Solve Forward
Published on

Migrating to Headless CMSes

Headless CMS Migration

Headless CMS architecture is growing in popularity to meet customers’ demands in the digital era. and increase the focus of businesses on enhancing customer experience and engaging them with personalized content through multiple channels. Unlike traditional CMS, headless CMS allows content management across different channels, including websites, smartphones, tablets, smart devices, etc.

Today WordPress is one of the most powerful CMS globally and continues to grow. With the growing use of headless CMS, it is important to see how WordPress can function as headless CMS. Decoupling WordPress front-end and back-end let Marketers improve the performance for the frontend and the Core Web Vitals scores with it. Headless WordPress solutions can offer various advantages such as better security, endless control on the development side, increased scalability, and responsive, fast, and sleek content delivery.

With Headless CMS gaining popularity, companies are focusing on moving from legacy to modern headless CMS. There are some reasons or signs that indicate the need for new headless CMS from a business perspective, such as

  • Failure to update content from time to time across all channels simultaneously.
  • Website containing a large number of documents and PDFs instead of visually attractive web pages
  • Lack of search features and metadata resulting in the difficulty to find the content on the website

Why Move from Legacy to Headless CMS?

To gain a competitive advantage in the market, enterprises need to provide relevant information to the customers through various channels. The traditional legacy lacks the flexibility required to streamline creating and distributing content, and it also comes with some hidden costs. On the other hand, a modern headless CMS includes various features and functionalities to create content and make it available on different channels. With many headless CMS in the market, selecting the best headless CMS is essential that can meet company requirements.

For large enterprises, websites act as the medium to provide information about the business and act as the platform for customers to access services and as an e-commerce platform to purchase products. Thus, these websites can be susceptible to various threats, including DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks can impact a website using traditional legacy CMS due to the way pages are rendered that requires high processing power. This calls for migration from legacy to headless CMS. Headless CMS generally does not perform any rendering of the content; instead, it leaves it to the server-side and client-side JavaScript. Content can be rendered on the client or the server and that feature can be picked at runtime on each page load, thus reducing the impact of a DDoS attack.

The headless CMS also reduces the amount of infrastructure facing the internet or front-end and makes API an important component. This decreases the attack surface being targeted, and the smaller surface is easy to manage against all types of cyberattacks, including DDoS.

Companies offering headless CMS are also focusing on adding new features to their existing products, thereby providing better services to businesses and helping to enhance the end-user experience. For instance, Strapi recently released Strapi v3.6 that includes content internationalization i18n feature. This feature can help create and manage content in multiple languages, thereby personalizing and localizing content for the target audience. Strapi’s e-commerce solution is also gaining traction by providing the best customer experience regardless of the device being used by the end-user.

With numerous headless CMS solutions available in the market, selecting the best headless CMS is important. Before moving from legacy to headless CMS, a business should consider some important things such as:

  • Impact of modern headless CMS on overall business
  • The actual cost of migrating from traditional legacy to headless CMS
  • Managing ongoing tasks and delivering business requirements while migrating from legacy to headless CMS
  • Checking if the existing plugins, extensions, and tools will work on the new headless CMS
  • Taking into consideration all the technical and non-technical expertise of teams before selecting headless CMS
  • Assessing the features of headless CMS and determine if the particular solution can help to meet business objectives
  • Checking if the new headless CMS will adapt to the ever-changing market and offer a competitive advantage
  • Support being offered by headless CMS providers along with the updates and maintenance services.
  • Content import from the legacy CMS into the new Headless CMS backend. For some CMSes, a Headless CMS can work alongside a CMS like WordPress.

Moving to a Headless CMS, coupled with a static site generator like NextJS or GatsbyJS does wonders to a marketing site.

What is the Importance of GraphQL in Headless CMS?

GraphQL is the query language that enables connection with APIs that support headless CMS. GraphQL APIs provide access to the latest features and also encourage easy-to-maintain and clean server code. GraphQL is available in multiple languages that can help in writing GraphQL APIs leveraging existing code and data.

GraphQL is an alternative to REST APIs, and there are many CMS with Graph API used by businesses to implement enterprise-grade headless content and e-commerce sites. Some of the most commonly used headless CMS are Contentstack, GraphCMS, and Contentful headless CMS.

Shifting from Predict and React to Proactive and Agile Model

With the evolution of new technologies and the increasing use of smart devices, enterprises need to adapt to the culture that embraces the power of new technologies and data distribution. Here, the Product Information Management system (PIM) can help enterprises publish product data across various channels and create product catalogs and portfolios in no time. Like CMS, PIM can ensure quick and proper distribution and management of content related to the product. The PIM system can facilitate better customer experience, reduce time-to-market, encourages personalized selling, and offers operational excellence.

Along with the migration from legacy CMS to headless CMS, enterprises using legacy Order Management System (OMS) to manage inventory, sales, and fulfillment should also consider moving to a new platform that can offer business growth and keep up with the changes in the market. The new OMS system should centralize all orders across sales channels, automate workflow, and help in controlling end-user experience. Such PIM and OMS systems should integrate or be able to work alongside modern Headless CMS.

Final Thoughts

The migration from legacy to headless CMS is all about choosing the right solution providing flexibility and speed. With the new headless CMS, businesses should deliver useful and correct information to end-users reliably and quickly than would have been difficult with the traditional legacy CMS. Understanding where the industry is moving, and the type of content offered by the business are two important factors that can help evaluate if it is the right time to move to modern headless CMS.

The long-term benefits of moving to a modern headless CMS are multifold. The tool is an off-the-shelf solution that can be easily adopted by businesses and organizations with little or no hassles related to customization, implementation, and maintenance. Newer tools are more scalable as compared to legacy systems, which leads to better outcomes for the consumer, marketer, and the business. Businesses that are leveraging headless CMS to deliver compelling content are also outperforming the competition in terms of attracting new customers and expanding to newer markets.

If you have questions about digital transformation that you’d like for us to cover, please email or @solveforward on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!