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what is strapi
User Experience

What Is Strapi And How Is It Different From Traditional CMS

20 March 2024 by Daria Andrieieva

Traditional solutions have long been the norm in the realm of content management systems (CMS). However, with the ever-evolving digital landscape, the limitations of traditional CMS platforms have become increasingly apparent. Enter exploring what is Strapi – a headless CMS that's disrupting the status quo. 


Join Kapsys as we explore what is Strapi, its unique features, and how it sets itself apart from traditional CMS platforms.


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What is Strapi?

Strapi is an open-source, self-hosted, headless CMS that enables developers to create, manage, and distribute digital content through an API-first approach. Unlike traditional CMS platforms, which tightly coupled content creation with presentation, Strapi decouples the backend content management system from the frontend presentation layer. This separation grants developers unparalleled flexibility in delivering content across various digital channels.


Key Features of Strapi

Now, while exploring what is Strapi, it's essential to take a closer look at its key features: 

Flexible content modeling

Learning what is Strapi allows developers to define custom content types and structures tailored to their specific project needs. With a user-friendly interface, content modeling becomes intuitive, empowering developers to create rich, dynamic content schemas effortlessly.

API-first approach

At the core of Strapi lies its API-first philosophy. Every content type created within Strapi automatically generates a RESTful or GraphQL API, providing developers with a standardized interface for content consumption and delivery. This enables seamless integration with any frontend technology stack, from static site generators to dynamic web applications.

User authentication and permissions

Exploring what is Strapi offers robust user authentication and role-based access control (RBAC) mechanisms out-of-the-box. Developers can define granular permissions to regulate content access and management, ensuring data security and compliance with privacy regulations.

Extensible plugin system

Strapi's plugin ecosystem extends its core functionality, offering a wide array of pre-built plugins for authentication, media management, and more. Additionally, developers can develop custom plugins to integrate third-party services or extend Strapi's capabilities according to project requirements.

Developer-friendly environment

Built on a modern JavaScript stack (Node.jsReact, and GraphQL), learning what is Strapi provides developers with a familiar and efficient development environment. With extensive documentation, a vibrant community, and active support channels, Strapi accelerates the development process and facilitates team collaboration.


Read: A Quick Guide To Strapi Headless CMS

Strapi Use Cases

Strapi is a versatile headless CMS that can be adapted to various use cases across industries. Here are some common use cases that showcase what is Strapi:

Content-rich websites

Strapi is well-suited for building content-rich websites like blogs, news portals, and informational websites. Its flexible content modeling system allows for the creation of diverse content types, including articles, blog posts, multimedia content, and more.

E-commerce platforms

Exploring what is Strapi can power e-commerce platforms, providing a flexible backend for managing product catalogs, inventory, orders, and customer data. Its customizable APIs enable seamless integration with front-end e-commerce frameworks and payment gateways.

Mobile applications

Strapi is a backend for mobile applications, enabling developers to manage content and user data via RESTful or GraphQL APIs. This allows consistent content delivery across web and mobile platforms, ensuring a seamless user experience.

IoT (Internet of Things) solutions

Exploring what is Strapi can be used to manage and distribute content to IoT devices, such as smart appliances, wearables, and connected gadgets. Its API-first approach enables communication between IoT devices and backend systems, facilitating data exchange and device management.

Digital publications

Strapi is suitable for digital publications, such as online magazines, journals, and academic publications. Its support for multi-language content management, versioning, and real-time updates enhances collaboration and content delivery for publishing teams.

SaaS (Software as a Service) applications

Learning what is Strapi can power the backend of SaaS applications, providing a scalable and customizable solution for managing user accounts, subscriptions, content, and data. Its extensible plugin system allows for integration with third-party services and APIs.


Read: Successful Projects Built with Strapi

Strapi vs. Traditional CMS

To appreciate what is  Strapi, it's essential to contrast it with traditional CMS platforms across various dimensions:

When comparing what is Strapi with traditional CMS platforms, several key differences emerge that highlight the advantages of Strapi's approach:


  • Traditional CMS: Monolithic structure with tightly integrated backend, frontend, and database, limiting scalability and flexibility.


  • Strapi: Headless architecture separates the backend from the front, offering greater flexibility, scalability, and interoperability.

Flexibility and customization

  • Traditional CMS: Predetermined templates restrict customization, requiring extensive codebase modifications.


  • Strapi: Unparalleled customization options with custom content types, fields, and relationships, alongside seamless integration of third-party services via plugins.

Frontend freedom

  • Traditional CMS: Limits developers to specific frontend frameworks, hindering flexibility.


  • Strapi: Provides freedom to pair with any frontend technology stack, ensuring compatibility with modern JavaScript frameworks like React or Vue.js.

Scalability and performance

  • Traditional CMS: Struggles with efficient scaling and resource optimization due to monolithic architecture.


  • Strapi: Excels in scalability and performance with horizontal scaling and resource optimization, thanks to its decoupled architecture.

Developer experience

  • Traditional CMS: Often entails a steep learning curve and limited customization options for developers.


  • Strapi: Offers a modern, developer-friendly environment with a JavaScript stack, extensive documentation, and active support channels, fostering efficient development and collaboration.

Read: Why Strapi is the Leading Choice for Headless CMS in 2024

traditional cms vs headless cms

Additional Benefits of Strapi

Learning what is Strapi also offers several unique benefits that set it apart from traditional CMS platforms. Here are some of the key advantages of using Strapi:

Content versioning

Learning what is Strapi offers built-in content versioning, allowing you to track changes made to content over time. This feature is invaluable for auditing purposes, rollback scenarios, and maintaining historical records of content edits.

Localization and internationalization

Strapi supports localization and internationalization out-of-the-box, enabling you to manage multilingual content easily. You can define multiple locales, translate content into different languages, and serve localized content based on user preferences or geographical location.

Content drafts and publishing workflow

Exploring what is Strapi provides robust content drafting and publishing workflows, allowing content editors to create, review, and publish content seamlessly. You can define custom publishing states (e.g., draft, review, publish) and implement workflow automation to streamline content management processes.

Webhooks and event triggers

Strapi offers webhook support, allowing you to trigger custom actions or notifications based on events within the CMS. You can configure webhooks to notify external systems or services when specific actions occur, such as content creation, updates, or deletions.

Field-level permissions

Learning what is Strapi enables granular control over field-level permissions, allowing you to restrict access to specific fields within content types. This feature helps enforce data privacy and compliance requirements, ensuring sensitive information is accessible only to authorized users.


Read: How To Scale Your Strapi CMS For Large Audiences

How to Get Started with Strapi

Getting started with what is Strapi is straightforward. Here are easy steps to begin with Strapi:


  • Ensure you have Node.js installed on your computer. You can download it from the official website.


  • Open your terminal or command prompt and run the following command to install Strapi globally using npm:

npm install strapi@latest -g

Create a new Strapi project

  • Navigate to the directory where you want to create your Strapi project using the terminal or command prompt.

  • Run the following command to create a new Strapi project:

strapi new my-project
  • Replace "my-project" with the name of your project.

Set up your Strapi project

  • Navigate to the directory of your newly created Strapi project:

cd my-project
  • Start the Strapi server by running the following command:

npm run develop
  • This command will start the Strapi server in development mode.

Access the Strapi admin panel

  • Open your web browser and go to http://localhost:1337/admin to access the Strapi admin panel.


  • Follow the on-screen instructions to create an administrator account and log in.

Explore and customize

  • Once logged in to the Strapi admin panel, you can start exploring and customizing your Strapi project.


  • Create content types, define fields, set up relationships, manage users and roles, configure settings, and more.

Develop your frontend application

  • After setting up your content in what is Strapi, you can start developing your frontend application to consume the content via the Strapi API.

Deploy your Strapi project

  • When you're ready to deploy your Strapi project to a production environment, follow the deployment documentation provided by Strapi.


  • Learning what is Strapi supports various deployment options, including self-hosting, cloud hosting, and containerized deployments.

That's it! You're now ready to start building dynamic, content-rich applications with what is Strapi. Explore the official Strapi documentation and community resources for more in-depth guides, tutorials, and best practices.


Read: How To Optimize Your Strapi CMS: 10 Best Practises

Strapi headless cms


Whether you're building a static website, a progressive web app, or a mobile application, exploring what is Strapi provides the tools and flexibility to bring your vision to life. 


As the digital ecosystem continues to evolve, Strapi's innovative approach ensures that organizations can adapt and thrive in an ever-changing landscape of user expectations and technological advancements.


For developers seeking to unlock the full potential of content management and delivery, discovering what is Strapi stands as a beacon of innovation and empowerment. Embrace the future of content management with Strapi and embark on a journey.


Keep up with Kapsys to learn about leading CMS and much more!