How Contentful Helps Developers

Your company needs a developer – or maybe a team of developers – to build your online presence. Whether it’s a website, an app, or both, the developers will be at the forefront. As new channels like smart watches and in-store screens emerge, your development team needs to be as unrestricted as possible.

That’s where Contentful comes in.

During this past week, we’ve looked at the general features of Contentful and its response to emerging trends. We’ve also spoken with their CMO, Chris Schagen, and examined its approach to content strategy,

Now it’s time to take a look at how Contentful helps developers.

Finally, a Developer-friendly CMS

Developers are at the front and center as far as Contentful is concerned.

Contentful is an API-first platform, which endeavours to make content as accessible and as flexible as possible in the hands of a developer. By isolating content, instead of imposing it in the form of a traditional template, developers are totally free to present content in any way, and through any channel.

It’s called being headless, which means Contentful doesn’t care about the front-end of your operation. You can structure and style your content to look precisely as you imagine it, because your content is raw and ready to be moulded to any device, any screen, any channel.

Furthermore, Contentful provides SDKs for major platforms along with comprehensive documentation. So, instead of building apps from scratch, developers can make use of open-source sample apps that offer templates as a starting point

Plus, preview apps enable developers to test their work before it goes live, in a controlled environment.

APIs Come First

With Contentful, APIs come first. Well, four of them do, actually.

  • Management API to import and programmatically create and updates content – perfect for importing or for building custom editors on top of Contentful

  • Delivery API to deliver content. The API is built on RESTful principles, and responds in the JSON format, so popular nowadays. The content is delivered through global CDNs for ultra-low latency.

  • Preview API to implement staging and review possibilities for editors

  • Images API to replace whole different asset manipulation issues (instead editor uploads one master image, and the front end/app client decides on resolution, compression, size depending on device and networking conditions)

Smarter Mobile Delivery

Mobile content delivery is hard. Spotty bandwidth when consumers are using subways or traversing the countryside for example can hinder their experiences.

Further to those example, expensive (and vastly varying) data charges from around the world greatly impacts the end user, especially when you have a global audience. Think London reader vs Nairobi reader, and the cost of a 5MB video file.

Thankfully, Contentful native API features are built to tackle these issues. Here’s how:

  • API Request Bundlings: Instead of multiple HTTP requests with 100ms latency tax each, you can have just one “big” bundled HTTP request and pay the tax only once

  • Sync API: Only update incremental changes, and do so when there is non-spotty bandwidth or WLAN connectivity

  • Images API: Allows the client to configure the best file size depending on mobile networking situation. For example, progressive JPEGs while on the subway, and low-res images in small bandwidth environments).

So, with Contentful, it’s easier to keep the user experience smooth, no matter where the content is being delivered to.


On top of all these technical capabilities, Contentful describes itself as a “Backend-as-a-Service”. That means that developers (as well as the rest of the team) don’t need to worry about servers, scaling, or security. Because Contentful takes care of it all.

This is paired with ultra-low delivery timings, with different specialized CDNs for JSON docs, images, and videos, bringing about a smooth and fast user experience.

To conclude, Contentful works from a variety of angles to rapidly speed up development and maintenance for development teams.

To find out more about Contentful, visit their website.