Improving the headless CMS

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16 July 2021 | 5 mins

Headless CMSs are enticing many developers away from top-heavy and resource-intensive CMSs like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. But what is a headless CMS, and why should you use one? The easy answer: flexibility, or future-proofing your content.

A (simplified) diagram of a headless CMS powering a Jamstack site. APIs are pulled in at build time; updated content is picked up by the next build.

At its core, a headless CMS means a fundamental decoupling of content and delivery, which are handled by different software. Unlike a ‘traditional’ dynamic CMS, with a decoupled CMS your authored content is not restricted to a webpage — if you go headless, your content can easily be published to multiple channels, personalized e-commerce front-ends, mixed reality devices, digital signage, IoT … the list goes on. So far, so good. The main sticking point for many developers is that your content is still abstracted from your live site; it’s often hard to know exactly what your data is going to look like in a live environment.

Enter the Git-based CMS, which acts as a smart layer between your Git repo and your site. Version control is both a central axiom and an essential operating statement: with a headless CMS like CloudCannon, your Git repo is the true source of your data, so you can truly COPE: Create Once, and Publish Everywhere. Or, if you (or your customer) prefer the CORE approach with truly flexible content: Create Once, and Repurpose Everywhere.

Any CMS that doesn’t natively allow both collaborative and independent work — for business users, developers and operations — is a bottleneck. There’s no reason it has to be that way. Software development on Git allows agile and collaborative development; with CloudCannon’s decoupled headless CMS housing both application and content, we can truly level the playing field for all users.

Diagram demonstrating CloudCannon's Git-based CMS, which lets non-developers update content, which is then committed back to the repo. You can sync, build, edit and host your static sites all in one place.

Developers can establish their own local and intermediary branches, with easily accessible staging environments. Content writers and site admins can work in a responsive editing environment. Experimentation is no longer a luxury; it’s just part of the workflow. Here at CloudCannon, we’ve thought a lot — a lot — about the way the web could be, and we’re committed to the paradigm of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) for both content and code.

Why should you switch to a headless CMS?

Whether you’re a developer or a business, you’re already evolving with market trends to stay ahead of the competition. Here’s your point of difference. Headless architecture is the next step in CMS evolution and can address rapid changes in consumer demand for content delivery. Further, using a Git-based headless CMS like CloudCannon offers several benefits, including super-fast builds, flexibility, multi-channel delivery, scalability, and enhanced security.

Triangle diagram showing Git sync, build and edit steps

Our headless CMS acts as a layer on top of Git and pushes changes to your Git repository of choice. This way, you can manage your content in a single platform, with full and trusted version control, integrating with the workflows you already use. You’re not locked in to a single vendor, and you’ll have full control over your data caps and bandwidth.

CloudCannon’s free Developer plan offers everything you need to build, edit, and host your site, with support for unlimited staging sites, client sharing and up to three team members. If you grow your business, you can upgrade your plan. Until then, it’s on us — no credit card required.

What are the benefits of using CloudCannon’s headless CMS?

CloudCannon offers a free developer plan and a comprehensive headless CMS free of charge. You can use CloudCannon’s Git-based headless CMS to collaborate with your team and reduce build time. We will power your content workflows and the robust features of our headless CMS will keep your developers and editors in sync. With CloudCannon, you’ll have control of all your content and enjoy easy rollback and a simple setup. Here are the benefits:

Multi-object versioning

A traditional CMS offers a seamless setup, but has limited versioning. To meet evolving digital expectations, you need a flexible headless CMS. Our CMS provides multi-object versioning for efficient content change tracking. Content changes made by developers and editors automatically sync to CloudCannon and commit back to your repository.


Your data and content live in your Git repository. You are the sole owner of your content, giving you the freedom to interact with it and move it from one platform to another.

Powerful editing

You can leverage Markdown and HTML files for all the content on your website. We also offer intuitive content editing and powerful publishing workflows, which can take your editing team to the next level, and will reduce your support time.


Unlike traditional CMS platforms, CloudCannon’s headless CMS allows developers and content editors to create branches for significant changes. It also allows you to merge changes on your site into another branch and integrate your team’s workflows using Pull Requests.

Whether you’re an experienced Jamstack developer or you’re just starting out in the static site world, CloudCannon has a tier to meet your needs. Anyone can begin on our free Developer plan and join the Jampacked community to learn the benefits of a Git-based headless CMS.

Manage your portfolio — or begin one — without having to pay anything at all. Join today to streamline your content workflow and reduce your build time.

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