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Headless CMS Explained: the Prismic CMS

At One Shoe, we work with a variety of technological applications for making websites, apps, platforms and portals. When selecting a CMS, we often recommend the Prismic CMS. In this article, we are going to explain exactly what Prismic is and discuss the power of this headless CMS.

One Shoe | 20 mei 2020

Headless CMS: Prismic CMS

What is the Prismic CMS?

Prismic is a CMS (content management system) that gives you an extremely user-friendly way of processing, managing and publishing online content. At the same time, the CMS offers a great deal of technical freedom in developing websites, web applications, mobile apps or platforms because it is perfectly suited to headless configurations.

Prismic is a ‘headless’ CMS. What does that mean?

Prismic is not a ‘traditional’ CMS: instead, it is headless: a standard CMS normally consists of a back-end that can be used for managing the content and a front-end to ensure that the content is shown on a web page in a particular way.

In a headless CMS, the content management (back-end) and its presentation (front-end) are kept separate. Being a headless CMS means that Prismic does not create web pages itself: you do that using your chosen separate front-end. That gives you full freedom to make that content available not only to websites but also to wearables, apps, dashboards, game consoles or information screens. You retrieve the content through the API of the headless CMS. This is why a headless CMS is also sometimes known as an ‘API CMS’ or ‘content as a service’ (CaaS).

What are the benefits of a headless CMS such as Prismic?

A headless configuration gives you complete freedom in the way you want your content presented, often more so than with a standard CMS because those can tie you to restrictions such as the available themes, modules or functionality.  

At One Shoe, we use the Prismic CMS in headless configurations such as content management for mobile apps (qlinker), content-driven platforms (Studiekeuze123) or for supplementary content in data-driven applications (G4S). In technical terms, the Prismic CMS provides a high degree of freedom for doing this. As well as being able to set up links easily, you can also quickly create a variety of components (‘content slices’), letting you build dynamic layouts by defining reusable, modified components. On top of that, it has an intuitive user interface and it is easy to use. You do not get overloaded with options and the focus is genuinely on managing the content.

What Prismic themselves say about this: “Prismic CMS is a calm, non-intrusive CMS that simply works, and works very well – on its own, and with other tools”.

Prismic.io: a Headless CMS

When should you choose the Prismic CMS?

In short: pick Prismic if you’re looking for a flexible, lightweight CMS that has all the basic content management capabilities for a very competitive price-tag. On top of that, Prismic lets you benefit from the usual advantages of a SaaS CMS: no maintenance or complex updates are needed, for instance, because that is all handled by Prismic. Even in terms of accessibility, it’s nicely set up.

What do you need to keep an eye on when using Prismic?

Prismic is, in fact, the smarter kid brother of enterprise CMS systems such as Drupal and Sitecore. Prismic does not restrict you, but it is not as comprehensive in terms of functionality and expandability as the large enterprise CMS systems. Site management is not possible, for example, and moderation of articles is as yet at a very early stage. So the question is whether you genuinely need all the capabilities of an enterprise package for your next digital project...

Would you like advice on whether to use the Prismic CMS?

Tibor Uittenbogaard (Digital Consultant) will be pleased to tell you more.