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Why it’s time to ditch your monolithic CMS

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Published:August 27, 2021
Last Modified:July 20, 2022

Web development isn’t easy, but a monolithic content management system (CMS) like Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, or Concrete5 can make the process of building and scaling websites easier. The platforms offer a variety of built-in features and plug-ins that make creating and managing content without a developer more accessible.

Over the last decade, these legacy platforms have been the leaders in the industry, but as speed, scalability, and accessibility continue to grow in importance, they’re being replaced by headless CMSs and microservices.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of monolithic CMSs, and why experts in the industry are pivoting towards decoupled CMSs.  

What is a monolithic CMS?

A monolithic CMS, or a coupled CMS, is an all-in-one solution that lets you save, manage, and publish content to a website. This traditional approach to website management provides both the back-end admin as well as the front-end user experience, all from one codebase.

Benefits to a monolithic CMS

  1. The ability to customize output without a developer
  2. Ability to manage signed in / out users with ease
  3. Ability to extend platform with plugins

Drawbacks to a monolithic CMS


One of the biggest monolithic CMS concerns is speed, especially the initial loading bootstrap of a large CMS. Even with advanced caching, you can’t touch the performance of a decoupled architecture, especially with a static site frontend. Beyond increased accessibility and decreased bounce rates, with the recent updates to Google’s SEO algorithm, performance is more important than ever, and monolithic architectures just aren’t cutting it anymore.


As open-source platforms, monolithic CMSs require tedious maintenance to security. Failure to pay close attention to backend updates and security patches could pose a threat to a site takeover or loss of data from a hack.

Expenses / Costs

The constant upkeep of both performance and security on a monolithic CMS is time-consuming and expensive, especially when upgrading to new versions of the platform. This is a major drawback for many businesses that have limited budgets and need to focus on new features to stay competitive.

Plug-in Overload

Plug-in features increase the functionality of a coupled CMS with third-party applications, but can also become overbearing, weighing down the platform performance and increasing the risk of security vulnerabilities.

Why You Should Go Headless

Go headless and remove your backend headaches. With the many growing serverless CMS solutions available there is an opportunity to completely offload the security and scalability of your site administration without any back-end or cloud developers.

Create an omnichannel content strategy

With a decoupled CMS you are able to repurpose content across multiple channels. This omnichannel approach separates content and presentation, and allows for more dynamic and scalable content relationships across all of your digital properties. Not only can you manage your website, app, and blog content in one place; but you can easily reference and repurpose content between the different user touch points.

Increase site performance for happy users and better SEO

Decoupled websites provide a better user experience due to their increased speed and responsiveness. Google’s recent SEO algorithm changes ensures the improved experience will translate to better search rankings for your site.


We have been writing about and building decoupled websites since 2017! As the web and applications evolve, it is more important than ever to focus on speed, security, and scalability. Leveraging a decoupled architecture with a serverless CMS is the best way to build a content managed website in 2021.

Looking for more information? Contact us for a free consultation.

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