May 29, 2020

Content Before Design: How To Start Using The Content-First Strategy

Why your digital transformation needs to go content-first in 2020

what is content first
  • How many times did you change the design of your website in the last 10 years?

  • How easy was it to transfer all your content from your old (slow?) website to your new, shiny, fast one?

  • How long was it before you felt like the website became old and slow again? And that you needed a new omnichannel strategy with all kinds of design and technology updates?

  • How helpful was your CMS in this digital evolution? Was it your rock and foundation or an obstacle and a nuisance?

If these questions made you pause and think... let's dive in!

Watch this video where Joel Varty, President Agility CMS explains the benefits of Content First approach:

Technology changes fast.

The world needs useful, accessible content across all digital channels. And brands need tools to be able to supply that content efficiently and elegantly. 

The design needs to stay up to date.

Consider this example from Stanford University. 

How many design iterations did you have in the last 20 years?

Staying up to date with Headless CMS.

Did you need to re-write all your content from scratch every time. With Headless CMS you don't have to because your content is always separate from your code.

Implementing Content First approach starts with switching to a Headless CMS. When you separate your content hub ("body") from its presentation layer - website ("head") it becomes a headless CMS.

What really makes a headless CMS better than a traditional CMS is that it changes your mindset and forces you to focus on the goals and structure of your content first.

Hence, "content-first". Using this approach, a headless CMS enables you to distribute your content via the RESTful API, and you can deliver that content wherever you need it.

Not just websites, but mobile apps, social media, digital displays - whenever your digital strategy takes you!

That being said, when choosing a headless CMS, do not get tempted by those who only promise to handle your content.

Look for the ones that allow you also to manage your website, because, at the end of the day, you need to quickly and effortlessly manage your main content destination.

What Is Content-First?

Content-first means considering content early on in your projects. This strategy prioritizes content creation and delivery to reduce project rollout delays. 

It's no secret that content creation is often a touchy subject due to the number of people involved in the process. From developers to marketing specialists to CXOs, everyone has a say in the content, and while it's essential to pay attention to everyone, this often causes delays.

"Using content as your primary driver helps companies to think from a Strategic perspective, enabling them to craft content that can really make a difference for your stakeholders." - claims Kella Park, a digital marketing manager at


How a Headless CMS can help you adopt a Content First Methodology?

In a nutshell, here is what it means to be a Content First with the help from your CMS:

  1. This means Website or App front-ends can be rewritten easily without changing the content in your CMS.
  2. This enables a future where you never have to rebuild your website from scratch ever again.
  3. By starting off with great Content Architecture, customers can create the right Content Definitions with the kinds of Content Relationships that will stand the test of time.
  4. Content that serves as a single source of truth can be placed in a Content Warehouse so it can be made available anywhere.
  5. Content that is designed specifically for a Website, App, Line of Business, or Organizational Segment, can be placed in a Property Instance.

Ready for More Effective Content Management?

At Agility CMS, our goal is to help you grow through smart, strategic, and agile content management. We’re here to guide you on implementing the future proof content-first approach, headless content architecture, including JAMstack implementation, omni-channel marketing, SEO friendly CMS, and more. Need answers? Start a conversation with our experts by opening the chat box or request a demo here. You can also try Agility CMS for FREE and spin a new instance with our Gatsby starter.




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