the flexibility to build applications using their preferred technologies. 

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Enjoy complete control over content appearance while ensuring seamless scalability to meet the demands of evolving devices and touchpoints.

Features of Contentstack

  • Streamlined Workflows: Accelerate content creation, review cycles, and approvals.
  • Dynamic Modular Blocks: Create and modify components instantly with drag-and-drop ease.
  • Global Localization: Publish entries in over 200 languages for a worldwide audience.
  • CLI Tooling: Perform tasks and bulk actions effortlessly using the command line.
  • Developer Satisfaction: Write applications using preferred technologies and frameworks.
  • Unmatched Scalability: Serve content to emerging devices without compromising user experience.

Experience the power of Contentstack and elevate your content management journey.

A quick comparison table to give you an idea about various headless CMS solutions.

CMSOpensource?HighlightsTypeSupported Site Generators
MagnoliaNoHeadless CMS, Smart Personalization, FastAPIAll
DirectusYesHeadless CMS managing not workflow but the contentAPIAll
ContentfulNoContent management developer platform managed by an API coreAPIAll
Butter CMSNoHelps in swiftly creating CMS-powered websites using any programming language.APIAll
Kentico KontentNoHeadless CMS based on cloud computing servicesAPIAll
PrismicNoHeadless CMS, which is scalable for developersAPIAll
SquidexYesHeadless CMS which is scalable for developersAPIAll
StrapiYesMost developed Node.js CMS aiding in building powerful API convenientlyAPIAll
Hygraph  NoGraphQL-native, API-first CMS with Content Federation APIAll
ContentstackNoStreamlined workflows, Dynamic modular blocks, Global localizationAPIAll

Headless CMS is gaining popularity, offering developers and businesses flexibility and control over content. The entire article is a quick comparison of popular Headless CMSes. 

Choose the one that suits your needs. Embrace the power of headless architecture and unlock endless possibilities for your digital ventures.

You may now look at some of the best cloud CMS.

  • Rishav Kumar
    Rishav is a computer science and engineering graduate, having completed his B.Tech in 2019. His passion for exploring the world of technology has led him to pursue content development for the past few years. For Rishav, technology is not just… read more
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