E-Commerce Development (EN) Featured-Posts-Vitrine (EN) Web Development (EN)

Understanding the Crucial Difference Between a Normal CMS and a Headless CMS

Understanding the Crucial Difference Between a Normal CMS and a Headless CMS

When working with Swiss brands and businesses of all sizes, it is often noticed that stakeholders (project managers, managers, CTOs, webmasters, etc.) do not fully grasp the yet crucial difference between a normal (monolithic) CMS and a Headless CMS.

Indeed, Content Management Systems (CMS) are the invisible architects behind many websites and applications, but their variety can be bewildering. In this article, we will explore two approaches: traditional CMS and Headless CMS, making them accessible even to non-experts, with practical examples illustrated by code snippets. Most importantly, we will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each solution to assist the reader in making an informed choice.

Normal (Monolithic) CMS: All-in-one but with Constraints

Normal CMS, often called monolithic CMS, are integrated solutions that bundle all the necessary features to create and manage a website into a single entity. Among the most well-known monolithic CMS are WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

Imagine a normal CMS as a turnkey house. When using a CMS like WordPress, for example, everything is included: content management, application logic, presentation, and even additional features via plugins. This approach simplifies the startup process but also introduces significant constraints when it comes to making changes, managing content, and evolving the solution in the future.

Constraints of Normal/Monolithic CMS:

  1. Tight Integration: In a normal CMS, the site’s structure, presentation logic, and content management are tightly integrated. For example, the code defining the layout of a specific page is often intertwined with the logic that retrieves and displays the content. This creates a close dependency between visual presentation and content.
  2. Difficulty of Change: Making significant changes to how the site is presented may require complex adjustments throughout the system. Modifying the layout of elements, akin to moving a window in an existing house, can lead to major renovations, making the process slow and potentially costly.
  3. Consistency Risks: Due to tight integration, changes in one part of the site may have unexpected repercussions on other parts. This increases the risks of visual and functional inconsistencies, especially as the site evolves.
  4. Limited Scalability: The increasing complexity of modern websites can make monolithic CMS less suitable for evolving needs. Adding new features can be a challenge, as it often requires substantial modifications to existing code.

Despite these constraints, monolithic CMS remain popular due to their initial ease of use and all-in-one approach to website management. However, with the evolution of modern web requirements, more and more companies are turning to more flexible alternatives, such as Headless CMS.

Headless CMS: Freedom of Composition

Headless CMS stands out for its modular architecture, offering a clear separation between the backend and frontend. This architectural approach provides unparalleled flexibility and freedom for shaping dynamic user experiences in web development. Let’s compare this architecture with an analogy before delving into its implications.

Architectural Analogy: Imagine the backend of a Headless CMS as a library storing your content, and the frontend as a variety of screens you can use to display that content. The screens (frontends) may vary, but the library (backend) remains the same, providing a solid and reusable foundation.

Backend (Content Management): In a Headless CMS, the backend is responsible for content management. It stores data in a standardized form, usually as JSON or REST API. This structure allows content to be agnostic of the channel or device on which it will be displayed.

Frontend (Presentation): The frontend in the headless architecture manages how content is presented to the end user. It could be a website, a mobile application, a smart display, etc. The freedom offered by this separation allows the use of modern front-end technologies to create rich and interactive user interfaces.

Advantages of Headless Architecture

  1. Flexibility in Front-end Technology:
    • Freedom of Choice: Developers can choose from a range of front-end frameworks such as React, Vue.js, Angular, or even newer technologies based on the specific needs of the project.
    • Facilitated Adaptability: The separation of frontend and backend allows for easier adaptation of the user interface to changing requirements without altering the business logic.
  2. Simplified Content Reuse:
    • Channel Independence: Content can be consistently reused across different channels (website, mobile application, IoT, etc.), avoiding tedious duplication.
    • Centralized Management: Centralizing content simplifies its management and ensures consistency across various platforms.
  3. Scalability and Simplified Maintenance:
    • Independent Adjustments: Frontend modifications do not affect the backend business logic, allowing visual adjustments without impacting system stability.
    • Ease of Adding Features: Adding new features can be done independently, facilitating the scalability of the site.
  4. Improved Complexity Management:
    • Modularity: The division into distinct modules for backend and frontend makes it easier to manage the increasing complexity of modern websites.
    • Effective Collaboration: Development teams can work more independently, improving collaboration and maintenance.


In conclusion, the headless architecture offers a flexible and scalable approach, suited to the requirements of the modern web where diverse channels and devices necessitate agile content management and flexible visual presentation.

In the continuation of this article, we will explore the advantages of the headless CMS and the technical differences between the two CMS types. We will also address the question of choosing between these two solutions to enable you to opt for the one that best aligns with your goals and needs.

Review of Headless CMS Advantages and Concrete Differences from Monolithic CMS

In this section, we will delve into the details of the three most notable advantages of a headless CMS. We’ll provide technical examples and more in-depth explanations.

1. Visual Flexibility – 100% Customizable and Flexible Interface

Changes in appearance can be made without altering the business logic.

Let’s explore a concrete example highlighting the difference in interface management flexibility between a monolithic CMS and a headless CMS.

Here is how a product page could be structured in a monolithic CMS, emphasizing the dependency between structure and business logic:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <h1>Product Title</h1>
  <p>Product Description</p>
  <span>Product Price</span>
  <!-- Size Selection -->
  <select id="size">
    <option value="s">S</option>
    <option value="m">M</option>
    <option value="l">L</option>
  <!-- Color Selection -->
  <select id="Color">
    <option value="red">Red</option>
    <option value="blue">Blue</option>
    <option value="green">Green</option>
  <!-- Other details... -->

In this case, dropdowns for size and color are integrated into the page, closely tied to the order processing logic.

Contrast this with a headless CMS, where content is dissociated from how it is displayed. Imagine independent building blocks that you can rearrange as needed.

With a headless CMS, product data, for example, could be stored independently, allowing for more flexible composition:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <h1>{{Product Title}}</h1>
  <p>{{Product Description}}</p>
  <span>{{Product Price}}</span>
  <!-- Size Selection -->
  {{Available Sizes}}
  <!-- Color Selection -->
  {{Available Selection}}
  <!-- Other details... -->

Here, how sizes and colors are presented can be changed without altering the business logic.

Discuss the right solution with an expert

2. Content Reuse and Centralized Management

One undeniable strength of a headless CMS is its ability to promote content reuse across different parts of the site and even on various platforms (mobile applications or other group sites, for example), all without the need for laborious duplication.

In a headless CMS model, content is managed independently of how it is presented. This means the same piece of content can be used consistently and efficiently across multiple site pages or adapted for mobile applications, smart displays, or other channels without unnecessary duplication.

This approach significantly reduces complexity during visual changes. For instance, if you have a special promotion, a product update, or any other content change, you make the modification once in the CMS, and these changes propagate consistently across all platforms, ensuring content uniformity across the site. This simplifies maintenance, reduces the risk of inconsistencies, and provides considerable operational efficiency. In short, content reuse becomes a strategic asset for effective and scalable website management.

Imagine a blog article stored in the headless CMS. This content can be integrated into different sections of the site, such as the homepage, the blog page, and even in a mobile application, ensuring content consistency across all platforms.

In general, it is common to plan for a mobile application that needs to connect to the developed website. Let’s take the example of an e-commerce website. If in the future (or from the beginning of the project), a mobile application needs to retrieve product data from the e-commerce site’s database. If the e-commerce site was designed using headless technology, developers only need to code the front-end part of the application (lower costs for the company). Importantly, administrators of the e-commerce site don’t have to change anything in their usual routine since the content of the site (managed through the e-commerce interface) will be automatically taken over by the mobile application. This magic happens through the API of the e-commerce site’s backend. It is through this API that the front-end of the website communicates, and the same goes for the mobile application, which doesn’t function differently in terms of architecture.

Discuss a solution for reusing my content and unifying its management

3. Use of Modern Front-end Technologies

In the ever-evolving world of web development, the use of modern front-end technologies is essential for creating dynamic and responsive user experiences. A significant advantage of a headless CMS lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate these technologies.

With a headless CMS, you have the freedom to adopt front-end frameworks such as React, Vue.js, or Angular. These frameworks offer unparalleled flexibility in manipulating the user interface, allowing developers to create interactive, responsive, and aesthetically appealing web pages. The clear separation between content and presentation in a headless CMS facilitates the integration of these frameworks without affecting the underlying business logic.

The advantage of using modern front-end technologies lies in the speed of development, modularity, and ease of maintenance. Reusable components, real-time updates, and advanced animation features become accessible, providing a significantly enhanced user experience compared to more traditional approaches.

Example of using React with a Headless CMS:

// React Component Retrieving and Displaying the Title of a Product,
{ useState, useEffect } from 'react';

const ProductTitle = () => {
  const [title, setTitle] = useState('');

  useEffect(() => {
    // Calling the CMS API to Retrieve the Product Title
    // (API call code here...)
    setTitle('Product title from CMS');
  }, []);

  return <h1>{title}</h1>;

export default ProductTitle;

How to Choose Between a Monolithic CMS and a Headless CMS?

In conclusion, the decision between a normal CMS and a headless CMS depends on the specific needs of your project. If visual flexibility and independent content management are crucial, the headless CMS offers a modern and powerful solution.

In general, companies tend to opt for the so-called monolithic CMS when they have very simple, standard needs, do not require entirely custom design (at least for more complex parts such as online reservation forms, payment forms, ordering, etc.), and they do not need (nor plan in the future) a mobile application related to this project. In other cases, they opt for a headless CMS, which generally requires a slightly higher investment but offers many advantages ensuring scalability, customer experience, and stability over time unmatched by the company.

If you would like to discuss your project with our experts or obtain more information on the subject, contact us now, and one of our experts will guide you through the process.

Discuss my needs with an Edana expert

Branding (EN) Featured-Posts-Vitrine (EN)

Why You Must Own a Showcase Website for Your Brand?

Why You Must Own a Showcase Website for Your Brand?

Showcase Website For More Visibility

Visibility of your brand affects all the other assets you need for successful business maintenance.

Before everything-presentation promotes your product and plays a huge role in further sales as well. Imagine this like a fashion Runway. Even most famous designers participate in seasonal fashion shows, or hold ones of their own to showcase their designs, create the WOW effect and later sell it to the target customers.

At High Visibility You Still Need Showcase Website

Now, just as we mentioned above-even most famous designers don’t sleep on runway shows and make sure to never leave a design without an extra pair of eyes watching it. Even if your brand has high visibility already, updates happen continuously and those are to be showcased equally. We all want to have a good look at the product before we click the checkout button.

To have more visibility on the internet, you need to create a showcase website. It is part of your brand communication strategy and it is beneficial to make your brand known in your sector of activity as well as to find new customers.

Showcase Website For Services

Showcasing services might seem a little bit more difficult than presenting the goods. Yet, if you get really creative it’s just as easy.

Now, let’s say you have a delivery service and you need a showcase website. Generally, what delivery service offers as bare minimum is timely delivery and safe one of course. We don’t want to deliver broken packages right? What you can do for your showcase website is to concentrate on customer-generated content and video content.


Customer Generated And Video Content

Using feedbacks of your customers from social media platforms is a great way to showcase your services. One benefit is, that those comments are public either way, most obviously the customer won’t risk sharing their confidential information on a global platform. You can basically screenshot those feedbacks and turn them into infographics. Of course, before using them, take a good look at the comment regarding any confidential classified information.

As for Videos, recording your working process or the one of courier’s will keep your activity transparent, thus forming a trust bond between you and your customer.

Showcase Website And Sales

The main purpose of this type of website is to create first impression, desirably the positive one. The trick to this website is to not say even a word about sales in the beginning. Just present how awesome you are as a brand and how useful your offers can be.

From the showcase website you can add the extension to transfer a potential customer to your online shop.

The question of How Much It Costs will pop up in a customer’s head and considering you’ve already presented your product as a certain niche, price expectations will be just as adequate.

Design Has To Pop

Design will do a lot for you when it comes to the showcase website building. In one of our articles we are speaking about the UI friendly design for your web development (mobile and web applications) in more detail.

Now, if you’ve ever wanted to spice up the outlook of your traditional website which serves sales and engagement, but never decided to risk on it-this will be a great opportunity to give freedom to creative workflow.

Of course, you must not forget to go according to the brand-book and make the aesthetically matching color-choices, but you can opt for different usage of landing page space for the very least. So far as the purpose of your website is different, you can also give another font a try which also goes well with your primary fonts.


Not only is a Showcase Website so productive for your digital marketing strategies, it can also give you a good time to experiment and use the customer research statistics in a whole new style. This just might serve you as additional source to research customer behavior via the CTR rates on the platform. Basically, showcasing can be a fun experience alongside with being profitable.

What We Offer

For more articles from our experts, make sure to scroll through our Publications on Edana. And, don’t forget to check our services for professional assistance from your Swiss Digital Agency. Feel free to contact us anytime!

Featured-Posts-Vitrine (EN) General Web Agency (EN)

Benefits of Customer Centric Marketing Strategies

Benefits of Customer Centric Marketing Strategies

Dedicate To Your Audience

When it comes to anything connected to a customer in general sense, dedication is the Key. It takes time and observation to not just listen to your customer, but actually hear and understand what they are trying to tell you as an individual and as a collective. Now here comes in the Customer Centric Marketing, which is quickly spreading into the digital world as well. It’s a marketing strategy which is fitted around customer’s needs and interests. It’s all about prioritizing customers over any other factor.

Good Old Customer Service

Sure, with a nice blend of intuition, statistics and common sense one might come up with a great strategy for Customer Centric Marketing, but there is one element to each-especially larger business, which never loses it’s necessity and it’s customer service. This is the most basic element of all services a brand can offer, yet the vital one.

It’s necessary to remember that customer service improvement mechanisms can be online and offline. Just like target audience, this particular service strategy cannot have only one side to it and needs to spread around the environment as much as possible-here’s what we mean:

Inclusivity Again

Customer service can be more or less digitalized, it’s important to note that even to this day some of your audience might not have a very high functioning smart phone, so their digital reach to you could be quite limited and guess what happens when a customer doesn’t have the right communication with you? It generally results in disappointment, bad reviews and negative discussions on your brand in the outside world. So to avoid all of this, a good business has a classical model of customer service as well-a good old call-center.


Stay Connected

In a good old customer service basics, the best possible option to please the customer is to be in the reach 24/7. No-one knows when a product for example could have an issue, so for every customer it’s almost an emergency to call the provider and inform them on that particular issue immediately. Now, you might not be able to fix this issue straight away but the fact itself, that someone picked up the phone, or texted back at 03:00AM is simply a relief and especially when operator says that this issue shall be taken care of as a first thing priority at the beginning of work hours. It’s important to stay connected and give your customer the feeling that they are being heard anytime whether it’s a problem or maybe they just want to drop a good review-which doesn’t happen as often, but still there are some exceptions.  

Always Ask

Even in regular day to day communications, whether we answer the question or not, it’s pretty pleasing to hear someone asking about your well-being. Sometimes we answer with the “I’m Fine” to avoid a prolonged conversation, but that’s not the case when it comes to a customer. It’s vital for your audience to ask them how satisfied they are by your products or services. Let’s say, for example-a customer has purchased your product-online in this case and you have their E-Mail. In a week make sure to text them via E-Mail, how they like the product and if there’s anything to improve about it. Or maybe you have their Cell-Phone Number. Answering incoming calls is a must, but don’t forget to call back after a while and ask-show interest in their feelings (customer-wise) and demonstrate it through active communication.

Uncover the Desires

Advocate for your customer’s needs-research their desires. Now the simplest way to do it online is to have a Q&A page on your websites, almost like a forum to sort out the most important and popular needs of your customers. Use all communications you can offer and the best part about this advocacy strategy is, that a customer feels free to share their positive experiences as well, not just on your platform, but also on various social media websites.

What We Offer

Make sure to scroll through other interesting article on our website and don’t forget to check our service on Edana, which include creating specific marketing strategies for your brand! Feel free to contact us anytime!