Blog / Growth

Headless or Git-Based CMS: which one is right for your company?

When it comes to content management systems (CMS), there are countless options available. Two of the most popular choices in recent years have been headless CMS and Git-based CMS. They both offer unique features and benefits that can take your SaaS company to the next level. But which one is right for your specific needs?

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

In this article, let’s delve deeper into the world of CMS and explore the differences between headless and Git-based CMS. Check their pros and cons, their use cases, and the factors you should consider when choosing between the two. So whether you’re a small business owner or a large enterprise, this guide will help you make an informed decision on which CMS is the right fit for you and your team.

We previously wrote about the upside of using a Git-based CMS vs a web-builder (including WordPress). This article compares a headless CMS with a Git-based CMS.

Understanding the Differences between Headless and Git-Based CMS #

Before diving into the details of each CMS, let’s first understand what makes headless and Git-based CMS different from each other. A headless CMS is a content management system that separates the content creation and management process from the presentation layer. This means that the content is stored and managed separately from the front-end user interface, enabling developers to use any programming language or framework to build the front-end.

On the other hand, a Git-based CMS is a content management system that uses Git as its central repository for all content. It allows developers to manage content and code in the same place, making it easier to maintain version control and collaborate with other team members.

While both headless and Git-based CMS offer advantages in terms of flexibility and scalability, they have different use cases and benefits that may be more suitable for specific business needs.

Overview of Getting Started with a Headless CMS #

Getting started with a headless CMS can be quite daunting, especially if you’re used to traditional CMS platforms that come with pre-built templates and themes. That said, once set up, a headless CMS can offer unparalleled flexibility and customisation options.

To get started with a headless CMS, you’ll need to first choose a backend CMS that suits your business needs. Some popular options include Contentful, Prismic, and Strapi. Once you’ve selected a backend CMS, you can start building your front-end using any programming language or framework of your choice. This allows you to create a fully-customised front-end that can be tailored to your specific business needs.

One of the main benefits of using a headless CMS is that it allows you to easily integrate with other third-party services and APIs. This can be particularly useful for businesses that require complex integrations with other systems or services. Additionally, a headless CMS can provide faster page load times and better performance since the content is delivered via APIs rather than traditional database queries (like with WordPress

Overview of Getting Started with a Git-Based CMS #

Getting started with a Git-based CMS is pretty easy. Git-based CMS platforms like Spinal (and others like Decap CMS and, the now discontinued, Forestry) use Git as their central repository for content, which means that all content changes are tracked and versioned using Git.

To get started with a Git-based CMS, you’ll need to first create a repository on a Git hosting service like GitHub or GitLab. Which you most likely already have. Once you’ve set up your repository, you can then install the CMS on your website or application. This will enable you to manage your content using a user-friendly interface that is integrated with Git.

The main benefit of using a Git-based CMS is that it allows for super simple and quick set up. All content changes are tracked and versioned using Git, so it’s easy to see who made what changes and when.

On top of that, integration with static site generators like Jekyll, Astro, Hugo, is seamless. It’s really just push, build and your changes are live.

What are the Benefits of Using a Headless CMS? #

The main advantages is that it offers great flexibility and customisation options. Since the content and presentation layers are separated, you can use any programming language or framework to build your front-end. This allows you to create a fully-customised user experience that is tailored to your specific business needs.

Another upside of using a headless CMS is that it allows for easy integration with other third-party services and APIs. This can be particularly useful for businesses that require complex integrations with other systems or services. Additionally, a headless CMS can provide faster page load times and better performance since the content is delivered via APIs rather than traditional database queries.

What are the Benefits of Using a Git-Based CMS? #

The main advantage is that it allows you to get started with collaboration on your site’ content in minutes. Since all content changes are tracked and versioned using Git, it’s easy to see who made what changes and when.

No expensive developer time is needed to integrate the CMS with your static site. Any (non tech-savvy) person can integrate the CMS with your static site and get started writing content for it. Any lean startup’s dream!

What to Consider When Selecting a Type of CMS #

When selecting a type of CMS for your business, there are several factors to consider. Some of the most important factors include:

  • Business needs: consider your specific business needs and requirements. Do you need a CMS that offers unparalleled flexibility and customisation options? Or do you care more about getting quality content out the door as fast as possible?
  • Technical expertise: consider your team’s technical expertise and familiarity with different programming languages and frameworks. Are you comfortable building a custom front-end using any programming language or framework? Or do you prefer to get started without any technical issues?
  • Budget: consider your budget and the cost of different CMS platforms. Are you willing to invest in a more expensive CMS that offers more features and benefits? Or do you prefer a more affordable CMS that can still meet your business needs (eg. publishing great content)

Conclusion and Thoughts #

A headless and Git-based CMS tools offer unique benefits and features that can help streamline your content creation process. While they both offer advantages in terms of flexibility and scalability, they have different use cases and benefits that may be more suitable for your business’ needs.

The questions that you need to ask yourself are: can we spend time today and in the future to make the headless CMS work with our static site? How can we keep the information and details in-house if anything breaks with the headless CMS’s API?

Written by July Forand

Published:

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