When launching a website, one of the initial decisions you'll face is selecting an appropriate CMS (Content Management System). In this blog post, we explore the two main types of CMSs — headless and traditional. We also look at the scenarios in which the Drupal CMS would be the optimal solution.
A CMS (Content Management System) is a software platform designed to help users create, edit, publish, and manage website content without requiring extensive technical expertise. They can access and modify content via different devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers, using a web browser.
While built on scripting languages, a CMS is hosted on a server, typically equipped with both a database and a web server. The majority of the website's content, along with various settings and configurations, is stored within this database.
A key component of any CMS is its underlying operational framework, often referred to as a "stack." This stack combines the operating system, scripting language, database, and web server. One of the most popular and widely-adopted, flexible, and cost-effective stacks is LAMP. This acronym stands for:
Linux: The operating system.
Apache: The web server responsible for processing requests and delivering web pages to users' browsers.
MySQL: A relational database system where website data is stored.
PHP: A server-side scripting language used for web development.
In content management, we mainly come across two CMS types: traditional and headless. Understanding their core differences is important when deciding which one best fits your needs. Let’s explore the differences between them.
Traditional content management systems streamline the process of creating, managing, and publishing content. They operate on a monolithic design, binding the backend (where content is crafted) and the frontend (where content is displayed) tightly together. In these systems, once you publish content, it's usually set in its displayed format.
In a traditional system, content is not stored in modular components, making it difficult to reformat or repurpose content units. Adding new functionality or features usually involves using plugins.
Traditional content management systems have the following limitations:
A headless CMS operates solely in the backend, without a fixed frontend. Content is stored in a database but is not limited to a specific website. Instead, it can be accessed by various frontends through simple interfaces.
Many headless CMS platforms offer a graphical user interface similar to traditional CMS versions, making content creation simple and intuitive. Additionally, headless CMSs are often available as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
So, a headless CMS offers numerous benefits:
If you need more flexibility, scalability, and freedom to use different frontend technologies, a headless CMS is the best option.
Drupal is a dynamic CMS built upon the LAMP stack. Its modular design allows users to effortlessly add or remove features by adjusting modules. You can totally overhaul the website's appearance by incorporating or discarding various themes.
Drupal offers flexibility across various tech platforms:
When starting a website development project, you'll come across various options for CMS platforms and hosted solutions. Here's why Drupal CMS may be a go-to choice for you:
While creating a basic website using static HTML pages is a straightforward and quick process, setting up a website with a Drupal CMS might involve more initial work. Yet, this comes with benefits such as online editing, which is crucial for maintaining consistency, especially on larger sites, and enabling advanced features that rely on a database.
Numerous CMS platforms are designed for specific purposes, such as blogging or managing community memberships. However, if your site requires slightly different functionality from what a CMS is designed for, a Drupal CMS becomes more beneficial due to its flexibility and versatility.
Designing your own custom CMS for your needs might seem tempting. However, starting with a robust CMS like Drupal usually brings more benefits because of its wide range of built-in features. User account and content management in Drupal is constantly improved through testing, bug fixes, and security updates.
Free platforms might come with restrictive license terms that limit modifications and enhancement. In contrast, Drupal benefits from open licensing and strong global community support, making it a compelling choice.
Whether you're launching a personal project or steering a large organization's digital journey, a Drupal CMS offers numerous benefits that include compatibility with various backends, scalability, and freedom of adopting different frontend tools. Robust and secure, it continues to evolve, adapting to the ever-changing technological landscape.