Contentful vs. Strapi vs. WordPress: which headless CMS is best for you?

With today's fast-paced digital experience needs, a content management system (CMS) is necessary as it provides more flexibility and customization and saves time and money. They are of two major types: the traditional CMS and headless CMS. The latter is an innovative and fastest-growing CMS type because it provides a more flexible and scalable way to manage, customize, and display content.

So, in this comparison guide, we'll focus on the headless CMS and provide an unbiased comparison between three popular tools, Contentful vs Strapi, and WordPress, highlighting their features and pros and cons. By the end of this piece, you should be able to distinguish a headless CMS vs. traditional CMS, Strapi vs WordPress, Contentful vs Strapi, and WordPress vs Contentful. Continue reading to find out more.

What is the difference between headless and traditional CMS?

To follow along with this Contentful vs. Strapi vs. WordPress comparison, let's shed light on what a headless CMS is and how it compares with the traditional or legacy CMS architecture.

What is a traditional CMS?

Building and managing a website was complex before the first content management system was introduced in 1995. Traditional or legacy CMSs centralized all components, putting them under one roof. This centralization created a monolithic architecture that allowed anyone to create a website and manage their content easily. Examples of traditional CMS include WordPress, Wix, and Drupal.

Pros of a traditional CMS:

  • It centralizes all the necessary components to help you set up and manage your website from one interface or dashboard.

  • It is simple to use and manage.

  • Many traditional CMSs are open-source (usually free) and have great community support.

  • Little or no coding is required, allowing quick website deployment.

Considerations of a traditional CMS:

  • It is best suited for small-scale businesses or projects because it takes time to scale, especially when the user base or traffic skyrockets.

  • The monolithic architecture can cause single-point failure, whereby the server is down, and everything crashes with it.

  • Traditional CMS is vulnerable to security breaches, and being centralized makes it easier to compromise the entire system simultaneously.

  • Flexibility and customization on the front end are limited.

What is a headless CMS?

A headless CMS separates a website's major components: the front end and back end. It typically sorts out the back-end and content management and allows you to design the front end how you like. This absence of the default front-end architecture, eminent in traditional CMS, is why it is called "headless."

This separation makes scaling and managing your website faster and easier. Plus, it lets you decide how to customize your digital experience or display your content to your audience.

Also, since you have full control of the front end, you can build virtually anything you want and link it to the back end using a REST API. This feature is limited in traditional CMS since you use plugins that must be approved or supported by the CMS platform or the custom theme you use.

Pros of a headless CMS:

  • While the cloud service you use provides back-end security, you focus on increasing the safety of the front end, unlike traditional CMS, where all the security lies in the hands of your CMS service.

  • Your content is valuable and composable because you can transfer or reuse it across multiple platforms.

  • You can flexibly customize or display your content based on your brand goals or mission and use APIs to integrate stuff that enhances your platform's digital experience.

  • Unlike traditional CMS, you can launch web and mobile apps with headless CMS architecture using interactive JSON frameworks like React or Vue.js.

  • Many headless CMSs are cloud-based, so you do not fear losing your content over time.

Considerations of a headless CMS:

  • Limited to non-technical users, you need coding to build the front end of your website or app. 

  • Hiring a developer means extra cost.

  • Due to its API-driven and robust nature, maintaining a headless CMS can be complex and requires experienced devs or UX SaaS designers.

Now that we've seen why headless CMS could suit your website needs better, let's check out the Contentful vs Strapi vs WordPress comparison.

Contentful CMS: features, pros, and cons

Contentful is a proprietary cloud-based headless CMS launched in 2013. The platform prides itself as a "composable content platform," meaning that any content managed on Contentful can be scaled and reused across multiple content platforms.

Ease of use

For a WordPress enthusiast, transitioning to Contentful is easy. You don't need advanced knowledge to get started on Contentful. Making this transition involves: 

  • Creating a Contentful account by simply signing up or logging in.

  • Creating a data bucket and then a content space.

  • Run a localhost dashboard where you can enter the type of content you want to display, which includes text, images, videos, metadata, etc.

  • You can test your content before deploying it or going live via your local host. You can also deploy or push your content to your GitHub repo easily.

If you compare Contentful vs Strapi in this regard, Contentful comes out on top, especially for non-technical users.


Contentful is quite popular among SaaS, startups, and financial management software for small businesses that understand its value and can afford it. According to the data tracking site Built With, more than 85,000 websites — mostly SaaS and startups — currently use Contentful. Some popular ones include ClickUp, Atlassian, Airtable, MailChimp, Autodesk, Affirm, and Mozilla.


Contentful pricing starts with a free plan and moves up to the basic and custom/enterprise-level plans. The paid plan is quite costly and starts from $300 per month, and depending on your content management needs, you may need to contact the Contentful sales team to request a custom quote.

To be more specific, the Contentful pricing model depends on the space you use and the API calls your website or app attracts. When you sign up, you're given about 0.85 TB and a free/intro space. You would pay a flexible fee of at least $65 to increase it. For the basic ($300) plan, you'll pay an additional $350 to get an extra workspace, making it about $650. This high price explains why most of its users are SaaS and startups.


As mentioned, Contentful prides itself on being a composable content management platform that supports businesses and marketers in reaching their digital experience goals. So, it's unsurprising that SEO-friendliness is one of its unique selling points (USP).

Customer service

As a proprietary service, Contentful prioritizes its customer relationships. To communicate with Contentful's customer support, you simply need to open a Customer Support ticket, and a representative will respond. It shouldn't take more than 15 mins to be assigned to an agent or virtual assistant.


Contentful offers industry-grade cloud security for its users, which is why SaaS companies trust it. At the time of writing, there have not been any known cases of vulnerability attacks on Contentful.


Contentful allows you to create excellent custom websites and digital experiences and seamlessly manage and distribute your content on any platform, whether Heroku, Dokku, Surge, or GitHub.

Tools and plugins

Plugins allow you to spice up your application or website. These are not available in abundance the way they occur in CMSs like WordPress. But you can still find helpful tools like Static Site Generators, Command Line Interface (CLI), and AI Content Type Generators.

Strapi CMS: features, pros, and cons

Strapi is another cloud-based headless CMS platform that prides itself as the next-gen open-source JavaScript CMS that supports content-rich digital experiences for businesses, eCommerce, mobile apps, and web platforms adaptable to any device, JSON framework, and content platform.

Ease of use

Strapi is easy to use if you have the technical knowledge. However, for an average or non-technical user, if you compare Strapi vs Contentful or Strapi vs WordPress, Strapi will probably fall behind the other two options. The reason is that you need basic knowledge of JavaScript, npm package installations, and hosting.


Like Contentful, Strapi is quite popular among platforms that use APIs, especially SaaS platforms. Regarding popularity and market share, if you compare Contentful vs Strapi vs WordPress, Strapi runs behind the other two. For instance, Strapi currently boasts about 22,000 active users using it for API calls and global cloud-based content management. This is very poor compared to WordPress's 64.33 million websites and Contentful's 85,000-plus websites.


Comparing Strapi vs Contentful pricing models, the latter trumps the former. Contentful pricing starts with a free plan, which allows you to explore its ecosystem for as long as you like, whereas Strapi doesn't. Instead, Strapi offers you a 14-day free trial, which you'll have to enter your credit card details to use. Strapi's pricing starts at $99 per month for even fewer storage options than Contentful — 150 GB for Strapi's lowest pricing plan compared to Contentful's free plan of 870 GB storage.


Like WordPress, Strapi doesn't outrightly promise SEO-friendliness like Contentful. However, it provides plugins and tools that you can use to optimize your Strapi website or app to become SEO-friendly.

Customer service

As an open-source CMS platform, Strapi needs a better customer support system. Instead, users rely on community notes and tutorials from Strapi's documentation or social media content. There is no option to contact Strapi's development team — you can only contact its sales team.


Security on Strapi is great, even better than WordPress. However, it's less secure than Contentful, considering it's open-source and vulnerable to bugs and glitches.


Strapi lets you customize your digital experience from scratch and even review your project in a LocalHost server before deploying online. In fact, in a Contentful vs. Strapi vs. WordPress comparison, Strapi offers more flexibility than the other two options.


Strapi, due to its open-source nature and community, has a longer list of plugins and tools than Contentful. However, WordPress takes the lead in a Strapi vs WordPress plugin comparison.

WordPress CMS: features, pros, and cons

Usually, WordPress is a landmark for comparing any CMS — traditional or headless. It has evolved from being just a traditional one to offering headless CMS architecture in what you could call a decoupled CMS. So, how does headless WordPress CMS compare with Contentful vs Strapi?

Ease of use

WordPress is renowned as an easy-to-use platform. You can see why many top brands, like Opera, Bloomberg, TripAdvisor, Cambridge, etc., still use it despite the growing competition in the CMS industry. You can easily get started by creating a WordPress account. Then, go on to manage your content via a single dashboard. You can use the available front-end template in your dashboard or build yours from scratch, just like in any headless CMS.


Comparing the customer bases of Contentful, Strapi, and WordPress, it's no surprise that WordPress comes out on top. WordPress is the most popular CMS platform in the world and controls about 43% of websites and over 64.2% share of CMS websites globally.


WordPress offers the cheapest package in comparison to WordPress vs. Contentful and Strapi vs. WordPress. You can get started with WordPress for free and upgrade for as little as $4. Depending on your website needs, you can upgrade to WordPress VIP, an enterprise-level package billed at $25,000 annually.


Like Strapi, WordPress doesn't promise SEO-friendliness for websites. Instead, it supports plugins and tools that you can use to level up SEO for your website or platform. However, Contentful still has the upper hand in the Contentful vs WordPress SEO comparison.

Customer service

WordPress is praised for its robust community and ecosystem. Getting help and resources to resolve your WordPress-related complaints across the web or social media is very easy. However, WordPress doesn't have direct customer support like Contentful, where you can talk to someone live.


WordPress claims to have industry-grade security, which could be debated considering that most sites hacked today are built on WordPress. Meanwhile, WordPress provides an emergency option to recover your site if it falls prey to vulnerability attacks.


If you compare Contentful vs Strapi vs WordPress, WordPress wins this bout. WordPress has unrivaled plugins and features that developers or content managers can use to spice up their website's digital experience and user touchpoints.

Overview of Strapi, Contentful, and WordPress CMS

Here is an overview of the benefits and considerations of Contentful vs Strapi vs WordPress.

Consider Dworkz as your trusted partner

Do you need a dedicated team with robust traditional and headless CMS knowledge to handle your content management and delivery needs? Do you need help scaling your current headless CMS platform? If yes, then it's time to consider Dworkz as your go-to idea buddy for timely headless CMS development and integration quality assurance.

Not convinced enough? Read our case studies to find out more about us. Or contact us to discuss your CMS needs more.


Which CMS works best for developing websites?

That's simple — WordPress. Due to its largest community support and robust features, WordPress stands tall above other headless CMSs and will work best for developing your website. However, as the CMS ecosystem evolves, better headless CMSs like Contentful and Strapi could provide better flexibility, customization, adaptability, and simplicity than WordPress.

How can I choose the right CMS?

First, you must define your website architecture and needs, your mission and long-term goals, and also consider your team size. Then, read authoritative reviews (like this one) on the different CMS options with the proper support and community. This should give you an insight into which headless CMS would suit you.

Can a headless CMS help eCommerce?

Probably. A headless CMS removes the technical back-end from the way so that you can focus on the front end and arrange and manage your online store how you like. That way, you can introduce dynamism and iterate your eCommerce store based on user needs and experiences.

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