4 false beliefs about Headless

Iñaki BarturenJune 01, 2022

Digital transformation has consolidated in the business world. This evolution is increasingly visible in content management, so most companies are migrating to Headless CMS architectures seeking greater scalability and flexibility in their operations.

Moreover, one of our partners - Contentful – is one of the most recognized headless CMS in the enterprise environment. Yet, some false beliefs persist about what is this approach and its digital architecture creation.

4 false beliefs about Headless

1. Switching to a headless CMS requires migrating the entire platform

Platforms that base their management on a monolithic CMS are usual on the web, like WordPress, the most widely used. These systems usually operate with a database for reading and writing content, an interface to allow interaction with the editor, and an integrator.

For example, in the traditional architecture, the content generated in different formats (text, images, and videos) is indexed by the database and converted into HTML and CSS.

The mistaken belief arises from the idea that a platform cannot work if all the monolith pieces are not together. But actually, in a headless CMS, the content hub and the presentation layer work independently, giving the developer access to the content through APIs, commonly REST or GraphQL, without having to operate a traditional database or a classic webserver to manage each query.

A brand can incorporate the headless CMS and keep the other functions operating. Although we only recommend starting a transition and gradually modifying it, it is possible to maintain a platform with these conditions, so it is unnecessary to migrate the entire platform.

Compatibility points for headless.

2. Decoupling a platform will mean losing my data

The second concern refers to data migration. Some believe that migrating to a headless platform means losing our data because of how it is indexed and processed in the monolithic CMS.

The truth is that this concern is more based on bad implementation experiences than CMS behavior. Let’s put it this way, imagine you have a 4 bedroom house, but only you live in it, and you decided to transform it. You want the front part to be a shop and the rest to be your house, but more adapted to your needs.

Do you just buy materials and build? Sure, if you are an expert builder, you might face the challenge. But for those who are not, there are many issues to solve before starting the work: distribution, materials, connections, and, of course, moving everything inside it (data).

First, you look for the best materials, and you protect and move your furniture. You start planning what you will build, how the order of integrations will be, and, of course, you get professionals to help you with all that. The same thing happens in headless; everything is based on planning. When the right strategies are employed by the hand of experts, the construction is transformed into a masterpiece.

Strategy points for headless.

3. Spending on cloud services will be overwhelming

This belief is common among development teams used to the monolith: thinking that working from a headless platform implies paying multiple service providers and increasing the cost associated with the platform disproportionately.

This could be true if headless companies worked as monolithic solution providers did. In other words, contracting high capacities in advance and multiple functionalities that we will not necessarily use but that comes integrated into the system.

But the costs of cloud services work under the on-demand modality, meaning that you only pay for used resources. This on-demand billing condition significantly reduces the expense of servers and computing resources that typically were contracted in advance (rigid capacity).

Besides, in cloud services, providers are responsible for ensuring that servers respond to demand, leading to lower infrastructure maintenance costs on the one hand and greater freedom of developers’ capacity on the other.

Cloud services run with an independent and much more precise data structure, performing specific actions and tasks, thus being less costly than acquiring complete solutions, as is the case with monoliths.

4 false beliefs about Headless

4. Headless makes us lose control of our platform

Customers have expressed, more than once, deep concern about control over the platform. In their opinion, delegating functions would mean not making decisions on how they should operate, and this is absolutely untrue.

Among the major benefits of headless is that it allows us to distinguish elements that make up the experience from the operational end. And unlike what some people think, each module represents more autonomy and operational efficiency. Since each service is integrated to fit each brand’s needs, it is not the suppliers who decide how to operate. In which world would that be a profitable business model?

Headless gives us better control of how we build and operate our platforms, especially because we can only use the integrations we really need, leaving out of the system everything unnecessary, which frees up resources, time, and capacity.

As these integrations are self-contained, we differentiate each component of the experience. Thus, we can integrate static websites using serverless architecture such as JAMstack, and enable agile and secure operation. By delegating the infrastructure management to the service provider, we also have access to additional security against possible server crashes or cyber-attacks.

Autonomy points for headless.

Headless equips platforms for digital challenges

In the United States, by 2022, sales through digital channels are expected to grow by 16.1%, reaching a total of 1.06 trillion dollars. This is why we must offer services guided by user experience where our customers feel understood.

Deploying headless architecture allows us the possibility to develop omnichannel strategies and offer even more portability to our customers. Nowadays, it is not only about being on digital channels but also about how we present our service to the customer and the way they perceive us.

In a Headless CMS, we must consider some key actions at migration time. The data conversion process, the lack of content strategy, and the content storage structure can often hinder the migration. However, relying on a team of experts like Reign allows a successful transition to this architecture.

For us at Reign, implementing Headless is about empowering brands through flexible platforms and methodologies, opening up more freedom in the construction of web architecture for companies, and providing a better digital customer experience.