The five most popular headless content management systems

Mathijs Baas
  • over 1 year ago
  • 2 min read

Headless content management systems (CMSs) are a relatively new technology, but they've already become popular. They're fast and easy to use, and they allow developers to build faster websites with more flexibility than traditional CMSs. In this post, we'll take a look at five of the most popular headless CMSs on the market today.

To understand better what a headless CMS is, let’s first look at what a traditional content management system is.

Traditional CMSs, like WordPress or Drupal, are websites that allow you to manage the appearance and structure of your website's content. You can create pages, organize them into categories and use tools like meta descriptions and titles so that search engines understand what your site is about.

Headless CMSs are different because they focus more on the data than on how it looks or where it goes on your site. Headless CMSs take this concept even further by separating the front end from the back end: this means that you don't have to design anything unlike with traditional CMSs such as WordPress or Drupal.

Traditional CMSs were built on the idea that you'd spend most of your time in the admin interface writing and editing articles, pages, blog posts, etc. Headless CMSs are different from traditional CMSs because they focus on content as an asset rather than a page or a page layout.

At we store technology information of websites. This allows us to create an overview of the usage of headless CMSs on the internet.

At we store technology information of websites. This allows us to create an overview of the usage of headless CMSs on the internet. We’ve excluded hybrid CMS technologies from this list. This is because they canbe headless, but it’s impossible to distinguish whether they use the traditional CMS or a headless variant. Examples of hybrid CMSs are Craft and Umbraco. Excluding those, our data identifies the following technologies as the five largest headless CMSs:

Top five headless content management systems by installment base
The top five headless CMSs by installment base

With the surge of headless CMSs, it's getting ever more challenging to choose one. Each has pros and cons, so picking the right one for your project can be tricky. However, if you have a clear idea of what you need from your CMS, it's much easier to make the right decision. 

We hope this article has helped you discover some new options and find the best fit for your project. Check out our Recipes below.

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