Top 5 Popular Hybrid CMS of 2023

Top 5 Popular Hybrid CMS of 2023

A content management system (CMS) is an application that helps to create and manage web content. CMSs are used for all kinds of fields/businesses.

Determining which one is right for you depends on your goals. There are different types of content management systems out there: Traditional CMS, Headless CMS, and Hybrid CMS, but these three are not created equal. 

The biggest benefit between a hybrid and headless CMS is that a hybrid CMS provides a user-friendly front end interface for marketers. We’ll get more into what all of this means below. 

Another awesome benefit of a headless and a hybrid CMS is their ability to support IoT when applicable. 

Nobody can deny that technology is progressing faster and faster as time goes on. According to CompTIA, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to grow to $594 billion in revenue this year. The need for smart homes, smartwatches, smart this, and smart that (aka IoT Devices) is estimated to reach 18 billion by the end of this year! The more we expand technologically, the greater the need for content management systems (CMS) that interact more seamlessly with IoT devices. 

This article will go over 5 of the most popular Hybrid CMSs of 2023 to help you make the best decision for your business. 

But before we do that, let’s go over what a CMS is.

What is a CMS

A content management system (CMS) is computer software that is used to manage content on digital platforms. It allows users to come together to create, edit, and publish digital content like web pages, blog posts, e-commerce stores, etc. 

The big advantage of using a CMS versus a website builder is that you’re not limited to a specific host. 

Traditionally, a CMS is made up of two parts - the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA).

 The CMA is the front end - the head - that you interact with in order to create and edit your website content. Typically represented by a dashboard that has built-in tools that allow you to create said content. On the other hand, the CDA is the back end that delivers the content that is requested by the website user from the server. 

But if you’re still wondering what in the world is a CMS? Here’s a great example that KENthePOLYMATH came up with to help.

Think of a CMS as a restaurant; where the CMA is like the kitchen, the CDA is the waiter, and the patrons are the website users. A kitchen (CMA) has all the tools to prepare the meal. The CMA gives you the tools to create and publish product pages, blog posts, etc. Then, the CDA (the waiter) is responsible for delivering the content to the website users - the food to the patrons. 

For example, if a website user clicks on the homepage button, the CDA is responsible for redirecting the user to that page. 

A traditional CMS offers a great front-end interface where you can build your own website without technical knowledge. The front and back end are closely connected - what is known as one-to-one architecture. This means that you only have one context for presenting your content (typically to a web page). 

And that right there is a huge con if you’re trying to keep up with all those IoT devices. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum is a headless CMS. Developers and other tech users have more freedom with this type of CMS because the front end - the head - is detached from the rest. The architecture for this is known as one-to-many, meaning that it has the ability to connect to different IoT devices via APIs. 

You may think, great! Problem solved! But wait…there’s a definite drawback that comes with a headless CMS and that is a greater dependence on developers which can be time-consuming and expensive. 

So you may be thinking, what is the CMS Goldilocks solution?

The answer to that question is a Hybrid CMS

A hybrid CMS, also known as a head-optional or decoupled CMS, combines the awesome API data-driven features of a headless CMS that allows content to go to different IoT devices with the user-friendly interface that allows marketers (rather than just developers) to manage/create the content. 

Because most Hybrid CMS’ are cloud-based, you can easily collaborate with different team members in real-time. Another benefit is that marketers (not just developers!) can easily integrate with third-party platforms like Google Analytics, Slack, Microsoft Flow, and more!

Hybrid Content Management Systems

Zesty prides itself on empowering marketing teams to easily create, optimize, and distribute web content with their scalable digital experience platform. Their goal is to allow businesses to spend more time creating rather than developing. 

Some of their pros include:

  • Automated code and SEO optimization, amongst many other automations
  • Prototype headless applications faster with instant JSON APIs
  • Node SDK is available, which means you can support customer workflows and development tools if you want to further customize your build. 


Some users have complained that there is no option to mass publish from the user interface. On the bright side, Zesty announced that they will be adding that feature this year!


  • Sandbox - Free
  • Standard - $475 per month 
  • Business - $3,500 per month
  • Enterprise - Custom

For an in-depth look to see what each tier offers, be sure to visit their pricing page.

Agility CMS

Agility combines the fast and flexible features of a headless platform with familiar authoring tools. They use a content-first approach for structuring and delivering digital content so you can focus on a better experience for your customers. 

Some of their pros include:

  • Unlimited content definitions on any of their pricing plans
  • Easy authoring experience for non-tech users to manage the pages 
  • Content Sync SDK so you can build without limits


A few customers complained that the user interface could use a bit of tweaking but they all stated it was nothing major.


  • Business - $1,200 per month 
  • Pro - $2,400 per month
  • Enterprise - Custom

You can save 33% on their annual plans. For an in-depth look to see what each tier offers, be sure to visit their pricing page.

Kontent by Kentico

Kontent describes itself as a headless CMS with a Software-as-a-Service solution. They provide the planning, authoring, and delivery tools for non-developers to create content for any channel without delays.

Some of their pros include:

  • Multiple role-based workflows so you can get content to market faster
  • Advanced asset management that allows you to efficiently organize all of your digital assets for easy access
  • SDKs that allow you to start running more quickly when working with popular frameworks or languages. 


Minor issue with the URL slugs not generating properly, fortunately, it is easy to workaround. Many users state that the benefits outweigh any of their minor cons.


  • Developer - Free
  • Scale - $2,499 per month
  • Enterprise - Custom

For an in-depth look to see what each tier offers, be sure to visit their pricing page.

Core dna

Core dna advertise themselves as the complete content platform your tech and marketing teams will not outgrow where they can build, manage, and scale all in one place. They are a Platform as a Service (PaaS) so you don’t have to worry about global infrastructure, security, and performance. 

Some of their pros include:

  • Completely native technology, no Plugins or external applications
  • Great security protocols that were built with industry-leading technologies. 

Easy integrations with business applications like Hubspot, Mailchimp, Slack, Salesforce, etc. 


A few customers mentioned that it can take a bit of time to fully understand all of its capabilities. On the bright side, they have a great support team to help with that.


  • Core dna CMS - from $1,250 per month
  • Core dna eCommerce - from $2,450 per month
  • Enterprise DXP - Custom

They have a pricing model that scales with your business growth. For an in-depth look to see what each tier offers, be sure to visit their pricing page.


Sitecore states that they go beyond a CMS and call themselves an ‘experience platform’ with a content hub that allows for planning, production, collaboration, and management. 

Some of their pros include:

  • An intuitive interface that was created with every kind of user in mind
  • A fast Content as a Service solution to accelerate time to market
  • More development options to aid in team preferences like Next.js SDKs, JavaScript, and more


There’s a lack of pricing transparency.


No pricing page on their website.

Honorable Mention: Bloomreach

Bloomreach is an honorable mention because it is a headless CMS that is made for marketers and eCommerce professionals. Many customers highlight their incredibly quick set up! Be sure to check them out as well.


A hybrid CMS is the best of both worlds. It is a flexible, future-proof option (like a headless CMS) that gives businesses more control and flexibility with its marketer, non-developer friendly interface (like a traditional CMS).


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