What Is CMS Architecture? A Quick Reference Guide

CMSs, also known as content management systems, were created to make producing and delivering website content easier.

Content management systems have been growing in popularity for a while, as more and more website owners catch on to the benefits of using these systems. 

What Is CMS Architecture? A Quick Reference Guide

WordPress is one of the most common CMSs used today, making up roughly 40% of the worldwide market share.

Even though WordPress might be used the most, other applications, like Joomla, HubSpot, and Joomla are still major competitors. 

A lot of website owners prioritize a well-operating CMS over the application’s shape. Provided that the system works well at producing and sending out content, owners don’t care much about the foundation beneath. 

However, as CMSs start to develop, it’s important to understand some essentials covering CMS architecture.

You’ll learn more about these elements in this article, including the different varieties of CMS architecture, how each type works, and their advantages and disadvantages. 

To find out more about CMS architecture, keep reading!

CMS Architecture: The Basics

CMS architecture involves how the front and backend processes inside the systems are created and executed. 

The front-end processes are the tools needed to handle pages and posts, while the back-end ones are the tools needed to produce and create them.

CMS architecture determines how both types of processes are connected. 

Most website owners aren’t usually concerned with this connection. Unless the CMS structures are not operating correctly, there’s little cause to look inwards at the CMS architecture.

Despite this, as technology starts to develop, updated methods of enforcing architecture have matured to provide important benefits during particular instances.

Common WordPress spreads will operate well enough for most people now, but there may be occasions where other kinds of CMS architecture will work better for specific aims. 

Different Kinds Of CMS Architecture

CMS architecture is available in five main varieties:

  • Coupled, or traditional CMS
  • Decoupled CMS
  • Headless CMS
  • Hybrid CMS
  • SaaS CMS

We’ll look at each of these types in more detail below. 

Coupled CMS Architecture

Also known as traditional CMS, Coupled architecture is the most well-known type of CMS. It’s used by prevailing platforms like WordPress, Hubspot, and Joomla. 

Couple CMS has a simple format where front-end processes are connected to back-end ones.

Coupled CMS Architecture

As both of these functions are ‘coupled’ together, website designers and content editors can view and employ the same user interface as they create websites. 

This architecture structure means that content delivery systems are built into the architecture and that both extremities of the CMS rely on several of the same materials. 

Couples CMS systems have a few benefits, such as:

  • Easy to set up, integrate, and distribute
  • Good for smaller, individual websites
  • Little foundation investment 

However, they also have some disadvantages, including:

  • May be vulnerable to security issues
  • Little personalization choice
  • CMS scaling linked to provider records

Decoupled CMS Architecture

Decoupled CMS systems split up frontend and backend methods. This ‘decoupling’ leads to publishing and administration architecture that doesn’t communicate that often. 

Both of these teams have their materials and guidelines to follow.

This lets admins carry out important backend alterations without affecting frontend procedures, and publishers to make frontend changes without affecting backend ones.  

This decoupling also permits individual grading of resources. This makes way for particular targeting of front and backend requirements without needing to spend more on a framework.

Some benefits of Decoupled CMS are:

  • Promptly sending out content 
  • Safeguarding website content and files
  • Enhanced website uptime

Disadvantages of Decoupled CMS are:

  • More distribution and management complications
  • Possibility of greater costs for frontend scaling and development 

Headless CMS Architecture

Headless architecture is like decoupled systems, as it uses individual front and backend processes for enhanced scalability and production.

Headless CMS architecture stands out, however, as it doesn’t employ anyone frontend target for content. 

Decoupled systems involve using a particular frontend process to manage content issuing and delivery. Headless ones use APIs (application programming interfaces) that send out content over several front-end processes. 

As mobile device use has increased, along with the necessity for device-optimized websites and content, headless CMS architecture has recently become a main player. 

The benefits of Headless CMS are:

  • Able to create and trial and error several frontends
  • Efficient distribution of content to all devices
  • Website owners can select the greatest frontend for their requirements

Headless CMS Architecture

Drawbacks of Headless CMS are:

  • More expenses to handle several frontend and backend processes
  • More complicated as every template and theme needs to be bespoke

Hybrid CMS Architecture

Hybrid CMSs link headless, coupled, and decoupled frameworks to make and deliver content efficiently. 

The front and backend processes are still separated to give developers more control, but the frontend resolution is a particular, API-motivated display layer. 

In more simple terms, hybrid CMSs are headless ones with one frontend framework. This is used to handle publication processes in several areas.

Benefits of hybrid CMSs are:

  • User-friendly setting for growing content
  • Easy to share content over several platforms and applications
  • Make all content in one frontend framework, then be able to send it anywhere at any time

The one greatest disadvantage of hybrid CMSs is managing content. 

API-focused delivery makes sending content a lot easier. However, managing the content over CMS frameworks is difficult, especially when compared to decoupled and coupled systems.

Content management for hybrid CMS needs more technical skills. 

SaaS CMS Architecture

SaaS, also known as software-as-a-service, CMSs are usually provided by all-in-one hosting suppliers.

Instead of influencing personalized decoupled systems, hybrid substitutes, and coupled CMS like WordPress, SaaS systems make publishing content simple and easy.

The main benefit of SaaS systems is their ease of use, as they don’t need to be managed or set up. However, their simple interface is also a disadvantage.

The hosting provider manages everything, meaning that you cannot personalize content or change backend procedures. 

How To Choose A CMS Architecture Solution

There are many CMS solutions to choose from, so if you’re struggling to choose one, here are three points to consider beforehand. 

Think About Your Requirements

Consider why you need a CMS in the first place. What do you want the system to do? 

For instance, if you’re overseeing a website with simple templates, coupled CMS architecture would be the best for you. 

However, if your business is becoming more popular and you need to send out content rapidly to different areas, hybrid or headless solutions would be better. 

Don’t Make It Too Complicated

It’s always better to go for simpler CMS architecture instead of over-complicated solutions. 

For instance, if you need more detailed backend processes, but require efficient front-end evolution, decoupled solutions will allow you to do both. 

If you’re a beginner who is just starting your website, simple SaaS CMSs can deliver everything you need. 

Optimum Yield

If you can send out more important content to your customers, you’ll receive more visitors to your site, optimizing your SEO.

This is why it’s essential to select CMS architecture that allows you to produce, handle, and send out great content on a swift basis. 

If diversity and quantity are important to you, headless CMS architecture might be best for you. On the other hand, if you’re prioritizing consistency over content editors and producers, coupled CMS architecture may be better. 

Final Thoughts 

You might not pay CMS architecture throughout your day, but choosing the best design and framework can go a long way in making sure your site is successful, both in the long and short term. 


Ollie Wilson

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