The evolution of CMS

The journey so far, from manually uploading static files to cloud-based API-centric Content Management Systems.


The need to manage content has been around since writing was invented in Mesopotamia, around 3500 BC, back when people wrote on scrolls and stored them in libraries.

Fast forward to the early 90's, when the internet came around and the world started going online. Digital media publishing emerged but back then, the norm was to manually upload static HTML files to a web server for each new article. To modify files, you'd have to loop through the whole process. People needed a way to publish and manage content dynamically, but with no solution around the corner, folks just had no option. One fat finger mistake, and the whole thing could be lost, forever. There was also no form of file locking, which means many people could work on the same file at the same time and ... 💨

In the early 2000's, new programming languages specifically for website development started to emerge and by 2005, an array of Content Management Systems addressing the issues were released and the time required to create a website was significantly reduced as one could have a website set up under an hour.


With the arrival of the various CMSs, came a new problem. The world started changing and the arrival of mobile devices marked the beginning of a new era in digital media publishing as the world started going mobile. Content managers had to find a way to follow the mobile trend by integrating their existing content on various mobile platforms but it wasn't going to be easy, their content was tied to their CMS template, and decoupling it from the presentation layer became a big problem because the traditional CMS had content embedded in ugly looking templates wrapped around spaghetti 🍝 code that made things difficult.

To display content on a mobile device, you'd have to first clean up the mess the traditional CMS caused and build yourself an API client, which means you'd be needing some tech skills. The process isn't an easy one and people prefer to outsource to developers due to the technical overhead. The developers will need a lot of time, which you may or may not have and you'd have to wait till the developers finish the website before you can start creating and managing any content.


"Headless" CMS. 

According to Wikipedia, a Headless CMS is a back-end only content management system (CMS) built from the ground up as a content repository that makes content accessible via a RESTful API for display on any device. The term “headless” comes from the concept of chopping the “head” (the front end, i.e. the website) off the “body” (the back end, i.e. the content repository).

As of early 2017, companies started deploying solutions to the cloud that appealed not only to the average Joes that wanted a WYSIWYG editor, but to developers that wanted a CMS made their own way. The idea is for content managers to have a GUI for managing content, while developers get their own developer-friendly interface (CLI)  for management and integration of content, thus giving birth to cloud-based Headless CMS or Content Infrastrucure.

If the above sounded like technical gibberish, in summary, all this article says is that Content Management Systems have evolved to a point where the trend is to have a company host your content in the cloud ☁ for you, for a little fee, making it easier and faster to integrate your content on almost any mobile device.

Make the switch to a Cloud CMS today, There are lots of platforms already, including our own solution: Conteidon, which will soon be available for beta testing. Selecting the right platform depends on your needs and team size.