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The 10 Best Headless CMS for React Projects You Can Use and Benefit From

When it comes to bettering the content marketing experience, React and headless CMS go hand in hand. No wonder – composable structure and super-fast rendering bring a new level of flexibility for both marketers and web developers. To enter it, you can start by checking our list of recommended CMS!


You may have heard about React.js and its rising popularity in the developers’ world.

It’s an open-source framework of JavaScript, used by the world’s most popular platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Netflix, Uber, Skype, and Reddit. Why?

In short, it allows you to build very advanced and content-extensive user interfaces that consist of smaller, independent components, which in turn enable you to connect unparalleled user experience with great performance.

This makes it a perfect framework to align with a headless CMS of your choice.

But which headless Content Management System for React projects should you choose? In this article, we'll try to support you in this regard.

After reading this article, you will know:

  • How React works and the reasons for its popularity among users and developers

  • React in the context of the headless and Jamstack approach

  • Why it is worth using React with a headless CMS

  • What the best React CMS is and why

React - how it works and why it is so popular

React, like Vue, has become so popular mainly because it allows for the rendering of web pages in a unique way, thanks to which user interfaces can feature outstandingly dynamic content. All the content updates take place in real-time, without any delay. How is this possible?

React components

The React framework is made of isolated reusable components – to change something, you don’t have to change the entire system. Because of the one-way data flow, the code remains stable.

Virtual DOM and reconciliation in React

The framework uses its own copy called virtual DOM (document object model), holding the same properties as the real DOM. Whenever the state of a component changes, React makes updates to the virtual DOM, comparing it to the previous version, which allows it to update the real DOM with just the needed data without the need to generate the entire page.

This process is called reconciliation and is one of the most important React’s features. Thanks to this solution, React is best for cross-platform apps serving a lot of content and providing rich user experience.


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A developer-friendly technology

The React developers seem to like it a lot, too. Not only because of competitive salaries but also for many more reasons.

One of them is React’s short learning curve – knowing JavaScript, you can learn it quite quickly. React can also boast a huge and prosperous developer community worldwide.

The architecture of the framework is component-based, and those components are reusable, which:

  • Translates to better scalability

  • Facilitates the programming process

  • Enables a clean code structure

With React, you can build both web and mobile apps.

There is also one more vital reason why developers love React: thanks to its declarative approach, it is possible for a programmer to just state the desired outcome, and the technology will take care of all the steps along the way.

React CMS in the context of the headless approach

Thanks to its characteristics mentioned earlier, React is considered one of the main technologies used in the Jamstack/Headless approach to development. But what is Jamstack and what is Headless?

Jamstack is not a specific technology, but rather a new method of creating websites and apps.

Such Jamstack websites are based on headless CMS – instead of handling the “head” in the CMS, it becomes a separate entity with data obtained from multiple sources. This is known as decoupling.

A headless CMS detaches the content (back end) system from the presentation (front end, aka the “head”). The content is delivered via an API.

Thanks to using a headless CMS, Jamstack Development enables the creation of stable, secure, and ultimately fast static pages with dynamic and versatile content.

Why should you use React headless CMS instead of a traditional CMS?

While we've discussed the benefits of React for developers and its ability to create high-performing, versatile platforms with rich content and engaging user experiences, let's dive deeper into why combining React with a headless CMS is a powerful choice.

Centralized Content Management

The primary advantage is the ability to centralize your content in one location (single source of truth), regardless of how you deliver it to users across various channels. This decoupling of content from UIs allows for independent development and testing of both components. React applications can be tested effectively without relying on actual content.

Enhanced Functionality with APIs

Headless CMS also facilitates seamless integration with third-party APIs, empowering you to enrich your website's content with diverse functionalities and data.

Scalability and Long-Term Benefits

While initially setting up a headless CMS might require building the entire UI from scratch, it offers significant long-term benefits in terms of scalability and maintainability. The reduced system complexity makes it easier to handle changes and growth in your project.

Improved Development Efficiency

Developers can focus on enhancing the platform's functionality and performance by eliminating duplicate work with a centralized content management system. This also empowers content teams to streamline their workflows, allowing for more efficient content creation and updates.

In summary, choosing a React headless CMS combination offers significant advantages in terms of centralized content management, flexibility, scalability, and development efficiency. This approach empowers both developers and content creators to focus on their core tasks while building impactful and future-proof digital experiences.

A few of React-based Headless CMS Benefits

Criteria for Selecting the Best Headless CMS for React Projects

The world of headless CMS is really broad. There are over 100 such tools available on the market and they vary in many terms. The list can include:

  • The features available

  • Delivery approach and hosting

  • The very basic understanding of structuring and presenting the content

  • Pricing models

  • The targeted audience in terms of the company's size or business line

  • The complexity of the project

  • The type of website the headless CMS supports best

Thus, choosing the right headless CMS can be challenging... Or engaging, when you take a more positive approach. Nonetheless, you'll need to take into account several factors before you make an actual choice.

To make it easier for you, we gathered a couple of important criteria to include when doing market research on CMS for React. Mind the following questions so you'll be closer to being in the know!

Compatibility with Microservices architecture

One of the keystones of Jamstack is using APIs to enrich the website's functionalities with microservices. With this in mind, you're no longer limited to only what monolithic platforms offer as a package.

This gives you the greatest dose of freedom in choosing the optimal set of solutions for your specific requirements. You can have different, best-of-breed tools for:

  • Search

  • Personalization

  • Payments

  • Reviews

  • Checkout

  • Authentication

  • Digital Asset Management

  • Product Information Management

  • Monitoring & Analytics

  • And others!

You can also change a specific tool when you feel it doesn't meet your expectations significantly easier than when you work with monolithic solutions. Why is that? The change won't affect the back end as much as it would if you used a monolith.

Key question: What are the available options to connect with APIs?

Applications and plugins management

Most companies offering headless CMS have their own specific ecosystems and rules for creating their content management tools interfaces and front ends. These can be referred to as plugins, extensions, tools, applications, widgets, custom components, and others.

Their role is important because they complement widely known and frequently used frameworks and libraries.

The way they're implemented is crucial for developers. It should be easy, predictable, and flawless. When choosing the proper headless CMS for React, take a look at their repository of plugins and study whether they're friendly for the development team.

Key question: How well does the headless CMS handle third-party tools to extend the platform's functionality?

Omnichannel possibilities

One of the greatest benefits of headless architecture is that it gives robust and facile possibilities for presenting content on multiple touchpoints.

From the development point of view, it's easier, safer, and quicker to come up with a proper code when your architecture is made with the back end and front end decoupled.

From the business perspective, you'll see savings with regard to the many development work hours needed to complete the creation of front ends for any platform you want to be visible.

It makes your digital platform easily accessible to customers whichever device they use to connect with your brand: desktop, mobile, tablet, smartwatch, kiosk, ad stand, or any other you can think of.

Key question: How easy it is to present the front end on multiple devices?

Content marketers' experience

It's the content marketing team that will most frequently use the headless CMS you choose. If you really want to benefit from content creation, their experience should be flawless, flexible, and unhindered.

The levels of easiness, quickness, and intuitiveness of creating, modifying, and publishing content are factors that you should have in mind when selecting a headless CMS for React.js.

Key question: How easy and intuitive it is for the content marketing team to operate the CMS?

Content workflow

Working with content is never finished: commonly, it needs to be updated, modified, upgraded, repurposed, merged, refreshed, retargeted, redesigned... What's more, content processes sometimes require involving a few people to work on the very same article or landing page.

A good React headless CMS can improve content processes, the ability to collaborate... and even content marketers' moods and relations. Having this in mind, choose a Content Management System that matches your content processes' requirements.

Key question: How collaborative the CMS is? To what extent does it improve the content processes?

Content localization and translation

If you're active in many different markets, you know that customers in the United States may have completely different needs and expectations than customers located in Germany or Thailand. Their decision triggers vary as they can be accustomed to contrasting ways of making a purchase.

For increasing the selling value across different locations, sometimes it's good to have the very same product or service described and presented differently, in accordance with cultural context.

A good headless CMS provides such options so if you're in need of such a solution, remember to include it in your research.

Key question: How supportive the tool is for managing the content localization efforts?

Developers' experience

Usually, headless CMS requires huge support from the development team, be it yours or the agency's. Due to the novelty and development complexity of headless architecture, there's a 99% chance that you won't be able to implement a headless CMS on your own.

It can be viewed as one of the greatest cons of headless but after you have your CMS implemented, the friction between marketing and development teams isn't really a thing.

Think of developers' satisfaction levels and remember to always ask what they think of a specific headless CMS for their React projects in terms of their future working habits.

Key question: How likable and friendly is the CMS for developers to work on?

UX & front-end flexibility

With headless, you can build any front end you want. You're no longer confined to what monolithic solutions offer, and you'll easily customize the visual layer of your website.

A good headless CMS should provide the flexibility and freedom to create a unique front-end design that aligns with your brand identity and user preferences. Look for a CMS that allows for easy integration with popular front-end frameworks (like React.js, Next.js, Gatsby.js, or Vue.js) and offers a variety of content delivery options, including API-driven content and real-time updates.

A CMS that empowers you to deliver a seamless and engaging user experience will help drive customer loyalty and increase conversions.

Key question: What possibilities on the front end does the CMS give and how desirable the user experience can you build?

Answers to all these questions determine the cost of CMS migration, implementation, and maintenance, the level of usability for content marketers, or actual content marketing effects.

Let's now take a look at a few examples of the best headless CMS that work hand in hand with React.js.


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10 Best Headless CMS For React.js

We have gathered a list of the 10 most popular and recommended React CMS, listing their pros and cons, main features, developer-friendliness, and prices.

1. Storyblok

Storyblok is one of the most popular React CMS solutions. Its most important distinctive feature is a visual editor, showing real-time changes to the website, which is somewhat similar to popular website editors such as Elementor or Wix.

storyblok logo

Other interesting functions are the possibility of defining your own content models with various types of fields, and creating data sources, containing the most repetitive information, which you can refer back to whenever you need it.

The panels of Storyblok are clean and clear, which makes the work easy for both content teams and developers. This CMS also supports easy multilingual website management.

When you need more automation, this React CMS also allows for using webhooks to connect it to any program you choose.


The prices range from 90 to almost 3,000 dollars per year, and there is also a custom option for enterprises.

In one sentence:

Storyblok is great for websites with lots of content, and bigger content editors' teams whose members have varying levels of tech competence. It will also be one of the best choices for your developers.

2. Sanity

Sanity can be listed among the most flexible and quickest React CMS. It allows for the structuring of content-related models with JavaScript and enhancing them with React components.

sanity logo

This open-source CMS provides vast customization opportunities, according to the users’ needs, thanks to support, plug-ins, and the possibility of creating custom components.

Content can be segregated into blocks, which enables collaboration in the team. Other tools and features enhancing content creation include the possibility to design editorial workflow and add configurable content types. All the operations are neatly arranged in a dashboard.


Apart from a free option, some plans cost 99 and 949 dollars monthly, alongside a custom enterprise pricing solution.

In one sentence:

Sanity gives probably the greatest amount of creative freedom, yet setting it up requires some technical know-how.

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3. ButterCMS

ButterCMS is a classic headless CMS taking inspiration from WordPress (and it features an option to migrate existing content from this popular CMS).

buttercms logo

It is, however, built on API and webhooks, which makes it compatible with any type of website developed in the Jamstack approach.

Its interesting features are CDN support, multi-site support, and a good testing environment.

As for creating and managing structured content, Butter has all the needed features, along with clean and clear panels, but there is hardly anything that will stand out from the rest.


The prices vary from 83 to 333 dollars a month, so it’s quite an affordable solution. There is also a custom enterprise plan.

In one sentence:

Butter is the best choice for centrally managed multiple websites with many users, as everything you require regarding site management tools comes with the package.

4. DatoCMS

Dato’s back end is inspired by the well-known WordPress, which adds to its simplicity, as well as ease of configuration and use. It also contains plugins and customization possibilities.

The CMS is agreeable with various other technologies. Even on the free plan, it supports integration with site generators (like Gatsby), and GraphQL API.

datocms logo

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Although Dato’s UI is simple, the functions and features are quite limited, and the CMS is hard to expand.


Besides a free version, one can choose a monthly plan of 99 dollars or a custom version with unique pricing.

In one sentence:

Dato is a good solution for simple and quite generic projects or for less experienced developer teams.

5. Strapi

Strapi is an open-source CMS with wide possibilities for customization (including a customizable API) and support for multiple databases.

strapi logo

Because of the virtual DOM, sites can be set up very fast with this solution, so handling even large amounts of content won’t be an issue.

The clear and simple interface seems somehow familiar, as it is in many aspects similar to WordPress.

Although Strapi is still in development, community support makes it easy for developers to seek help when needed or make necessary alterations to the code themselves.


There is a free community plan, and three business plans – bronze for 9 dollars a month, silver for 29 dollars, and gold – a custom one.

In one sentence:

Strapi is a flexible React CMS that is best for smaller teams and websites.

6. Agility

Agility is a headless CMS that is perfect for working with React. Its components are directly mapped to the modules that you will work with.

agilityCMS logo

It also contains a drag-and-drop visual builder, making it easy for even less tech-savvy users to build sites and custom content fields.

There is a starter kit called Create React App, which helps in setting up a developer-friendly environment. It contains a set of modules and the code necessary to connect to the Agility CMS, plus some basic styles.


It is rather an expensive CMS, with plans costing 1,249 and 2,499 dollars, and there is also a custom enterprise option.

In one sentence:

Agility is a CMS that will work well with React components and lets you enjoy the benefits of a content-first approach.

7. Contentful

Contentful is a popular headless CMS for React projects due to its impressive scalability and flexibility.

Contentful logo

This solution caters to projects of all sizes, offering a comprehensive feature set including content modeling, localization, and asset management.

With a well-documented React SDK, Contentful ensures seamless integration with your React application. Unlike some developer-centric headless CMS options, Contentful provides a well-balanced user interface that improves both your development team and content creators.


Contentful offers a free tier with limited features, along with paid plans starting at $49 per month. Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing.

In one sentence:

Contentful offers a well-rounded solution for React projects, balancing features, scalability, and a user-friendly interface for both developers and content creators.

8. Hygraph

Hygraph prioritizes developer experience with its GraphQL-first approach. For your React developers, this translates into a familiar and efficient querying experience for precise data fetching and manipulation.

hygraph logo

Hygraph uses a robust GraphQL schema editor and real-time collaboration features, ensuring seamless content management alongside streamlined development.

While Contentful offers a broad range of features, Hygraph focuses on developer agility through its powerful GraphQL capabilities.


Hygraph offers a free tier with limited features, along with paid plans starting at $49 per month. Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing.

In one sentence:

Hygraph empowers your developers with maximum flexibility through GraphQL, but the initial setup requires some technical expertise.

9. dotCMS

For businesses seeking a user-friendly content management experience alongside a powerful headless API for React development, dotCMS offers a compelling solution.

dotCMS logo

This CMS streamlines content creation for your editors with drag-and-drop functionality, similar to many popular React.js CMS options.

Unlike some open-source headless CMS solutions that require extensive customization, dotCMS prioritizes a user-friendly interface within a closed system, making it easy for your content creators to get up and running quickly.


dotCMS offers a free trial and various paid plans starting at $300 per month, with pricing based on features and storage.

In one sentence:

dotCMS prioritizes a user-friendly content management experience for your team, making it a great choice for businesses that don't require extensive developer customization.

10. Prismic

Similar to Hygraph's GraphQL focus, Prismic prioritizes developer experience with a clean UI and emphasis on content reusability. This aligns perfectly with React's component-based development approach.

prismic logo

Prismic's Slices feature allows for modular content creation, mirroring the component structure of React development.

While some headless CMS options offer extensive developer customization, Prismic focuses on a closed system with pre-built components, streamlining development workflows for your React team.


Prismic offers a free tier with limited features, along with paid plans starting at $7 per month. Enterprise plans are available with custom pricing.

In one sentence:

Prismic prioritizes a streamlined development workflow for React projects with its focus on pre-built components and a clean UI, making it ideal for teams seeking development efficiency.


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Wrap-up - Choosing a headless React CMS

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to choosing a React CMS for your project. Some of them are better for bigger enterprises and experienced developers, while others are better suited for smaller content teams.

Some of them allow more flexibility, and some offer more simplicity. One thing is sure: this decision should be custom-made.

We can help you make it.

Being an eCommerce & web development company, Naturaily offers implementations of headless CMS for various frameworks, including React. Just drop us a line!

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