What is a hybrid CMS and how can it empower Marketing and IT?

Learn more

The challenges of content management.

Businesses are now managing and maintaining a huge volume of content changes – sometimes as many as thousands per day. With content-driven experiences becoming increasingly popular, it’s more important than ever for digital leaders to find efficient and effective ways to manage content across all channels.

As the market for content management grows, it’s not a matter of whether your business should invest in a Content Management System (CMS), but which type of CMS to choose: is a traditional, headless, or hybrid system the best option?

What are the different types of CMS.

Let’s start by looking at the difference between the CMS architectures you may be familiar with:

Lady by the laptop with blue background - Hybrid CMS

Traditional or Coupled CMS

The CMS where the content is created is ‘coupled’ with the system that publishes the content, such as blogging patforms like WordPress or Squarespace. It is easy to set up and deploy for a website and users don’t need much technical or coding expertise. But a coupled infrastructure is more complex to scale, migrate or integrate, making it harder to push content to third-party applications.

Decoupled CMS

Content authoring and delivery are separated into two disconnected applications and sometimes different infrastructures. To publish, content is pushed from the content repository to a content delivery platform. Businesses get greater flexibility – marketers can create content and developers can focus on coding. But once you select a delivery system, you can only publish content from that system.

Headless CMS

Decouples the content and presentation like a decoupled CMS, but without limiting your publishing capabilities. A headless CMS enables you to easily reuse content on multiple channels. Developers can use any front-end framework to develop custom experiences for customers – whether it’s for a website, a single-page app, or virtual reality. However, without the user-friendly templates you get in a coupled CMS, it’s much harder for creative and marketing teams to create and publish content on their own. As a result, content creation becomes slower and more expensive, and businesses struggle to be agile when pushing out content to customers.

Hybrid CMS

A hybrid CMS combines a coupled and headless approach to content management. Developers have the freedom to build and customise on any front-end framework by using RestFul APIs and Content Services, like they would in a headless environment. At the same time, a hybrid CMS enables you to use templates to author and publish content, like you would in a coupled CMS architecture.

Hybrid CMS – A headless CMS with a front end


Advantages of a Hybrid CMS.

A hybrid approach to content management enables businesses to experience the best of both worlds. Marketers can control and optimise the customer experience, while developers can bring application updates to market faster.


Browser windows

Easily create content

Easily create content using familiar templates.

Browser windows

Manage content

Manage content and themes more easily across multiple brands.

Browser windows

Work faster

Find content faster using a centralised content repository with smart tags when pushing out content to customers.


Browser windows

Reuse content

Easily reuse content across any end point.

Browser windows

Integrate more easily

Integrate content with back-end applications more easily.

Browser windows

Use cloud-based infrastructure

Use cloud-based infrastructure for greater scalability.

In a hybrid solution, marketers and business users have the tools to manage and update content, which frees up more time for developers to focus on higher-value work. By giving developers and marketers the appropriate tools for their roles in content creation and management, the customer experience also improves – because everyone can be productive and efficient.

The difference a hybrid CMS can make to your organisation.

In their search for the right CMS, many leading companies have discovered that they needed both a headless and a “head-full” approach to content management. By deploying a hybrid CMS, they not only get their content out of the door faster, but they can also deliver and scale the highly personalised experiences on any channel or device that drive customer engagement.

Businesses were able to create and deliver digital experiences much faster:


It took 56% less time to put up a launch page.


It was 64% faster to complete a minor editorial change.


Web admin teams delivered 78% more content.


Web editiorial/marketing teams achieved 32% higher productivity.

In terms of the impact on digital content teams:

This approach to content delivery resulted in USD $2.3M additional revenue per year per organisation surveyed.

Deploying a hybrid CMS is not only about the competitive edge and rich, fluid experiences it enables you to deliver today. It’s also about being ready for the future – and whatever new devices or channels appear on the horizon. "Recognise that headless content management may not eliminate the need for a website management solution." Melissa Webster, Program VP, Content & Digital Media Technologies, IDC.


"Our process and productivity has increased 40-fold. On the old platform, restructuring content would have taken a team two weeks."

Dave DeMaria, Corporate Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Synopsys.


"The benefits of a hybrid approach come down to getting the best of both worlds."

Paul McMahon, Managing Director, Accenture Interactive.

Download the report.