CMS

Composable CMS: The New Frontier in Content Management

Learn how a composable CMS can transform your digital experience with flexible, reusable components.

Jesse Schor
Jesse Schor
3 minutes

What is a Composable CMS? A Marketer’s Guide

A composable CMS is quickly becoming the standard for building high-quality, modern websites. If you want more flexibility, speed, and scalability in content management, it might be time to make the switch.

So, what exactly is a composable CMS, and why should marketers care?

This guide will explain how a composable CMS works and help you identify what solution may be best for your content.

Let’s explore the capabilities of composable CMS and how it can help you achieve more effective marketing outcomes.

What is a Composable CMS?

A composable CMS is a content management system that's all about simplifying and improving how digital content is organized and delivered. It gives users the power to pull together content from different sources, making it easier to create unique digital experiences across various platforms. This decoupling of the frontend presentation layer and the backend is highly conducive to a larger composable architecture.

Unlike traditional CMSs that are monolithic, a composable CMS streamlines content delivery by allowing for seamless integration with third-party services and custom APIs. This not only saves valuable time but also frees up front-end developers to focus on the product, rather than the website.

The Relationship Between Headless and Composability

Understanding the relationship between headless and composable systems is key in web development today. It’s important to distinguish the two from each other. 

Headless CMS: A Practical Approach

Traditional vs Headless CMS

A headless CMS focuses on separating the backend where content is managed from the frontend where content is presented. This allows developers to use any technology stack for the frontend, leading to better performance and a more dynamic user experience across different platforms. Essentially, a headless CMS is about giving developers and content editors the freedom to build without backend constraints.

Headless is not the only way to foster a composable website, but it is the option most are taking due to their performance and ability to seamlessly deliver content across multiple channels.

Composability: A Broader Strategy

Composability is a strategy. It's a methodology for building systems that are fundamentally modular, meaning each part or service can be developed, deployed, and managed independently. 

This modularity makes the system flexible and adaptable, enabling quick adjustments to meet new market demands or business needs without disrupting the entire system.

Combining Headless and Composable Architectures

Incorporating a headless CMS within a composable architecture aligns with the modular approach of composability, enhancing flexibility and scalability. 

A composable CMS not just supports the tactical deployment of content through a headless approach but also embodies strategic flexibility. It allows businesses to tailor their CMS to meet specific needs and integrate new technologies smoothly.

Understanding these concepts helps clarify their roles: headless is about how products are built and managed, allowing for flexibility in front-end development; composability is about the overall strategy of system design, ensuring every component works well independently and together. 

This strategic blend supports a digital infrastructure that can adapt to changes quickly, making it crucial for modern web development.

Key Characteristics of Composable CMS Design

A composable CMS is distinguished by several key attributes:

  • Modularity: A composable CMS is inherently modular, which means organizations can add, remove, or update different components independently. This flexibility supports scalability and customization, allowing businesses to tailor their CMS architecture to specific needs and seamlessly integrate new technologies as they emerge.

  • Web API Integration: A composable CMS employs a web API as its core communication mechanism, simplifying the transfer of data across various systems. This feature enhances the collaboration and seamless integration of different services and applications.

  • Content Reusability: The system allows for the efficient reuse of content across various channels and contexts, removing the tedious need for manual copying and pasting and making content management more streamlined.

  • Dynamic Flexibility: The architecture of a composable CMS is built for high flexibility and adaptability, enabling marketers to swiftly adapt to changes in business conditions and market trends. This supports the creation of customized, high performing web experiences aimed at specific audience needs.

With these key characteristics, a composable CMS empowers marketers to build versatile and scalable marketing platforms that can effectively meet the evolving demands of their target audiences.

Why Use a Composable CMS?

Let’s simply this down a bit and examine the key benefits that make a composable CMS an excellent choice for marketers. These include: 

  • Versatility: A composable CMS platform enables seamless integration of diverse technologies, allowing marketers to create a robust martech stack. This helps organizations stay ahead by significantly enhancing their ability to implement new tools and features quickly. In fact, composable approaches have proven to outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.

  • Cost Efficiency: By maximizing content reuse, a composable CMS cuts down operational costs. Marketers can distribute content to multiple platforms without redundant efforts, significantly reducing expenses and streamlining content management processes. Moreover, as websites utilizing traditional CMS platforms like WordPress grow, so do their expenses. While migrating to headless might seem costly, it may actually save you a ton of money in the long-term.

  • Scalability: Essential for business growth, a composable CMS can handle increasing functionalities and user demands as the company expands, supporting scalable and sustainable growth.

  • Content Management: At the end of the day, managing content in a composable platform is much easier than traditional systems. As your content expands and becomes more complex, it will not outgrow the system it is built upon. Ultimately, a composable approach is a long-term strategy.

Composable CMS Examples

So, you’re interested in exploring composable content management solutions. At Webstacks, we’ve worked with tons of different website tech stacks, and many different enterprise headless CMSs.

Here, we’ll highlight a few of our favorite CMS platforms that deliver best when it comes to composability.

Contentful

contentful website

Contentful pioneered the headless approach to content management and continues to lead with its composable content platform. It is API-first, which means it easily integrates with various data sources and new functionality as digital experiences and technology evolve. With built-in orchestration, a robust app ecosystem, and an app framework to easily extend the platform, Contentful allows teams to connect, create, and extend content efficiently.

Contentstack

contentstack-website

Contentstack is a headless CMS designed for the modern enterprise, emphasizing a composable architecture that enhances flexibility and scalability. Its API-first approach ensures seamless integration with a wide array of digital tools and services, enabling businesses to swiftly adapt its website and business tech stacks.

Contentstack's modular structure, combined with its robust content modeling capabilities, allows teams to create and manage content effortlessly. Additionally, its automation features and extensive marketplace of pre-built integrations empower organizations to build customized digital experiences with ease and efficiency.

You can check out Contentstack's "Go Composable" resource library here.

Storyblok

storyblok website

Storyblok is a headless CMS that stands out for its highly composable and user-friendly approach to content management. Its unique visual editor enables both developers and content creators to collaborate seamlessly, while its API-first design facilitates effortless integration with various technologies and platforms. Storyblok's composable components allow teams to create reusable blocks, promoting efficiency and consistency across digital projects. With a robust plugin ecosystem and customizable workflows, Storyblok empowers organizations to craft tailored digital experiences that can easily evolve as business needs change.

Sanity

sanity website

Sanity is another leading headless platform that delivers a fully decoupled, real-time content backend with customizable content workspaces. It supports live collaboration and provides intelligent image cropping and scaling. Sanity’s API-first approach and its open-source content studio allow for deep customization, making it ideal for dynamic and large-scale projects.

Furthermore, Sanity's content lake approach enables teams to structure content as data, providing a single source of truth that can be reused across multiple platforms. With its customizable content studio and extensive plugin ecosystem, Sanity empowers organizations to build and manage unique digital experiences efficiently, adapting quickly to changing business requirements.

Kontent.ai

kontentai-website

Kontent.ai is a headless CMS designed to deliver highly composable and scalable digital experiences. Its API-first architecture ensures seamless integration with various applications and services, allowing for flexibility and adaptability in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Kontent.ai’s modular content model enables teams to create reusable content components, ensuring consistency and efficiency across different projects. With features like real-time collaboration, workflow automation, and a robust marketplace of integrations, Kontent.ai empowers organizations to efficiently manage and deliver personalized, multi-channel content that meets the unique needs of their audiences.

Prismic

prismic-website

Known for its user-friendly interface and powerful API capabilities, Prismic empowers marketers to quickly release on-brand pages using their preferred tech stack. It integrates well with modern frameworks like Next.js, Nuxt, and SvelteKit, making it a versatile choice for dynamic web development.

Prismic's unique Slice Machine feature enables teams to create reusable, modular content components, promoting efficiency and consistency across projects. Additionally, its intuitive content editor and built-in automation capabilities streamline the content creation and management process. With a strong focus on ease of use and extensibility, Prismic empowers organizations to deliver tailored digital experiences quickly and efficiently.

What to Know Before Adopting a Composable CMS

While a composable CMS offers numerous benefits, there are several important factors marketers should consider before implementation:

  1. Integration with Existing Systems: Integrating a composable CMS with existing tools and technologies can be complex. It requires careful planning and coordination and may involve custom development work to ensure smooth data flow and interoperability.

  2. Migration Plan: Developing a clear migration plan is crucial. This plan should include a thorough assessment of existing content and data structures to ensure a seamless transition. It’s important to map out how content elements, metadata, and workflows will transfer to the new system while maintaining data integrity.

  3. Maintenance and Support: Ongoing maintenance and support are essential to keep the composable CMS functioning optimally. Marketers should either have a dedicated internal team or a reliable external partner to manage updates, troubleshoot issues, and provide necessary technical support.

  4. Data Security and Compliance: Ensuring the security of customer data and compliance with laws like GDPR or CCPA is critical. The composable CMS should have strong security features, such as data encryption and user access controls. Regular security audits are also advisable to reduce the risk of data breaches.

Careful consideration of these factors will help mitigate potential challenges and lead to a successful implementation of a composable CMS.

Need Help With Migrating to a Composable CMS?

A composable CMS lets marketers build adaptable and scalable marketing platforms tailored to specific needs. While it offers flexibility and cost savings, integrating it with your existing systems, planning the migration, maintaining the system, and ensuring data security are essential steps you need to carefully manage.

A well-implemented composable CMS can significantly enhance your marketing, allowing you to quickly adapt to market changes and tech advancements.

Interested in upgrading to a composable CMS? At Webstacks, we specialize in advanced web solutions that transform your digital marketing.

Get in touch with us to see how we can help you leverage a Composable CMS to boost your business growth.

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Table of contents
What is a Composable CMS?
The Relationship Between Headless and Composability
Headless CMS: A Practical Approach
Composability: A Broader Strategy
Combining Headless and Composable Architectures
Key Characteristics of Composable CMS Design
Why Use a Composable CMS?
Composable CMS Examples
Contentful
Contentstack
Storyblok
Sanity
Kontent.ai
Prismic
What to Know Before Adopting a Composable CMS
Need Help With Migrating to a Composable CMS?
Strapi
Kontent.ai
Prismic
What to Know Before Adopting a Composable CMS
Need Help With Migrating to a Composable CMS?
Sanity
Kontent.ai
Prismic
What to Know Before Adopting a Composable CMS
Need Help With Migrating to a Composable CMS?
What to Know Before Adopting a Composable CMS
Need Help With Migrating to a Composable CMS?
Composability: A Broader Strategy
Key Characteristics of Composable CMS Design
Why Use a Composable CMS?
Composable CMS Examples
What to Know Before Adopting a Composable CMS
Need Help With Migrating to a Composable CMS?
Need Help With Migrating to a Composable CMS?
A composable CMS lets marketers build adaptable and scalable marketing platforms tailored to specific needs. While it offers flexibility and cost savings, integrating it with your existing systems, planning the migration, maintaining the system, and ensuring data security are essential steps you need to carefully manage.