Carson Gibbons

Cosmic JS Co-Founder

Headless vs. Decoupled CMS Architecture

In my last blog, I talk about The Benefits of a Decoupled CMS Architecture. As a refresher, a decoupled CMS architecture is one in which the front end application and the content management system are decoupled and function independently of one another.

Developers are more readily understanding that they can build slicks apps and websites without a locally installed content management system, and instead can go API-first to deliver content to more application destinations. Within the Content Management API space, you’ll notice a few buzzwords that do have a striking difference in terms of application and use: Decoupled vs. Headless.

While both of these buzzwords insinuate that the CMS is separated from the management environment and that content is made available via API endpoint, the management and delivery of said content changes per buzzword.

Headless vs. Decoupled

A Headless CMS is reactive — it manages content, then just sits and waits for some process to ask for it.

A Decoupled CMS is proactive, preparing content for presentation and pushing it into the specified delivery environment of your application. A decoupled system concerns itself with what happens in the delivery environment. It usually has some concept of a templating system with editorial tools.

Headless CMS 
Content available via API Endpoint 
Reactively assumes content delivery being handled elsewhere
Decoupled CMS 
Content available via API Endpoint
Intuitively concerns itself with delivery and presentation layer

While both headless and decoupled CMS systems make content available via API endpoint, a decoupled system like Cosmic JS takes it all a step further with the presentation layer of said content. Cosmic JS can manage content and users while storing media and making it readily available via API endpoint, but goes the extra mile of providing “forgiving delivery” so that content editors can plan, manage and deploy content, knowing that Cosmic JS will deliver the content as JSON and will be globally devourable by any internet-connected device.

Cosmic JS is an API-first CMS that makes managing and building websites and applications faster and more intuitive. By decoupling content from code, Cosmic JS empowers developer flexibility while ensuring content editors can plan and deploy content as it best suits them. If you haven’t already, get started by Signing Up. If you have questions about the Cosmic JS API, please reach out to the founders on Twitter or Slack.

Carson Gibbons is the Co-Founder & CMO of Cosmic JS, an API-first Cloud-based Content Management Platform that decouples content from code, allowing devs to build slick apps and websites in any programming language they want.

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