Contentful vs. Contentstack

How different is Contentful from Contentstack? Learn more about what the Contentful® Composable Content Platform offers developers and content teams.

Contentful vs. Contentstack: A comparison for decision makers

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Contentful is an API-first composable content platform that empowers digital teams to build experiences faster. Designed to be the heart of the modern tech stack, Contentful aggregates, structures, and delivers content across an organization’s digital ecosystem and stages of the customer journey.

So how is this different from a CMS like Contentstack? And what does Contentful® Composable Content Platform offer developers and content teams that vendors like Contentstack do not? Read on to learn how Contentful’s enterprise-grade tool hels high-performing businesses securely scale, while enabling developers and content creators to work fast both collaboratively and independently.

Headless CMS vs content platform: What’s the difference?

A headless CMS is a content management system that separates, or decouples, the content repository “body” from the presentation layer “head.” Content that is housed in a headless CMS is delivered via APIs for display across different devices. This is different from traditional CMSes that take a prescriptive approach around where content can be displayed. Contentful pioneered the headless-approach to content management and is now pioneering its evolution to a platform-first approach.

A content platform is the next-generation content management system (CMS). It aggregates, structures and delivers content across an organization’s digital ecosystem but, most notably, it gives users the ability to create custom applications and run native applications directly on top of the software. This means the software acts as a foundation for applications to be developed, providing end-users with the flexibility to address complex workflows, personalization and other aspects of the content life cycle.

Overview of Contentful

What is Contentful?

Contentful is the market leading, cloud-native platform for Composable content. It offers an open platform that adapts to how digital builders work to meet business goals, through easy customization and deep integration with any tech stack. Digital teams deliver value to customers faster by innovating and orchestrating digital experience delivery at scale by aggregating, structuring and delivering content across an organization’s digital footprint.

With a fully adaptable, open and modular set of capabilities, and portfolio of flexible APIs, Contentful enables cross-functional teams to streamline operations with a customizable set of developer and editorial tools. Contentful’s open and extensible App Framework offers a programmable interface, advanced content automation on the backend and seamless integration with other cloud services — ensuring the platform can be adapted to business needs. This lets digital teams quickly build the capabilities they need, whether it’s by extending the platform or integrating with existing services.

How is Contentful different?

Headless CMSes focus on content delivery. Contentful® Composable Content Platform goes beyond delivery and provides a central hub for creating, assembling, editing, and managing content. Contentful’s platform approach focuses on the full life cycle of content. This includes decoupled delivery capabilities but also backend customization to drive seamless cross-functional collaboration, tailored interfacing to improve internal developer and editor experiences, and exposed tooling and frameworks that allow digital teams and agency partners to quickly build the capabilities needed, whether it’s extending the platform or integrating it with any digital experience stack.

Contentful’s content management APIs allow developers to programmatically manage and orchestrate content — within the platform itself. This includes easy creation of new project spaces, assigning user roles, managing webhooks, content import/export and content modeling, which is scriptable from any source.

It’s API-first, fully extensible and scales up for the most demanding digital experiences. This includes multi-channel experiences, localized sites for multi-region brands, dynamic websites, responsive mobile apps, in-store digital displays, composable commerce and even customer and partner portals.

Key areas of differentiation

Best for BuildersMost flexible platformBest for enterprises
Contentful offers an extensive set of APIs, SDKs and developer tools, along with an editorial experience that is faster and more extensible than other headless CMSes. Over 30% of Fortune 500 build on Contentful.Contentful offers open source libraries to further extend its platform capabilities. Customer efforts are supported and extended by the largest global solution partner ecosystem. Contentful’s partner ecosystem is 2x bigger than nearest headless competitor.Contentful is enterprise-ready with reduced planned downtime and maintenance so brands can reliably provide experiences to their customers.Contentful manages more than 1 billion API calls per day.

“I believe that Contentful’s vision for addressing the challenges of this digital-first era sets it apart from other solutions, and is the reason we’re making their content platform a central part of our digital delivery and customer experience strategy.”

  • Abhishek Kumar, Manager for content management systems and ecommerce at Deloitte Digital for IKEA

“A huge deciding factor for Contentful was choosing a composable content platform that could grow with us. Now that creatives and engineers had started thinking end-to-end and holistically about the experiences they were building, they needed a partner for the duration. We had a lot of confidence it would be a really strong platform and partner for us for a long time, given that implementing a CMS is not a short-term decision”

  • Intercom

See how Intercom deployed updates 13x faster with Contentful

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Contentful vs. Contentstack

How does Contentful stack up against Contentstack? Discover how the Contentful® Composable Content Platform empowers builders and future-proofs the DX tech stack:

Manage and create new capabilitiesContentful’s App Framework enables UI customization, content automation, and seamless integrations, helping digital teams quickly adapt their content platform to business needs. This enables teams with the context they need to direct content to the right end user experience. This goes beyond the API extensions of headless CMS vendors.
Work more efficientlyContentful streamlines content workflows by giving developers and content creators the tools to build custom editorial capabilities, integrate third-party services, automate tasks and increase content reusability across tech stacks. While headless CMS competitors focus on content delivery, Contentful connects the entire content life cycle, helping teams to create, collaborate and launch content more efficiently.
Create multi-channel experiencesContentful does not define its pricing by limiting channels or domains. One Contentful space serves unlimited channels, domains, and experiences as opposed to competitors pricing models that charge for each new digital property. Contentful’s scalable multi-space ofhowfering ensures greater consistency and content reuse. Contentful’s content spaces offer governance and scalability to manage content operations on global and local levels. This means teams can work in their own content spaces, while contributing content seamlessly across digital touchpoints.
Automate versioningSome vendors make it challenging to change the data structure of content types with many entries, like when a document is updated and the URL changes. This forces users to frequently implement URL redirects if they have many content assets that need to be updated on a weekly or monthly basis. Contentful offers world-class content delivery capabilities, supporting continuous software delivery and content management, enabling customers to scale up according to demand or when unpredictable situations arise.
Extend anything, anytimeContentful doesn’t require customers to contact its support team to build or enable extensibility. With a wide range of integrations from customized UIs to workflow management, Contentful provides customers with the freedom to independently extend the platform and build apps with the simple click of a mouse.
Help developers get started right awayContentful offers a free Community tier for developers to start building today. This includes detailed documentation, access to GraphQL, and self-service training. Developers trust Contentful and it shows. On average, they download Contentful packages 16 times more often than Contentstack.

Six ways Contentful can improve your business

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Ready to try Contentful? Below are six ways Contentful can help your business save time, slash costs and work smarter:

  1. Reduce overhead: Save time and drive down costs with Contentful’s open-source features that include a customizable App Framework.
  2. Onboard teams quickly: Get teams up to speed with self-paced training courses and certifications.
  3. Get organized: Keep everyone on the same page with built-in governance that includes provisioning apps, users, and spaces.
  4. Increase security: Mitigate service risks with platform infrastructure that keeps planned downtime to a minimum.
  5. Deploy quickly: Take advantage of market opportunities with a content platform that allows developers to rapidly deploy changes.
  6. Start for free: Sign up for a Free plan to test our platform before purchasing.

The Forrester Wave™: Agile Content Management Systems (CMSes), Q1 2021

Contentful has a “well-articulated vision for helping companies become digital-first, plus the capabilities to help them get there.”

Try Contentful today

Ready to choose a composable content platform that will grow and adapt to your business? More than 300,000 organizations across diverse industries — including health care, transportation, and retail — use Contentful to power their digital experiences. To learn more about how your business can benefit from Contentful, request a demo.

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