4 distinctive headless CMSs
There are hundreds of headless CMSs on the market in all shapes and sizes. Think of open source or proprietary, self-hosted or SaaS based, and of course the many different features. In this article we discuss the 4 headless CMSs that stand out for us.
Based on our selection criteria, we have identified four headless CMSs that distinguish themselves in different areas. The 4 headless CMSs that stand out for us are:
- Kentico Kontent
For the selection we used our checklist. In outline, the selection criteria are:
- Content editing features
- Content modeling features
- Technical features
An extensive description of the checklist can be found [in this article] (headless-content-management-feature-overview).
Builder.io is a headless CMS with an emphasis on building and managing pages visually. Content in builder.io can be created via your own content models. The possibilities for creating these content models are not as extensive as we see in other, more pure, headless CMSs. The strong point of Builder.io, however, is making pages visual where components are dragged and adjusted or a page can even be imported from Figma.
The content can be displayed on pages via your own content models, via APIs or via integrations. There are many standard integrations, but the link with Shopify, for creating a Shopify storefront, is one of the USPs. The Builder.io platform includes marketing features for A/B testing, personalization and analytics.
Contentful is one of the best known names in the headless CMS market. It has a large community and due to its popularity there are many integrations with other services available.
The user interface is simple and effective and Contentful offers many features, all of which are also available in the basic version. For example, there is an editorial calendar, the content is fully searchable on all kinds of properties and standard content field validations are available.
As an add-on, Contentful offers "Compose + Launch". Among other things, this allows the workflow to be fully adapted, it is possible to publish multiple content pieces at the same time, and SEO properties can be adjusted more easily.
In short, Contentful is a headless CMS with an excellent feature list and a very active community and offers all this at a competitive price.
Prepr offers basic functionality in the field of content modeling & content editing. Small to medium-sized teams can handle this perfectly. However, Prepr differs from other headless CMSs in that, in addition to content management, Prepr also collects data and offers personalization. For example, data from the various channels, such as the website, can be sent to Prepr. This data can be used to see how certain content is performing, but this data is also stored in visitor profiles (of course GDPR compliant). Thus, it can also be used to offer personalized content.
At the moment, Prepr is somewhat inferior to other headless CMSs in terms of extensibility. For example, it is not (yet) possible to add your own fields and components to the user interface and the workflow cannot be adjusted. Prepr offers a lot of functionality. The combination of content, data and personalization ensures that content editors and marketers have everything together to write compelling content.
Kentico Kontent (https://kontent.ai)
Kontent has excellent features in terms of content editing and collaboration. For example, there is a content calendar, task management and the workflow can be adjusted. The user interface is simple, fast and intuitive.
A distinctive feature of Kentico Kontent is the Web Spotlight add-on. This gives content editors useful tools to manage a website. For example, the navigation structure can be managed here and there is a visual editor to edit content in a WYSIWYG-like way.
The customer and partner onboarding is very strong and there is also a lot of personal contact with the people of Kentico Kontent. Smaller teams probably don't necessarily need Kontent's extensive collaboration tools, so in terms of pricing, Kontent will be more suitable for larger teams.
The above headless CMSs all differ in various aspects.
It is not easy to unambiguously indicate which headless CMS best suits a specific solution, but in short this is our guideline:
- Builder.io - when building pages visually matters a lot
- Contentful - for a user-friendly CMS UI, extensive integration options, and a large community
- Prepr - for a CMS with good basic functionality in combination with out-of-the-box personalization options
- Kentico Kontent - for large organizations where content workflow in combination with good customer onboarding is important