Best Five open source headless CMS in 2019


Almost all companies use content management systems in some capacity or the other. The technology is improving day by day. However, traditional CMS tools are not flexible enough to adjust to the growing demands, as they find it challenging to integrate with new delivery formats. It also becomes challenging to introduce IoT or mobile functionality to the existing architecture. It explains why developers choose to go headless.
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What is a headless CMS?

A headless CMS is a system consisting of primarily an API and a backend technology to allow storage and delivery of content. Therefore, developers can provide Content as a Service (CaaS). It implies that you require separate software for content storage and delivery.
A headless CMS makes the following tasks easy.
  • Creating, modeling, and authoring content
  • Organizing content repositories
  • Improving workflow and collaborate

Characteristics of headless CMS

The advantage of a headless CMS is that it gives complete control over the presentation of the content. It enables you to integrate with any codebase and use your preferred language. Instead of creating complex relationships between the code and content, headless CMS uses API calls for rendering content. Maintaining headless architecture is easy. As opposed to the traditional CMS, the headless CMS does not require a host. We shall now look at five of the best headless CMS in 2019.

  1. Butter CMS


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Butter CMS, launched in 2014, is an API-first CMS. Its features include custom page types, webhooks, multi-site support, relational content modeling, CDN support, testing environment along with easily customizable admin interface. This headless CMS provides an independent blogging platform that allows you to integrate into any framework. It is an excellent headless CMS for marketers, as it provides a WYSIWYG interface for supporting the production of SEO landing pages, company news pages, customer case studies, and so on. Attractive premium and enterprise plans are available along with a free trial facility.
  1. Contentstack

Contentstack, introduced in 2007 is a headless CMS that provides RESTful APIs. Contentstack features include content previews, workflow management, asset management, collaboration, and versioning. This headless CMS comes bundled with turnkey integrations for different tools such as Marketo, Eloqua, and Salesforce.
Free plans are available. You can also avail premium and enterprise plans.
  1. Contentful

Contentful, founded in 2013, is a German-based API-driven headless CMS. It comes with a RESTful API. Developers get full programmatic control of digital assets, translations, and content. The Contentful platform takes advantage of external CDN integrations and caching techniques while enabling the delivery of API payloads in the sub-100ms range.
This headless CMS can display JSON snippets, a rich-text editor and content modeling features to enable marketers to arrange content modules and specific fields such as images, text, and calendars.
Premium and Enterprise plans are available along with free plans.
  1. DotCMS

DotCMS is an open source headless CMS having its base in Miami, Florida. DotCMS is one of the oldest CMS in the world, as it exists since 2003. The advantage of DotCMS is such that its JavaCMS features multi-lingual and multi-tenant capabilities. It also comes with a WYSIWYG editor. Its drop and drag features enable marketers to engage in content modeling, page layout modification, and workflow building.
One can host DotCMS in the cloud as well as on-premise. This headless CMS provides features such as analytics dashboard, custom endpoint building, personalization along with integrations with AWS, Salesforce, Docker, and other third-party developers and martech tools.
Besides the enterprise plans, the free edition is also available for download.   
  1. Cloud CMS

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Cloud CMS is an API-first JSON based CMS founded in 2010 in Newton MA. This headless CMS comes equipped with enterprise features such as flexible content models, webhooks, Git-like versioning, anti-virus scanner, and a search function that enable you to perform JSON SQL-like queries. This headless CMS is available as a SaaS product. It is also available as a Docker-based micro-service capable of hosting on a private cloud or on-premise.
Cloud CMS can run on different types of systems like MongoDB, ElasticSearch, and Amazon AWS. It enables developers to create their applications using the language and framework of their choice.
Apart from the free trial facility, developers can take advantage of premium and enterprise plans.
We have seen five different types of open source headless CMS. Let us now look at some of the benefits of a headless CMS.
  • Flexible – Headless CMS gives developers a lot of flexibility as compared to traditional CMS architecture. It enables them to develop a frontend framework. It allows developers to spend more time on content creation instead of managing content.
  • Compatibility – Developers can display content to all kinds of devices while controlling the user experience from a convenient backend.
  • Security – The content publishing platform is not accessible from the CMS database. Hence, it reduces the chances of DDoS attacks.
  • Scalability – As you keep the front end and back end separate from each other, you do not need any downtime for maintenance. It makes it easy to upgrade and customize your website without affecting its performance.

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