Best Headless CMS For Publishers in 2021

Last updated on March 22nd, 2022 at 10:21 pm

Head = static codes in the frontend so that content is shown on only one device.

Headless: There’s no front end! You can design multiple heads and choose any device (tablet or smartwatch, smartphone, and more) or software for your media to stream using an API.

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But there’s not more there is to the Headless CMS. A headless CMS can also provide higher security and greater flexibility than a traditional CMS. We looked into the most recent heads-free CMS platforms and created an overview that you can go through.

What is the difference between a Headless CMS and Traditional CMS?

Traditional CMS has been designed to provide the user with a “monolithic” output, while a headless CMS allows you to choose the outcome you want to show your content.

It combines the information into a single headless content hub, making content available and reusable. Here’s how to distinguish between them:


Traditional CMS

Headless CMS

Hosting & delivery


In the cloud

Supported devices












Platform independence

Backend is connected to the Frontend

The backend runs independently.


A traditional web server is easy to hack.

Backend issues have no effect on the frontend.



Designed to be fast


Costs less when you include hosting

More cost-effective (no hosting costs).


Difficult to customize and has limitations on flexibility

Easy to customize and very flexible.


Hard to scale

Can be easily shared through different platforms.

How Does Headless CMS Perform?

It is frontend-agnostic headless CMS. It just allows writer to write on subject utilizing WYSIWYG editor or an HTML editor or and then hold up for that rough subject to be publish everywhere.

Because it is a headless CMS that does not have a head, developers can create the number of heads they like to use.

To make it easier to remember, for your convenience, Headless CMS can help you remember it.

Headless CMS is a system that offers frontend functionality (presentation and format) as well as backend functions (content creation storage, management, and storage) in separate ways.

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A headless CMS lets you disconnect the CMS entirely and make it cloud, thus offering all the advantages that come with a headless CMS and cloud. It raises the question: what exactly are headless CMSs?

The term “decoupled” refers to a CMS (also called hybrid or headless CMS) that includes at least two systems that interact with one another but are not connected or coupled.

A decoupled CMS allows you to make modifications to the structure without impacting the content on the site. Headless CMS (which also is known as a data source with only content) is an element of decoupled CMS.

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12 Best Headless CMSs for 2021



Magnolia is a fast and efficient solution for authors and developers, creating the ideal system for fast-paced publishing environments.

Developers can design websites or apps with the frontend frameworks they prefer, while marketers write content simultaneously, with a complete WYSWYG authoring experience that includes personalized previews and live previews.


    • Enterprise Annual licensing. Customized plans available. Make contact with Magnolia at this address.

User of Magnolia: Al Arabiya , News Channel, CNN Philippines and The New York Times 

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It is most favorite selection in the above our list. It has the most extensive network of associates, making it simpler to integrate with the latest innovations.

Contentful is a single-stop solution for newsrooms of a professional level, providing an efficient infrastructure, top security, and 24×7 customer service.


    • Community: Free Perfect for individual web developers who are working on personal websites.

    • Teams: It is $489; an excellent option for a small-sized team working on an online project, or even two.

    • Enterprise – Custom plans. Contact us here

Companies that use Contentful –PubNub, Hims & Hers, Samsara.

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Agility CMS


It has been Built for publishers for fifteen years, and Agility is a CMS designed explicitly for editors and developers. It is a fast and adaptable feature of a headless platform and authoring tools that editors are familiar with and enjoy.

It is based on a content-first approach to creating and distributing your digital content. It’s simple to configure and use up.

Pricie –

    • Free: It does not charge any subscription up to 5 users.

    • Business:  It allows upto 10 user for $490 per month and the bandwidth allowed up to 500GB per monthly (with overages).

    • Pro: $990 per month for 25 users with 1TB per month speed (with excesses).

    • Enterprise: It is $2500 per month for unlimited users, 2TB per month bandwidth. Get in touch here for more information.

Agility-based companies –VisitOrlando, Oxford SCENE.

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Superdesk integrates headless CMS capabilities with powerful workflow capabilities to provide an all-in-one news creation, production distribution, and curation platform.

It is created with journalists in mind working in their newsrooms. The platform is an API-based, modular design that allows news organizations to expand and modify the functions relevant to their particular business.

Pricing: Not disclosed by the vendor. For more information, contact the Superdesk team at this address.

Businesses using Superdesk: NTB, AAP, KOBINET.

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Kentico Kontent


It allows you to take charge of your processes, content, and security. It offers SLA, which guarantees uptime and 24/7 assistance.

Kontent organizes the content into collections and makes it easy for users to know who has responsibilities. Kontent is GDPR-compliant and multi factor authenticated.

Pricie –

    • Business: From $ 999 per month for expanding companies.

    • Premium:  for major projects, It charges $1,999 per month.

    • Enterprise – Customize proposal. Contact us by clicking here.

Content-based companies –Vogue, Discover Ireland, Leo Express.

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Contentstack assists in speeding the distribution of web-based content in digital format, apps and websites that provide fresh experiences.

Contentstack provides omnichannel distribution, robust integrations that effortlessly connect your Content Management System to your technology ecosystem, and a user-friendly interface that is flexible and easy collaboration across all your editorial teams.

Pricing –

    • Start: $995 per month with 10 accounts and 2 million API calls.

    • Grow: $3,500 per month for 10 and 6 million API calls.

    • Scale: Custom pricing for 10+ users and API calls are included. Contact us here

Companies using Contentstack: The Spectator, Sephora, and SHELL

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Directus is an open-source software platform designed to wrap custom SQL databases using an evolving API and an intuitive admin application to manage the content.

The API mimics the schema of your database and allows you to retail full management over the architecture and optimizations. The entire suite of Directus software is available for download with the GPLv3 license.

Pricing –

    • Self-Hosted: $1 per month Fully functional, with no restrictions community assistance.

    • Basic: In this subscription the user get 5000, 10 collection, basic support and price $29 per month.

    • Standard: $99.99 per month, 25 collections, and 10000 items, Standard support.

    • Professional: $29 per month for 50 collections and 25000 items, standard support.

    • Enterprise: Custom plans with unlimited collections and unlimited items, as well as premium support. Contact Directus staff here

Companies that use Directus: Not shared information by the company.

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Bold is an enterprise-level headless CMS developed by the modern digital publishing platform Quintype (Partner @iZooto). Bold has omnichannel distribution, an organized workspace, and extensive editing experience.

Bold gives in-depth analysis using machine-learning algorithms to ensure that the appropriate content is delivered to the right audience.

Prices: The subscription start from $99 per month  and is based on user traffic.

Companies that use Bold: SWARAJYA, The quint, and FORTUNE.

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Although GraphCMS not much distinct from the other CMSs in terms of editorial, It seamlessly integrates with frameworks of all kinds, such as React, Gatsby, and Vue, and is ideal for developers.

Pricing: GraphCMS provides four pricing options based upon the scale of your company and the number of users. In this CMS you can change your content in any language.

    • Essential:  This subscription is  perfect for individual projects and charge $29 per month per project.

    • Team: $129 per month per project. Ideal for groups working on projects with smaller scopes.

    • Growth: This subscription is especially for team who ready to promote the product and is  available for $699 per month per project.

    • Enterprise: Custom plans. Contact at staff by clicking here.

GraphCMS  utilize by companies – Shure, Telenor and Discovery etc

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Strapi provides an unmatched multi-device experience, allowing you to manage your content using a simple interface.

It addresses the significant challenges of all aspects of the media business and is, therefore, an all-in-one solution for product managers, editors, developers, editors, and business executives.


    • Community: for $0 and Free for life.

    • BRONZE: $29 per month depending on the work (Billed annually).

    • Silver: $299 per month for each Project (Billed annually).

    • GOLD: Contact our Strapi group here to request a quote

Businesses using Strapi:  AllDadsTalk, Beshak, Hackdoor.

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While the initial architecture of Ghost was designed to represent a monolithic standard web-based application, it’s now a headless CMS that can be used with any frontend that you connect it.

It comes with the default admin client and frontend. You can swap them out using an individual JAMstack.

Pricing –

    • Basic: the monthly cost of $29, annually billed ($36 paid each month).

    • Standard: $79 each month invoiced annually ($99 per month, billed each month).

    • Business: $199 monthly, invoiced annually ($249 charged each month)

Businesses using Ghost: heStanfordReview, Apple, Nasa, WealthIsSimple.

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dotCMS  is an open-source Hybrid CMS that permit large-sized and medium enterprises to design and controlled content-driven software, like single-page apps,  mobile apps and websites many more.

It offers features like NoCode/LowCode multilingual, conventional CMSs along with cloud computing, scalability, and the restful APIs of Headless CMS; dotCMS gives you the best of both worlds.

Pricing – Get a quote, here

Companies that use dotCMS –Junior Achievements, The LeBron James Foundation, TELUS.

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Do you really require it?

Headless CMSs are for large publishers. If you’re running one website populated by static content that is not updated often, it is unlikely that there will be much you can accomplish with the headless CMS.

It could come back in reality, as headless CMS needs a solid technical understanding. This list is applicable only in the case of a more extensive setup for a newsroom.

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In a sense, Headless CMSs respond to how users consume content via the internet today. The content can be accessible via web pages to browser for a long time. In contrast, we have multiple platforms that the content is required to be placed on. 

While all Headless CMSs seem promising, we recommend that you read their feature pages thoroughly before deciding due to the long-winded migration process. Don’t forget to inform us which one you’ve decided to use and the reason.

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