Contentful vs dotCMS

Are you looking for an open source Headless CMS?

dotCMS is one of the best open-source alternatives for companies considering Contentful. Due to its hybrid architecture and extensive APIs, dotCMS gives both marketers and developers the flexibility to build amazing user experience at scale.

Why Hybrid Headless is Better

Contentful is a pure headless CMS, which is frontend agnostic with an API-first backend that gives developers freedom and flexibility for creating the frontend user experience. But such flexibility comes at the expense of marketers and content editors. Headless CMS platforms like Contentful don’t come ready with the tools to curate, manage, and create content in the same way a traditional CMS does. For content creators to adequately do their job, they need a team of developers to help them set up things properly. 

dotCMS, on the other hand, provides an option that goes beyond headless and traditional. dotCMS’ open-source hybrid architecture all of the benefits of a headless CMS along with access to intuitive authoring features like drag and drop, layout design, and personalization. 

As an alternative to Contentful, a hybrid CMS like dotCMS benefits both developers and marketers. For developers, dotCMS allows developers to build digital experiences using the frontend tools and frameworks they know best, without sacrificing the editing experience for non-developers.

Thanks to its NoCode/LowCode capabilities, dotCMS can give non-technical users the tools to create content workflows and layouts with tools like our Edit Mode Anywhere Editor for single page applications, our drag and drop content palette and content block editor.  

Contentful Overview

Founded in Germany in 2013, Contentful is an API-first, proprietary platform that allows for presentation-independent content delivery through RESTful and GraphQL APIs. With Contentful, developers can build client-side applications using the most common programming languages through SDKs and starters and achieve framework agnosticism within the headless architecture.

Architecture

  • API-based
  • Headless architecture
  • Algolia Search
  • Content delivery API
  • Open SDKs
  • Amazon CDN
  • Microservices

Main Features

  • Channel-agnostic editing
  • Content preview
  • Image editor
  • Framework agnostic
  • RESTful and GraphQL API

dotCMS Overview

Founded in the US in 2003, dotCMS is an API-first, open-source platform that offers Content-as-a-Service. Due to its hybrid architecture, dotCMS can act as either a headless CMS or decoupled CMS, giving both marketers and developers the flexibility they need to create, search, and reuse the content across multiple formats and channels.

Architecture

  • Java-based
  • API-based, Content-as-a-Service
  • Hybrid architecture
  • Content Indexing using Elasticsearch
  • NoCode/LowCode
  • RESTful and GraphQL content search and access
  • Static publishing and replication to remote instances
  • Integrated CDN

Main Features

  • Open-source
  • Enables the best-of-breed approach
  • Built-in SEO
  • Granular user roles
  • Edit Mode Anywhere SPA editor
  • Multisite management
  • NoCode functionalities
  • Omnichannel content management

G2 Ratings

Side-by-side comparison of dotCMS vs. Contenful based on preference data from user reviews.

  • Reviewers felt that Contentful met the needs of their business slightly better than dotCMS on average.
  • When comparing the quality of product support, reviewers felt both products were comparable.
  • For feature updates and roadmaps, reviewers preferred the direction of dotCMS over Contentful.
dotCMS DXP (62 Reviews) Contentful (146 Reviews)
Meets Requirements
8.2
Responses: 50
8.5
Responses: 100
Product Direction (% positive)
7.9
Responses: 45
7.6
Responses: 92
Content Authoring
8.6
Responses: 38
8.4
Responses: 62
Versioning
8.2
Responses: 37
7.9
Responses: 53
Plug-ins/Widgets/Apps
8.0
Responses: 34
7.8
Responses: 49
Approval Process
7.6
Responses: 31
7.9
Responses: 35
Asset Management
8.2
Responses: 37
8.1
Responses: 52
Automated Publishing
9.3
Responses: 5
8.2
Responses: 14
Multi-language
9.3
Responses: 5
9.0
Responses: 16
Customization
8.4
Responses: 8
8.6
Responses: 18
Reuseable Content
9.5
Responses: 7
9.2
Responses: 12
Personalization
8.3
Responses: 7
6.9
Responses: 8
User Community
7.3
Responses: 32
8.0
Responses: 19
Enterprise Scalability
8.6
Responses: 35
8.3
Responses: 52
Source: G2.com

Playground

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telus-cms-case-study

Why TELUS Chose dotCMS

TELUS, the Canadian telecommunications giant, chose dotCMS to host its intranet and employee portal. Their previous intranet, a legacy system, couldn’t keep up with the ever-growing needs of TELUS and its subsidiaries, which called for a new intranet solution that could support a growing enterprise.

Thanks to dotCMS, TELUS strengthened its business's employee experience and gave employees of different stores and subsidiaries across Canada quick access to customer data, marketing and training materials in multiple formats and languages.

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