August 4, 2022

The Best Headless CMS in 2022 [Based on Your Use Case]

Picture of library with heading stating, the best headless CMS to use in 2022 (based on the use case))
Picture of library with heading stating, the best headless CMS to use in 2022 (based on the use case))

Come to the decoupled side. We have biscuits!

If you’re tired of struggling to maintain your old, monolithic CMS (yes, we mean you, WordPress), a headless CMS is a refreshing change of pace. Headless content management offers speed, functionality, and performance - at half the long-term price of sustaining your WordPress setup.

If you’re ready to take the plunge, we’re here to help you decide which headless CMS you should pick.

A Quick Note on Our Comparison Criteria

We build next-generation websites for a living. In the past 10 years, we’ve seen our fair share of the good, the bad, and the ugly. In our comparison, we’ll break it down based on functionality, cost, and long-term growth potential.

Sounds good?

Let’s dive in!

1. The Best Headless Setup Overall: Sanity CMS & Next.JS

If you’re tired of straining under the weight of your old monolithic website, Sanity CMS is the scalable alternative. Fast and efficient, Sanity gives you the freedom to dream big:

Build better marketing websites. Forget your existing Frankenstein website scrapped together from WordPress, plugins, and integrations. Sanity CMS doesn’t break when you launch an ambitious marketing campaign or automate your tasks.

User autonomy. There’s no need to call your developer whenever you want to make a design change. Do it yourself, and spare the dev resources.

Collaborate in real-time. Sanity is perfect for multi-user collaboration in real-time. Instead of working out the kinks in Figma or Google Docs first, collaborate directly on the page and preserve version history. You can even set up a Kanban board within your site!

Structured content. Unleash your content and customise it to your heart’s desire. Content modules, rich editing experiences, structured images... Sanity has it all.

SEO. Unlike other content management systems, Sanity actually walks the walk, offering competitive support even for details like structured images.

All your integrations! If you love your HubSpot, HotJar, and your marketing website stack APIs, keep them. Sanity has first-class API support for additional tooling that doesn’t slow down your website.

eCommerce? No problem. Sanity integrates with your eCommerce stack.

And when you pair Sanity with Next.JS, you get a marketing machine that’s sleek on the outside and powerful under the hood.

How Much Does Sanity CMS cost?

Sanity’s pricing is flexible, starting with free plans. Templates can reduce your overhead costs if you’re developing your website in-house or with an agency.

In Mawla’s case, we start your project at 70% completion, only customising for your specific needs.

Your development costs won’t be as high as with monolithic CMS.

Development Ease

Sometimes, we dream of all the possible combinations of different frameworks and wake up screaming. With Sanity, that’s not the case. Sanity and Next.JS are written in React, so developers can add additional functionality while sticking to the same framework.

Can Sanity Scale?

Yes! Like any headless CMS, Sanity has next-generation support for APIs. You can scale up or down at your convenience, maintaining website speed and performance.

2. The Best Headless CMS for eCommerce: Amplience

If you’re tired of making do with a Shopify website when you’re ready to scale your digital experiences, take a look at Amplience:

Headless eCommerce. With a traditional eCommerce website, you keep sacrificing functionality. Headless eCommerce tools like Amplience allow you to maintain an up-to-date product feed while implementing powerful personalisation.

Enterprise retail support. You’ll be in good company with brands like Canon and L’Oreal. Amplience focuses on eCommerce workflows, so you can get better results faster with automation.

Dynamic content. Get a rich editing experience while personalising content for different audience segments. You can plan, schedule, and launch campaigns from your Amplience dashboard.

How Much Does Amplience CMS Cost?

Amplience cost is calculated on a per-project basis. However, we’d recommend a more affordable alternative if you’re a small or mid-sized eCommerce business.

Development Ease

Amplience likes to keep its cards close to its chest. However, you can expect clean code, a unified framework, and support for different integrations in your existing stack.

Can Amplience Scale?

Amplience is best used for eCommerce enterprises that have already scaled and want a long-term solution. It has the features you expect from a next-generation tool. You’ll maintain your website speed as you add more functionality.

3. The Best CMS for the Open-Source Aficionado: Strapi

If you want to develop your website to your liking (or keep the costs down), you’ll like Strapi. It’s a fully open-source headless CMS platform that allows you to run wild with customisations:

User-friendly interface. Dev-friendly tools traditionally have a reputation for being user-unfriendly. Strapi works for both groups. As a content editor, you’ll get an intuitive user interface.

Automation. Get rid of the app sprawl. Like other headless CMS providers, Strapi makes it easy to create custom workflows and execute them using your website as the headquarters.

Custom content types. Get complete control over your visual design (without worrying about speed). Easily set up new content types and edit them on the go.

How Much Does Strapi Cost?

It’s free! Like any open-source solution, Strapi is free to use. They plan to roll out a hosted option, so keep your eyes peeled!

Development Ease

Strapi is exceptionally developer-friendly. It’s JavaScript-based and plays well with most front-end frameworks. Strapi’s key perk is definitely the customisable REST or GraphQL API.

Can Strapi Scale?

Definitely! Strapi is an excellent open-source solution that works for devs and content editors alike. You may have to do the heavy lifting to set it up, but you’ll be able to add new features easily.

The Verdict: What’s the Best Headless CMS in 2022?

Our vote goes to Sanity: it’s powerful, fast, and user and developer-friendly.

In an era of app sprawl, makeshift marketing websites, and development headaches, Sanity CMS is just what the doctor ordered.


If you want more power, get in touch with us. Mawla designs next-generation websites that provide powerful user experiences and streamlined workflow automation to increase your revenue.


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