Customer experience has become a critical differentiator in the modern marketplace. Organizations have begun to reconsider their approaches to content management, which has accelerated the debate over DXP versus Web CMS and which one should be used.

Even though both manage content, there is a significant difference in how they do the task. Let's start with a brief introduction to both, followed by what makes them different from each other. Then we'll get acquainted with what would suit your business best based on its requirements. 

What Is a Web CMS?

A Web CMS, or content management system, is an enterprise-level software platform that enables individuals and businesses to manage their content on their respective online platforms. The content can be audio, video, written or in another form that could be created, published or tracked for its performance.

You can also find publishing tools, editorial features and more in this database, like the simple platform for managing web content. There is no requirement for highly specialized technical skills or knowledge to operate such software. WordPress is one of the most widely-used Web CMSes today. There are other content management systems like Drupal, Umbraco, Sitecore, etc.

Related Article: Building a Case for Centralized Content Management

What Is a DXP?

A DXP, or digital experience platform, is the evolved version of Web CMS that takes functionality and experience to another level. It includes advanced tools that help individuals and organizations create a more engaging and intuitive digital experience online.

Apart from content management, it also offers a range of features like experience management, cloud capabilities, business process automation, integration and interoperability features, identity management and much more, all in one place.

This short introduction to Web CMS and DXP should have cleared up what we are going to talk about in this article. You may question that both of them are similar in many aspects. But that’s the agenda of the article — to help you know the difference between both of them and help you choose the best one for your needs.

Examples of Digital Experience Platforms include Acquia Drupal Cloud, Liferay, Adobe Experience Manager, Contentstack, Optimizely, Sitecore and Bloomreach.

Related Article: Have You Recognized the Potential of the Composable Digital Experience Stack?

The Key Differences Between a Web CMS and a DXP

Even though Web CMS and DXP share some core features, there are significant differences between them. We have elaborated on them for you.

1. The Architecture of the Platform

The standard Web CMS is monolithic. It’s available as a single-vendor solution that has minimal integration capabilities. However, the increasing demand for built-in modern frameworks like service architecture, server-less, microservices and containerized models poses a challenge in traditional content management systems.

Headless CMS is an improvised version that can integrate with different application programming interfaces that allow you to work with different platforms and devices.

On the other hand, DXP is known to retrieve the flexibility and versatility of a headless CMS. They have all the core components and integration capabilities and can stand alone as a single-vendor DXP solution. Its architecture offers everything that the organization wants from a native cloud architecture, such as high security, global reach and high availability. Further, agility and IT independence are the key highlights of DXPs.

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DXPs also allow you to leverage AI, machine learning, customer data management, multichannel support and analytics to answer the need of the hour precisely.

2. System Views of Web CMS and DXP

Content management systems offer a single view of the content to all. Multiple stakeholders can view and access the content, showcasing a central view of the system.

DXPs, on the other hand, take a different approach that is designed to take care of everything in just one system by combining the capabilities of Web CMS with a radically open platform. It includes a complete suite of core technologies such as optimization, composition, delivery and management of contextualized digital experiences. It engages with the audience on a broad range of digital touchpoints.

Businesses can leverage this platform to bring local and remote content applications under one cohesive umbrella for data-driven design, responsive layout and much more.

3. Ease of Extension for Web CMS and DXP

A traditional database-driven Web CMS had a limit to a platform's expansion when a new category was added to manage content on different systems.

DXP came into the picture as a savior by offering a platform that can scale and adapt beyond the capabilities of a Web CMS. It can integrate and extend well with little technical support to manage apps, an intranet and multiple websites across multiple domains from a single platform.

4. Personalization With Web CMS and DXP

Content management systems were introduced years ago when digital experience wasn’t a crucial part of an online platform. In the present-day market, personalization and customer experience play a significant role in deciding the growth and sustainability of a business. For a Web CMS like Drupal, you need custom Drupal development to implement personalization.

Digital experience platforms are a new-age Web CMS that is focused on producing digital experiences through apps, portals, IoT devices and more. They offer a rationalized framework to help the brand deliver a unified and contextual digital experience. By gathering actionable insights about the customers, businesses can digitize operations and offer everything that the audience wishes to see on their screens from your brand.

What's Your Flavor? Web CMS or a DXP?

Content management systems and DXPs are entities on the same boat with many similar functionalities. Simply put, a Web CMS is a basic version of a DXP. If you are just starting in the market with specific needs and a tight budget, a Web CMS will help you do everything.

However, if you have plans to expand your business in the future, switching to a DXP at the right time will bring you an additional advantage in the long run.

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