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Strapi vs Contentful Comparison 2020

by Arthur Zuckerman

Intelligent data management is important in building a digital enterprise. Content is king and those that know how to manage it reaps the most benefit and advantages. Centralized content distribution speeds up productivity and doubles results. This is why leading players in different industries heavily rely on content management system software.

Strapi and Contentful are two of today’s most popular CMS software. They have significant market share and are utilized by top players in different industries like NASA, Disney, Nike, and IBM. This Strapi vs Contentful comparison will enumerate the main differences between the two in hopes to help users decide which of the two platforms best suit their operational needs.

What do users say about Strapi and Contentful?

Strapi and Contentful users have much to say about the benefits and advantages that the two CMS software bring to their business. Strapi users love how the platform is lightweight and fully customizable. On the other hand, Contentful users laud how the platform has a fully flexible and straightforward API. To read on how Strapi and Contentful features fare with other platforms, check our article on leading CMS software.

About Strapi

Strapi is a five-year-old CMS software that was first released in GitHub. It is an open-source CMS software that allows for the easy and speedy management of APIs and content. It has outstanding privacy protocols that allow users to self-host their data. It has a headless content management mechanism that fully allows users to control and customize content access and usage across all endpoints. Its clients include NASA, Walmart, IBM, and Delivery Hero.

Pro – Its forever free version allows for unlimited content types.

Con  Upgrades and updates can be slow.

About Contentful

Contentful has been in the business of providing robust CMS tools since 2013. It is two-years older than Strapi and it boasts of advanced tools that effectively streamline content management and delivery on unlimited kinds of platforms. Contentful offers a nifty microservices architecture that can fully transform and evolve depending on one’s usage requirements and business needs. Its clients include Nike, Xoom, Intercom, and Telus.

Pro – Easy database set-up.

Con – Can be buggy.

Points of Comparison

So, you want a headless CMS software and you’re having a hard time choosing between Strapi and Contentful? You need not be overwhelmed. To arrive at the best decision, you just need to consider the following factors: pricing, ease of use, customization, content management, and integrations.

Pricing

Strapi and Contentful pretty much offer the same pricing structure for users. Both platforms have a forever free version, a bundle plan with flat pricing, and one that requires customized price-quoting.

Strapi’s three plans are Standard, Silver, and Gold. Standard is Strapi’s forever free version while Silver is its bundled plan with flat pricing that goes for $299 per month per project. Gold is Strapi’s quote-based plan.

Contentful’s three plans are Community, Team, and Enterprise. Community is Contentful’s forever free version while Team is its bundled plan with flat pricing that goes for $489 per month. Its Enterprise plan is quote-based.

At first look, users will think that Contentful’s pricing is higher. However, you should consider that Strapi’s pricing is on a per-project basis. This means that if you have more than three projects ongoing, your monthly Strapi fee under its Silver plan would total to $897 per month. This is extremely steeper if be compared to Contentful’s $489 per month pricing that offers no cap when it comes to project. If you’d opt for Conteful’s Team Plan, you’d only pay for $489 per month regardless of the number of projects that you undertake.

Of course, it’s totally going to be a different discussion if you run a lone project. Because if that’s the case, Strapi’s pricing is more affordable. You can even opt for a free version from both platforms. This Strapi vs Contentful comparison will also evaluate the free versions of the two platforms.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is an important factor when it comes to CMS software. If you will check our curated ranking of software in the CMS industry, you would see that this factor plays a large role when it comes to grading the performance of a software. CMS software was created to seamlessly centralize all data needs when it comes to websites, e-commerce stores, app development, and more. Naturally, a good one has to make it easy for users to do these things.

For starters, the two differ when it comes to deployment. Strapi is deployed on-premise while Contentful is cloud-hosted. Strapi’s on-premise deployment makes it ideal for users with special needs for privacy and security protocols. Mobility and 24/7 remote access is Contentful’s edge.

Both platforms require users to have significant IT knowledge. Headless set-ups can be overwhelming but both platforms find ways to make it easier for users to fully utilize all available tools.

Strapi is easier to set-up. A project can be set and ready for rolling in just three minutes. Even users with no technical knowledge can easily perform the initial coding skills required.

Contentful shines when it comes to building a database. It has flexible blocks that allow users to easily tag, categorize, and store content. It also has a nifty tool that allows for automated batch editing. This feature allows users to automatically update all content across all platforms just by changing one core data source.

Strapi runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac devices while Contentful runs on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.

Customization

Both Strapi and Contentful are open-source platforms. Both platforms allow users to fully customize across all endpoints. The only difference is the level of access. Strapi allows for more premium customization tools even to non-paying users. Contentful allows for unlimited customization but such can only be had by users paying for a quote-based plan.

Case in point, tools for role-based access and customization are available even to non-paying Strapi users. In Contentful, such a feature is only available to Enterprise users.

When it comes to overall tools for customization and authoring experience, both offer robust tools for validation, rich text editing, markdown editing, image editing, and content versioning.

Content Management

Strapi and Contentful are popular CMS software because they provide users with more options and advanced customization tools. Strapi offers outstanding tools for app development while Contentful offers unique features for websites, online stores, and marketers. Both platforms offer similar tools for each function but each shines differently because of dedicated tools.

Strapi made it extra easy for app developers to do flexible work by allowing users to interact with any API through GraphQL or REST. Contentful shines when it comes to processing, organizing, and streamlining data needs for websites, online stores, and marketers because it offers specialized options and tools that allow users to fully customize and tailor-fit all content tasks. It even deploys agile approaches to boost and level-up all content processes every step of the way. Its customizable streamlining tools speed up the delivery of content across all platforms.

If you have particular operational needs, more content management discussion can be found on our guide.

Integrations

Given that both Strapi and Contentful are open-source software, integrating with third-party apps across all endpoints is not a concern. Both software are equipped to read different scripts and duly integrated with superior ease. As headless CMS software, flexibility, and scalability through complex integrations are easily achievable. However, Strapi offers more built-in integrations with third-party apps.

A Note on Each Platform’s Forever Free Version

Strapi and Contentful offer robust free versions. But if be compared, Strapi’s forever free version offers more tools and flexibility to users.

Contentful’s free version is powerful enough because it allows for headless CMS and framework agnostic with customizable tools. It even offers a flexible architecture that can easily meld with users’ unique workflows. However, if be compared to Strapi’s free version, its free features seem limited.

Apart from the tools that Contentful’s free version offers, Strapi also provides features for webhooks, JWT authentication, and role-based access. Strapi’s forever free version also allows for unlimited users,  content types, API calls, entries, and fields.

What is the best content management software for you?

This Strapi vs Contentful comparison will truly help in your decision-making if you’re going to take note of the following points:

  • Strapi’s pricing is project-based. This means that you will pay higher monthly fees if you run numerous projects.
  • Contentful’s paid plan is more expensive but it does not base pricing on the number of active projects. Contentful fees will be flat regardless of the number of ongoing projects.

Strapi is best for you if:

  • You have a limited budget. It has a robust forever free version that can seamlessly power lone projects and run unlimited content types.
  • You prefer on-premise deployment.
  • You prioritize security and privacy protocols.
  • Your team is focused on developing apps.
  • You prefer a CMS software with more built-in integrations.

Contentful is best for you if:

  • You run numerous projects. Its pricing is not based on the number of active projects.
  • You prefer working in the cloud.
  • You need 24/7 mobile access to CMS tools.
  • You run numerous websites and online stores. It will also work best for you if you are a marketer.
  • You do not have particular needs for built-in third-party integrations.

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