Headless CMS

11 Top Headless CMS Platforms for 2023

April 12, 2024
12 min
Headless CMS Platforms

What is a headless cms platform?

A headless CMS, short for "headless content management system," is a modern approach to content management that has gained popularity in recent years due to its flexibility and adaptability to the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Unlike traditional content management systems, which tightly couple the content with the presentation layer (the "head"), a headless CMS that supports the content from how it's presented, allowing for greater freedom and innovation in content delivery.

In a headless CMS, the content is stored and managed in a structured manner, often as raw data, without specific design or formatting.

This content can be text, images, videos, or any other digital asset.

The unique aspect of a headless CMS approaches and delivers content via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to any platform or device, be it a website, mobile app, wearable device, or even an IoT (Internet of Things) gadget.

Benefits of Choosing a headless CMS :

Headless CMS Banner

1. Flexibility: With a headless CMS, you're not bound by templates and themes.

You have the freedom to design and present content in a way that suits your specific project, without being limited by the CMS's design restrictions.

2. Cross-Platform Compatibility: The content can be delivered to multiple platforms simultaneously.

This ensures a consistent user experience across various devices and channels, enhancing the reach of your content.

3. Improved Collaboration: Headless CMS systems often include collaboration features, making it easier for content creators and developers to work together in a more efficient and streamlined manner.

4. Scalability: As your project grows, a headless CMS can adapt seamlessly.

You can add new platforms or devices without overhauling your content management infrastructure.

5. Future-Proofing: With the continuous emergence of new technologies and devices, a headless CMS allows your content to stay relevant and accessible regardless of how technology evolves.

Headless CMS solutions come in various forms, including cloud-based, open-source, and proprietary systems, each with its own unique features and pricing models.

The choice of a headless CMS depends on your specific project requirements, technical expertise, and budget.

In summary, a headless CMS is a forward-thinking content management solution that empowers businesses to deliver content in a more flexible, adaptable, and efficient manner, ensuring they stay competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Its decoupled nature provides the freedom to innovate and reach audiences on any platform or device.

Choose the best - Headless cms vs traditional CMS

Aspect Headless CMS Traditional CMS
Content Presentation Decoupled from presentation, delivered via APIs. Content and presentation are tightly integrated.
Flexibility Highly flexible, allowing for custom designs and layouts. Limited flexibility, often restricted to templates and themes.
Platform Independence Content can be delivered to various platforms and devices. Typically designed for web-based content and less adaptable to different platforms.
Development Approach Developer-centric with an emphasis on content delivery. User-centric with tools for content creation and editing.
Customization Offers extensive customization options for developers. Customization is often limited by the CMS's design constraints.
Content Versioning May offer advanced content version control and collaboration features. Offers basic versioning capabilities, but collaboration features may be limited.
Learning Curve Requires a certain level of technical expertise to set up and manage. More user-friendly, suitable for non-technical content creators.
Integration and API Support Strong support for third-party integrations and APIs. Integrations may be limited in traditional CMS platforms, and APIs may not be as robust.
Scalability Easily scalable to add new platforms or devices. Scalability can be more complex and tied to CMS limitations.

List of top Headless CMS in 2023

1. Hygraph

Hygraph is an innovative headless CMS that's gaining attention for its robust features and user-friendly interface.

It offers a seamless way to manage and deliver content across various platforms.

What sets Hygraph apart is its focus on real-time collaboration, making it a great choice for teams working on dynamic content projects.

With its content preview and version control features, content creators and developers can efficiently work together to maintain content quality and consistency.

2. Netify cms

Netlify CMS is an open-source content management system designed to simplify the process of creating, managing, and delivering content for websites and web applications.

With a user-friendly and intuitive interface, it allows content creators and developers to collaborate seamlessly.

One of Netlify CMS's standout features is its deep integration with Git, making it an ideal choice for developers who prefer version control and structured workflows.

Content is stored as Markdown files in a Git repository, enabling easy tracking of changes and collaboration.

Netlify CMS is known for its flexibility, allowing users to define content models and structure that align with their project's specific needs.

This flexibility extends to the choice of front-end frameworks, enabling developers to build websites using their preferred tools while still benefiting from a dynamic content management system.

In addition to its robust features, Netlify CMS is highly extensible and customizable, making it a great choice for projects of all sizes.

Whether you're a developer looking to streamline your workflow or a content creator seeking a user-friendly platform, Netlify CMS is a versatile solution for modern web development.

3. Butter CMS

Butter CMS also gained recognition for its remarkable simplicity and user-friendliness.

This content management system excels in providing a clean and intuitive interface for managing content, which can be appreciated by both developers and beginners.

Its versatility is one of its standout attributes, as it caters to a wide spectrum of project sizes and complexity.

Designed with developers in mind, Butter CMS offers an ideal platform for those with a technical background, but it doesn't leave non-technical users behind.

Its user-friendly design ensures that even those new to content management can quickly grasp its functionalities.

What sets Butter CMS is another support for various technologies, making it a versatile choice for different types of projects.

It offers an array of features that enhance the content management experience, including content modeling, allowing you to structure and organize content precisely as needed.

Additionally, it provides content versioning, ensuring that you can track and revert to previous content versions when necessary.

One of the most appealing features of Butter CMS is its real-time content updates.

This means that changes you make are instantly reflected on your website, creating a seamless and dynamic content management experience.

Whether you're working on a personal blog or a complex business website, Butter CMS empowers you with the tools and simplicity needed to manage content effectively.

4. Node.js CMS

Headless node.js CMS is a content management system built on top popular Node.js runtime environment.

This approach combines the benefits of a robust CMS with the agility and scalability of Node.js CMS, making it a compelling choice for developers and businesses.

Node.js, known for its speed and real-time capabilities, provides the foundation for a CMS that offers responsive and efficient content management.

These CMS solutions often come with customizable features and support for various databases, ensuring versatility for a wide range of projects.

Whether it's a blog, e-commerce site, or a complex web application, Node.js cms empowers users to efficiently create, manage, and deliver content, all within the Node.js ecosystem.

5. Storyblok

Storyblok is a headless CMS that allows users to provide a dynamic and flexible content management system that stands out in the ever-evolving world of content creation.

What makes Storyblok CMS unique is its focus on providing a headless CMS solution, offering developers the flexibility to structure and deliver content across various platforms and devices.

At the heart of Storyblok is its visual editor, a highly intuitive and user-friendly interface that empowers content creators to craft and edit content without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

This is a significant advantage for non-technical users who want to manage content effectively.

For developers, Storyblok CMS offers a powerful API-first approach, enabling easy integration with a variety of front-end frameworks and technologies.

Its content blocks and modular approach allow for highly customized and reusable content structures, enhancing the efficiency of content management.

What sets Storyblok apart is its real-time collaboration capabilities, making it an excellent choice for teams working on content projects.

Collaboration is seamless, as multiple users can edit and review content simultaneously.

Storyblok CMS is a modern and adaptable solution, catering to both developers and content creators.

Its focus on headless CMS, user-friendly visual editor, and collaborative features make it a compelling choice for businesses and websites looking to create and manage content effectively.

6. Strapi

Strapi is an industry-leading headless CMS known for its exceptional flexibility and robust GraphQL API.

Unlike many headless CMS options, Strapi doesn't merely offer a headless CMS that comes with limited capabilities.

It stands out as a powerful CMS for a wide range of applications, including serving as a headless CMS for news organizations.

Strapi provides the best of both worlds, making it a top choice for businesses seeking headless or hybrid solutions.

Its API-driven architecture seamlessly integrates with platforms like Salesforce, transforming it into a versatile headless CMS and SaaS platform.

Strapi is a strong contender to consider when choosing a headless CMS, offering the tools and features that make content management a breeze.

When compiling a list of headless CMS options, Strapi undoubtedly deserves a prominent spot, along with other notable choices like Contentstack and Agility CMS.

If you're looking for a content management system that makes content delivery efficient and streamlined, Strapi is certainly worth exploring.

7. Contentful

Contentful is a headless CMS that provides exceptional flexibility and ease of use, making it a top choice for businesses looking to streamline content management.

Unlike traditional CMS platforms, Contentful is a headless CMS, which means it operates without dictating the front-end presentation, giving developers the freedom to craft their user interfaces.

It also enables easy integration with platforms such as Salesforce, making it versatile for diverse applications.

While Ghost is an open-source headless CMS and some options offer a free CMS, Contentful stands out for its robust features, setting a standard as a headless CMS that makes content management efficient and seamless.

If you're exploring headless CMS solutions, Contentful is definitely a worthy contender, alongside other choices like Agility CMS and Contentstack.

8. AgilityCMS

Agility CMS is a cloud-based CMS that stands out as a versatile and powerful solution for businesses and content creators.

What sets Agility CMS apart is its ability to offer a seamless blend of headless and hybrid CMS capabilities, making it a valuable choice for a wide range of projects.

This cloud-hosted headless CMS supports an array of technologies and boasts a user-friendly interface that simplifies content management tasks.

With Agility CMS, users can easily create, edit, and organize content, regardless of their technical expertise.

One of its prominent features is its ability to cater to both traditional and headless CMS needs.

This versatility allows businesses to choose the content delivery approach that suits their specific project, be it a traditional website or a more sophisticated, API-driven application.

Agility CMS is known for its flexibility and scalability.

Its headless capabilities enable developers to structure and deliver content efficiently, while its hybrid approach ensures that even non-technical users can comfortably manage their content.

In conclusion, Agility CMS is a comprehensive content management solution that combines the best of both headless and traditional CMS approaches.

With its ease of use, support for various technologies, and scalability, it's a compelling choice for businesses aiming to deliver content across multiple platforms effectively.

9. Contentstack

Contentstack is a cutting-edge fastest headless cms software that places a strong emphasis on speed, scalability, and enterprise-level solutions.

This robust platform is designed to cater to the unique needs of businesses and organizations that require a high-performance content management system for their large-scale projects.

One of the standout features of Contentstack is its remarkable speed and scalability.

This CMS is optimized to handle a vast amount of content efficiently, ensuring fast loading times and a seamless user experience.

It's a crucial advantage for high-traffic websites and applications where performance is paramount.

Contentstack's feature set is particularly geared towards enterprise-level content management.

It offers powerful tools for creating, organizing, and delivering content in a way that is both efficient and flexible.

This is especially beneficial for businesses that need to manage complex and extensive content libraries.

The platform's architecture is designed with flexibility in mind, allowing businesses to customize their content structures and workflows to align perfectly with their specific project requirements.

Additionally, Contentstack provides a range of developer tools and integrations that make it a top choice for large-scale content-driven projects.

In summary, Contentstack is an ideal solution for organizations looking to manage and deliver content at scale while maintaining speed and flexibility.

Its focus on enterprise-level features and powerful architecture positions it as a top choice for businesses with substantial content management needs.


10. Directus

Directus is a remarkable popular headless cms that has gained recognition for its exceptional extensibility and customizability.

This unique CMS platform is highly favored by developers, content managers, and businesses looking for a flexible and versatile way to manage their content.

At the core of Directus lies a user-friendly admin interface.

This intuitive dashboard simplifies the process of content management and allows users, regardless of their technical background, to navigate and control their content effortlessly.

One of Directus' significant advantages is its compatibility with various databases.

It provides seamless integration with different database systems, enabling users to work with the database of their choice, depending on their project's specific needs.

Directus stands out for its exceptional customizability.

Developers can adapt and extend the CMS to suit their project's unique requirements.

This makes it an ideal choice for businesses and developers seeking a tailored content management solution that aligns precisely with their vision.

In summary, Directus is a versatile and adaptable open-source headless CMS.

With its user-friendly interface, broad database compatibility, and extensive customization options, it offers a powerful content management solution for a wide range of projects, from small websites to complex enterprise applications.

11. Kontent.ai

Kontent.ai is a saas headless CMS, formerly known as Kentico Kontent, is a cloud-based headless CMS that focuses on content delivery.

It simplifies content creation and management, making it an excellent choice for content-heavy projects.

Kontent.ai provides a rich ecosystem of integrations and tools for developers and content creators.

How CodeWalnut helps you in discovering top headless cms?

CodeWalnut plays a pivotal role in your journey to discover and implement the "top headless cms" for your project, it helps,  how to use a headless cms for your project.

It offers a comprehensive and user-friendly platform that simplifies the process of evaluating and choosing the ideal headless cms solution.

CodeWalnut provides a wealth of resources, including in-depth reviews, comparisons, and expert insights, giving you a clear understanding of the top contenders in the headless CMS market.

With CodeWalnut, you can access detailed information on the cms features, capabilities, and pricing of powerful headless cms options, helping you make informed decisions that align with your project's specific needs.

This platform serves as a valuable guide, streamlining your selection process and ensuring that you find the perfect headless cms requires for your content management .


1: What is a headless CMS, and why should I consider using one in 2023?
  A headless CMS is a content management system that separates content from presentation, offering the flexibility to deliver content across various platforms.

In 2023, headless CMS platforms are gaining popularity due to their ability to provide content to multiple devices, making them ideal for modern digital experiences.

What's the key difference between a headless CMS and a traditional CMS?
 The primary distinction lies in how content is delivered.

A headless CMS decouples content from the presentation layer, allowing for content to be delivered via APIs to multiple platforms.

In contrast, traditional CMS tightly couples content with the website's design.

Can you recommend the best headless CMS platforms for content management in 2023?
Certainly! Top headless CMS platforms for 2023 include Strapi, Agility CMS, and Butter CMS.

These platforms offer a range of features, from open-source options to cloud-based solutions, making them adaptable to various project needs.

4: How do headless CMS platforms like Strapi differ from traditional CMS systems such as WordPress?
Strapi, an open-source headless CMS, offers more customization and flexibility compared to traditional CMS like WordPress.

While WordPress integrates content with design, Strapi delivers content via APIs, making it suitable for diverse platforms and applications.

5: What is the role of APIs in headless CMS platforms, and why are they important?
APIs are the backbone of headless Content Management System (CMS) platforms, serving as the connective tissue that allows developers to access, retrieve, and deliver content to a multitude of devices and applications.

They are essential for maintaining cross-platform compatibility, ensuring real-time content updates, and facilitating seamless integration with third-party services.

Through APIs, developers can customize and optimize content presentation, adhering to the unique requirements of their applications.

This flexibility and versatility empower modern web and app development, supporting microservices architectures, SEO best practices, and the integration of third-party tools, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.

6: How do I choose the right headless cms for my project?
When selecting a headless cms, consider factors like content delivery needs, scalability, and flexibility.

Assess whether it aligns with your project's vision and technology stack.

Open-source options like Strapi and cloud-based platforms such as Agility CMS offer different advantages.

7: Are there any popular ecommerce platforms that integrate well with headless CMS solutions?
Yes, several top headless CMS platforms, including Strapi and Contentstack, offer integrations with popular ecommerce solutions like Shopify and Magento.

These integrations enhance your ability to manage and deliver e-commerce content effectively.

8: What advantages does a headless CMS offer for content personalization in a multi-platform environment?
Headless cms provides a Contentful and Sanity, robust content personalization features, making it easier to deliver tailored content to users across various devices and platforms.

This enhances the user experience and engagement in the digital realm.

Disclaimer: This article outline is created by Humans, content is written by AI and the final article is reviewed & edited by a CodeWalnut engineer.
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