Headless or traditional CMS

Talia Bender
7 replies
Headless or traditional CMS for your site? Why or why not? I am figuring out the best option for marketing purposes to easily publish blogs and keep the site dynamic -- right now we are looking at Storyblok and Webflow, but are open to other suggestions


Michael Yagudaev
Great question, one that I've been pondering a lot as lately. There are three points of view to look at: 1. UX for customer 2. Developer's POV 3. Marketing team/role POV UX wise, if you can personalize the experience to suit their individual needs it is best. That means you do user testing and interviews and see their reactions to different LPs based on context/segmentation. For example, go to https://www.airbnb.com/. If you are in a different country (I'm in Canada) it will redirect. It will also show you vacation destinations closer to you. "Traditional" tools are dumb and won't let you do that. But, if you don't have a developer and designer partners on the team dedicated to helping you frequently, it won't matter. As a developer, I can tell you I tried Webflow and tried to help our marketing team with it when they hit limitations. It is quite frustrating. But, it allowed them to build the initial version of the site the way they wanted. So it was a great starting point. Later if we want to move to more AirBnB style or experiment we can try other tools like Storyblok. You said "keep the site dynamic" <- is it just updating marketing copy with experiments, in which case Google Optimizer might work. Or is it about creating new content, landing pages and surfacing them on the home page? (more AirBnB style). One annoying thing about headless is the lack of a few tools like Yoast for SEO scoring. Analytics, reward programs, email capture, e-book download, etc will have to be coded from scratch. If you want to experiment with lots of channels and already know these other tools, might as well start there. Make sure you can execute the marketing strategy. You can always migrate. You can even look for webflow developers and have a dedicated budget to work with an outsourced dev.
Talia Bender
@michael_yagudaev Thank you for the in-depth response! That's so helpful. As for the dynamic aspect -- I would say that we would want to aspire to something more Airbnb style. It would definitely be advantageous for us to present site viewers with tailored content based on segmentation. And yes, Yoast SEO was one of my big considerations :) As a marketer, it has been one of the most useful functionalities of WordPress, but many front-end devs will not work with WP sites these days.
Anait Papikyan
My choice is WordPress. Simple, easy to set up, open source. I have been creating my blogs with WordPress CMS for about 5-6 years.
Talia Bender
@zodiaclover nice, thanks for sharing Anait. A challenge we've run into when hiring FE devs is that many are against working with PHP which is characteristic of WordPress sites.
Karl Hennings
I've been thinking for a long time about how exactly I should develop my site. I've been thinking about how to use a CMS for me. I read a lot of information and talked to people. Many people advised me on different uses for content management. I was advised best drupal websites which I researched and realized that drupal is the best option for me.
Alan Gleeson
Hi Talia, the factors that need to be taken into account stretch well beyond the two you list. Headless has been emerging as a really attractive alternative to traditional CMS in part due to perceptions around enhanced security, the performance gains, the bespoke design, and additional benefits relating to flexibility and scalability. It is a keenly contested argument though and each corner will typically address each variable persuasively. Given the time it would be good to get an update as to which route you went down and why? regards Alan
Peter Mark
Headless in my opinion and there are many options now take a look at wp astro or sanity are some good ones. You can even make static pages which are good for product ecommerce sites too like https://chilwellportableac.com/