Architecture and Methods

Headless Content Management

Read more about when it is a good idea to choose headless and what short and long-term benefits it provides

What is a headless CMS?

Why is it called headless?

A traditional CMS consists of two layers: an administration layer and a presentation layer. The two layers are known as "body" and "head". A headless CMS is a content management system that consists exclusively of an administration layer or a back office. However, it does not contain the presentation layer itself, page templates or the design of the website. A headless CMS thus contains only "body", ie administration functionality, and is therefore called headless.


Headless is not headless, but allows many heads on the solution

Headless fits perfectly if you have many web solutions that draw on the same content from the back office via an API (application program interface). The API can deliver content to websites, mobile applications, smartwatch apps, POS (point of sale) interfaces or anywhere else you can imagine. Thus, with a headless CMS you only need to update the content in one place to publish it to all your presentation surfaces.


Headless allows the use of different presentation technologies for the same content

With a headless CMS, it is possible to build a front end specifically designed for the intended device. Furthermore, your presentation surfaces can afford to use code languages other than CMS if required for the different presentation surfaces.


Headless solutions can be made on a variety of technologies and CMS

We make headless solutions with several different CMS and software platforms as administration layers. This can be, for example, Umbraco,  Commercetools or tailor-made solutions.


Benefits of a headless CMS

High Performance and global scalability

More and more companies are experiencing a slow website, or are finding that their app provides fewer conversions to the website. Therefore, many companies are trying to optimise the speed of the solution, which is one of the reasons why more and more people are using a headless CMS technology. If a coupled CMS is chosen this can contribute to slow loading of the various pages on the website. If a headless CMS and display content is used instead, this will result in improved performance.


Security by design

Often, the API in CMS headless is used to deliver content that is read-only. This ensures a high level of security, which is less possible if a conventional CMS technology is used. In addition, the headless API can be placed behind one or more layers, such as an application layer and security layer, making it significantly less vulnerable to an attack. Likewise, the administration part of headless is most often located on a different server and a different domain. Therefore, it is concluded that a headless CMS is relatively more secure than a conventional CMS technology.

Platform agnostic

When focusing on the architecture of a new website, the concept of independent platform lifecycle is often mentioned. This means that the various parts of the platform itself are not dependent on each other and this can help to secure the website for the future. The great advantage of ensuring that the architecture of the website lives up to the concept of “independent platform lifecycle” is that if you later want to replace parts of the system, it will not affect the remaining systems. For example, if you want a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) system at a later time, the replacement will not affect CMS or front end. It is a great advantage to ensure that parts of the website are independent of each other, so you can follow the technological development without requiring a completely new website.

Content for many channels

When we at Novicell prepare a website, we have an architectural focus on the concept of content for multiple channels. In order for our customers to get the most out of their content on the website in the choice of platform, we ensure that the different content can be used on different channels. This ensures high usability on the various devices, so whether a computer, tablet or phone is used, the user gets the same website content and experience.

Novicell cases on headless

If you want to know more about headless, please contact me