Headless CMS Blog Feature

10 Best Headless CMS Software Platforms in 2024

A content management system is one of the most important web design tools at your disposal. But to build the flexibility and agility that modern digital content needs, traditional CMSs often don’t suffice.

That’s where a headless CMS enters the equation.

Headless CMS is a content management tool that separates the content creation process from the digital platforms on which you’ll post that content.

That may sound more complicated than a traditional CMS, but once you examine the concept, you’ll find it’s a flexible way to deliver content and digital assets to prepare your business for a successful future!

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What is Headless CMS?

A headless CMS is a content management system that helps you manage content before posting it to specific digital channels. This allows you to generate and deliver structured content that feeds into anything from mobile apps to digital experiences, such as kiosks and other Internet of Things devices.

To accomplish this, content management lives in a separate database to your website’s backend. It includes a presentation layer from which you display content and then distribute it to multiple channels.

People sometimes use different names for a headless CMS, including:

  • Decoupled CMS
  • Open data platform
  • Headless architecture
  • Content application-programming interface

Regardless of its name, there are several headless CMS benefits you’ll want to consider:

  • It distributes content to multiple platforms without major adjustments
  • It offers flexible and highly customizable content management that still includes a rich text editor
  • It’s a content repository that allows you to present content before publishing it on your website, mobile applications, and other locations
  • It provides comprehensive asset management beyond plain text, including image management
  • It gives you the ability to quickly move from one web host to the next without having to restructure content

Traditional CMS vs. headless CMS

Traditionally, website project management has relied on a central CMS on which the programmer builds the site. But that approach minimizes flexibility, exactly where a headless CMS thrives.

On a traditional CMS, you create digital content on a what you see is what you get—or WYSIWYG—editor that publishes directly to your website. 

In comparison, a headless or decoupled CMS makes that connection less direct. You can control content before deciding where to publish it, maintaining the core DNA of that content while being able to easily customize it depending on the different platforms on which it will live.

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10 Headless Content Management Systems in 2024

The right headless CMS is good for more than just reusing content. Here’s a list of more features and abilities that headless CMSs have over traditional CMSs, which ultimately benefits your entire business.

1. Sanity

headless CMS software Sanity
Via Sanity

As an open-source headless content management system, Sanity gives developers a degree of customizability they won’t easily find elsewhere. By treating content as data, Sanity allows for extensive data analytics, content creation, and distribution options.

Sanity’s intuitive software enables real-time collaboration across your team, including marketers managing content and developers looking to customize and publish content in the right areas. Extensive integrations allow for easy transfer into any desired application.

Sanity best features

  • Direct integrations with static site generators, connecting directly to frontends, such as Jamstack sites, and simplifying content module management
  • The ability to preview any content the app stores in a dynamic environment for seamless frontend delivery
  • Cloud-native architecture that simplifies managing and editing content from any location
  • Advanced data analytics to optimize your content development over time

Sanity limitations

  • Limited flexibility on some modules, which makes it more difficult to deliver the same content to multiple channels
  • A steep learning curve, especially for businesses without extensive developer expertise on staff

Sanity pricing

  • Free
  • Pro: $99/month per project
  • Team: $499/month per project
  • Custom: Contact for pricing

2. Strapi

headless CMS software Strapi
Via Strapi

Strapi is an industry-leading headless CMS platform, and its simple interface and full customizability shine through. This 100% JavaScript-based platform enables content-rich experiences that easily transition from the presentation layer to the final channels on which the content will live.

Strapi best features

  • Intuitive interface across the board, from content editors to the presentation layer
  • A developer-first approach that starts simple and only gets more complex as user roles dictate
  • An active user and developer community that provides ongoing and instant insights into the tool and headless CMS solutions in general
  • Frequent updates that optimize and improve the ability to build headless content continually

Strapi limitations

  • The free plan comes with extensive feature limitations that make complex, structured content difficult to manage
  • A relatively limited WYSIWYG editor that makes it difficult to transform basic content into more immersive digital experiences

Strapi pricing

  • Free self-hosted
  • Enterprise self-hosted: Contact for pricing
  • Cloud pro: $99/month
  • Cloud team: $499/month
  • Cloud custom: Contact for pricing

3. Contentstack

Specifically suited to being a headless CMS platform for enterprises, Contentstack doesn’t shy away from complexity. It’s also agile, helping organizations manage content efficiently and with enough flexibility for all major digital platforms.

Contentstack best features

  • Content scheduling and repository features that allow for more comprehensive content management
  • Extensive build of RESTful APIs that simplify output to a wide range of graphic user interfaces
  • Strong search function for content and code to manage increasingly complex digital environments
  • A “blank slate” approach to building your headless CMS, enabling full customizability for advanced development teams

Contentstack limitations

  • A lack of templates makes the blank slate approach difficult to implement for smaller teams
  • Versioning is not fully complete, making real-time collaboration in the platform difficult at times

Contentstack pricing

  • Start: Contact for pricing
  • Grow: Contact for pricing
  • Scale: Contact for pricing

4. dotCMS

headless CMS software dotCMS
Via dotCMS

dotCMS helps organizations and enterprises looking to publish on multiple platforms manage and deliver digital content. Flexible workflows and a strong editor allow content creators to customize all types of content to their liking.

dotCMS best features

  • On-premises hosting possibilities allow for more flexibility compared to a cloud-only CMS
  • The content editor’s drag-and-drop features allow for advanced content modeling and page layouts
  • A comprehensive onboarding system includes the ability to combine and integrate multiple CMSs
  • There is no need for developers or system admins for content deployment workflows, which streamlines the process

dotCMS limitations

  • The interface isn’t always intuitive and may require a longer onboarding process
  • Some users have reported occasional crashes that impede content management workflows

dotCMS pricing

  • Free
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

5. Contentful

As a content-as-a-service solution, Contentful has the perfect headless CMS model. The Germany-based software is a pure headless platform, with the only central aspects being the content editing tool and presentation layer that allow you to push your structured content to any digital frontend.

Contentful best features

  • Powerful integrations that extend indefinitely thanks to the API-based build
  • Extensive data security measurement to keep your content and code safe
  • Starter templates that allow even small organizations to build and manage content
  • Customizable search with a filter function that manages large content ecosystems

Contentful limitations

  • Content previews are somewhat limited compared to the other open-source headless CMS systems on this list
  • Limited log function that makes reconciling changes more difficult in large teams

Contentful pricing

  • Free
  • Basic: $300/month
  • Custom: Contact for pricing

6. Kontent.ai

Promising “complete control over your content,” Kontent.ai helps some of the world’s largest brands build digital experiences through a centralized headless CMS platform. Its extensive governance features make it especially relevant for large organizations embracing the headless approach.

Kontent.ai best features

  • Omnichannel content delivery not just to multiple channels but also to static site generators and multiple websites
  • Web Spotlight allows authors to see exactly how their audience will consume content on different channels
  • A rare mix of user-friendless for small businesses and scalability for large enterprises
  • Microservice architecture that makes the software faster and leaner than most headless and traditional CMS options

Kontent.ai limitations

  • Some customizations require more extensive development time than other headless CMSs on this list
  • Supports only English on the backend, increasing the difficulty for some international businesses

Kontent.ai pricing

  • Developer: Free
  • Scale: Contact for pricing
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

7. Magnolia

The Swiss-based Magnolia is one of the oldest headless CMS options on the market, but don’t let that fool you. You get an agile solution that satisfies modern and evolving business needs.

Magnolia best features

  • Built-in workflows to manage, organize, and publish content even in complex cross-functional teams
  • Comprehensive versioning that simplifies content editing and publication
  • Content personalization options to build more relevant digital experiences for your users
  • Pre-built integration modules with Salesforce and Google Analytics tools, among others

Magnolia limitations

  • Magnolia has a relatively limited visual editor that can make porting content into different platforms challenging at times
  • Uninstalling content modules isn’t intuitive and can lead to confusion with newer modules

Magnolia pricing

  • Open-source CMS: Free
  • Self-hosted DXP: $3,000/month
  • Cloud DXP: Contact for pricing

8. Bloomreach

The first industry-specific headless CMS platform on this list, Bloomreach is a suite of products. Bloomreach Experience Cloud, Bloomreach Search & Merchandising, and Bloomreach Experience Manager allow e-commerce merchants to create comprehensive and persuasive online experiences.

Bloomreach best features

  • Bloomreach Experience Manager, which offers a content management solution to optimize experiences for your audience
  • Marketing automation integration that moves your audience from static platforms to immersive conversations
  • Responsive templates that enhance experiences across devices
  • Bloomreach Academy, which is an extensive knowledgebase for both new and existing users

Bloomreach limitations

  • Occasional data overload because of the number of events the software can create
  • Difficult to implement, with the features going far beyond and sometimes distracting from the core needs of typical headless CMS users

Bloomreach pricing

  • Engagement: Contact for pricing
  • Discovery: Contact for pricing
  • Content: Contact for pricing

9. Agility CMS

Claiming to be the fastest headless CMS platform on the market, Agility CMS has a strong reputation to live up to. Thanks to white-glove service and advanced content management, it might just be able to satisfy the lofty expectations of even the most complex content creators.

Agility CMS best features

  • High-speed website API that streamlines content delivery
  • Complete page management combines pieces of content into a single layout within the headless CMS structure
  • Shared content increases efficiencies when publishing to more than one channel
  • E-commerce integrations that allow merchants to better sell their products online

Agility CMS limitations

  • The limited search function makes finding old content challenging
  • Little to no handholding, such as the lack of warning when uploading files, slows down delivery

Agility CMS pricing

  • Starter: $1,249/month
  • Pro: $2,499/month
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

10. Butter CMS

The goal of Butter CMS is to become the only content platform marketers need. You can see this in all its features, from a fast content launch system to marketing dashboards, personalization opportunities, and more.

Butter best features

  • Content scheduling options that allow companies to execute their content calendar more easily
  • Digital asset management through a central media library that keeps control of your brand
  • An extensive marketplace that includes app integrations, templates, starter sets, and more
  • Component-based content building to create dynamic and engaging landing pages

Butter limitations

  • Some limited features compared to other headless CMS options on this list, including a lack of ability to create interactive content or content analytics
  • An API sometimes return error messages that will require a support team member to resolve

Butter pricing

  • Micro: $99/month
  • Startup: $199/month
  • Small Business: $375/month
  • Enterprise + Agency: Contact for pricing
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Other Tools to Use With Your Headless CMS

Even the best headless CMS won’t suddenly solve all your marketing concerns. You need extra tools that help you effectively plan, manage, and collaborate on your content. And that’s where ClickUp comes in.


ClickUp Views
Pair ClickUp with your headless CMS for a powerful content and project management system

ClickUp may not have a specific headless CMS feature, but it offers all the powerful features you need around your headless CMS to truly succeed. As the top free project management software on the market, features such as Docs, views, and templates all live in a single hub to enhance your marketing strategy and content creation workflow.

ClickUp best features

ClickUp limitations

  • ClickUp doesn’t naturally integrate with every single headless CMS option on this list, which might require manually porting content into the database
  • Notifications can be difficult to manage once project volume and complexity increase the frequency of notifications

ClickUp pricing

  • Free Forever
  • Unlimited: $7/month per user
  • Business: $12/month per user
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing
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Plan, Manage, and Distribute Content With ClickUp

In many ways, embracing a headless CMS is the path to the future. But even the best headless CMS options need some supporting pieces to truly help you achieve content marketing success.

This is exactly where ClickUp shines.

ClickUp is not just a project management tool, although it certainly is one of the best on the market. It’s a comprehensive work management solution that offers task management, content creation, web development templates, AI writing, and more.

Sign up for a free account today to see how ClickUp supports your headless CMS from the first moment of implementation!

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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