CMS Glossary: Headless

This blog post provides perspective on the term headless as it is used in content management systems, specifically the Contentstack SaaS headless CMS.

This post is a member of the following glossary:

A headless content management system does not provide software for content delivery. To access the CMS, headless content delivery systems use HTTPS service APIs and SDKs that abstract those APIs.

A headless CMS consists of three basic components:

  • Extensible, browser-based content management user interface
  • Service APIs including content management, content delivery, media delivery, security, GraphQL, and otherwise.
  • Webhooks

Headless CMS customers consume content delivery services to implement content delivery systems and can use webhooks and user interface extensions to integrate, extend, and otherwise customize the CMS.

Not all headless CMS is SaaS, which dramatically increases its benefits. SaaS headless CMS vendors take responsibility for hosting the CMS environments, alleviating customers of numerous costs and other disadvantages. Headless CMS hosting includes provisioning, securing, ensuring, scaling, archiving, restoring, caching, indexing, and otherwise managing the content management system and content delivery services.

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