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Understand Headless CMS in 5 min

May 28, 2024

Sonali Patil


The term headless CMS has recently gained popularity in the last year, especially in the United States. But before jumping to understand what headless CMS is, let me remind you that we all knew about the term CMS when the WordPress revolution happened. Everyone jumped onto it, as it makes the job of creating a website, and putting content onto it making WordPress one of the most popular CMS. A CMS means Content Management System. But the word ‘headless’ spikes the curiosity. 

What is a headless CMS? It’s simple, let me explain it to you, in 5 minutes.

Understand Headless CMS in 5 min blog featured image

But before you understand headless CMS, it’s important to understand why it is required to know about headless CMS platforms.

53% of companies have reported lower costs associated with implementing and maintaining a headless CMS platform. - by

World Metrics Report 2024

What is Headless CMS

A headless content management system separates the content layer from the complex backend layer, where the actual content is managed. Headless CMS separates the front end from the back end, making content management easier. The content team can independently create, publish, and manage the content. For developers, it is making it easy, and flexible to build faster.

Concept of Headless CMS

Headless CMS vs Decoupled CMS architecture image

In the Headless CMS architecture, the backend i.e. content creation, storage, and frontend i.e. presentation layer isn’t tightly integrated.

The decoupled CMS lets the developers deliver the content to different channels, which include websites, cell apps, and clever gadgets. But the decoupled CMS also provides the frontend design and publishing capabilities as well.

The above architecture diagram shows that the headless CMS is responsible for content management and delivery. It is a backend-only content management, that uses APIs to send content to any device like a smartwatch, website, or app.

Still, the question is, why 'headless'? The answer is the architecture of the Headless.

Let's imagine the front end as the 'head' and the content storage as the 'body'. As the head i.e. the front end or presentation layer is separated from the backend, leaving only the 'body' to manage the content.

Difference Between Traditional CMS and Headless CMS

headless CMS vs traditional CMS

Traditional CMS Architecture

  • The presentation layer and the content management layer are integrated.
  • Content is created, stored, and managed within the same system.
  • Flexibility is restricted because of the rigid architecture.

Headless CMS Architecture

  • The presentation layer is separate from the content management.
  • API-driven content delivery across the device types.
  • Flexibility to use any framework or technology to present content, across multiple channels.

How Headless CMS Works

Headless CMS works as a central storage for content hubs. It operates as explained ahead,

Content storage and management

It’s a backend-only approach, content manager can create, store, edit, and manage a website or app content from the backend. And headless CMS acts as a centralised content repository for all content

API first content delivery approach

API-enabled content delivers content irrespective of display device size, and platform such as website, mobile, and smart devices. Users can see content on websites, mobile, smartwatches, and Smart TVs.

Frontend Development

It gives the flexibility to developers to choose the frontend development frameworks of their choice, such as Next.js, React, Angular, or Vue.js. Headless CMS can display tailored content.

Multiple Channel Distribution

Headless CMS enables content delivery across multiple channels, ensuring consistent user experience across mobile apps, websites, and smart devices.

Key benefits of Headless CMS

Flexibility and Agility

Flexibility is one of the key benefits of headless CMS. As it decouples the backend and front end, developers can build the website or app with their choice of frameworks. The flexibility gives agility to adapt to new trends and technology to fast forward the digital solution development.

Multi-channel Content Delivery

A headless CMS enables seamless content delivery irrespective of device type, size & content format. The same content can be repurposed and shown constantly across all systems. This omnichannel content delivery gives a uniform brand experience.

Enhanced Security

The backend and the front-end layers are separate, providing enhanced security of headless CMS. The API-driven content delivery approach reduces the risk of common web vulnerabilities.


Headless CMS has benefits in that it is easy to scale, for the increasing need for content evolves as the business grows. This is a robust solution for the fast-growing enterprise and startups.

Use Cases

Headless Commerce

The eCommerce website is expected to deliver personalized shopping experiences across channels with a seamlessly fast-performing website. Headless commerce enables the eCommerce business to create a dynamic, hyper-personalised shopping experience manage content pages effectively, and provide a consistent and uniform user experience. This enables e-commerce to boost engagement and conversion. 

Headless CMS for Healthcare

Headless CMS provides a secure and reliable environment for a healthcare organization to manage and distribute content securely. It streamlines the content-sharing process across different channels.

Headless CMS for Startups

Headless CMS provides development flexibility and agility. It reduces the time to market to launch the digital product. Startups can innovate with the help of the latest technology for front-end development like Next.js, and scale.

Why Consider Headless CMS?

  1. It helps to improve user experience
  2. Enables faster time to market
  3. Reduces development cost


In conclusion, the digital landscape is evolving every day, and it is required to adapt, otherwise, competition will beat you. Headless CMS gives you flexibility, and agility to deliver content across multiple channels. And it enables you to scale at large and fast-forward your digital innovation development.

Whether you’re in e-commerce, healthcare, or a startup, the advantages of a headless CMS are clear making it a compelling desire for the destiny of content control.

To know how to choose the right headless CMS agency partner, that can help you build and scale your solutions. Read our comprehensive guide on how to choose the right sanity agency partner. We recommend you get a consultation with us, we are an official partner of Sanity a leading Headless CMS. Learn more about our partnership.

To get a free consultation with Incerro, book a consultation here.