3 Types of Content Management Systems to Consider in 2019: Traditional CMS vs Headless CMS vs Static Site Generators

3 Types of Content Management Systems to Consider in 2019: Traditional CMS vs Headless CMS vs Static Site Generators
  • to enable you to build content-centric apps quick and easy
  • multi-languages support
  • user role management
  • a whole ecosystem of plugins
  • inline content editing
  • to be both user and developer friendly
  • personalization based on visitors’ search history
  • to support business agility
  • search functions in site

But What Is a Content Management System (CMS)? A Brief Overview

1. Traditional CMS, One of the Popular Types of Content Management Systems

Main benefits:

  • your whole website database and front-end is served from a single storage system
  • they provide you with whole collections of themes and templates to craft your own presentation layer
  • quick and easy to manage all your content
  • there are large, active communities backing you up

Main drawbacks:

  • they do call for developers with hands-on experienced working with that a specific CMS
  • except for Drupal, with its heavy ecosystem of modules, content management systems generally don’t scale well
  • they require more resources — both time and budget — for further maintenance and enhancement
  • a small business’ website
  • a website that you build… for yourself
  • an enterprise-level website

2. Headless CMS (or API-First Pattern)

  • static page application (SPA)
  • client-side UI frameworks, like Vue.js or React
  • a Drupal website, a native mobile app, an IoT device
  • static site generators like Gatsby, Jekyll or Hugo

Main benefits:

  • front-end developers will get to focus on the presentation layer only and worry less about how the content gets created/managed
  • content’s served, as APIs, to any device
  • as a publisher, you get to focus on content only
  • it’s front-end agnostic: you’re free to use the framework/tools of choice for displaying it/serving it to the end-user

Main drawbacks:

  • no content preview
  • you’d still need to develop your output: the CMS’s “head”, the one “in charge” with displaying your content (whether it’s a mobile app, a website, and so on)
  • additional upfront overhead: you’d need to integrate the front-end “head” with your CMS

3. Static Site Generators (Or Static Builders)

  • a modular CMS solution
  • a hand-coded HTML site

Main benefits:

  • they’re not specialized on a specific theme or database, so they can be easily adapted to a project’s needs
  • Jamstack sites generally rely on a content delivery network for managing requests, which removes all performance, scaling and security limitations
  • content and templates get version controlled with right out of the box (as opposed to the CMS-powered workflows)
  • since it uses templates, an SSG-based website is a modular one
  • the improvement of their interface for non-developers (joining the “empower the non-technical user” movement that the headless CMS has embraced); a user-friendly GUI is sure to future-proof their popularity
  • the integrated serverless functions; by connecting your JAMstack website with third-party services and APIs, you get to go beyond its static limitation and turbocharge it with dynamic functionality

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