Contentful vs. Contentstack

How different is Contentful from Contentstack? Learn more about what Contentful’s content platform offer developers and content teams.

Contentful is an API-first 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 footprint and stages of the customer journey.

So how is this different from a headless CMS like Contentstack? And what does Contentful’s content platform offer developers and content teams that Contentstack doesn’t? Let’s take a look.

Content platforms vs. headless CMS: What’s the difference?

A content platform, traditionally referred to as a content management system (CMS), aggregates, structures and delivers content across an organization’s digital footprint. A content platform like Contentful includes a portfolio of flexible APIs that enables businesses to create engaging customer experiences across markets and channels. A content platform is modular, which means its capabilities can be added and configured to fit different user needs.

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. The benefit of a headless CMS like Contentstack is that it provides developers the freedom to work with any frontend framework, while also giving content editors the ability to create content once and publish it anywhere. This is different from traditional CMSes that have a prescriptive approach around where content can be displayed.

Overview of Contentful

Contentful is the market leading, cloud-native content platform. Contentful provides the central hub for creating, editing, and managing your content, and the tools to publish it on every digital channel. 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, agile commerce and even customer and partner portals. By exposing tooling and frameworks, Contentful enables digital teams and agency partners to quickly build the capabilities needed, whether it’s extending the platform or integrating with any digital experience stack.

  1. Best for builders: 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. That is why over 30% of the Fortune 500 build on Contentful.

  2. Most flexible platform: Contentful offers open source libraries to further extend its platform capabilities. Its customers are supported by the largest global solution partner ecosystem, which is 2x bigger than its nearest headless competitor.

  3. DX innovation, at scale: Contentful is enterprise-ready with reduced planned downtime and maintenance so brands can reliably provide experiences to their customers. Contentful manages more than 20 billion API calls a month, offers three global CDNs, and maintains a strong SLA commitment with 99.99% uptime.

“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, IKEA

Contentful’s platform-first approach to content management and digital delivery sets it apart from a headless CMS like Contentstack, especially for brands with enterprise-scale applications. Headless CMSes typically use APIs to deliver content to different channels, but 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. In addition, Contentful delivers on platform capabilities by making its interface completely customizable and adaptable to any user or business requirements.

“A huge deciding factor for Contentful was choosing a 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.”

-Lauren Ottinger, product manager, Intercom

Contentful vs. Contentstack

How does Contentful stack up against Contentstack? Discover how the Contentful content platform empowers builders and future-proofs the DX tech stack:

  • Empower builders: Contentful’s apps empower developers to build custom editorial capabilities, integrate third-party services, automate workflows and increase content reusability across tech stacks. Contentful also supports cross-functional teams with Compose & Launch apps to simplify content and campaign lifecycle management. This helps teams create web pages and schedule publishing or archiving for batches of content.
  • Manage new capabilities and apps: Contentful’s App Framework enables UI customization, content automation and seamless integrations, helping digital teams to quickly adapt their content platform to business needs. Contentful also goes beyond UI extensions to help customers build apps that can be installed in just one click. Plus, the open-source design system ensures a consistent look and feel when changes are implemented to the interface.
  • Create multi-channel experiences: Contentful’s content spaces offer governance and scalability to manage content operations on a global and local level. This means teams can work in their own content spaces, while contributing content seamlessly across digital touchpoints. A single Contentful space can serve unlimited channels and domains, ensuring greater consistency and content reuse.
  • Integrate faster: Need to enable new apps, integrations or extensions? Contentful provides customers with the freedom to independently extend the platform and build apps, without ever needing to contact support.
  • Help developers get started: Contentful offers a free community tier for developers to start building today. This includes detailed documentation, access to GraphQL and self-service training.

5 ways Contentful can improve your business

Ready to try Contentful? Below are five 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. Start with a free trial: Sign-up for a free community plan so your business can test out the platform before purchasing.


Ready to choose a 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 everyday to power their digital experiences. To learn more about how your business can benefit from Contentful, request a demo today.

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