Matt Jones Matt Jones | 11 Feb 2020

Headless Content Management Systems (CMS) and Content as a Service (CaaS) are hot terms in web content management at the moment. They come down to the same thing: content in one place, published wherever you need it. It’s a solution that is gaining a lot of traction. 

It comes with some exciting concepts such as the freedom to base your website development on any technology. This gives the potential for an expansive menu of third-party integrations because you’re not limited to one platform’s partners. But there are other considerations that you may find even more intriguing.


There are important differences in the way costs are structured between cloud services and traditional CMS licensing. But overall, costs may not be very different in the long run, and it’s vital to run the numbers. The main distinction is that cloud has no big upfront licence expenditure. Instead, it is built into the monthly fee, which also includes hosting and updates. This may have an impact on CapEx valuation in your financials, but it also means that the cost is spread out. There are still CMS development costs to consider, which depend entirely on your organisation’s needs. The upshot is that development timescales can be significantly reduced, which may have knock-on savings. This is because of the way cloud content management separates the backend development from the content creation and frontend delivery. Everyone can work collaboratively, which gets things shifting a bit more quickly.


There’s been an ongoing evolution in content management towards allowing website managers—the communications and marketing people—to have more control over webpage creation. Rather than having to always rely on a web development and design team to do it for them, which costs time and money, features like drag-and-drop page builders and page previews make life easier and keep things moving. The best CMS platforms on the market today make it easy for even an avowed technophobe to modify a webpage.  When it comes to pushing those modifications onto other digital marketing tools—mobile sites, apps, or e-commerce stores, for example—it’s a different story. Most companies need their CMS development team to lend a hand in ensuring branding and content is consistent across all their digital channels. Cloud based content, however, is omnichannel. Because the content is hosted on the cloud, separately from the backend of the CMS itself, it can be pushed to any frontend. In other words, the content your marketers create can just as easily pop onto your app as it can to your website. It isn’t channel specific at the point of creation. You can have as many frontends for the same content as your business requires.


One of the major benefits of managing content on the cloud is its quick and basically limitless scalability. Hosting content on your own server necessarily limits your capacity for growth. If you want to do more—add more functionality, expand a digital offering, create an offshoot section of your site—it can potentially be a long, costly process. Longer and costlier than you’d prefer, anyway.  There aren’t any barriers to expanding the frontend of your website if your content is hosted on the cloud. You can continually broaden the scope of your digital offer directly on the frontend without having to constantly return to redevelop the backend.   Moving toward managing content in the cloud may be the future for many companies. But for the moment, ‘coupled’ CMS remains the go-to solution for the majority.   If you’d like to talk more about managing content in the cloud and how it could benefit your business, please get in touch with Matt Jones.