Over the past few years, consumers increasingly expect digital interactions to be personalized and seamless across channels. Despite this shift, content creators and developers still find themselves stuck in rigid, legacy content management systems that can’t keep up.
Businesses that provide more personalized, omnichannel, and visually optimized user experiences see better results and greater customer loyalty. The key to successfully building and maintaining a modern web experience lies in an API-first, cloud-based ecosystem with a headless CMS and a visual media platform at the center.
Why Headless Over the Legacy, Monolithic CMS?
For all too long, organizations tolerated the inflexibility of monolithic CMSes. These traditional CMSes put everything into one big bucket — content, images, HTML, CSS — making it difficult to reuse the content components.
It’s becoming more apparent that this approach is insufficient for omnichannel delivery, web performance optimization, and user personalization. Digital teams are pushing their monolithic CMS beyond what it was originally designed to do, leading to more technical debt, unforeseen costs, and failures to serve the end users.
On the other hand, an API-first headless CMS empowers an organization to quickly respond to changes in their business and the external market. It does so by separating or decoupling the content from the context, where the content is displayed.
|Attributes||Legacy CMS||Headless CMS|
|Hosting and delivery||In-house||In the cloud|
|Content model||Built for a single page||Building block for many products|
|Backend system||Monolithic, all-in-one||Microservice, best-in-class|
|Investment||Large up-front cost||Quick proof of concept|
|Technical debt||Inherent to the system||Managed|
So why choose headless? At its core, the delivery mechanism of a headless CMS is an API. You could also adopt a solution like Contentful, a content platform that extends the capabilities of the headless CMS even further. Organizations are empowered to consolidate their content into a single hub that drives omnichannel, agile, and integrated experiences for both the builders creating those experiences and the end users consuming them.
API-driven tools like Contentful and imgix give you the freedom to break large business problems into smaller pieces and solve each exactly the way you want. This increases organizational agility and effectiveness.
|Attributes||CMS||Headless CMS||Content platform|
|Structure||Content is stored in multiple CMSes and repositories.||Content is typically stored in unstructured “buckets.”||Content is structured, making it easy to find, manage and reuse.|
|Delivery||Content is manually entered into a page template.||APIs deliver content to any digital product or channel.||APIs connect apps to content and delivery to any digital channel.|
|Endpoint||Single digital touchpoint.||Many digital touchpoints.||Deliver digital touchpoints, products, and apps faster.|
From Headless CMS to Content Platform
Regardless of the use case, visual media is an important part of a great web experience. With the proliferation of devices and channels, images and videos are now consumed in more formats and contexts than ever.
For example, at Contentful, we see upwards of 30 billion API calls per month - you can imagine the volume of visual media required to power those experiences. At this scale, media management can be challenging for content creators and developers because, without the right tools, it can become a tangled mess of file versions, image formats, and the governance associated with using and updating those assets.
Contentful's highly extensible content model and its agile app framework enables you to solve this problem by letting you choose the right tools for your needs, whether you are a content creator or a developer.
Build a Great Experience for Creators and End Users
The imgix app, available for free in Contentful’s app marketplace, is a prime example of a win for both creators and consumers of content.
When you pair a robust API-driven asset management tool with a scalable content platform, creators can easily access, select, and collaborate on images and videos while delivering the most optimal experience on any device.
The result is seamless content management for creators and an optimized visual experience for end users, resulting in higher conversion rates and more satisfied customers.
Try It for Yourself
Visual media management doesn’t have to be cumbersome or disconnected from content management. An API-first approach makes it easy for content creators and enjoyable for site visitors. By combining imgix and Contentful, you can create content more easily and deliver a truly engaging, personalized, and omnichannel experience to all your visitors.