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The Best 10+ Open Source Headless CMS 2022

Looking for some Open Source Headless CMS for managing your content? Well then, don't worry. here we have gathered some of the best & Open-Source Headless CMS.

In case you are not aware of CMS, it is a system or software program used to manage content if you are unfamiliar with it. You can quickly create, store, manage, and change your content thanks to it. Using a quality CMS, like WordPress, Wix, Joomla, etc., you can develop a website and start publishing content right away even if you have no coding or technical knowledge.

Using a CMS's user-friendly interface, you can create, manage, amend, and publish content. Instead of using code, you can alter the appearance and operation of your website by downloading or buying templates and add-ons. The back end of the same tool supports many people working simultaneously, among other features.

Although, the issue with typical CMSs' is that they impose numerous constraints on design and performance. These solutions combine frontend and backend components into a single location, making it more difficult to make modifications and reuse material. That's where headless CMS comes into the picture. A headless CMS deals strictly with the content.

Here in this collection we have gathered the best Open Source Headless CMS. Although, before you jump straight to the collection, let's discuss about headless CMS in brief.

Let's do this

What is Headless CMS?

Any form of back-end content management system where the content repository, the "body," is separated or divorced from the presentation layer, the "head," is known as a headless CMS, also known as headless software or a headless system. In actuality, a headless CMS enables you to manage content in a single location while yet enabling you to distribute that information across any frontend you choose. The ability to connect content to any system, piece of software, or website by simply contacting the APIs the headless CMS provides is crucial to omnichannel initiatives.

In simple words, A Content Management System (CMS) with merely a backend system, a server to store files, and an API for content dissemination is known as a headless CMS. The term "headless" refers to the absence of a frontend system. It handles content without a presentation layer or frontend; rather, the content stored in them is delivered across devices and platforms via API requests.

Now, before we start the list, it is necessary that you don't confuse headless CMS with the traditional CMS. Therefore, it is better to know the basic difference between the two.

What is the Difference Between CMS & and Headless CMS?

Traditional CMS vs Headless CMS

Traditional content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress or Drupal, are monoliths that combine a website's front end and back end in a clean and user-friendly application code base. They are made up of the presentation layer all the way up to the content database. Well, the traditional CMS is still an excellent tool that supports many deployment models. Using it can be the ideal option if you're solely creating a website for yourself, a small business, or even an enterprise solution that won't need to share material with other digital domains.

Whereas by never interacting with a front end directly, a headless CMS sets itself apart. A headless CMS only manages the content, unlike standard CMSs which seek to be a single solution for managing both the content and the front-end. When the material is finished being developed and modified, it is simply published using an API. There is no effect or contribution to the front-end. This gives you the freedom to distribute your material however you see fit and in as many different ways as possible.

Now, let’s understand what headless CMS solutions are and how using them makes total sense.

How does Headless CMS work?

Headless CMS Working
Credit: WeArebrain

Traditional CMS systems employ a monolithic architecture in which the frontend and backend systems of a program or site are linked in a straightforward manner. This means it covers both the presentation layer of the site, i.e., the frontend, and the backend, where the information is stored.

Let's look at WordPress as an instance to see how this works. Its front-end is limited. You can make some changes by using templates, icons, and so on, but you can't totally replace everything. It also imposes constraints on content operations, layout, optimization, and efficiency.

Here the headless CMS differs from the traditional one. A headless CMS can aid in this situation by removing the "head" or frontend entirely. It only operates on the backend of an app and connects to the frontend via API. This gives developers the freedom to send material anywhere. So in simple terms, a content management system that separates the "head" from the "body" of the material is known as a headless CMS. You can send the material to be displayed anywhere after storing it in your headless CMS, giving you much more control over how it is displayed.

A headless CMS stores your content and uses an API to deliver it across websites, tablets, mobile devices, CRMs, wearables, and so on. It is a more adaptable type of CMS that also removes the need for hosts, making maintenance easier with better productivity and collaboration.

Now, let's check the benefits of headless CMS that make it more preferable to traditional CMS.

Benefits of Headless CMS for modern businesses

By splitting the frontend and backend components of a system, you can use the backend solely for content storage, organization, and management, while leaving the frontend to deliver material for a specific channel. This provides numerous benefits to developers and publishers.

Increased adaptability

The first aspect is the simplicity with which the service may be launched. Most open source solutions need you to first set up the facility and then tweak the functionality. Although this gives you a lot of control over your installation, it's time-consuming and demands technical knowledge.

SaaS solutions, on the other hand, offer a more user-friendly setup. You can get your headless CMS up and running quickly. SaaS alternatives also reduce the need for infrastructure management, enabling developers to concentrate more on CMS customization.

Scalable

You can easily manage content from a single spot and change your frameworks, tools, and technologies without compromising your content. Furthermore, employing cloud-based architecture allows you to simply scale up and down without any difficulties. You may even customize your site without having to wait for it to load.

Easy Integration & Flawless compatibility

Headless CMS systems are interoperable with modern devices, platforms, and technologies. As a result, you may effortlessly publish your work anywhere you want while maintaining constant performance. You may also integrate with various languages and software to make things easier.

At this point, both open source and SaaS systems provide equal levels of flexibility. Both solutions allow for integration with third-party platforms such as payment gateways, ERP systems, message brokers, social networking sites, and others. The main difference is that on an open source platform, you have the possibility of creating a new connector with the support of the community to facilitate a new integration.

Enhanced security

The security and safety of the headless CMS are managed by a SaaS provider. In an open-source approach, most projects rely on contributors to follow compliance and security criteria. As a result, developers are completely responsible for the security ramifications. This strategy, like platform maintenance, is riskier and takes more time.

Maintenance is simplified.

SaaS solutions do not require significant upkeep. The only requirement is that the content is kept within the headless CMS. The network and functionality are the responsibility of the platform provider. In addition, you will have to get a proper technical support option to use in order to resolve any issues with the platform.

You are accountable for infrastructure upkeep in an open source platform, and the only way to get help is to ask the open source community that participates in the project. This technique is riskier, but it gives you more command over platform efficiency and enables you to operate the platform to meet your specific requirements.

The Best Open Source Headless CMS:

The global headless CMS market was valued at US$ 328.5 million in 2019, according to research. This figure is predicted to rise to $1,628.6 million by 2027. Many service providers now provide headless CMS solutions, including both paid and open-source options. So, if you're looking for the greatest open-source headless CMS solution for your upcoming project, we've got you covered.

While traditional CMS architecture used to be the norm for web development, headless CMS software solutions are now in demand because of their greater flexibility and scalability. Therefore, here we will look at some of the top open source headless CMS.

Now, let's start the collection

Strapi (Free & Paid)

Strapi

Get the leading open-source headless CMS for your next applications by Strapi. It is customizable, developer-first, and 100% JavaScript that makes building a performant, customizable, and self-hosted content API easy and simple.

Strapi is an open-source platform as its complete codebase is available publicly and maintained on GitHub by many contributors. Customizing API as well as admin panel is easy, and you can extend the content management in seconds with custom plugins. You can also use the API from various clients, such as Vue, Angular, React, IoT devices, or mobile applications by using GraphQL or RESTful.

For documentation & Installation process you can check the GitHub repo.

Features:

  • Flawless design
  • Easy customization
  • Highly flexible
  • Developer centric
  • Multi-database support
  • Webhooks & many more.

If you find the free version useful & worth using, you can upgrade to premium plans. Premium plans offer more features. There are basically 3 premium plans for Strapi.

  • Bronze Plan: $9 per admin user/month. It comes with granular access controls.
  • Silver Plan: $29 per admin user/month. This includes Granular access controls, Guidance & Assistance, & Customer Success Manager.
  • Gold Plan: Negotiable. It includes Granular access controls, Single Sign-On, Technical support with SLAs, Customer Success Manager, & Technical onboarding.

Ghost CMS (Free & Paid)

Ghost CMS

Start your headless CMS journey with Ghost and learn how to build independent, beautiful publications. Follow its setup guide from the local environment to product development and install the software easily. It supports the Ubuntu server for running self-hosted instances.

You can design templates of your own using the same guide. By understanding Ghost’s configuration and architecture, you will never lack in building new websites, applications, etc. With the open-source theme starter framework, you can take a faster track of developing custom themes.

Excellent internal SEO options are incorporated into Ghost CMS. SEO does not require adding any more weight to the CMS. Structured Data: Ghost CMS posts by default support structured data. Displaying attractive search results in search engines is quite helpful. You can check the GitHub repo for the installation guide.

Features:

  • Custom branding
  • Easy navigation
  • Custom redirects
  • Multi-language support
  • Webhooks
  • Front-end agnostic and much more.

For more features, you can shift to the premium plans which mainly come in 4 different categories depending on your team members.

  • Starter Plan: $9/month for 500 Members.
  • Creator Plan: $25/month for 1000 Members.
  • Team Plan: $50/ month for 1000 Members + 5 staff users
  • Business Plan: 199/month for 10,000 Members with unlimited staff users & and advanced domain configs.

Netlify (Open Source)

Netlify CMS

The Netlify CMS is a single-page React application. It supports various Git platform APIs, and creates custom-styled previews, UI widgets, editor plugins, or adds backends. You can easily start making flexible and faster web projects by using this Open Source Headless CMS along with the static site generator. Additionally, this Headless CMS Open Source stores the content in your Git repository alongside your code for easier versioning, multi-channel publishing, and the option to handle content updates directly in Git. Thus, the versioning becomes simpler.

You may give editors a friendly UI and simple workflows with the help of the open source content management system Netlify CMS for your Git workflow. It may be used with any static site generator to produce web projects that are quicker and more adaptable. Besides, it also helps in multi-channel publishing and handling content updates inside Git. It is designed as a one-page React application; thus, you can create UI widgets, editor plugins, custom-styled previews, and add backends to support various Git platform APIs. For the installation guide, you can refer to the GitHub repo.

Features:

  • Editor-friendly User Interface
  • Fast & Web-Based UI
  • Built on Jamstack
  • Intuitive workflow
  • Flexible content types
  • Instant Access without the GitHub account

This CMS is one of the best React based Headless CMS. Talking about React CMS, you can also use the Materio MUI React NextJS Admin Template. By using these headless CMS you can Integrate them with the Materio.

Materio React Admin Template

Besides, it is one of the best React Admin Templates.

Tina CMS (Open Source)

Tina CMS

Tina is a Git-backed headless content management system that enables developers and content creators to collaborate seamlessly. With Tina, developers can create a custom visual editing experience that is perfectly tailored to their site. Besides, you may keep the advantages of a Git workflow for your data and provide all team members access to an intuitive interface for website updates.

Also, you can easily boost output and view context-sensitive adjustments while you update website content. Given that it was created using ReactJS, you can provide your content team the ability to easily create complicated pages by adding an editing interface to your React components. Tina CMS project setup is quick and simple using the TinaCMS CLI. The Tina starting site can be created using the CLI with Tina already set up, or it can be added to an existing Next.js site.

Check the GitHub Repo for the source code.

Key characteristics:

  • Both the frontend and the backend can use the new unified client.
  • The data layer is by default turned on.
  • Improved read-only token support
  • A Simple and more direct method of utilizing Tina CMS in CI

Keystonejs (Open Source)

keystoneJS

Build faster and scalable content with the Keystone Headless CMS platform. Just describe your schema and get awesome Management UI and robust GraphQL API for data and content. Ship the code with elegant APIs without compromising the flexibility of a bespoke backend. It offers multiple field types, session management, custom schema, access control, database migrations, powerful filters, relational data, event hooks, automated CRUD, and more.

Keystone’s admin UI is intuitive and flexible to understand your needs and shape your content accordingly. Additionally, it offers next-generation rich text WYSIWYG BYO custom React. You can deploy it on Heroku, Render, Digital Ocean, etc., or your custom infrastructure. Keystone can fit your git-based building workflow and offer automation and CI tooling.

Furthermore, you will get what you require quickly. Session management, access control, pagination, sorting, and filtering are all included right out of the box using Keystone's GraphQL API. Without losing the elements that are useful to you, customize it. It has more them 6.7k stars on GitHub.

Features:

  • All the field types
  • Session Management
  • Custom Schema
  • Database Migrations
  • TypeScript Support
  • Powerful Filters
  • Relational Data and many more.

PayloadCMS (Open Source)

PayLoad cms

Payload is the last CMS you’ll ever need. It’s 100% TypeScript and is by far the most extensible and developer-first headless CMS on the market. Payload has, hands-down, the best developer experience out of any headless CMS. Build whatever you need, however you want, and never hit a functionality roadblock. Payload is the go-to headless CMS for websites, SaaS apps, native apps, and anything else you need to build.

Payload powers extremely complex and fully featured web apps of every shape and size. It's the perfect back-office CMS for ecommerce sites, SaaS, video game backends, and more. Power any website, from enterprise to personal portfolio with Payload as a headless CMS. Its powerful version system and layout-building functionality unlock the best CMS experience for your editors on the market. Currently, it has more than 6.4k stars on GitHub.

Features:

  • Content Blocks
  • Multi-language Support
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Document Management
  • Approval Process Control
  • Version Control

Webinyjs (Free & Paid)

Webiny JS

Webiny Serverless CMS provides a flexible, scalable, and agile solution for your content needs. Since different businesses have different requirements, it offers valuable tools to use independently across your organization, from your development team to the marketing team. This Open Source headless CMS is based on GraphQL with powerful modeling features. It offers powerful GraphQL and fine-grain permission control to build landing pages in minutes. You can manage content in various languages and multiple websites with built-in multi-tenancy.

Webiny application framework gives everything you want to build, architect, and deploy Serverless applications along with an omnichannel content hub. It also provides filter operations and query search for fast performance. You can even make changes to any content at any time through the powerful API. Besides, it allows you to create or modify any content models programmatically and get complete access control over your operations. It is scalable, adaptable, secure, gives data ownership, permission control, lower cost of ownership, and more. For a quick installation guide refer to the GitHub repo.

Features:

  • Headless CMS.
  • No code Page Builder.
  • Publishing workflows.
  • Multi-site support.
  • Serverless infrastructure

If you are satisfied with the free version and require enterprise-level features then Webiny offers the premium plan for that. With this plan you will have:

  • OKTA integration
  • Active Directory integration
  • SLA Support
  • Infinite customization capabilities
  • Consultancy services

Cockpit

Cockpit

Cockpit CMS is a straightforward framework for managing complicated and organized information. Additionally, it makes it possible to control the content adaptably and with few limits. This Open Source Headless CMS also supports a variety of devices on a single platform. It is very simple to install, and it takes little time to finish. As a result, you can begin your job without any problem or difficulty.

The website's content is arranged on this platform. The installation process is quick & hassle-free. Every step of the process, from installation to management, is simple. Data can be listed all at once, saving users time and accelerating the procedure. It is highly valued by users. Codes are offered that are connected to carrying out the desired function. It has a search tool that enables visitors to jump to the necessary section. This program is used to build and manage well-organized websites.

Features:

  • Flexible structured content models
  • An assets manager
  • Routes, SEO, and menus
  • Simple Content migration
  • Webhooks
  • Layouts

It is available for free and you can check the GitHub Repo for the source code. In case you are willing to get more features then Cockpit CMS also offers two premium plans:

  • Pro: $250/Project
  • Enterprise: Negotiable as per need.

SanityIO

Sanity

Get free form customization and rapid configuration with Sanity Studio, an open-source CMS built with React.js. Its plugins and tool kits help you create your own workflows the way you want and start managing your content.

This single-page application can help you install plugins or build them independently. You can also describe content validations, UI structures, and content models in JavaScript to see directly in the next window.

You will get benefits, like document revisioning, building type previews, working on the phone or other touch devices, uploading images directly from the clipboard, pasting formatted text from work, web, or Google Docs, and more. Moreover, use plain JavaScript objects and quickly configure the user interfaces and content schemas. You can also install UIs for data models and enhance your workflows. Check the GitHub for the source-code.

Features:

  • Flexible editing environment.
  • Real-time database.
  • Best Tooling
  • Structured content
  • Review changes
  • Image pipeline and many more.

Sanity also offers 3 Premium plans:

  • Team: $99/project/month, suitable for a small team (10 non-admin users)
  • Business: $949/project/month, suitable for mid-sized businesses (20 non-admin users)
  • Enterprise: Custom, For large organizations.

BuilderIO/builder (Free & Paid)

BuilderIO

The builder gives you a visual editor integrated with the existing site stack that lets you drag and drop your components. It is one of the most capable drag-and-drop visual editors and Headless CMSs is Builder. To manage and publish material with ease, you may integrate it with any website or app.

Features:

  • Symbols & state
  • Custom data fetching
  • Content API
  • Webhooks
  • Targeting and scheduling content
  • Extending Builder.io with plugins

Furthermore, the builder offers 3 premium plans:

  • Basic: $90/month with 100k monthly builder page views. Suitable for small business
  • Growth: $404/month with 500k monthly builder page views. Best for medium business
  • Enterprise: Custom. Suitable for a large business with 1m monthly builder page views.

Apostrophe

Apostrophe

Get a flexible and robust open-source website builder – Apostrophe – suitable for SaaS companies, enterprises, higher education, digital agencies, and a lot more. It can enhance your digital experiences from the same dashboard and lets you customize a no-code website factory through a modern tech stack.

Apostrophe empowers editors with a drag-and-drop editor to make changes in real-time. You will also find easy-to-use visual design tools that allow dynamic styling without disturbing brand guidelines. Hence, your market speed will increase by 10x.

Integrate your technology, including Express, MongoDB, npm, Vue.js, and Node.js, with flexible and native modules content APIs. In addition, Apostrophe provides a single dashboard for every operation so that you will never lack in searching for the perfect tool for your websites. You can also integrate with Jamstack to create robust custom solutions. Currently, it has 3.9k stars on GitHub.

  • In-context Editing
  • Modularity
  • Rapid Deployment
  • Scalability and many more.

Conclusion:

Delivering top-notch content is now essential for every company if it wants to compete in the modern marketplace. You can develop, manage, and share your content instantly with the correct headless CMS. Every headless CMS on this list for content management enables you to organize, write, and distribute material across as many devices and channels as you require.

Keep in check that there will be variations in the amount of support offered by the vendor when choosing the best headless CMS for your business. Because migrating to headless may be difficult, be sure to select a solution that will provide you with prompt assistance and qualified services whenever you require them.

We hope you find this list helpful. In case we missed any other good CMS then let us know in the comment section below.


About Us:

We at ThemeSelection build high-quality, developer-friendly & easy to use React Admin Templates, Bootstrap Admin Templates, VueJS Admin Templates, Laravel Admin Templates & UI Kits for developers & designers.

Top comments (6)

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theether0 profile image
Shivam Meena

Some of them are new for me, great work.

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection Author

Thanks for the appreciation.
We are glad that you find the collection helpful. πŸ™‚

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endymion1818 profile image
Ben Read

Hey, thanks for mention! If anyone wants any help getting started with Webiny Headless CMS, drop me a message!

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection Author

You are welcome. πŸ™‚

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machineno15 profile image
Tanvir Shaikh

The only question i have is how to host them, i tried hosting strapi on netlify free tier , it didn't work, can you please help me whith what I'm missing ?

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theme_selection profile image
ThemeSelection Author

You can follow the documentation from the official site.

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