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What is Strapi: Everything You Need to Know [Beginner’s Guide]

As you know, there are tons of CMS platforms available on the web and you can choose the one that suits to your needs – whether it be a publishing platform, business website, information portal, or an ecommerce store.

There is one particular CMS platform that is now gaining prominence among publishers, developers, and business owners alike.

And, that one is Strapi.

It’s an open-source headless CMS platform allows you to manage your content and distribute it anywhere worldwide.

But first, what is a headless CMS and how it is different from traditional CMS?

Why adopt a headless CMS solution?

How Strapi can help you with your content management requirements?

Let’s look into it in detail.

Headless CMS vs Traditional CMS 

Traditional CMS

A traditional CMS (often described as monolithic) couples the frontend (the design of a website and its content) and the backend (the interface used to create content) bundled into a single application that is web-first.

Example – Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace.

Headless CMS

A headless CMS is a content management system (CMS) that provides backend-only functionalities, making content accessible through a GraphQL or REST API and displayable on any device possible.

A headless CMS completely separates the backend (creation and storage) from the frontend (design and deployment).

Suitable for JAMstack model (where JavaScript, APIs, and Markup work together to make web development easier). 

3 Major Reasons to Adopt a Headless CMS Solution

1. Ability to Easily Manage Content on Multiple Channels

Content management has historically included magazines, billboards, newspapers, etc…

The arrival of the digital revolution of the 90s added web pages.

For many years, displaying content as a web page was the only way on the internet. Today, content management includes native mobile apps and other IoT device channels.

The number of connected devices is increasing rapidly.

With a headless CMS, you can adopt an omnichannel approach, thereby offering a seamless experience to your users.

Whether your users are in contact with you online from a desktop or mobile device, by Alexa, or in a brick-and-mortar store.

Tomorrow, your content will even be consumed in ways you wouldn’t have expected before.

The ability to manage your content for multiple channels is a fundamental reason to implement a headless CMS solution for your project or company.

2. Content Management from a Single Place Across the Organization.

Instead of having content scattered on many different platforms and having to use tens of solutions just to get your content published, you can manage all of it from a single location.

Headless CMSs help you to do that by making your content available in a universal format and centralizing content management.

That way, you manage your content from a single, agnostic and neutral place.

3. Prepared for Growth and Scalability

 You can scale as high and fast as possible; a lightweight headless CMS allows you to publish as much content as you desire and scale it across many channels quickly.

On top of that, by keeping the back-end and front-end separated, you can upgrade your applications, customize your website or redesign your next campaign without downtime for maintenance and all without compromising performance.

What is Strapi

Strapi is an open-source headless CMS to connect your Front-end with Strapi’s Back-end with API. It is an open-source and free-to-use service for developers.

You can easily learn about Strapi and get work done within minutes.

You can use React, Vue, Nuxt.js, Next.js, Angular, Svelte, Sapper, Flutter, and integrate Strapi into it.

We can use Strapi to build any type of content-oriented applications including delivery to portable IoT devices or internal tools.

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Major Highlights of Strapi

1. Simplicity by design

The Strapi interface is so intuitive you don’t have to think twice to build your content types.

Once login to the system it is very easy to understand the functionalities because of its user friendly interface.

2. Customization by default

You just need to hop in a code editor to make any change to the API or your data structure.

Strapi provides some inbuilt functions to  populate, filtering and writing webhooks. It is easy to customize data with Strapi.

3. Flexibility by nature

The Content Type structure can be flexed according to your needs with dozens of fields available and mix-and-match possibilities

4. Self-hosted

Strapi is self-hosted. It’s up to you to decide where to deploy and host your Strapi project.

We have a list of deployment guides for Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, Google App Engine, and Heroku.

5. 100% JavaScript 

It’s 100% JavaScript, fully customizable and developer-first. We can use JavaScript from front end to backend.

Strapi is Highly Developer Friendly

1. There is Strapi community forum to support developers.

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2. Developers can contribute to Strapi GitHub repository.

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3. Draft and publish option is there for each record.

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4. Webhooks are available to call back anywhere you need, to get the functionality you want, out of the box with our API.

5. API documentation can be maintained through a single step of integration.

6. Strapi developer documentation is available.

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7.Installing plugins in new or existing apps is simple.

6 Main Features of Strapi

1. Internationalization 

Content localization is not only about translating the text, it’s also about customizing the messages and content you deliver to each target audience taking into account their language and culture.

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2. Customizable API 

Strapi lets you create APIs by managing the content structure from a user-friendly admin panel. At the same time, you can access API files at any time and edit them manually.

3. Smooth collaboration and security

Manage the reading, editing and publishing rights to your Strapi Admin Interface. Review and publish drafts. Share access to the necessary content only.

4. GraphQL or RESTful

Consume the API from any client (React, Vue, Angular), mobile apps or even IoT, using REST or GraphQL.

5. Multi-databases support

SQLite, MongoDB, MySQL, and Postgres are supported.

6. The Media Library plugin

The media library allows you to store your images, videos and files in your Strapi admin panel with many ways to visualize and manage them.

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Final Thoughts

Strapi is a fantastic powerful tool for creating CMS without a head to your applications.

Headless approach makes you free from using one specific technology and enables you to use any of the newest ones.

It is also a great tool for frontend and backend developers, they can quickly make an API to their frontend applications and use it even to learn new technologies.

It provides you with a full range of other possibilities.

I hope the above article will encourage you to try it out, and start the new adventure with Strapi.

If you need help with your web development project using Strapi then you can get in touch with our experts at Perfomatix.

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