CMS vs. DXP - How Both are Different From Each Other?

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By: Sagar Sharma

CMS vs. DXP - How Both are Different From Each Other?

At the time, when the Content Management System (CMS) was introduced it became popular so quickly and delivered a great solution for the web content management system. But, since the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) has started overtaking the trend, CMS in the recent past.

We can see a huge transformation among developers and businesses as they are shifting from CMS to DXP. CMS in the long-run has long morphed into a Web Content Management (WCM) system, with multiple users working on the same content.

Later WCM was able to get through the challenges that CMS could not address. It allows the front-end interface to publish and control the entire content.

Where do both CMS and DXP take into consideration, and what is the key difference between CMS and DXP? Let’s discuss it in detail throughout this post.

Difference between CMS and DXP

This section brings you the key differences between CMS and DXP as well reveals some important aspects where CMS fails to address the challenges but DXP does pretty well.


CMS comes with its own set of limitations. In today’s scenario, the world is running super fast behind high-end digitized technologies and therefore the demand for personalization across all touch-points has become a mandated thing. This is one reason that organizations that were using CMS now do not consider the platform to be so powerful.

Customer experience

On the other hand, DXP provides a plethora of benefits to businesses, supporting brand enhancement, and producing digital experiences with the help of websites, portals, IoT devices, apps, etc. Therefore, businesses aim to provide an integrated and modernized framework to deliver a cohesive and contextual digital customer experience.

Wider digital exposure

DXP offers businesses a seamless digital experience and helps them to reach the target audience with extensive web and mobile optimization, social media marketing, product information management for eCommerce, organic searches for WebPages, and more, in which CMS lacks.

Current trends in Digital Experience Platform (DXP)

1. CMSs are quickly evolving into DXPs

CMS allows users to manage documents, perform multi-author editing, and multi-user participation. In other words, CMS acts as a database repository to protect data such as metadata, content, and other types of information.

Rather than completely omitting CMS, businesses prefer CMS along with DXP to ensure complete visibility and accessibility of information.

DXP performs one step beyond CMS by connecting the complete data architecture and platforms included in the chain. With the rising customer expectations, businesses have to opt for digital experiences rather than just the CMS since integrated architectures highly favor customer expectations.

2. Hybrid headless approach is likely the future of DXP

CMS depends on headless content architecture and does not care about how and where the content is being displayed. This had been the biggest challenge for CMS users, which is now replaced by DXPs providing head-to-head optional capabilities as per the business need. Now users can manage their content display in the way they want since DXP is highly capable of doing timely segregation of the front-end and back-end layers.

Moreover, DXP highly emphasizes interoperability and cross channel continuity to provide customers a smooth experience when using digitalization. Prominently, DXP offers a suite of solutions to handle complexity in brand promotion and lead generation. DXP has the potential to manage inventory across different locations and integrate all analytic tools seamlessly.

3. The demand for architecture and infrastructure agility

With the increasing demand for modernized CMS solutions, the need for innovation is focused more on phasing it out. Organizations expect a high-level architecture that can deliver a global, anytime accessible, and high-end security service from the cloud i.e. more of a native cloud.

Therefore DXP is the end-to-end digitalized solution for addressing the instantaneous needs of users, offering experience composition and orchestration, delivery and management, and customer data management & analytics.

What are the core capabilities of a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?

Let’s look at the capabilities of DXP from different angles.

1. Experience

  • Rich and responsive orchestration
  • Overall analytics and optimization based on customer touch-points
  • Customization based on context
  • Extensive search, navigation, and discovery

2. Management

  • A one-stop solution for managing product information, website content, eCommerce, and others
  • Makes Content-as- a-Service (CaaS) in the front-end
  • Provides complete access control and security administration
  • Easy collaboration and knowledge database

3. Platform

  • Scalable and flexible architecture and application development
  • APIs-based integration, extensibility, and interoperability
  • Headless approach
  • Multichannel support at different levels

What categorizes a DXP and a non-DXP?

  • DXP is a centralized platform that provides continuous utilization of information across any channel to the customers through their purchasing cycle. Whereas a non-DXP can be a club of new or existing platforms/technologies but fail to address the challenges involved in the integration.
  • API integration is enabled across different channels in DXP. The integration happens in the other way i.e. one-at-a-time focused such as a website, responsive mobile website, or a mobile app.
  • DXP is a great platform to support headless, head-optional, hybrid delivery, DevOps, and microservices. But, a non-DXP may support only a head-to-head approach which makes it difficult for users to manage their web content management system.
  • DXP enables an interactive and continuous conversation with customers across different types of channels, whereas the latter provides a unidirectional flow of communication channels like a plug-in and plug-out basis into your system for an instant reaction.
  • It combines both the business and IT developers to work for a common purpose i.e. customer experience. Other than DXPs work for either an IT system or a marketing system.

Advantages of having a Digital Experience Platform (DXP) system established

1. Large-enterprise management

As businesses grow over a period of time, large enterprises cannot handle a huge amount of content with CMS.

Therefore, an effective solution like DXP allows for multi-channel communication and instant access to content modification according to the changing requirements of the target audience. Even in security aspects, users prefer something more than new or creative to achieve their organizational goals.

2. Extreme customization

With DXP, organizations can extensively personalize omnichannel campaigns deep down. Also, digitalization makes the data centralized and easily accessible. So, organizations can twist and turn personalized data and make it contextually correct and reach the target customers.

3. Enhanced productivity

A DXP takes away excuses from employees in terms of data unavailability for the work progress to slow down/stop where they are. However, by doing so, it results in improved productivity of your organization, thereby focusing more on customer experience.

4. Enabling time-to-market in no time

DXP extensively supports eCommerce websites and has many features to boost such sites. These features can be integrated easily with CMS rather than needing individual integrations with eCommerce solutions that happen in the traditional model.

How to know if your business needs a Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?

  • You have all systems in place but with high restrictions for marketing and development teams that stop you from achieving your organizational goals.
  • When you do not have access to customer information.
  • When you cannot deliver customized experiences to your customers as per their needs.
  • You may have audiences from different demography and preferences when they try to connect with you through multiple channels.

What are the benefits of preferring an open-source Digital Experience Platform (DXP)?

DXP is a highly manageable modernized solution that addresses almost all pain points of the customer lifecycle. On the other hand, many DXP options fail to address the challenges in operations. Some of the understandable reasons can be lack of flexibility, very limited configurability, and added hidden costs too.

Users can easily avoid this stage by preferring open-sourcing because open-source DXPs offer great advantages over traditional solutions.

1. Flexibility

If your business focuses on extreme scalability and future optimizations, according to the increase in demand, then open-source DXP systems can greatly help. Right from APIs integration or adding up a specific feature to an enterprise-level strategy, a regular DXP platform cannot yield many results when surrounded by restrictions in the ecosystem.

Therefore, to enable and enhance multi-platform communication and to manage a wide range of enterprise-level data, you require open-source DXPs as per the need.

2. Innovation

The primary point of a DXP is to grow along with changing times. Since it is a dynamic platform, it has to be lean and agile to provide benefits to customers in many ways such as continuous and timely access to required information, applications, and interactions seamlessly.

Open-sourcing DXP can fulfill these requirements by allowing you to develop quick strategies and saving huge time, money, and effort when trying to execute from the start, independently. Moreover, open-source DXPs provide universal access to technology and prototyping tools for enabling and driving highly creative and innovative ideas, enhancing within no time.

3. Cost

Open-source DXPs allows businesses to have a clear-cut edge over traditional software with respect to costs involved in licensing, development, and operations.

Moreover, if you look at the result that these open-source DXPs have produced in the long run, it has reduced the total cost of ownership on businesses. Having open-source DXP implemented keeps away the vendor lock-ins and lets you own the intellectual property.

Final Verdict

Technology keeps changing and upgrading depending on the rising customer demand like how CMS has been taken over by DXP which is the largest trend in demand. Therefore from the business aspect, it is ideal that you implement the latest one to retain your customers.

Say goodbye to data chaos and embrace the power of PIM/MDM to supercharge your business growth!