Headless web development is rapidly gaining traction for B2B and ecommerce website builds, and businesses are increasingly recognizing its potential. According to recent statistics, by 2023, 57% of organizations globally are expected to use headless commerce platforms. Additionally, by 2025, 60% of major retailers in North America are predicted to adopt a headless platform. These statistics indicate the growing popularity and adoption of headless commerce and headless marketing websites, making it an essential consideration for businesses looking to improve their digital presence.
Overall, the statistics highlight the increasing importance of headless architectures. Businesses are actively transitioning from monolithic systems to headless CMSes, recognizing the potential for improved internal site management, customer experiences and revenue growth. As the trend continues to grow, choosing the best headless CMS becomes crucial for businesses aiming to stay ahead of the competition and capitalize on the benefits offered by this innovative approach.
With the rapid development in the market, there are a number of headless CMSes available, with each offering different capabilities and features in terms of the user interface, levels of customization, support quality, and API approach. We’ve shared some of our current top picks in the market to help with your research.
What is a headless CMS platform, and how does it benefits users?
A headless CMS operates without a front-end, hence the term "headless." This innovative architecture decouples the back-end, which is connected to the front-end using APIs. With this approach, users can develop fully-custom websites, product catalogues, and e-commerce stores and display their content on multiple front-ends and therefore devices. Below are some of the main benefits of a headless CMS platform:
Omnichannel content delivery
A headless CMS platform enables users to publish content on multiple destinations, such as websites, social media platforms, blogs, and software applications. For online businesses, this approach offers significantly more benefits in content delivery than traditional CMS platforms that may not be able to accommodate multiple channels.
Since a headless CMS is not ties to a front-end as with monolithic systems, customization is limited to your developer's creativity. You can define and develop your front-end free from restrictions and personalize every aspect of the user experience to improve traffic and conversion.
Scalability & future-friendly
With a headless CMS platform, you can connect to multiple front-ends using APIs via integration. This makes your system more agile and scalable compared to traditional CMS solution.
Top headless CMS platforms in 2023
Sanity is a leading headless CMS that revolutionizes the way businesses create, manage, and distribute content. With its Composable Content Cloud, Sanity treats content as data, allowing for unparalleled flexibility and scalability across the enterprise. This unique approach to content management has made Sanity a popular choice for businesses looking to make content their competitive advantage.
One of the key advantages of Sanity is its Composable Content Cloud, which provides the most flexible content workspace available. With customizable editing interfaces and real-time collaboration, content creators have an unparalleled experience that enables faster idea execution and revenue-driving content delivery. Additionally, Sanity's Content Lake unites an enterprise around a single source of truth, syncing and storing content as JSON for scalable customer engagement. This ensures that businesses can future-proof their operations and easily adapt to emerging technologies.
Another standout feature of Sanity is its Groq query language. Groq is a powerful and expressive language that allows developers to precisely query and manipulate content with ease. This enables businesses to create complex, dynamic, and personalized content experiences for their users. With Groq, developers have the tools they need to build remarkable online and in-store experiences that drive customer engagement, revenue, and retention.
As for the history of Sanity, the company has quickly gained recognition and a loyal user base. It has been adopted by major brands such as PUMA, AETHER Apparel, Morning Brew, and InVision for their content syncing and management needs. Sanity's commitment to providing an exceptional developer experience and treating clients as valued partners has earned them a reputation for excellence. The company's continuous innovation and dedication to empowering businesses with composable content architecture have made Sanity a leader in the CMS space.
In conclusion, Sanity's headless CMS solution offers businesses a composable content architecture that unleashes velocity and creativity. By treating content as data and providing robust development tools like Groq, Sanity empowers businesses to create remarkable content experiences and future-proof their operations. With a track record of success and a growing user base, Sanity is a trusted partner for businesses looking to optimize their content strategy and drive business growth.
Storyblok is a leading headless CMS that has revolutionized the way modern content is created and managed. With a global presence in over 130 countries, the platform is trusted by businesses of all sizes to empower their teams at every stage of the content life cycle. Storyblok's commitment to excellence has been recognized by Gartner's Voice of Customer Report for Web CMS, where it was the only CMS chosen by customers as a Customers' Choice.
One of the key advantages of Storyblok is its unlimited scalability. As a headless CMS, it allows for seamless integration with any technology and enables publishing to any frontend, providing businesses with the flexibility they need to adapt and grow. Furthermore, Storyblok's visual editor simplifies content creation, allowing non-technical users to create and edit content faster with features like live preview, drag and drop components, and collaboration workflows.
Storyblok also offers a comprehensive asset manager that serves as a single source for all digital assets, reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Its composable components provide granular control and flexibility, enabling teams to create content without limits. Additionally, the platform's tech ecosystem is designed to be customized, with robust frontend SDKs and native and custom extensions, allowing businesses to tailor the CMS to their specific needs.
The reputation of Storyblok is further reinforced by positive user feedback. One G2 review states that Storyblok is highly regarded and is considered the best thing that happened to B2B SaaS websites. Companies of all sizes, ranging from start-ups to enterprise-level organizations, have scaled with Storyblok and leveraged its capabilities across various use cases, including websites, mobile apps, eCommerce, smart screens and PoS, and intra- and extranets.
In conclusion, Storyblok is the go-to solution for businesses looking for a modern and scalable CMS. With its headless architecture, visual editing experience, and extensive features, Storyblok empowers teams to create, manage, and deliver content with ease. The platform's user-friendly interface, customization options, and market recognition make it a preferred choice for companies across industries.
Prismic is a leading headless CMS that offers a unique combination of a page builder and a flexible content management system. It empowers companies to build inspiring websites that keep getting better over time. Unlike traditional CMSs, Prismic allows marketers to create and update pages quickly, ensuring design consistency and fast page load speed. With Prismic's deep integration with popular web technologies like Next, Nuxt, and SvelteKit, developers can leverage the latest web technologies to build high-performing websites more quickly.
The advantages of using Prismic are numerous. Its headless architecture separates the backend and frontend, enabling developers to choose their preferred tech stack and ensuring improved performance and simplified maintenance. Slices, customizable website sections, are a game changer as they provide reusable components that accelerate page-building while maintaining brand consistency. Prismic also offers tools like Slice Machine, a local development tool that automates repetitive tasks and helps create components for websites, and Page Builder, a cloud-based interface for marketers to manage content and create beautiful pages.
Prismic has gained popularity among inspiring companies that value fast updates, consistent design, and fast load times for their websites. The platform has been trusted and used by companies such as Rocket.Chat, Wistia, Confetti, and many others. These companies have experienced the benefits of Prismic in terms of building and updating websites more efficiently, delivering great user experiences, and achieving their website goals.
With Prismic, companies can unleash the full potential of their websites, allowing their whole team, including developers, marketers, and agencies, to work together seamlessly and create a website that stands out from the rest. Prismic's easy-to-use platform, tools, resources, and community provide complete freedom for growth and iterative improvements, making it an ideal choice for companies who want to launch and iterate faster. Start building with Prismic today and experience the power of a headless page builder in driving your website's success.
Strapi is an open-source headless CMS built on Node.js that offers a range of advantages for developers and content creators. With its customizable nature and support for RESTful or GraphQL APIs, Strapi provides flexibility and autonomy in content management. Strapi allows users to effortlessly create and manage content structures that can be tailored to specific needs, eliminating the complexities typically associated with CMS platforms. The platform can be self-hosted or deployed on Strapi Cloud or popular cloud platforms, ensuring control and avoiding vendor lock-in. Strapi integrates seamlessly with various plugins and providers, enhancing the capabilities of the CMS and enabling the creation of powerful digital experiences. The company has a strong community presence and offers a Discord channel where users can connect, learn, and collaborate with fellow community members. Strapi is trusted by numerous companies, including Algolia, Rails, Hugo, SendGrid, Cloudinary, and Crowdin, who rely on its capabilities for their content management needs. Strapi's commitment to open source and its ability to simplify CMS complexities have made it a popular choice among developers and organizations seeking a flexible and customizable headless CMS solution.
Company History - Strapi was founded in 2015 by Pierre Burgy and Aurélien Georget. The company started as a side project during their time at university and quickly gained traction within the developer community. As an open-source CMS, Strapi has grown and evolved through the contributions of a large community of developers and contributors. Strapi has since become a widely recognized and respected name in the headless CMS space, thanks to its commitment to open-source principles and continuous improvement. Today, Strapi is used by thousands of developers and businesses globally, offering them the freedom and flexibility to build unique digital experiences with ease.
Companies Using Strapi - Strapi is trusted by a range of companies across various industries. Algolia, a leading search-as-a-service platform, relies on Strapi to manage their content structure and enable efficient search functionalities. Rails, a popular web application framework, has integrated Strapi into their development workflow to streamline content management. Hugo, an open-source static site generator known for its speed and flexibility, benefits from Strapi's capabilities for efficient content synchronization. SendGrid, a provider of email services, is among the companies leveraging Strapi for managing their content and enhancing their communication strategies. Cloudinary, a provider for media uploads and storage, relies on Strapi to facilitate media management and delivery. Crowdin, a cloud-based translation management technology, integrates effectively with Strapi for managing multilingual content synchronization and translation. These companies have chosen Strapi to empower their content management workflows and leverage the advantages of a flexible, scalable, and customizable headless CMS solution.
Contentstack is a leading headless Content Management System (CMS) that empowers businesses to create and deliver composable digital experiences across various channels. With its fully automated Composable DXP (Digital Experience Platform), Contentstack enables businesses to expand their reach and engage with customers everywhere. The advantages of using Contentstack are evident in a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting, which demonstrates how Contentstack customers save costs and enhance business value. The study reveals that businesses experience benefits such as reduced campaign rollouts by 250%, increased publishing velocity by 10X, and improved IT resource availability by 40% per year.
What sets Contentstack apart is its platform's ability to elevate businesses to the next level. With an API-first approach, Contentstack seamlessly integrates with various business and marketing technologies, making it easy for businesses to meet their specific needs. The platform's flexibility and scalability enable businesses to create amazing digital experiences that drive customer engagement and loyalty.
Contentstack has a rich history as a pioneering CMS provider. It was founded in 2005 and has since become the preferred choice for leading companies across industries. Many renowned brands, including Walmart, Best Buy, and Cisco, rely on Contentstack to power their digital experiences. These companies leverage Contentstack's headless CMS capabilities to create personalized and immersive digital experiences for their customers. With Contentstack, businesses can unleash their creativity and unlock the full potential of their digital presence.
Contentful is a versatile and powerful headless CMS that enables businesses to drive momentum through impactful content. With Contentful's platform, businesses can effortlessly create content-first, multi-brand, and omnichannel experiences on a unified composable content source. It empowers creative teams with Contentful Studio, allowing them to visually craft captivating content experiences without the need for coding. Contentful also offers an ecosystem that enables businesses to build a flexible and extensible tech stack tailored to their specific needs.
One of the key advantages of Contentful is its ability to integrate with AI technologies, allowing teams to intelligently automate the content creation process. This feature enables the generation and publishing of trusted content and on-brand experiences, combining the skills of both human and AI. Contentful's commitment to innovation and seamless collaboration has resulted in the development of various tools and resources that enhance content production and delivery.
Some notable examples of companies that have embraced Contentful include Shopify, Urban Outfitters, Spotify, and Electronic Arts. These companies, among many others, have leveraged Contentful's capabilities to deliver personalized and engaging digital experiences to their customers.
In terms of history, Contentful was founded in Berlin, Germany, in 2013 by Sascha Konietzke and Paolo Negri. Since its inception, the company has gained recognition for its user-friendly interface, developer-friendly infrastructure, and highly scalable platform. Contentful has grown rapidly, attracting clients from various industries who seek to leverage its flexible and innovative approach to content management.
In summary, Contentful is a leading headless CMS that enables businesses to drive business momentum through impactful content. With its platform, Studio, and ecosystem, Contentful provides businesses with endless possibilities for content creation, automation, and delivery. The company's history of success and its impressive list of esteemed clients highlights the reliability and effectiveness of Contentful as a content management solution.
DatoCMS is a powerful headless CMS that offers numerous advantages for teams looking to streamline their content creation and distribution processes. With DatoCMS, businesses can empower every member of their team, from developers and digital marketers to content editors, by providing them with an end-to-end solution for creating and managing content at scale.
For developers, DatoCMS offers the ability to solve complex strategic goals through its technology, enabling teams to build and iterate quickly. Digital marketers can benefit from automating SEO and managing content across multiple sites without having to rely on IT support. Content editors, who often face challenges with legacy content infrastructure and siloed information, can use DatoCMS to manage their content in one centralized hub, eliminating the need for manual copy-pasting and reducing inefficiencies.
DatoCMS addresses the common pain points associated with legacy technology and ensures that businesses have a reliable infrastructure that can scale with their growth. It offers a future-proof solution that allows for fast iterations and adaptability to new channels and markets. With DatoCMS, businesses can save costs associated with complex data migrations, slow access times, and missing integrations to new technology.
Some notable companies that currently use DatoCMS include a global carmaker, which successfully developed a global website using the platform; Unity Group, which improved marketing and management of over 200,000 products for Onninen; and the Oberlo team at Shopify, who turned their content editing process around with DatoCMS. These success stories highlight the effectiveness of DatoCMS in helping businesses achieve their content-related goals.
In summary, DatoCMS is a headless CMS that provides a reliable and future-proof solution for managing content at scale. It offers advantages for developers, digital marketers, and content editors, streamlining workflows and enabling fast iterations. The platform has a proven track record with notable companies relying on it for their content needs.
There are a lot of exceptional headless CMSes available, and we're starting to see more and more differentiation between them. It's therefore essential that the project requirements are established and with these, the most appropriate CMS and front-end can be chosen.