[Hard] Questions for [Headless] [CMS] Vendors

I intend to use this blog post to catalog questions for headless CMS (Content Management System) vendors that I do not consider to be excessively specific to an individual project. Many of these questions may apply to related implementation scenarios.

These issues are in no intended order, are not intended to benefit any specific vendor, and have varying significance for each implementation. I may try to order and categorize these after they accrue. I do not intend to answer any of these questions here, especially considering that different people working for each vendor would answer each question differently at different times, sometimes using confidential information.

Consider discussing these issues with your prospective CMS vendor.

  • Is your solution 100% SaaS? The remaining questions assume Yes.
  • Do your user interfaces use your REST APIs?
  • Can you provide dedicated instances for individual customers?
  • How complete are your content management and content delivery SDKs for JavaScript [and other technologies of choice]?
  • Can you describe pricing exactly?
  • To minimize costs, what architectural techniques should customers employ?
  • Can you provide a graph of your customer retention ratio over time?
  • Can you describe your growth, corporate capitalization, and cash flows?
  • What is one of your biggest implementations?
  • How does import work? Can I upload a zip and run a process against that?
  • What are the extension points (user interface, webhooks, or otherwise)?
  • What are some of your most significant customers (numbers, names, and scale, not project details)?
  • Who do you see as your competitors in your industry?
  • Relative to your competitors, what are your differentiating factors in terms of user interface, workflow, data modeling, infrastructure, or other features?
  • What types of fields do your data type definitions natively support?
  • Not including references to other records, what types of repeating and flexible structures do your data type definitions natively support?
  • Does your product expose one or more record hierarchies to both CMS users and developers?
  • How does your product handle hierarchies and direct relationships?
  • Do you use the same JSON response formats for both content delivery APIs and GraphQL?
  • Other than as an abstraction of the REST interface to the CMS, does your SDK require use of vendor-specific APIs or knowledge of vendor-specific data formats?
  • Does your content delivery API allow developers to query across multiple record types?
  • Describe any data access architectures that your solution provides natively (static export, proprietary REST query, synchronization/event replay, GraphQL, event/message bus, webhooks, and otherwise).

If you have questions to suggest for this list, please comment on this blog post.

Published by John West

I like Twizzlers and um

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