Why You Need a Hybrid CMS

Stefan Schinkel

We’re living in the IoT era, and the myriad of new smart devices through which users can consume content has changed everything. Traditional CMSs struggle to adapt, and modern CMSs have picked up the slack, enabling companies to create and scale personalized experiences like never before.

Nowadays, only building a website won’t cut it. Today, companies need to build not only responsive websites but also mobile apps and other content-based experiences. That means going beyond monolithic CMS and looking for agile alternatives that can cope with the ever-increasing number of touchpoints of modern marketing.

A hybrid headless CMS represents an alternative that combines the best of traditional CMSs with the omnichannel capabilities of an entirely headless one. Let’s dive deeper into the whole debate and discover why you need a hybrid CMS.

The Rise of the Headless CMS

Over the past five years, there has been an increase in the need to deliver content-rich, omnichannel digital experiences. In fact, according to Gartner, there has been an increase of 28% in the number of omnichannel experiences in eCommerce.

Compelled by these changes in consumer expectations, professionals in need of content management technologies are embracing the API-first approach, adopting new CMSs and tapping into new API sets. This API economy is what’s driving the future of digital experience architectures.

While the headless approach doesn’t work for every company, more companies can benefit from a headless CMS if their aim is to build omnichannel experiences in the future. However, going full headless is not the only alternative companies have when it comes to taking the API-driven route. A hybrid CMS has all the benefits of a headless CMS but is much friendlier for marketers and non-technical users.

Going Beyond Headless With A Hybrid CMS

Headless CMSs are great and work in a wide number of situations. However, hybrid CMSs are a middle ground that enables companies to mitigate the challenges that fully headless CMSs pose to teams. Hybrid CMSs give you all the benefits of a headless CMS while avoiding vendor lock and cost-effectively delivering results.

With a hybrid CMS, IT teams can develop their frontend applications in the framework of their liking. This means that using a hybrid CMS, you can develop not only websites but also SPAs and omnichannel digital experiences.

In addition, with a hybrid CMS, the hang-ups that marketers experience can be solved because hybrid CMSs are made with ease of use in mind and are meant to be used by non-technical users while still catering to technical users who want to have an experience that’s closer to a fully decoupled CMS.

Read More: What is the difference between Headless and Hybrid CMS

Why Marketers Need A Hybrid CMS

While headless CMSs are agile and powerful, they’re not the best tool for marketers who aren’t always tech-savvy. The only way to turn a headless CMS into a marketer-friendly piece of software is by integrating third-party tools, but that also requires developers, which puts marketers in an awkward position if they want to scale on their own.

Also, most of the time, integrating new software isn’t the best choice for marketers because of the many silos and platform bloat that situation creates. This ends up increasing their workload and leads to inconsistent content delivery across different channels.

With a hybrid CMS, you get all the benefits and tools of a headless CMS, and you also get front-end tools and templates that enable non-technical users to create digital experiences without the help of the IT team.

Here are some of the features that a hybrid CMS like dotCMS has that make marketers’ lives easier.

NoCode Platform

NoCode platforms make it easier for non-technical users to deliver digital experiences without always needing to relying on developers. NoCode enables companies to build both internal and external tools without involving the IT department, also reducing the number of hours devs spend maintaining the site.

API-first System

With an API-first CMS, you get a full CRUD API that allows you to create, read, update, and delete structured content regardless of your framework or preferred development language. With an API-powered CMS, you can push content to any device or channel.

Edit Mode Anywhere

Edit Mode Anywhere (Jamstack visual editor) enables content creators to edit the content and layout that extends to externally developed apps via dotCMS. With Edit Mode Anywhere, content editors can create SPAs and PWAs that have been built using dotCMS’ Layout as a Service API.

Read More: Why The Modern Marketer Needs Less Code, But More Control

Why Developers Need A Hybrid CMS, Too

We all know that choosing a CMS helps developers build websites faster. But that’s not all. A CMS streamlines design and publishing, two parts of the development cycle that can suck a lot of the developers’ time and derail necessary updates and improvements. A hybrid CMS frees developers’ hands by empowering marketers to modify and create content and layouts without needing assistance.

Hybrid CMSs make development more fluid and feature-driven than with traditional CMSs because they separate concerns and enable every part of the team to focus on what they do best. A Hybrid CMS helps developers become more productive as it gives editors the pieces to create digital experiences without their help, which results in more time coding and less time thinking about content.

Feature-driven Development

Separating content from presentation enables developers to focus on what they do best. This gives them enough headspace to develop new features that serve the visitor, delivering tangible, working software in an agile way. A hybrid CMS also allows developers to approach development incrementally, starting with the website and then rolling out other touchpoints.

Flexible Publishing

A hybrid CMS enables developers to create flexible publishing instances to push content to diverse instances and a multitude of servers and geographical locations. With a hybrid CMS, you can also publish content across different devices and channels.

SSGs and CDNs

Static Site Generators (SSG) make it easier for developers to pull data via APIs and generate static sites that can be swiftly deployed to web hosts and CDNs. Using SSGs coupled with a hybrid CMS, developers can create static sites that stay up to date each time content and presentation changes, all without affecting the overall user experience.

Content Stored In Markup

Content markup enables developers to encode the content structure explicitly, regardless of how it is presented. Markup makes it possible for developers to push and exchange information more precisely between systems, enabling a better presentation and a quicker response and accelerating development time.

dotCMS: The Future is Hybrid

dotCMS separates content from the presentation without entirely throwing the presentation layer in the trash. We empower marketers with an intuitive WYSIWYG and Block Editor interface and inline editing so marketers can enjoy a feature-rich experience.

By the same token, dotCMS eliminates vendor lock and gives you the possibility of going for a best-of-breed approach that integrates your favorite tech stack and gives you unparalleled flexibility. Plus, our Content as Infrastructure philosophy makes sure that your content can flow anywhere inside and outside your company.

All in all, we built a hybrid CMS that doesn’t just go beyond headless, but beyond other hybrid CMSs on the market.

Are You Ready For A Hybrid CMS?

Hybrid CMSs come packed with advantages and just a few circumventable drawbacks. Still, that doesn’t mean that changing your architecture might be the best choice for you yet.

Nevertheless, if you’re positive about building omnichannel experiences in the next few years, you need to take a look into the hybrid architecture and plan for migration soon.

A hybrid CMS empowers both developers and marketers by giving them the tools to work in sync, but separately; each team communicating with each other and without silos, but with a clear view of each other’s responsibilities.

Tools like our own Edit Mode Anywhere make it quick and straightforward for everyone to edit content in context, design layouts, and drag-and-drop content to create the best experience for the users.

Hybrid CMSs reduce feature bloat and help developers deliver blazing-fast sites and digital experiences in less than a month. In fact, it’s possible to build an SPA with dotCMS in only three weeks.

A Modern Guide to Selecting a CMS

Stefan Schinkel
Chief Revenue Officer
March 12, 2024

Filed Under:

headless cms hybrid cms

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