What is a headless CMS? And does your firm need one?

Michael Lukaszczyk, the CEO and Co-Founder of Hygraph, explains
BizAge Interview Team
Daniel Winter (L) CTO + Co-Founder, Michael Lukaszczyk
Daniel Winter (L) CTO and Co-Founder, Michael Lukaszczyk

Most companies have a website where they publish articles, blogs, or other content. Normally this is done using the defaiult website publication platform, such as Webflow or Wix. But there is a trend to use a headless CMS - an independent content management systems.

Business Age asked Michael Lukaszczyk, the CEO and Co-Founder of Hygraph, the enterprise-grade federated content platform, to explain the concept.

Hi Michael! What is a headless CMS?

A headless CMS is a content management system designed to store, organise, and deliver content such as text, images, and videos in a flexible way. Unlike traditional CMS platforms, which come with their own inbuilt design templates, a headless CMS provides content through a flexible system of connections called APIs. This means that any content can easily be shared across different websites, apps, and devices, so developers can choose whatever tech they want to create the look and feel of the website or app. The reason it’s called “headless” is because it doesn’t have the “head” (the front-end design), but still handles all the important content management tasks in the “body” (the backend system).

Why would someone use it instead of the standard one?

More businesses are using headless because of the flexibility it offers.

In the past, traditional CMSs had a direct link between a content management interface and a single website, creating a one-to-one relationship. But with the rise of connected devices like smartphones this setup became restrictive, as a one-to-many approach was required. Therefore, headless CMSs emerged to solve the problem, as the go-to option that allowed content to be managed centrally and shared across multiple platforms and devices using APIs.

The headless approach is popular because it gives developers freedom to distribute content without being tied to one platform. It offers benefits like faster content publication and easier updates to digital properties. Additionally, developers can use their preferred technology stack or framework (such as React, Angular or Vue) to introduce added customisation.

How hard is it to integrate?

An issue companies face in trying to innovate with content is the complexity of connecting different systems and external tools smoothly and efficiently. Our recent research showed that 88% of companies feel this challenge slows down their innovation.

Luckily, Hygraph has a solution called the federated content platform to solve this problem. Companies can quickly link up their backend systems and external tools, pick the data they need, and get it up and running with a universal GraphQL API.

This makes it so much easier for teams to expand their digital offerings without the complexities that come with building and managing custom tools.Top of Form

Who uses headless?

Global businesses from a variety of verticals rely on headless CMSs to power omnichannel experiences for customers.

This list includes Samsung, Booking.com, Dr. Oetker, DPG Media, and Vision Healthcare.

What is the cost of a headless CMS?

The cost of a headless CMS varies. It depends on several factors, including what platform you choose, the scale of its use, and what features you need. As the needs grow in terms of traffic, content volume, and functionality, the cost can increase again. Pricing models often include monthly subscriptions that range from a few pounds a month for basic plans to several thousands of pounds a month for enterprise-grade solutions. The pricing can also be affected by the level of support, SLAs (Service Level Agreements), and additional services like hosting, security features, and custom development.

Tell us a bit about your company

The idea for Hygraph came together during the emergence of the headless CMS offering which allowed for platform-independent content distribution via APIs. Together with my co-founder Daniel Winter, we realised that enterprises were no longer building monolithic systems and were applying a modular approach instead that brought together multiple systems and data sets. But the challenge for enterprises was connecting these sources effectively to drive the new application or customer experience, as a headless CMS required custom middleware and created an innovation bottleneck.

While there were a few players in the market already, we saw an opportunity to introduce a federated content approach. This is the next generation of content management, powering a many-to-many relationship between content sources and devices and replacing tedious middleware development.

Thanks Michael!

My pleasure!

Written by
BizAge Interview Team
March 25, 2024