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Headless CMS reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

Best Headless CMS Software

A headless CMS is a back-end only content management system. This tool allows businesses to manage, store, and track content projects from creation to publication, just as a traditional CMS does. Unlike web content management software, the front-end delivery layer of a website is removed from a headless CMS. Developers can use any front-end tool they want to present the content that has been created. This content is stored within a cloud and provided as a service through an API. This means that businesses can deliver content beyond websites and apps onto platforms such as smartwatches and virtual reality headsets. This solution also often offers the option to translate content into different languages.

Despite the open-source nature, a headless CMS should not be confused with business content management software (BCM). An API allows content from a headless CMS to be published on any platform, while the open-source aspect of a BCM ensures that users across multiple locations can edit files. A headless CMS should integrate with WYSIWYG editors.

To qualify for inclusion in the Headless CMS category, a product must:

Offer content modeling
Allow for the creation, reading, updating, and deleting of content
Facilitate content production workflow
Organize content in a cloud-based repository
Give businesses the opportunity to repurpose content across multiple channels

Top 10 Headless CMS Software

  • Contentful
  • Contentstack
  • Butter CMS
  • Kentico Kontent
  • Agility CMS
  • Bold
  • Storyblok
  • Strapi
  • GraphCMS
  • Magnolia

Compare Headless CMS Software

G2 takes pride in showing unbiased reviews on user satisfaction in our ratings and reports. We do not allow paid placements in any of our ratings, rankings, or reports. Learn about our scoring methodologies.
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(95)4.3 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$489/month

Contentful is the next-generation content platform to build digital experiences at scale. It enables teams to unify content in a single hub, structure it for use in any digital channel, and integrate seamlessly with hundreds of other tools through open APIs and powerful integration capabilities.

(54)4.7 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:$995/month

Renowned for earning the highest customer satisfaction in the industry, Contentstack combines the best of content management system (CMS) and digital experience (DXP) technology, enabling enterprises to manage content across all digital channels and create inimitable digital experiences. Learn more at www.contentstack.com and follow us @Contentstack.

(61)4.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:Free

API-first CMS + blog platform built for developers. Integrate your app with Butter's API in 60 seconds.

(97)4.3 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

Kentico Kontent is a headless CMS that simplifies content production for marketers so that they can focus on creating high-quality content without requiring developer involvement. This frees developers to focus on what they do best—building engaging online experiences that look great in every channel.

(97)4.2 out of 5
Optimized for quick response
Entry Level Price:Free

When it comes to choosing a CMS, you shouldn't have to compromise. With all the features of a headless CMS and the familiar authoring tools that marketers know and love, Agility will make everyone on your team happy. The Familiar Authoring Tools You Know and Love: Page Management, Preview, Sitemaps, Content Modelling, Workflows, Content Relationships - With Agility CMS, Content Managers can actually have a full power and control over their content. The Freedom to Build What You Want, How You W

(38)4.4 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$99 per month

Bold is the CMS that understands your content. Unlike a traditional CMS, Bold separates the presentation of the content from the content itself. This makes it effortless to create, curate and distribute content for modern consumption across different screens and screen-less voice devices. With a content workflow that is modelled after an effective newsroom, Bold makes it easy for authors to tell stories better with built-in support for reusable content cards, story elements and story types. Al

(18)4.9 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0 - $23 per user / month

Storyblok helps your team to tell your story and manage content for every use-case: corporate websites, e-commerce, helpdesks, mobile apps, and screen displays. Storyblok is a Headless CMS with a Visual Editor for developers, marketers & content editors. The Problem: Managing digital content with a headless CMS can be a difficult task. Without a visual preview, editors are often lost and need instruction even for simple changes. The Solution: Storyblok has the user experience of a page bu

(16)4.9 out of 5

Strapi is the leading open-source headless CMS based on Node.js for all your developers content management and API needs. In minutes, you have a working API and can concentrate on developing software without the hassle of CMS complexities. All your data is made available through a 100% customizable API to be a perfect fit for your needs. We take care of the backend for you so you don't have to. Companies of all sizes are already using Strapi in production.

(27)4.7 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0 Free Forever

GraphCMS is the first GraphQL-native Headless CMS (Content Management System) that helps teams deliver better digital experiences across all platforms at scale. From high-traffic publishing and marketing websites, to multi-language e-commerce platforms, to interactive mobile apps, and voice apps – GraphCMS is the solid content infrastructure used by organizations like Unilever, Discovery, and Shure. GraphCMS empowers digital teams to: - centralize editorial, product and marketing content and

(26)4.1 out of 5

Magnolia is a headless enterprise CMS for the modern & modular digital experience platform. Magnolia support high performance & scalability, flexible integration, and great ease of use. Connect data from any source. Manage content in any form. Publish to any device. Magnolia's focus on a flexible best-of-breed content management system means you get to choose and integrate the systems you want. Not the systems the vendor is pushing. This gives you flexibility and saves cost in the long

(80)4.4 out of 5
Optimized for quick response

Mura is a content and experience platform created to empower. use.ability Drag and drop layouts, form builder, and one-click rollback enable worry-free content publishing. manage.ability Multi-site support and configurable permissions make granting access safe, secure, and simple. control.ability Maintain compliance standards with flexible workflows that keep productivity moving. adapt.ability Increase sales velocity and create your ideal customer with content personalization. measure.abi

(44)4.1 out of 5

dotCMS is a cutting-edge Hybrid Content Management System (CMS) that allows organizations to build, manage, and deploy content-enabled applications such as websites, single-page apps, mobile apps, and more. Our API-first approach enables users to manage content, images, and assets in one centralized location and deliver them to any channel. Used by Fortune 500 companies, SMBs, and digital agencies alike, dotCMS empowers you to develop multi-channel content-driven web applications quickly. The

(33)4.1 out of 5
Entry Level Price:FREE

Craft CMS is a focused content management system for developers, designers, and web professionals that blends flexibility, power, and ease of use for clients.

(79)4.1 out of 5

Ingeniux CMS is the only agile web experience management platform for websites, portals, communities, and intelligent content delivery. Built on the latest ASP.NET MVC technology, Ingeniux CMS has a uniquely agile, mobile-first architecture. This provides a complete platform to manage and deliver content to any channel or device, while ensuring proper governance and compliance of your content. Ingeniux CMS is used by hundreds of businesses, organizations, trade associations, higher education

(12)4.9 out of 5

Crafter CMS is amazing for developers, easy for content editors, and fantastic for DevOps. Crafter CMS is the flagship product for Crafter Software and is a headless+ CMS built on the foundation of open source, transparency, robust architecture, high performance, superior quality, and outstanding customer support. Crafter CMS is available on premise in the enterprise, SaaS in the cloud, and open source. Learn more at https://craftersoftware.com and https://craftercms.org

Designed for MSPs, IT, and service providers to remotely support clients' computers and servers. Includes both unattended and attended access. Better alternative to LogMeIn Central, TeamViewer, and GoToAssist. Splashtop Remote Support Premium is designed for IT professionals and MSPs who need a solution combining remote control, alerts monitoring, Windows updates, and remote command features. It provides top requested features at a low cost. The Premium edition adds remote management and monito

Ghost is an open source publishing platform which is easy to use, and free for everyone.

(8)4.9 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0

Sanity is a content platform that’s built to be built on - trusted by industry leaders such as Nike, Sonos, Cloudflare, National Geographic, Eurostar, Invision, and Netlify. Sanity has customisation at its core, offers best-in-class collaboration and provides a pathway for continuous scaling on secure and compliant cloud infrastructure. Empower teams of all sizes with real-time collaboration: full version control with tracking and roll back, live preview, multiplayer features, and more. Join

(39)4.0 out of 5

Evoq is a Content Management System (CMS) with powerful features, including page management, workflow, granular permissions, localization, caching and search. We have an Open API (Application Programming Interface) that customers have used to extend the functionality of their sites via custom-developed modules. We also manage the DNN Store (http://store.dnnsoftware.com), which provides hundreds of commercially available (and supported) modules from third-party vendors. If you need to a feature

(6)4.8 out of 5

Zesty.io is the headless content management system trusted by startups, enterprises, and everyone in between. Zesty.io's cloud platform for brand marketing teams to build content-rich websites, or syndicate content across applications, IoT devices, and more. Successfully deployed for omnichannel content strategies by global customers like Sony Electronics, Astroglide, and Rocket League, the Zesty.io SaaS platform is a low-risk opportunity for mid-market and enterprise brands to speed, scale and

(6)3.4 out of 5

XOOPS CMS is an object-oriented, dynamic web content management system (CMS) written in PHP.

(12)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$1,250 / month

Core dna is a world-class, true multi-tenant Digital Experience Platform (DXP) - giving digital teams all of the developer tools, hosting, scaling, performance, personalization, innovation and automation they need to build world-class digital assets.

(4)3.9 out of 5

prismic.io is an API-based CMS backend that manage and publish content into websites.

(3)3.8 out of 5

Cockpit was born out of the need of building a simple dynamic site.

(3)4.5 out of 5
Entry Level Price:€99 per project/month

Manage your structured content in a single hub and deliver beautifully crafted customer experiences on all your channels that delight your users and drive sales. DatoCMS is a headless content as a service (CaaS) platform that helps businesses to address the growing customer demands for faster and smarter experiences beyond traditional web and mobile app channels. The API-first approach helps you build your idea in minutes and iterate on it while your team works safely on the rest, integrating al

(3)3.8 out of 5

Netlify CMS is built as a single-page React app. Create custom-styled previews, UI widgets, and editor plugins or add backends to support different Git platform APIs. Netlify CMS is based on client-side JavaScript, reusable APIs and prebuilt Markup. Compared to server-side CMS like WordPress, this means better performance, higher security, lower cost of scaling, and a better developer experience.

(3)4.8 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$0 per month

Dialogue Wise is an API-based CMS that can manage and deliver content to multiple platforms based on the given context. It is technology agnostic and can be used for building content-powered apps in any programming language.

(2)3.0 out of 5
Entry Level Price:$19/mo

Directus is an open-source suite of software for managing content in projects of any size. Instances of the Directus API allow you to easily connect SQL database content anywhere (websites, native apps, wearables, IoT devices, kiosks, etc) while the Directus App allows non-technical users to intuitively manage that content. You can easily install a build of the full Directus Suite which includes the App, API, and all dependencies. No Assumptions. That’s our motto, and we mean it. It’s your cont

(4)4.1 out of 5

ApostropheCMS was created to bring happiness and productivity to web developers and content editors. Flexibility balanced with security, leveraging the latest JavaScript best practices for a CMS that is fit for a single site or enterprise-level deployment. With intuitive in-context editing, a supercharged visual design palette and content enabled with drag and drop ease, there are no content hurdles that will stop you. Take ownership of your digital experience.

(1)4.5 out of 5

Cosmic JS is a cloud-hosted content platform that makes it easy to add dynamic content to any website or app. Cosmic JS provides a Headless CMS Dashboard and suite of API Tools and Resources to help your team build modern websites and apps faster, together.

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Check out the G2 Grid® for the top Headless CMS Software products. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from our user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on our proprietary G2 Grid®, which you can use to compare products, streamline the buying process, and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of your peers.
Leaders
High Performers
Contenders
Niche
Ingeniux CMS
Contentful
Contentstack
Mura
Butter CMS
Craft CMS
Magnolia
Bold
Agility CMS
dotCMS
Kentico Kontent
GraphCMS
Storyblok
Strapi
Market Presence
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Learn More About Headless CMS Software

What You Should Know About Headless CMS Software

A headless CMS is a back-end exclusive content management system where the content repository “body" is decoupled from the front-end presentation layer. Instead of a static front-end display, content is pulled from the repository via a RESTful API, allowing content to be displayed on any type of device. Since content is pulled from a RESTful API, the front-end presentation is generated on the user’s side and developers can create digital experiences without creating bespoke front-end displays for different types of devices.

The ability to avoid the development of unique, device-specific front-end displays is the main purpose of headless CMSs. Traditional web content management systems (WCMS), struggled in this regard, and developers were often tasked with creating multiple, device-specific front-end displays for their websites and other digital experiences. While some traditional B2B WCMS are advertised as being mobile ready or mobile friendly, many are unable to take into account all the types of devices a website could be viewed from, including smartwatches, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other internet of things (IoT) devices. Since headless CMSs are entirely device agnostic, they can deliver and format content to any of the above devices and more. With a headless CMS, developers can develop as many front-end layers as they would like in whatever coding language they prefer.

Decoupled content management systems are also discussed alongside headless CMS; both have similarities, but there are also some key differences. Both headless and decoupled content management systems separate the back-end content repository from the front-end presentation layer of a website or application. However, a decoupled CMS will provide traditional WCMS features like content templates and what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) editors to create front-end content experiences. This can be beneficial for marketers who may find headless CMSs too technical to use for publishing content.

Key Benefits of Headless CMS Software

  • Device-agnostic content delivery
  • Multi-platform and multichannel content delivery
  • Flexibility for developers while developing front-end layers

Who Uses Headless CMS Software?

Developers and programmers — While headless CMS provides many benefits over traditional WCMS, they do require more technical coding knowledge. In a traditional WCMS, marketers would be provided a WYSIWYG editor to draft content for publishing or a functionality of website builder software to design and publish a website. Since headless CMS removes the static front-end delivery of a WCMS, presentation layers must be built before content can be delivered. While developers and programmers have always had a hand in creating their business’s web experiences, marketers have less knowledge of what they can typically do in a headless CMS. As a result, the majority of a workforce’s time spent in a headless CMS belongs to development teams.

Marketers and content creators — While developers and programmers will likely spend the most time within a headless CMS, marketers and other content creators still leverage some features within one. In particular, written content and assets still need to be added to the CMS’s content repository. Since marketers and other content creators handle writing text-based content or designing assets, they might also be tasked with adding their written work, images, or videos to a headless CMS’s content repository.

Kinds of Headless CMS Software

Headless CMS providers offer the same core features across most solutions. There can be variation in functionality if the headless CMS is part of a larger software solution like a digital experience platform (DXP), but most standalone options are very similar. The main difference between headless CMS solutions is how they are licensed; headless CMS, like many other content management systems, are either open source or software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

Open source — Some headless CMSs are completely open-source software solutions, meaning developers have the ability to access the source code if need be. Open-source content management systems are easier to customize and tailor to a business’s needs. Since open-source software can be modified, developer communities tend to build around them, allowing programmers to collaborate and solve problems together. Open-source solutions are great options for developers looking for community support and collaboration for their software of choice.

SaaS — Many headless CMSs are available as a SaaS product that can either be hosted in the cloud or on site. In either case, SaaS solutions require a license to use, so businesses must purchase the product. Since the software is licensed, developers won’t be able to modify the source code. However, one key benefit of SaaS headless CMS options is their focus on business use cases, and typically SaaS headless CMS options provide some specific, predefined modifications so businesses have some customization options. Another benefit to SaaS solutions is access to vendor-provided technical support, something open-source solutions very rarely have.

Headless CMS Software Features

RESTful API — REST stands for representational state transfer, an architectural style for communications utilized in web services. An API is a set of procedures or functions that allow programmers to access features or data of an application, operating system, or database within their application. A RESTful API uses HTTP calls to GET, PUT, POST, and DELETE resources from a content repository.

A RESTful API is the backbone of a headless CMS. Without it, device- and channel-agnostic content delivery wouldn’t be possible since developers would need to create bespoke front-end layers for every device and channel. With a RESTful API, how content should be displayed is already built into the code and isn’t dictated by a static presentation layer.

Editor interface — Like other WCMS, headless CMSs provide an editor interface or dashboard where users can draft content, upload and manage assets, and view different project layers.

Content repository — A core component of a headless CMS is its content repository. The content repository houses all content that will be delivered through a website or application via the RESTful API, including written content, images, video, and audio files.

Content taxonomy and tagging — A headless CMS often provides a comprehensive taxonomy and tagging system for content added to the content repository. This provides structure to the content repository for ease of navigation and to simplify reusing assets.

Versioning — Headless CMSs also provide content versioning akin to versioning features in other content management systems. This feature allows content authors to keep track of changes and revert edits to content if the need arises.

User permissions — User permissions features allow administrators to designate access to specific features or permission to view and edit particular projects and content. Permissions and roles are standard features in content management systems, including headless CMSs. Every user working within a headless CMS does not need access to every project or piece of content; locking specific features or access to content is a practical solution to ensure security and prevent mistakes.

Workflows — Many headless CMS providers provide built-in agile workflows to enhance efficiency within the application. This allows teams to delegate tasks and keep track of the different stages of a project.

Potential Issues with Headless CMS Software

No WYSIWYG functionality — The main drawback of a headless CMS is the lack of WYSIWYG functionality. Marketers accustomed to formatting their content within a CMS in a provided WYSIWYG editor don’t have that luxury with a headless CMS. Instead, developers code formatting protocols into their website or application, so marketing and development teams will have to work together closely to ensure they have a cohesive vision of how content should appear to customers and visitors. While this functionality can better guarantee formatting consistencies, it removes marketers’ ability to change formatting styles themselves.

As mentioned above, a decoupled CMS provides the benefits of a headless CMS while still providing the WYSIWYG editing marketers lean on to publish content. If hands-on, immediate content formatting permissions are a must for a marketing team, a decoupled CMS can be a great compromise.

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