Storyblok Raises $80M Series C - Read News

Skip to main content

The State of CMS 2023: How 1,500+ Respondents From Around the World Are Using Their CMSs

Gillian Mays
Try Storyblok

Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

  • 11% of users are using 4 or more CMSs to manage their content
  • 22.5% of respondents believe their current CMS workflows are difficult or very difficult
  • 36% of businesses already use a headless CMS to manage their content from one central hub and publish simultaneously on any channel

Maintaining a high-quality user experience has always been central to a company’s success. No technology is more essential to this process than content management systems. A CMS is the backbone of digital presence: it is responsible for how content is created, managed, distributed, and consumed. Knowing how organizations utilize this resource and feel about the results is crucial to understanding the modern content experience as a whole.

That’s why we created the State of CMS 2023 whitepaper. We conducted comprehensive research to better understand the CMS industry directly from those who use it the most. We polled over 1,500 respondents from 7 countries on a wide variety of topics in order to learn:

  • How they’re currently using their CMSs and the problems they face
  • What features are important to them when choosing a CMS
  • Their plans to manage content in the coming years

Let’s take a look at a few stand-out statistics from the report for a preview of what our research found.

Section titled Monolithic architecture is forcing 57% of users to juggle multiple CMSs at once

Using multiple CMSs presents a wide host of challenges. The most obvious is siloing: when your content, resources, and efforts are spread across multiple platforms, the whole operation can easily become disorganized. This inefficient process wastes time and energy to produce sub-par, inconsistent content, directly threatening a brand’s online presence.

Unfortunately, this is not a unique challenge: our survey showed that a majority of users (57%) need more than 1 CMS just to maintain their content operations, with a shocking 11% using 4 or more CMSs.

A chart showing the majority of respondents use more than one CMS for their organization.

How many CMSs do you currently use at your organization?

Despite all the downsides, over half of the users still use multiple CMSs. So why are users settling for less? Simply put: they’re using monolithic systems.

Monolithic systems make it nearly impossible to reach multiple platforms such as apps, in-store screens, and smart speakers. This leads organizations to use a different CMS for each individual channel. Moreover, swapping out the latest technology to best address their needs is so difficult that it often isn’t a realistic option, meaning they need another one just to keep up with the times.

All of this makes effectively centralizing content operations unattainable – and since organizations can’t use a single monolithic system and get the functionality they need, they have to resort to using multiple. This is despite the fact that a single headless system would address the same needs more effectively and with less effort.

Section titled 22.5% find their current CMS hard to use

User-friendliness is one of the most important parts of any technology: if it’s hard to use, it’s hard to produce high-quality content. For the 22.5% of respondents who believe their current CMS workflows are difficult or very difficult, this is doubtless an everyday problem. How can organizations expect to create outstanding content when the platform they’re using is the ultimate obstacle?

A sideways bar graph showing the distribution of users who find their CMS hard to use.

How would you rate your team’s/organization's processes prior to using a CMS? 1 being very difficult and 5 being very easy

Ease of use isn’t the only aggravating aspect driving users away from their current CMS. Time-consuming processes were the most commonly cited issue. Considered together, it’s clear that wasting time and effort are significant concerns.

A pie chart showing the distribution of items that CMS users find diffiuclt

What were the pain points and/or missing features that made you migrate to a platform?

The motivations for new platforms also extend to more technical aspects. 23% of users cited security issues as a main concern, followed by 18% finding difficulty in needing to learn a new system/skill/tech stack. This suggests that both content creators and developers feel the effects of underperforming systems, showing just how much of an impact a CMS’s flaws can have on an organization.

With all of these challenges facing CMS users in 2023 – many of which can be traced back to traditional systems – it’s not surprising that more and more users are turning to the next-generation alternative: headless CMS.

36% of respondents are already using headless CMS to manage their content from one central hub and publish simultaneously on any channel. This is a slight increase from what we found in The State of Content Management 2022.

It’s not just about how many companies are using headless, either. It’s also about the concrete benefits they see. An overwhelming majority (84%) of businesses report some kind of benefit – including improved KPIs, revenue growth, and productivity – since using a headless CMS.

A pie graph showing that 84% of people saw improvements after switching to headless CMS

Would you say there have been improvements in terms of time-saving, budget, productivity, increased revenues/growth, meeting your KPIs since using a headless CMS? Have you seen any improvements?

With headless already claiming an impressive share of the CMS market and presenting concrete benefits to those who make the switch, it’s reasonable to predict that 2023 will be a year where we see more and more companies opting for a headless CMS.

Section titled Key takeaways

Companies around the globe are constantly evaluating how their current CMS performs and looking for ways to improve. Studying these patterns is crucial to understanding the current state of the CMS and gaining insight into its future.

The State of CMS 2023 goes into these questions in greater detail and provides insight into other essential areas, such as:

  • What the most popular CMSs are and how respondents use them
  • What downsides push users away from their platforms the most
  • How headless is changing the world of content management

To get the full story, download the State of CMS 2023 for free today!