Why would you want to use a hybrid content management system as opposed to a traditional headless solution? We've got three good reasons for you.
Multiple Deployment Options
A headless CMS provides one deployment option - a content API. But what if you don't want to deliver all your content from an API? An API is a good fit for a few use cases but will generally not work for every experience you need to manage.
A hybrid CMS offers headless deployment as well as dynamic content delivery. In addition to a "headless" content API, a hybrid CMS provides a content delivery server that is "loosely coupled" with the CMS. Using a content delivery server, you can publish your public website, Intranet or a portal - all on separate delivery tiers yet connected to the same backend for content.
With a content delivery server, you can use the CMS to create templates for your website, so you don't have to have your developers code every page on your website. You can also create dynamic and personalized experiences.
Along with a content delivery server and a content API, a hybrid CMS may also support the ability to push content to other channels by rendering content as static XML or JSON files. This push deployment model is often preferable for applications with offline requirements, kiosks, and sites with information security requirements where a content API connection is not acceptable.
Web content management systems have been around for a long time. The headless CMS market is relatively new. The feature gap between a modern web experience platform and headless CMS is significant. With a hybrid CMS, you get the best of both worlds: a full-featured CMS platform with flexible or agile content deployment options.
Because they stem from mature web experience platforms, hybrid CMS' are fully developed and have a strong foundational architecture that separate content management from content delivery, focus on creating intelligent content so you can use it across many channels, while still providing full content management capabilities regardless of how or where content is delivered.
Many hybrid CMS' also provide several hosting and deployment options, including SaaS, on-premise, and platform-as-a-service for public and private cloud, opposed to the multi-tenant SaaS-only model traditionally used by headless-only CMS vendors.
Robust Content Management Capabilities
And speaking of full content management capabilities, a headless CMS only provides a subset. Distributed content authoring, customizable workflow, search, personalization, analytics, governance capabilities such as accessibility, spelling, and grammar, linking, and SEO aren't features you see in many headless CMS'.
Many organizations require features beyond what you find in a first-generation headless CMS. And it's not only the list of features, but it's also the depth of their capabilities. For example, you can upload images and media in a headless CMS, but you may not get all the digital asset management features you need. Many of the features you expect from a web experience platform are not fully realized in a headless CMS and may be critical to creating great content and delivering the best experiences for your audiences.
When It's Time to Think Hybrid, Not Headless
If you are planning a custom-built website or need to push content to web or mobile apps, you will likely need a content API, which a headless CMS provides. But before you onboard another solution just for the content API, consider a hybrid CMS. A hybrid CMS provides the same content API as a headless CMS but also delivers web experience options for fully managed websites and portals.
But buyer beware, despite the hype not every web experience platform truly supports hybrid. To be a true hybrid CMS, a platform needs to have a decoupled architecture (content delivery fully separated from content management), a RESTful content API, and robust content modeling capabilities with native formats like JSON or XML that can easily integrate into your site or project.
Before you buy a headless CMS (or a traditional Web experience platform), take some time to look at what a hybrid CMS like Ingeniux CMS can do for you. Ingeniux provides true hybrid CMS capabilities. We invite you to take a closer look at how we incorporate headless into our solution (there are a few extras you won't find in traditional headless CMS).
To learn more about headless content management in a hybrid CMS, check out the Ingeniux Platform Overview for Headless CMS.
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