Exploring the surge in CMS adoption
Exploring the surge in CMS adoption

The Growth of CMS platforms

Let's take a quick trip back in history. Nearly 25 years ago, before the World Wide Web became mainstream, the term "content management systems" (CMS) was largely unknown.

In the mid-1990s, even displaying a simple HTML page was a challenge for professionals, and dynamic pages were mostly limited to e-commerce platforms.

Developers experimented with technologies like Perl and Cold Fusion to create dynamic content. By the late 1990s, new web languages like PHP emerged, leading to innovations that allowed site owners to edit their content directly on their websites.

This period marked the beginning of dedicated efforts to develop CMSs, enabling owners to upload photos, write articles, and craft engaging web pages. The commercialization of CMS began to take shape by 2000, with major magazines and newspapers implementing systems costing six figures.

The early 2000s saw the rise of open-source CMS options like Mambo and Drupal, which became widely popular by 2004. This era was pivotal for the evolution and widespread adoption of CMS.

As open-source platforms evolved, major corporations, including Adobe, entered the fray, significantly expanding the CMS market. By this time, hundreds of CMS options were available, each offering unique features and capabilities.

CMS innovations started evolving then. Now there are many CMSs to choose from, but understanding the architecture and the working plays an important role while making a choice.

The types of popular CMS architecture are,

  1. Coupled

  2. Decoupled

  3. Headless

Coupled CMS

The majority of systems available today, such as Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress, and Adobe’s solutions, are designed with a coupled CMS architecture. Here are some key characteristics:

  • Both delivery and administration functionalities share the same codebase.

  • The delivery system is template-based.

  • APIs are generally not integral but can be added as extensions.

Advantages of this architecture include:

  • Ease of installation: The single-server environment makes it simple to set up.

  • Simplified infrastructure management: It typically requires nothing more than a hosting account.

  • Extensive support: Large developer communities provide robust support.

However, there are disadvantages:

  • Security: Since the admin panel and front end share the same security level, there’s a heightened risk of malicious access.

  • Limited front-end flexibility: There are fewer options for front-end customization, restricting your choice of templates.

  • Risks with updates: Changes during updates can potentially disrupt the front-end experience.

Decoupled CMS

A decoupled CMS separates the administrative backend from the front-end user interface.

Advantages of this architecture include:

  • Security: The backend can be thoroughly secured in various ways.

  • Flexibility: A rich library of front-end technologies allows you to break away from the monotony of standard templates.

  • Scalability: Decoupled systems are inherently scalable. The backend seldom needs scaling, just the front-end does.

However, there are disadvantages:

  • Development complexity: The CMS often requires extensive customization.

  • Higher costs: Typically, decoupled systems are more expensive to implement.

  • Greater resource demands: More infrastructure effort is required.

Headless CMS

Headless CMS has been a prominent trend in recent years. It separates the entire administrative backend from the front end, delivering content exclusively through an API. This allows developers to craft unique front-end experiences.

Advantages of this architecture include:

  • Clean design: The separation offers a clear structure, giving you freedom in how you use it.

  • Future-proof content: Content is neat and portable, making modifications straightforward.

  • Scalability: Eliminates concerns about database clustering, replication, load balancing, and caching.

  • Multi-site capability: Efficiently manages organizational and load challenges across multiple sites.

  • Minimal infrastructure maintenance: The system is hosted by the provider, reducing the need for direct access or management.

However, there are disadvantages:

  • License fees: Ongoing costs are involved as you must license this technology from the provider.

  • Development requirements: A headless system necessitates the development of a custom front-end, involving both design and development.

  • Control: Control is largely in the hands of the provider, making it crucial to choose a reliable one to avoid future complications.

The trending CMS software architecture

A traditional CMS, such as Wordpress, Joomla, or Drupal, allows users to create and edit content using an HTML editor and save it to the back-end database. The CMS then displays this content according to a built-in front-end delivery layer.

However, in the modern CMS. The front-end component, often referred to as the "head" of the CMS, can now be removed. This leads to the creation of a headless CMS, which offers significant flexibility.

With a headless CMS, you can develop numerous "heads" or front-end interfaces tailored for various platforms such as websites, apps, kiosks, and smartwatches. This approach greatly expands the potential for content delivery across different channels.

Why chose headless CMS?

The headless CMS is gaining more traction in recent years because it provides the ability to publish on multiple channels.

Publishing on multiple channels is nothing new, in fact many traditional CMSs have been used earlier to showcase content on desktops, mobiles, tablets, etc.

As we further proceed into the era of IoT, publishing content to a handful of channels no longer eradicates the problem. Because, of new channels like smartwatches, VR headsets, smart-homes, etc. populating faster, the headless CMS architecture is considered to future proof the business.

Security with Headless CMS

Security is the top priority for a CMS. In a headless CMS, the security layer can be hidden in a number of ways since they are separated from the user layers. This enables the administrator to be assured that the system is secure and protected.

Why the CMS architecture matters?

While looking for the right CMS, the first point on top of your mind should be to not rebuild your CMS every year. Instead, the best is to understand what the industry is selling you. The CMS is your core, it is the foundation of everything digital that you do.

Choosing an evolving and desired CMS will have long ranging effects and a roadmap to success.

How to choose the right CMS software for your business?

Often, choosing a CMS for your business is complicated. It is an important decision which will impact your business for years to come. During this process, focussing on the features which are important will help you manage your website better.

Below mentioned are the factors which will help you make a better decision while choosing a CMS. Everyone’s need is different, but if you figure out how important each feature is, then narrowing down the right platform becomes easier.

  1. Easy to update

  2. Customizable options and integrations

  3. Security

  4. Scalability

  5. Budget

  6. User interaction

  7. Built-in plugins for best practices

Winding Up

The future of CMS is quickly changing from traditional systems towards API driven headless or decoupled systems. Consumers are making use of multiple channels and publishers/newsrooms have to meet their expectations to provide a quality experience.

Going headless isn’t the best option as everybody’s business differs and the choice of CMS majorly depends on the type of business. Use a headless CMS if you're looking for flexible solutions.

You can get headless CMSs in the market today - Bold CMS is one such example. You can find a CMS that suits your brand and content strategy.

The right CMS can help you manage content and reduce your load by taking up actions automatically. Keep in mind to find a front-end or develop.