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Headless CMS Engines – The cost-effective backend for light-weight apps

Home - Technology - Headless CMS Engines – The cost-effective backend for light-weight apps

Headless CMS Engines – The cost-effective backend for light-weight apps

There has been a lot of hype about Headless CMS being used to power websites and mobile applications. Many times people get discouraged by the idea that developing a website is pricey, and requires a lot of maintenance. This is a misconception. It totally depends on what kind of website or application you want to create, and the price is going to differ for sure. Use of headless CMS is one such decision to make. 

Generally, web development comprises of two parts – the front-end and the backend. The backend developer normally  handles the server-side of your application, the part of the site that users do not see, but is responsible for all the functionality and content of your app. The backend component, like database and server resources, powers your mobile application by providing required data. These components of the backend are needed to drive a high-performance application. 

In this article, we will have a detailed discussion on choosing a headless CMS to run a light-weight mobile application and cut down the maintenance cost on the backend. Before we dive into the benefits of Headless CMS making it the best fit for lightweight mobile apps, let us have a brief introduction to Headless CMS Engines and using it.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Headless CMS Engines

Headless CMS architecture

The headless CMS refers to the content management system running primarily on an API employing the backend technology to store and deliver content. It has no default front-end system to determine how the content is displayed to the user interface. Instead, it is front-end agnostic, which means that your content is raw and can be pushed anywhere, through any language or framework. The front-end is an external application or project that combines code with CMS-managed content. The headless is approached as content as a service(CaaS), which means content delivery is handled by separate software.  A headless CMS has two parts:

  • A content management backend
  • An API

Unlike traditional CMS, a headless CMS allows the developers to choose how content is presented to the user interface. By using the headless CMS, you can integrate it any code and use your favoured language.

Considering a technical point of view, a headless CMS provides APIs to administer content within the codebase of the website. Due to this reason, many developers find headless architecture more effortless to maintain. Moreover, a headless CMS doesn’t require a host, which means it avails self-hosting options. Additionally, you do not need to worry about all of the endless security updates and other maintenance issues that come by using a traditional CMS like WordPress

Why use CMS?

If a person with minimum development skills need to manage content on a site, then adopting a CMS is the most comfortable way of doing it. Moreover, using a CMS can save yourself a lot of time instead of studying how to manage the backend.

Since many CMS solutions are free or open-source, they are reasonable to use. Let us break down the idea of using a CMS platform,  where you do not need to spend money on configuring the backend or hire a developer for the same.

Using Headless CMS Engines

A significant benefit of using a headless CMS is that the same content is published to an app, website or anything connected to the internet of things. The data from the backend is particularly accessible via calls made to the API, as it does not come with a frontend or in-built presentation layer. This is how a more modern Headless CMS works. In the short run, it can manage content across different delivery formats much more comfortably since the content isn’t bound to a predefined format. A headless CMS takes charge of the following tasks:

  1. Creating, Modelling, and Authoring content
  2. Organize content repositories
  3. Improve collaboration and workflow 

On the contrary, a headless CMS adds formatting challenges since you can not preview what content will look like on the frontend. Therefore, you have to walk an extra mile through anticipating how things will turn out on the page.

Use Cases of Headless CMS Engines

Headless content management is ideal for the use cases like Websites and apps that utilize JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS, VueJS, or React, websites developed with a static site generator, and an ecosystem where the same content can be published across multiple delivery platforms.

The headless option may help you more accurately achieve your vision. Mobile developers benefit from headless content management since the API allows them to deliver content to an iOS or Android app from the identical backend system.

Backend System of Web or Mobile Apps 

Traditional CMS and Web or mobile application architecture

Traditional backend architecture of mobile application includes an application server, web server, database, and operating system. With headless, web or mobile application serves first.   The application can display content loaded in real-time from the CMS engine, or cache the content and allow it to be displayed offline without loading again.  

While building a mobile app, functions like to save anything specific to users, display dynamic data based on the behaviour of the user, or authenticate a user, you will need to have a backend application programming interface (API). The backend system allows you to access the resources for your mobile app. 

The mobile backend development role ensures proper database, scripting, and the architecture of the application. Their main purpose of the backend to run continuously and listen to the user requests. Then, the request comes to the CMS application from a mobile or web app, and the CMS returns service with a reply of the requested content. This process continues back and forth until one entire session is ended. 

Now that we have understood the role and responsibilities of the backend system let’s find out how it helps us to drop down the development cost in building mobile or web apps.

Cost-Effective Backend Advantage for Light Weight Apps

With little technical responsibility required in a headless CMS, it is more agile for your business teams to add new functionality or features. Managing content seems to be a daunting task, but it is crucial to keep people engaged and moving through your website.

An efficiently working Headless CMS can eliminate a team of developers focusing on it. It prevents much of the hassle and enables developers to focus their energy elsewhere. Moreover, it saves us a team of professionals working on it, eventually does some penny-pinching for significant purposes. Using a headless CMS is not the best option for every mobile application, but you can at least familiarize yourself with the concept. 

For example, if a marketing department willing to create a new series of product mini-sites, they can go right into the CMS and start building without having to wait for developers based on CMS-templates. It saves you up-front cost as well because you can start with smaller solutions and then make your way upward. 

Summary 

Lightweight applications are making progress in the past several years addressing the cutting edge competition in development framework, costs, process, and backend configuration. This was all about pitching a headless CMS to present your content into a user interface without operating on the front-end system and optimise cost for developing lightweight apps.

We really hope the article brings some light into making a better decision before building an application and saving huge on backend development costs.

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