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Why your developers hate your WYSIWYG CMS

Kaya Ismail

For marketers, having the ability to shift around components and use template designs is crucial for a content management system. That’s why drag-and-drop editing and other user-friendly features found in many WYSIWYG CMS platforms are so popular.

However, your developers also need robust features, including the ability to choose the frameworks and tools that fit a particular use case and that can help them deliver content to multiple channels. Unfortunately, the problem with a WYSIWYG CMS, like other traditional CMS solutions, is that omnichannel content delivery and robust developer-friendly features aren’t readily available. Luckily, a headless CMS can provide the best of both worlds and keep both developers and marketers happy.

Section titled What is a WYSIWYG CMS?

WYSIWYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get, and a WYSIWYG CMS is a content management system equipped with a WYSIWYG editor to simplify creating and editing content.

A WYSIWYG CMS does exactly as the name implies; any edits you make within the CMS backend appear just as they would on the website or mobile app you’re editing. This visual type of CMS is explicitly built for marketers and allows them to quickly edit content and move things around on a page, just as they would with a page builder. Because of this, a WYSIWYG CMS is perfect for persons who lack coding skills and just need to be able to create and edit the content on their own. Unfortunately, a WYSIWYG CMS can leave businesses lacking in today’s omnichannel environment.

screenshot of the wordpress block editor

Here is how the WYSIWYG editor looks like in WordPress in 2023

Section titled WYSIWYG CMS limitations: Why businesses (and developers need more)

The primary reason developers don’t favor a WYSIWYG CMS is that it has several limitations that can end up causing them major headaches. Also, the impact on the business, in the long run, is also notable. Here are some of those limitations:

Section titled 1. Can’t deliver content to multiple channels

Like other traditional CMS solutions, a WYSIWYG CMS struggles to deliver content to multiple channels because it was built only for websites. Without the flexibility to publish content on additional channels, businesses will miss out on potential opportunities to reach their target audience.

Section titled 2. Lacks front-end flexibility

A WYSIWYG CMS lacks the front-end flexibility developers need to create engaging content experiences. These platforms rely on rigid templates offered by traditional CMSs, meaning that developers can’t use their preferred JavaScript frameworks to build front-end interfaces.

Section titled 3. Difficult to reuse and repurpose content

A WYSIWYG CMS is formatted to deliver content to one channel. As a result, the way that content is stored before and after publication makes it difficult to reuse or repurpose it later.

Section titled 4. Not built for enterprise companies

Enterprise companies, in particular, require extensive workflows that allow different teams and departments to collaborate easily. Unfortunately, this is another drawback of a WYSIWYG CMS as it doesn’t support the level of collaboration required.

Section titled Why choose a WYSIWYG headless CMS

A WYSIWYG CMS is useful for marketers and content creators who can’t do any coding. However, it lacks many of the features that a modern CMS requires. On the other hand, a WYSIWYG headless CMS, which is a headless CMS that carries visual editing capabilities that marketers need, provides everything that both marketers and developers need. Here are a few reasons to choose a WYSIWYG headless CMS:

Section titled 1. Advanced content management

The primary feature of a WYSIWYG CMS is the WYSIWYG editor, but it does lack advanced content management features. On the other hand, a headless CMS includes features such as custom workflows, commenting, approvals, and the ability to schedule content for publication. These advanced features make marketers’ lives much easier, yet developers can also benefit. Marketers can accomplish more independently without needing developer assistance, saving developers time.

Section titled 2. Omnichannel management and content delivery

With the decoupled architecture of a headless CMS, content teams can create content once and then publish it everywhere using APIs. These capabilities allow a headless CMS to provide omnichannel content management and delivery, a crucial difference-maker in today’s modern environment.

Section titled 3. Developer freedom & flexibility

A headless CMS provides developers the freedom and flexibility they need to embrace modern web development approaches without the restrictions of templates. Developers are free to use the JavaScript frameworks they are most familiar with and that are best suited to a particular digital channel. In addition, a headless CMS can easily connect to other tools within a tech stack using APIs, saving developers time from making difficult integrations and allowing businesses to use the best-of-breed tools they prefer.

Section titled Storyblok: better than a WYSIWYG CMS

When the headless CMS first came onto the scene, marketers may have shied away due to the lack of user-friendly features that can be found in a WYSIWYG CMS. However, those WYSIWYG CMSs were limiting for developers and hindered them from building the type of digital experiences customers deserved. Instead, a modern headless CMS can handle everyone’s needs.

Storyblok provides users with an easy-to-use Visual Editor

Section titled User-friendly content management

Storyblok is a headless CMS that caters to marketers and developers alike, giving both groups exactly what they’re looking for in a CMS. Storyblok is marketer-friendly but goes much further. A user-friendly content editing interface supports content scheduling, workflows, and additional features that allow content teams to manage content at scale. Also, reusable components and content blocks provide the drag and drop functionality and dynamic layout building capabilities that simplify marketers’ lives.

Section titled Visual editing capabilities

A WYSIWYG CMS is a visual CMS, and Storyblok takes this to the next level by providing its visual editor in a headless environment. Content teams can preview changes they make to a website live, even before publishing to ensure that everything is up to par. Content previews can be adjusted for any screen or device with responsive preview, giving you true omnichannel content management. For developers, Storyblok provides the freedom to choose the tools that best suit their needs, including Nuxt, Next, and other modern JavaScript frameworks.

Section titled An upgrade from monolithic

When Emarsys needed to revitalize its brand management website, they looked for a platform that could provide more than the monolithic CMS they were already using for its corporate website. In Storyblok, they found a flexible CMS for designers, developers, and marketers to use easily. Read more about Emarsys’ transition to Storyblok in the case study: Take it_ makes the dream of a smooth transition come true for Emarsys.