Headless CMS vs Traditional CMS

CMS May 3, 2024

A content management system, or CMS, is a software platform that allows business users to create and publish content without needing to understand code. Depending on the CMS, content can be delivered to a website, mobile application, or other digital technologies.

CMS platforms are a primary tool for creating and managing content. Many modern CMS solutions have collaboration and governance features that help control content throughout its lifecycle.

In the world of website management, there are two main types of content management systems (CMS): traditional and headless. But what's the difference between them, and which one is better? Let's break it down in simple terms.

Traditional CMS:

Traditional CMS, like WordPress or Joomla, are like all-in-one packages. They include everything you need to create and manage your website – from content creation tools to design templates and hosting services. It's like buying a pre-built house where everything is already set up for you.


  1. Easy to use: Traditional CMS platforms are user-friendly, making it simple for non-technical users to create and manage content.
  2. All-in-one solution: You get everything you need in one package – content editing tools, design templates, and hosting services.
  3. Quick setup: With pre-built templates and plugins, you can set up your website in no time.


  1. Limited flexibility: Traditional CMS platforms often come with built-in design and functionality limitations, making it difficult to customize your website.
  2. Performance issues: Since everything is tightly integrated, performance can suffer, especially as your website grows.
  3. Dependency on platform: You're locked into the features and updates provided by the CMS platform, which can be restrictive.

Headless CMS:

Headless CMS, on the other hand, takes a different approach. It separates the content management and presentation layers, allowing you to manage content independently from the front-end design. It's like building a house where you have the freedom to choose your own materials and design your own layout.


  1. Flexibility: With a headless CMS, you have the freedom to use any front-end technology or framework, giving you complete control over the look and feel of your website.
  2. Scalability: Since the content management and presentation layers are separate, headless CMS platforms can easily scale to accommodate growing websites and applications.
  3. Future-proofing: You're not tied to a specific platform, so you can adapt and evolve your website as technology changes.


  1. Complexity: Headless CMS platforms can be more complex to set up and manage, especially for non-technical users.
  2. Development overhead: You'll need to build or integrate a front-end interface to display your content, which can require additional development resources.
  3. Cost: Headless CMS platforms may require more upfront investment in development and hosting infrastructure.

In simple terms, traditional CMS platforms offer convenience and ease of use, while headless CMS platforms provide flexibility and scalability. The choice between them depends on your specific needs and priorities. If you value simplicity and quick setup, a traditional CMS may be the way to go. But if you're looking for flexibility and future-proofing, a headless CMS could be the better option.