At Spark Green, SilverStripe is our preferred CMS as it’s user friendly, highly customisable, easy to develop for, and our clients love it. We’ve recently been exploring SilverStripe’s capability as a headless CMS and are excited about what it can offer.
Digital needs in the finance industry
Spark Green is a digital agency with a focus on the finance and superannuation industry. Many of our clients need to serve content to their customers and members on a wide variety of devices and platforms, such as:
- Public websites
- Secure logged-in areas
- Blog/content hubs
- Mobile apps
- In-branch displays/kiosks
- ATM displays
- Online tools/calculators
Finance is a highly competitive field with a strong focus on digital technology, and companies are always looking to gain an edge by increasing their online reach. It’s also a highly regulated industry, with most content needing to be signed-off by legal/compliance departments before being published.
There’s a strong need for solutions that enable our clients to easily publish to multiple platforms while managing content in a central location to keep the sign-off process as smooth as possible.
Traditional vs headless CMS
With a traditional CMS, content is loaded into the CMS backend and is locked into populating content into one specific frontend or “head”, usually a website. With a headless CMS, the content in the backend is not locked into a single frontend, but can instead be pushed to an unlimited number of devices and platforms.
Instead of being connected directly to the CMS, frontend platforms are connected via an application programming interface (API) meaning content can be managed in one central location while being published across multiple channels.
While SilverStripe originated as a traditional CMS, it’s structured in a way that lets it be easily configured to operate headless, while still retaining the interface and functionality that has helped make it so successful.
When set up as a traditional CMS, SilverStripe uses page templates to serve content to the frontend. It’s a relatively easy process to update the CMS to instead use APIs to serve content, thus enabling a headless system.
SilverStripe is also helping to facilitate the move towards headless by prioritising API functionality in its product development roadmap, as well as other improvements designed to make the headless transition a smoother one.
Other headless benefits
As well as simplifying content management across multiple channels, we see several other benefits for our clients in using headless CMS.
Faster frontend development
Frontend development is separated from the backend development process so it becomes much faster and we can deliver to our clients earlier.
Websites and applications are significantly faster when they run through APIs resulting in speedier load times, a better user experience, and possibly improved Google rankings.
There’s an increasing demand for personalised content in the finance industry to strengthen customer/member engagement. Using APIs makes it much easier to deliver personalised and dynamic content based on data and segmentation tools.
Developing content for financial services companies is often a very time-consuming process due to the demands of legal and compliance departments.
With headless, the CMS can be developed separately to the frontend, meaning content editors have early access to the CMS to work on content before the frontend is complete. Editors can benefit from workflow and approval processes built in to the CMS to streamline the process.
Taking the headless plunge
To our clients who are interested in going headless, we’re recommending an iterative approach to implementation and SilverStripe is ideally suited to this approach.
A client may be more comfortable with their main site staying connected to the CMS via traditional templates but happy to add additional channels connected via API. For example, a blog on a separate domain could be connected via API so it can be managed from the same CMS as the main site.
We’re looking forward to working on headless solutions for our clients and are confident that SilverStripe gives us an edge over the competition.
Get in touch with Spark Green
If you’re interested in talking with Spark Green about how your business can gain an advantage with headless CMS, head to their website.
Read more about the Future of Content Delivery
In the Future of Content Delivery eBook, we take a dive into headless CMS and APIs, and explain how they can be used by content authors and marketers to create flexible, targeted content to meet audiences in the right context.