Cover image for Best Headless CMS for 2020

Best Headless CMS for 2020

nirazanbasnet profile image Nirazan Basnet Updated on ・5 min read

A content management system (CMS) is a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content. The core functions are often considered to be indexing, search, and retrieval, format management, revision control, and publishing.

Agility CMS

  • Agility CMS

    Agility CMS is a Content-First Headless CMS, allowing you to choose any programming language while also getting the flexibility, speed, and power that comes from lightweight APIs. From there, add features like Page Management, Ecommerce, Online Ticketing, and Search; Agility CMS becomes a complete Digital Experience Platform saving time, removing limitations and allowing for seamless experiences across all digital channels. Visit site here

Magnolia CMS

  • Magnolia CMS

    Magnolia eliminates the limitations of traditional headless systems. Create experiences for any channel while taking advantage of in-context editing, full previews, and personalization. Its robust APIs seamlessly connect with your other technologies, providing access to all your content and data from within one platform. Visit site here


  • Bloomreach

    Open-source headless CMS without compromising on the authoring experience. No more form-based content management. Powerful APIs to consume from any client like React or Angular. Visit site here

ButterCMS Logo

  • ButterCMS

    A UI (and API) for managing/creating content, and APIs/SDKs for getting it out. Visit site here

Contentful Logo

  • ContentFul

    A UI (and API) for managing/creating content, and APIs/SDKs for getting it out. Visit site here

Cosmic Js Logo

  • Cosmic JS

    Headless CMS and API toolkit. Built on serverless technology, use as a hosted service or run on dedicated cloud infrastructure. Visit site here

DatoCMS Logo

  • DatoCMS

    Hosted CMS that outputs all your data as a JSON API. Visit site here

Fixture Logo

  • Fixture

    Build beautiful, full-featured websites that run on your own AWS account. With an easy-to-use UI and robust e-commerce support, Fixture is the best way to build fast, serverless websites. Visit site here

Flamelink Logo

  • Flamelink

    A Realtime Headless CMS for Firebase. Visit site here

Forestry Logo

  • Forestry

    Forestry.io is a Git-backed CMS for websites and web products built using static site generators. Forestry bridges the gap between developers and their teams, by making development fun and easy while providing powerful content management for their teams. Visit site here

GraphCMS Logo

  • GraphCMS

    Headless CMS for Digital Creators. GraphQL Content APIs for Digital Products. Visit site here

Kontent Logo

  • Kontent

    Better content management starts now. A Content-as-a-Service platform that gives you all the headless CMS benefits while empowering marketers at the same time. here

Netlify CMS Logo

  • Netlify CMS

    This is a React SPA that works with any static site generator. Visit site here

Prismic Logo

  • Prismic

    An API based CMS with wide support of JS frameworks, built for flexible development and accessible end-user experience. Visit site here

Sanity Logo

  • Sanity

    Edit collaboratively, distribute over APIs and freely decide later how and where your content will be used. Visit site here

Shifter Logo

  • Shifter

    WordPress sites automatically have a Rest API. But you still need to host the site somewhere and serverless isn't really gonna happen. Except... The shifter is the WordPress hosting solution that combines static site generation and serverless architecture with the world’s most popular CMS. Visit site here

Storyblok Logo

  • Storyblok

    It is the headless content platform, based on components. Has a powerful editor concept that works with every page and a generous free plan. Visit site here

Strapi Logo

  • Strapi

    Strapi is an open-source Headless CMS that is an open-source MIT licensed, self-hosted, customizable, has RESTful or GraphQL APIs, is 100% JavaScript (built on Node.js) and extensible by design. Visit site here

Take Shape Logo

  • Take Shape

    A stress-free Headless CMS, GraphQL API, and Static Site Generator to help you get your projects done. Visit site here

Webiny Logo

  • Webiny

    Developer-friendly Serverless CMS powered by GraphQL and React. Host it yourself. Visit site here

WordPress (REST API) Logo

  • WordPress (REST API)

    WordPress isn't typically what you'd think of as serverless, but you can use the REST API, available on both self-hosted WordPress sites and WordPress.com, to build static sites or JavaScript-rendered sites. Visit site here

I am just trying to put the collection of awesome services that will be very helpful for creating an application in a quick time.

Which is your favourite Serverless CMS? -- Mine is Forestry and Netlify CMS.

If you have found this blog very helpful then if I had missed any important headless cms then please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions and leave me a comment if you have any problems or questions.

Till then,
Keep on Hacking, Cheers

Posted on by:

nirazanbasnet profile

Nirazan Basnet


Exploring the new tools and techniques on frontend development. Loves to meet up with new people and participate in the community. I do interesting stuff on codepen https://codepen.io/nirazanbasnet


We love what we do and we love helping others succeed at what they love to do. We focus on Web Design - Development, Marketing & Branding.


markdown guide

I think that, like others, the title is not correct, some can be serverless, but some like strapi cannot be use in that context. What do you mean for serverless? (I mean lambda).


True. It is about headless CMS and not serverless.


Yes I was aware of that but it's just a collection and I am making a series of best services available in the community. But thank you for your suggestion.


Thank you for your interesting double list!


As others have mentioned the serverless title is actually not right ... Headless would be more appropriate


I did some research on headless CMS the last few weeks since I am creating some websites for small business. Therefore pricey solution are not an option and open source would be prefered. I did check out Netlify CMS and Strapi.

Since they offer different solutions (Netlifiy CMS is git based and Strapi self hosted with database as a storage system) it comes down to personal preference. In the moment I prefer Netlify CMS but it is a close decision...


I think netlifyCMS is awesome as it is free to use! However, I don't really know if it's the best CMS for client projects, because it requires a GitHub repo and therefore some technical-literated person to fix bugs etc.


Valid argument.
But what is the alternative? Strapi on a server with a Database? What about doing backups? Isn't it even more complicated? In a git-based CMS you can at least undo all changes, which isn't that easy with a database.

Yes, hosted providers, such as Contentful would be easier to use but it literally comes with a price...

What would be your favorite pick?

For clients, I would go with contentful. Quality and service is never free, so I think they should go with the easiest and smoothest solution instead of the cheapest.

However, you got a point with gut-based backups.


Try Ghost once, if you are looking for open source headless cms. You can see details here headlesscms.org



Thanks for the recommendation I'll have a look at it.


Thanks for the list. I will add that


I am very confused by "serverless". How do you host a website without a server? Where does the content come from if it's not served from somewhere?


It is a common misconception about "serverless". Of course you are right: You don't actually host a website without a server.

Quote from Wikipedia:

Serverless computing is a cloud-computing execution model in which the cloud provider runs the server, and dynamically manages the allocation of machine resources.

It is about some provider manages the server and it's allocations. In "serverless" you don't have a fixed server with a fixed IP but a dynamically managed server.

In my opinion "serverless" therefore is a misleading description.

EDIT: Think about you being "serveless" rather than the application.


Ah! OK, thank you. So it's not about not having a server, but about not caring about the server. Got it.

You got it :)
Btw: I was thinking exactly the same for a time...


There is some that can be installed in lambda services like aws or firebase. Some cannot like strapi.


Sorry for being slow, but I don't understand how that makes them serverless. Is "serverless" being used as a synonym for "headless", i.e. it has no user interface?

Serverless basic means that you don't care about the server. You write a function (Azure), or a lambda (aws), and the provider handle the server for you.

It just means that the templates are not being rendered on the server but rather on the front end by doing an Ajax call to the server and then fill in the data with JS.
So it's serverless ... with a server :)
And of course the website still has to be hosted on a server as well.
The serverless name makes no sense at all.
Even if you host it on aws or firebase it still acts as a server.


Nice overview! I'm missing Directus (open-source) on the list though.


Thanks for the suggestion. I will add that 👍


What Fixture site says:
"We are taking a break at Fixture to focus on other products and services. Thank you for checking us out. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at matt@matthewsmith.com."


Hi Haami,
I think that your list Must Contain Silverstripe CMS.
Recently SilverStripe 4.5 CMS has released and comes with bang of features and i think in future it will took over WordPress. Let's Have a look.


s/server/head. The less part is right tho.

Jokes aside, I guess you mistake serverless with headless ;).


Hi Haami, thanks for the list, but I would really love to read some opinions about those – which you have used, why you chose them, why you will or won't stick with some etc.


I love Hugo (a static site generator) So, forestry and Netlify CMS helps me to build the product efficiently and fast.


Thanks for the list.
What I miss is information about pricing (if at all) and whether the brakes CMS is open source. I'd love to have this information in one place!


Nice list! I find Forestry and Netlify cms really good. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you for including ButterCMS on your list!


You’re missing Agility CMS - an amazing experience for devs and editors alike -
Especially when using Gatsby, Nextjs or Nuxtjs


Hi Nirazan, cheers for the nice list. You missed Superdesk (superdesk.org/)