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Marco asks:April 30, 2020

Does Headless CMS support advanced layouts?

I'm looking at JAMStack for a few weeks and coming from WordPress (doing a lot. of WP websites as a freelancer), my biggest concern would be related to any page that needs an advanced layout when working with a customer-owner of his content.

By using a headless CMS (Forestry.io randomly - which looks amazing), how do you deal with customers that may need an editor with an advanced layout (like Visual Composer, Divi Builder, etc)?

Does a JAMStack website with a Headless CMS mean that we can't provide an advanced layout in the hand of our editorial team? Is the answer to design and prepare a new template for every new page?

Thom Krupa

There are plenty of different options on the market. Some git-based CMS like Forestry or NetlifyCMS are simpler, but some like Sanity or Contentful allow you to build really advanced layouts and structure and organize data in the way you want. I’d compare those CMS to Advanced Custom Fields in WordPress, you can create blocks, multiple nested fields, relations, create your own fields, and so on. I’d say you can build much more advanced and custom layouts than in WordPress and don't lose your mind. I used to work on some larger, custom-designed projects in WordPress and even tho I love ACF I've always felt it's a bit hacky.

The closest user experience to things like Visual Composer or Divi Builder is Storyblok - it gives editors a live preview similar to WordPress Page Builders. A very interesting project in that space is Tina CMS which enables real-time, on-page editing.

If you structure fields and components correctly in any Headless CMS you can create templates and give editors the freedom to build custom pages without the need to custom-code them every time.

You can read more about those different CMS in our recent post - there are some screenshots and videos of the inside UI and editing experience.

Answered by

Thom Krupa

Co-founder of Bejamas. Focuses on helping people create faster and better websites and apps. Never bet against the Web.

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