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Headless CMS and Page Management

June 08, 2022

One of the most important aspects of a content management system is how it gives non-developers the ability to edit content for each single web page on your site. I think we can all agree that, for the most part, we don't want our developers spending their time writing content. Most headless CMS stay away from "page management."

They claim that, compared to the clunky traditional CMS architecture, the separation of content from its presentation disallows the management of "pages," as they are only intended for a single output - your website.

While this is true, it also ignores the fact that the main anchor for online content is your website, and it needs a special case. And yet creating pages, organizing sitemap, and reordering components on a page are one of the main tasks that editors often need help with when they work with a Headless CMS. However, it does not have to be this way.

Let's Take a Step Back

When new customer experience channels started to emerge, developers had a great idea.

“Let’s build content management systems that don’t care about which frontend you use. They just pull and push content headlessly, to any channel or device using APIs!”

Suddenly, brands could write up content and design images to be spoken aloud by Amazon Alexa or displayed proudly on a wide-screen monitor at shopping malls, movie theaters and subway tunnels. Creating mobile sites and even a microsite dedicated to specific marketing campaigns for search engines and other channels is no problem.

The only problem was, that those headless CMS solutions focus purely on the usage of APIs to push and pull content to external applications and channels - ignoring the needs of marketing teams from traditional CMS - to find, organize and create this content.

What is Headless CMS?

Headless CMS options come in different forms. Headless CMS offers numerous benefits for today's content management system landscape as well. In this section, let's have headless CMS explained.

Some of these headless content management systems label themselves as API-first, some as content-first, and many other variations of the headless trend. However, there is a problem with the way headless CMS operate.

Most of these content management systems can handle the storage and distribution of and managing content which makes headless CMS so attractive. These platforms recognize that it’s necessary to push content to various channels outside of the standard main site. The ability to connect to APIs and distribute to any front end makes this possible. However, a headless content management system caters to the ones producing this content - the editors and marketers.

Contrary to a traditional CMS, a headless content management system is entirely decoupled from the presentation layer or frontend, which is referred to as the "head." At the same time, the backend is your content repository and content management system, known as the "body." For this reason, headless CMS is often called decoupled CMS as well.

When you separate your content repository "body" from its presentation layer "head," it becomes a headless CMS. However, what truly makes a headless CMS better than a traditional CMS is its content-first approach with full APIs to access and display content in any way desired.

With this approach, a headless CMS enables you to author your content through the RESTful or GraphQL API and deliver that content wherever you need it — not just to a templated main website or application.

A pure headless CMS doesn't generate any front-end code, which is why a headless CMS is sometimes referred to as "Content-as-a-Service" (CaaS). This process results in the best available digital experience for the end-users of a particular device. Front-end developers can continue developing new functionality for any channel, independent of the core/backend CMS.

With headless CMS explained, let's delve into how decoupled CMS or headless CMS meets modern content management needs.

Life Without Page Management

At the start of developing company websites, a developer usually determines all the pages and routes in your site so that then they can build the digital content types to represent them.

But what about pages we want to add in the future? I'm not talking about merely adding new blog posts or articles here, but instead adding actual new primary website pages, perhaps nested under other pages. What about landing pages, new lines of business, and so on?

The second complication here comes when we've got many pages and digital content we want to create on our website. If we have to create a different content type to articulate that, we will have a ton of content types to define.

Some traditional CMS options limit the number of content types, charging overages at a certain point. That's limiting in and of itself, but the bigger deal-breaker here is who is doing this work: Developers.

When we predefine our pages, a developer has to do the work of actually setting up those routes in code. Then they have to map those routes to the content types we defined earlier. Not only is that a great deal of work, but it means we have to get a developer involved again every time we want to add a new page! There's a better way.

What is Page Management?

A headless CMS acts primarily as a content repository, in order to store content and generate interest on multiple channels. This isn’t enough for the modern-day marketer and limits the capabilities of the organization as a whole, plus affects the digital experiences of potential customers.

Most developers and architects start building their content using simple content definitions, particularly in the case of traditional CMSes, and while that’s a good way to get started, it doesn’t scale well.

That’s why built-in page management is in high demand these days. Page management empowers editors to create and manage content using reusable building blocks, also called components.

Using these building blocks, editors can manage their site’s page tree (which helps avoid the pitfalls of duplicate content), edit SEO, and determine content relationships and the functionalities of each page.

Also, because of how a decoupled CMS is set up, developers can choose which components editors can add, where they go, and what they do. Think back to traditional CMSes wherein you cannot do this freely at all and you'll see how headless CMS is so much better.

Page management also includes page templates. Developers create templates to narrow down the possibilities of what kind of content and digital experiences your website shows, giving the editors the tools to customize them but with a consistent output. Each page template has content zones and focused content that gives editors a location to add, change or delete components.

Why Headless CMS needs Page Management?

Let’s recap this one day in a life of a content editor from a typical marketing team:

  • I need to create a new landing page specifically for the press. It will have the same content layout as the website home page, but just different content.
  • I need to set the SEO properties for each page, such as Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions. I also need to improve sitewide content infrastructure to boost the website's performance on the search results.
  • On the home page, we want the YoutTube video to be BELOW the Main Rich Text, but on our press page, we want the YouTube video to remain ABOVE the Main Rich Text.
  • Our CEO doesn't like it - can we have the YouTube video ABOVE the Main Rich Text area on the homepage again?

In the scenarios above, you can see that the editor's needs are impossible to predict. It's not their fault. It's just the nature of the game. Managing content comes with a lot of changes.

Not taking advantage of Page Management and the benefits of headless CMS for your digital solution means It's not flexible for editors. Hence, developers spend most of their time taking orders, tinkering with existing code to support content requirements, and wishing they were doing something else! Content infrastructure changes should not have to involve developers.

So what does this ultimately mean?

  • Editors cannot create/manage website pages on their own without a developer
  • Editors cannot control which components are on each page
  • Developers get bored or burnt out
  • Companies will find that more development resources/expenses are required over time
  • Productivity on the website suffers

And, who's at fault for this? I'll give you a hint, it's not the editor, and it's not the developer... It's the architecture!

The Benefits of Headless CMS with Page Management

Using Page Management, you can empower editors to create and manage pages for your digital solutions using reusable building blocks.

With headless CMS page management, content editors can manage your site's page tree, and page-level SEO properties, and determine what content and functionality will be on each page.

Compared to traditional CMS, a developer and architect will still have full control over what page templates are available to the editor, where they can place modules within the page, and what the modules can do. To sum up, the benefits of Page Management:

  • Empowered editors who can do more without a developer
  • Happier developers who can focus on new functionality and enhancements, and less time responding to new website content requirements
  • Increased productivity for the website and the team behind it
  • Fewer resources/expenses required

Which Headless CMS have Page Management?


Compose is a brand new application by Contentful that allows you to build and publish web pages in a few steps. Compose is a streamlined version of the Contentful web app designed specifically for editors and authors who don’t want to mess around with the more technical aspects of Contentful.

Unlike the web app, Compose does not require content modeling knowledge. Instead, editors can assemble pages from predefined content components and media, without involving additional engineering resources.

Compose experience is not the same as using Contentful with Page Management and is characterized by the following:

  • Compose is used for the quick creation of web pages.
  • Pages and fields are predefined and do not require extra setup.
  • The hierarchy of the page building blocks is displayed in a single editing view.
  • Entries can be published all at once with a single click.

The cost of Page Management with Contentful

For Team users, Compose + Launch can be added to all spaces within your organization for $1,995/month. The apps are available for a free 10-day trial, which will create a test space that allows you to test Compose + Launch without impacting the content or operations of your normal spaces. Contentful Team plans start at $499.

Kentico Kontent

Recently, Kontent offers Web Spotlight as their Page Management feature. Web Spotlight combines in-context website management with the flexibility and multi-channel support of a headless CMS.

Web Spotlight makes it easy to create pages, add content, and rearrange components without any help from developers. Once you’re done, add the page to your navigation so all visitors can find it. With this feature, you can update content right within the pages of your websites. Changes can be made in seconds, without wondering how everything will look once it's published.

The cost of Page Management with Kentico Kontent

Web Spotlight is not included for free, you can add to your plan for $499/month. Kentico Plans start at $1249 for Business and $2,499 for Premium.

WebriQ Studio

The architecture of WebriQ Studio is built on the headless CMS principles, but also around the MACH philosophy.

Built around Microservices and APIs, Cloud-native and Headless, WebriQ Studio is seamless to use and to operate. All components have an open-source philosophy.

WebriQ Studio has four major components:

  • Sanity and Sanity Studio for the headless CMS
  • Nextjs as the production framework
  • Serverless forms and payment forms through AWS
  • Netlify for the entire publishing workflow and Edge functionality

The content schema is prebuilt and serves as the core of the publishing tool and as the only UI that users need to learn and understand.

For each page you build, you can choose from 20 different components and each component has 5 different variables.

Examples of pre-configured components are Navigation, Header, Footer, Text, Call to action, Testimonial, Portfolio, FAQs, Blog, and more.

Each page with a distinct URL can be populated with one or multiple components. All components can be reused in other pages and all components that are uniquely tagged are updated throughout all pages when content updates are done to that component. All components can be uniquely designed and branded through a Windtail CSS library.

All pages can be previewed before publishing.

SEO settings can be done on all pages separately and there is an SEO preview functionality embedded.

Last but not least, we provide the possibility to publish your WebriQ Studio to any TLD or subdomain of choice and all WebriQ Studios are de facto integrated with WebriQ analytics.

Pricing of WebriQ Studio

WebriQ adopts value-based pricing throughout its entire service portfolio, including WebriQ Studio.

Each customer will receive an unlimited service, for an all-in fixed monthly recurring fee. We use a unit-based approach to make creating unique and customized service packages as easy as possible. Each unit is valued at $1,000. Units can be broken into ½ units, ¼ units or ⅛ units.

We come to value-based pricing by analyzing and quantifying any or all of the following criteria

  • Expected usage of the product
  • Branding and design of all components
  • Additional Data modeling needed
  • Data migration complexity
  • The complexity of additional features requested
  • Further API integrations needed

Manage Your Content Infrastructure with Ease

It is the nature of companies to always seek functional and profitable avenues for what they do. When it comes to website and content infrastructure, it also makes sense to find what works best and what gives value for money.

Traditional CMS such as WordPress may still have a place today but the benefits of decoupling the backend from the presentation layer of websites are way beyond their reach at the moment. Just imagine being able to change any part of your content without it affecting the presentation layer so much and without bothering your developers too often, isn't it amazing?

So when it comes to CMS concerns, a headless CMS with page management functions are definitely in line with what companies, marketers and content editors need these days.

Check out the options mentioned above and we especially invite you to try out our very own WebriQ Studio. See for yourself how much better it is compared to WordPress and similar brands. Build main websites, landing pages, and microsites without the headache.

Take full control of your content management and marketing strategies.

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