Jan 28, 2021

The Headless CMS Showdown: Strapi vs Agility CMS

Choosing between Strapi and Agility CMS: the guide.

strapi vs agility cms

It’s not a secret that the headless CMS space is full of worthy contenders. But since many of them offer similar services and features, it can be challenging for even a savvy user to understand where the differences lie and how those differences move the needle for them. 

For us at Agility CMS, it’s essential to cut through the noise to give you a clear idea of where we stand in the market and how the features that make us different are those you need to take your content production to the next level. 

With that in mind, we’ve created this segment called The Headless CMS Showdown, where we give you a no-frills overview of Agility CMS and another contender in the CMS market.
In this showdown, we compare Agility CMS to Strapi, another leading headless CMS in the market. Let’s dive deep into the comparison. 

Agility CMS Overview

Agility CMS is a cloud-based headless content management system (CMS) that enables businesses to manage and deliver content across multiple digital channels with flexibility and speed. It follows a "headless" architecture, which means it separates content creation and management from its presentation, allowing content to be delivered to various front-end applications, such as websites, mobile apps, IoT devices, and more. Here's an overview of Agility CMS's key features and benefits:

Headless Architecture:

Agility CMS's headless approach enables content creators to focus on crafting content while developers design the presentation layer. This separation accelerates development, as different front-end applications can pull content through APIs, ensuring a consistent user experience across various platforms.

Content Modeling:

Agility CMS provides a visual content modeling interface that allows users to create and customize content structures based on their needs. Content types, fields, relationships, and taxonomies can be defined to organize and categorize content effectively.

Content Editing and Collaboration:

The platform offers an intuitive content editing interface that empowers creators to produce and modify content without requiring technical expertise. This facilitates collaboration between content teams and developers.

API-First Approach:

Agility CMS automatically generates APIs (RESTful and GraphQL) based on the defined content models. This allows developers to fetch and present content seamlessly in their chosen front-end technologies, making creating dynamic and engaging digital experiences easier.

Globalization and Localization:

Businesses operating on a global scale benefit from Agility CMS's localization features, making it easy to manage content in multiple languages and adapt it to various regions.

Security and Scalability:

Agility CMS ensures data security through regular updates, backups, and compliance with industry standards. It's designed to handle scalability, accommodating growing content volumes and increased traffic.

Third-Party Integrations:

The platform supports integration with various third-party tools, such as marketing automation, analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and more.

Agility CMS offers businesses a modern solution for managing content flexibly and agilely. Its headless architecture, content modeling, API-driven approach, and multi-channel content delivery make it a powerful tool for creating dynamic and engaging digital experiences while maintaining efficiency and consistency across various platforms.

Strapi Product Overview

Strapi is an open-source headless CMS that empowers developers and content creators to build and manage digital experiences. With an API-first approach, it provides flexibility in content distribution across various platforms. Strapi's intuitive interface, customization options, and security features make it a powerful tool for crafting tailored digital solutions. It allows for seamless collaboration among teams, enabling them to create engaging content and experiences.

Intuitive Content Modeling:

This feature allows you to effortlessly create and define custom content structures. 

Customization at Your Fingertips:

Tailored to Fit Strapi's customization capabilities provide a canvas for developers to adapt the system according to their unique requirements. The ability to craft custom plugins, extensions, and hooks offers the opportunity to enhance functionalities and integrate third-party services.

Deployment Freedom:

Your Choice of Hosting Strapi doesn't dictate where to deploy your applications. Whether you opt for traditional web servers or contemporary cloud services, you have the freedom to choose the environment that suits your project's needs.

Strapi's Shortcomings: A Closer Look at User Feedback

While Strapi offers a range of powerful features for content management, there are certain areas where users have identified shortcomings and areas for improvement. Here's a compilation of feedback from users that sheds light on some of the limitations and challenges encountered while using Strapi:

User Management Complexity:

Some users find it challenging to manage teams and add new users, especially those less tech-savvy. Onboarding team members unfamiliar with technical aspects can be cumbersome and might benefit from simplification.

Limited Formatting Options:

While Strapi's content editor is generally functional, feedback indicates limited formatting options. Users have expressed a desire for more advanced formatting capabilities to enhance content presentation.

Native API Querying and Complexity:

The native API querying process is perceived as cumbersome by some users. Additionally, while Strapi offers GraphQL as an alternative, the transition to v4 has introduced complex data structures that may be challenging. Some users also note difficulties in enforcing required relationships between entities.

Outdated Documentation:

Users have pointed out that the documentation doesn't always keep pace with each update. This means that users may need to invest additional effort in finding solutions to bugs and issues with new versions.

Installation and Deployment Challenges:

While Strapi prides itself on flexibility, some users find installing, deploying, and testing it themselves demanding. Although Strapi Cloud aims to address this, its release has been slow, leaving some users to grapple with the self-hosting complexities.

Plugin Maintenance:

Several users have noted that certain plugins within Strapi's ecosystem lack proper maintenance. This can require additional effort from users to make these plugins work effectively or even necessitate workarounds.

Upgrading and Customization Complexity:

Upgrading from one version to another, especially from v3 to v4, is not always automatic and can require manual intervention. Additionally, customizing Strapi to fit specific requirements might result in challenges when trying to merge upstream changes.

Granular Access Controls:

Users have expressed that the community plan's lack of granular access controls might limit its usefulness in certain scenarios. While paid plans offer more comprehensive access controls, this limitation is notable for some use cases.

In conclusion, Strapi's feedback highlights several areas where the platform could improve to provide a more seamless experience for both technical and non-technical users. While the system's flexibility and capabilities are widely appreciated, addressing these concerns could contribute to a smoother user experience and more comprehensive adoption across various use cases.

Strapi vs Agility CMS: Choosing the Right Fit for Your Needs

In content management systems (CMS), the decision-making process often revolves around factors like versatility, flexibility, and user-friendliness. Strapi and Agility CMS stand out as robust options, each catering to distinct preferences and project demands. In this comparison, we'll delve into these platforms, highlighting the formidable features of Agility CMS, while simultaneously recognizing the advantages of Strapi for developers and smaller-scale projects.

Agility CMS: Proprietary Excellence in Content Management

Agility CMS emerges as a proprietary gem that emphasizes efficiency and straightforwardness. This solution boasts a user-friendly interface coupled with an intuitive content modeling system. This synergy makes Agility CMS an ideal contender for enterprises seeking a rapid, streamlined content management experience.

Sitemap and URL Management

Most headless CMSs leverage APIs to generate a map of the pages on your site and manage URLs. In Agility CMS, your pages live within your sitemap. You can see at a glance where each page is and how it is related to the other pages. We also call this a ‘page tree’ and we use it to show the hierarchy of all the pages as they appear on the website. 

Strapi, on the other hand, doesn’t have such capabilities out of the box. With this headless CMS, to generate or manage a sitemap you need to define your page structures in the content itself or have a developer hardwire the page tree into the website code itself.

SaaS vs Self-Hosted

Strapi is a self-hosted platform, which means that software upgrades and support are typically not included. Your development team is responsible for upgrades to the core platform. Also, if you ever want to switch to a different development team, you might end up running into issues such as who owns what and different coding standards. 

Agility CMS, on the other hand, works perfectly with teams who want to focus only on content and don’t have the time or the muscle to juggle with technologies. Agility’s platform is backed by a dedicated team ready to fix issues that might arise, which means that your developers will only have to focus on coding. Agility CMS updates on its own, which is also an advantage as it will run in the background for years and stay up to date. 

Integrated Page Management

API-based headless CMSs allow you to repurpose content across multiple channels: web pages, native mobile apps, kiosks, even smartwatches, and football stadium billboards. This flexibility comes at a price with many headless platforms. Changes to the layout of web pages (and other channels) require developer time.

Agility CMS solves this by offering the Page Management functionality: using templates and modules that determine how content will look when it’s rendered on the website. Editors can modify the layout of pages in the easy-to-ease visual interface using drag-and-drop functionality. The system is extensible, with many built-in modules and the opportunity to add new modules created by your development team.

In key areas, Agility CMS takes the lead:

  • Seamless User Experience: Agility CMS leverages its proprietary design to refine the user interface, delivering a seamless content creation and editing process. This is especially advantageous for non-technical users who require an intuitive and accessible platform.

  • Swift Deployment: With Agility CMS, deployment is a breeze. Its cloud-based architecture eliminates the need for manual installation and setup, allowing you to save precious time and resources.

  • Robust Multi-Channel Delivery: Agility CMS excels in seamlessly disseminating content across various digital channels. Thanks to its headless architecture, you can count on consistent and high-quality content presentation across websites, apps, and more.

  • Dynamic Personalization: Empowering marketers with dynamic content personalization, Agility CMS lets you tailor content for specific audiences. This personalized approach boosts engagement and elevates user experiences through tailored content delivery.

  • Managed Hosting and Support: The choice of Agility CMS translates into a managed hosting experience that eliminates the complexities of infrastructure maintenance, updates, and security. This, in turn, allows you to focus your efforts on curating impactful content.

Agility CMS offers Enterprise Membership and a White Glove Service, catering to larger teams and providing top-tier support that ensures an exceptional CMS journey.

Strapi: Empowering Developers and Niche Projects with Open Source Flexibility

On the other hand, Strapi is an open-source powerhouse that resonates with developers and projects of smaller scale. It thrives on granting full customization control and flexibility, a feature-rich playground for those who relish diving deep into the technicalities.

While Agility CMS excels in serving the enterprise world with its seamless and managed approach, Strapi thrives as a playground for developers and a go-to solution for more contained endeavours.

Choosing Your CMS Champion

Ultimately, the choice between Agility CMS and Strapi depends on your priorities and project specifications. If you value an out-of-the-box solution with a user-friendly interface and managed hosting, Agility CMS is an excellent fit. On the other hand, if you're a developer or managing a smaller project and crave the freedom to customize every aspect of your CMS, Strapi's open-source flexibility is a strong contender. Both platforms bring their unique strengths to the table, allowing you to select the champion that best aligns with your content management goals.


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