Headless CMS

Headless website creation software are the seemingly ideal tool for developers. Discover the new entrant on the CMS market!

Market Share of Headless CMS

Distribution of headless CMS usage in France 1.

Graphical comparison of headless CMS market share distribution

As of November 16, 2021, the BuiltWith website counts 575 websites in France using headless technology.

1. Headless CMS: A New Trend

Unlike the other types of CMS, headless CMS is relatively recent. However, it is gaining more and more popularity, as indicated by the following graph (number of Google searches for the term "Headless CMS" worldwide from 2004 to present):

Graph showing the evolution of interest in the search term "Headless CMS" 2.

Graph showing the evolution of interest in the search term

And compared to the terms "open source CMS" (in red) and "hosted CMS" (in yellow):

Comparative graph showing the evolution of interest in the searches for Open-Source CMS, Hosted CMS, or headless CMS 3. The latter gradually surpasses the others.

Comparative graph showing the evolution of interest in the searches for Open-Source CMS, Hosted CMS, or headless CMS

Generally, content management systems have a "back office," an interface accessible only to the website's creator/owner. From there, they can create and manage the content that appears on the "front end" - the actual website accessible to everyone and found by typing its name into a search engine. The front end incorporates a design that can be built by coding, obtained from a template (in open-source CMS), or configured from the options provided (for hosted CMS).

However, headless CMS is not connected to any specific front end. Only the back office is present. This allows for increased configuration possibilities and unique freedom compared to other CMS. In practice, the same back office for a single site can be configured to display differently on various intended platforms: a website for viewing on a computer, regardless of screen size; Windows and/or Mac applications for computers; websites or applications for smartphones or tablets running on any operating system; applications for smartwatches, and more. Its extreme portability makes it highly attractive and comprehensive despite the lack of a predefined front end. They require advanced computer knowledge and are primarily intended for developers 4.
Finally, they can be categorized as either hosted or open-source. The table below summarizes the main advantages of these new CMS compared to older ones:

WixSquarespaceWeeblyWebnodeJimdoWebflowDudaGoDaddy WebsitesStrikinglyOne
  • Excellent templates
  • Extremely flexible
  • Powerful marketing tools
  • Number of applications
  • Wix ADI
  • Templates and designs
  • Specialized blog
  • Customer support
  • Mobile apps
  • Ease of use
  • Responsive themes
  • App center
  • Team management
  • Adapted for multilingual
  • Ideal for SEO
  • Free email address included
  • Ease of use
  • Attractive designs
  • Mobile version
  • Page loading speed
  • Visual editor and CMS fusion
  • Customization
  • Perfect for clients
  • Excellent support
  • Ideal for multilingual
  • Customization
  • Simple editor
  • Backup and restore
  • Responsive layout
  • Easy to use
  • Free marketing tools
  • Best support
  • Multi-site pricing
  • Easy to use
  • Very affordable
  • Responsive templates
  • Expensive
  • Difficult to modify templates
  • Sites can be slow on mobile
  • Ease of use
  • Single sub-navigation
  • Page speed
  • Limited flexibility
  • Multilingual limitations
  • Slow development
  • Limited e-commerce
  • Basic blog
  • Lack of key features
  • Limited features
  • SEO
  • Design flexibility
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • No app store
  • Few extensions
  • Relatively expensive
  • Limited app store
  • SEO
  • No app store
  • SEO
  • Limited free version
  • No built-in blog
  • Poor customer support

Source: https://www.tooltester.com/en/best-website-builder/ (translated from English, page accessed on 11/11/2021).

1. Source: BuiltWith website, https://trends.builtwith.com/shop/hosted-solution/country/France (Page accessed on 04/11/2021).

2. For all these features, see the help center of both CMS on their respective websites: WIX: http://urlr.me/pDr9x, http://urlr.me/fBH15 and DUDA: http://urlr.me/Krbh4, http://urlr.me/ZzYjG (Pages accessed on 08/11/2021).

3. Source: Duda website, https://support.duda.co/hc/fr-fr/articles/360061888493-Exportation-du-site.

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