Mobile web browsing is now the most popular way for online users to find content. The growing importance of mobile usage is driving a complete rethink when it comes to online behaviour and user experience. Research shows that mobile users behave quite differently when compared to  desktop users. They are impatient, impulsive, and expect their mobile devices to react instantly to searches and mobile app interactions. They have a need for speed.

Google, one of the loudest mobile drum beaters, believes that mobile users surf via a series of micro moments or short bursts of usage that demand instant responses. These bursts of content need to load in less than a second or else the user will move on to the next distraction. The growing desire to increase mobile user engagement is driving change and has created a new need for a type of content management architecture referred to as “headless”.

“Headless” content management systems (CMS) deliver data (as opposed to HTML) to your browser or application where it gets transformed into formatted content. Because the data does not contain all the HTML markup used to display itself, it loads faster and more frequently. Its snappy response times and extensibility are creating a lot of interest in the web/mobile development world shifting momentum away from traditional content management systems into content delivery applications that use “headless” content management tools to load their data.

Here are 5 reasons why you may want to consider a “headless” content management system for your next website or application.

  1. Designed to load content fast –  advanced javascript frameworks such as React and Angular are built with today’s multi-screen world in mind. They are designed to load quickly in mobile browsers. They use virtual DOMs and caching to eliminate the amount of content that needs to move from the server to the view. Content gets delivered based on what is needed when it is needed. Less payload means faster response times and a more engaged mobile user.
  2. Flexible and extensible – “Headless” content management systems separate the administrative work of managing content from the content view. This allows you to display the same content in many different ways. You can have different views for desktop, mobile, mobile apps, APIs, and other systems that might need to use your content. A good example of this is the React Native library that allows you to transform React code into a iPhone or Android mobile application with no change to your CMS.
  3. Reduces cost to maintain – managing content in a “headless” way leads to less dependency between your CMS and the content view. This reduces the need to change your whole system whenever you decide to give your website or application a new look.
  4. It’s faster to build – separating the content management system from the content delivery application (i.e. the view) allows you to develop content and build your view interface in parallel. Content managers can start loading in their content almost immediately while developers built the display reducing time to market.
  5. More secure than a traditional CMS – separating the content management system from the content delivery application makes it easier to distribute content across a network of servers. This increases system availability and redundancy making it more secure and stable.