Content Management as a Service

During my research with API-first businesses, I’ve found different market segments taking advantage of this strategy, from improving their services to creating a new vision for traditional software. The last one was a great surprise for me, I’ve never thought about how many businesses have been creating an API for X or Y.

In this article, I will walk through one of them, API for Content Management. Can you imagine using an API to manage every content in your site or app? In other words, forget the problems brought by this essential, and not too simple, development and switch all the lines of code to API requests. That is the main idea.

So why have they become popular? Why are companies like the NY Times, Lenovo, Spotify, Nike, Apple, Microsoft & New Relic using them?

Because digital products have evolved!

Frontend tooling & frameworks have exploded. Traditional CMS have become limited in how they perform content and are predisposed to many security exploits. Cross-platform content management has become essential to many projects.

Some benefits of using it:

  • Expenses reduction for cross-platform content management
  • Unique UX instead of CMS templates
  • Fewer worries about backend scalability and maintenance
  • Reduce impact of migrations & re-designs with content out of frontend

API-first CMS makes for a precise separation of concerns which enhances developer productivity. They provide a technology-agnostic way for development that resonates with our own product’s purposes.

Here are just five options of CMS API’s listed, and it does not mean there aren’t any more options, actually I’ve found them as the main results in my research. They are Butter, Contentful, CosmicJS, Directus, and Rooftop.


Add a CMS to your website in under 10 minutes

Butter is a modern blog alternative for developers based in San Francisco, CA. It’s designed to be a blog cms solution for any company with a Rails, PHP, Django, C#, Python, Javascript, or Go application that also needs a blog. The reason they’ve built Butter is that at the end of the day everyone wants a company blog with a straightforward and fast setup that looks great and to match your brand. Using the same technology as your main site, the same one that your engineers and designers enjoy working with, you can just integrate Libs/Widgets for the code and start creating a blog or managing the content of your site.


Bring content into apps and sites — the API way!

Contentful is an API-first CMS founded in 2013 and based in Berlin that makes it easy for companies to publish editorial content in web apps, mobile apps, and any smart devices.

The company was started by the founders due to the dissatisfaction with the existing web-focused CMSs. Those didn’t fit for the new web — the web of mobile, interactive, multichannel content, providing the interface for editors to control the content, and robust APIs and SDKs for developers to load this into their apps on any platform they fit the solution to this new market.


API-first CMS for building content-powered apps in any programming language

Cosmic JS is a Dallas-based startup with the mission of helping developers and content editors work better together as they create amazing products. After reinventing the wheel for every project, the founder decided to build a platform to fix many of the “pain points” in the development process. It aims to make the application development process faster, easier, more scalable and more intuitive for developers and content editors alike.


A headless CMS that manages your content, not your workflow

Directus is a “headless” CMS & API that decouples your content so it can be connected anywhere and everywhere. With a highly extensible DBaaS core elegantly wrapped with an intuitive admin web-application, Directus can mirror even the most complex database architectures. Best of all, this premium framework is completely free and open-source if you want to install it on your server.


The world’s most popular CMS — now in any programming language

Rooftop is an API-first WordPress CMS. It’s WordPress, which users can deploy for their clients while developing in any language. Users don’t need to make WordPress themes, and it can host all your content. They are decreasing the friction of the experience for those that are familiar with Wordpress.

My decision? I’ve never used either one but looking for the strategy I choose Directus due to the open source strategy which you can decide if you will host on your own or use the service provided by them.

It’s incredible how this API environment is growing and solving different problems that developers have faced, and now using microservices the development and release processes are becoming trivial to the non-core functions.

CEO at SkillCore, serial entrepreneur, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.