dxp vs cms

What is a CMS?

A Content Management System, otherwise known simply as a CMS, helps individuals and organisations with the management, creation and tracking of their content, usually for their websites and applications. Content can refer to anything from images and written content to video. A CMS generally makes up the backend of a website, and then pushes the content to the front-end in order to make it easily seen by visitors.

A CMS will also offer multiple user access, version control and management and makes it simpler for a global brand to maintain a consistent image and voice across various different online platforms. A classic CMS is still able to serve the requirements of brands that mainly publish content on mobile or desktop devices.

However the demands being made of CMS have risen along with the needs of omnichannel marketing and content personalisation. While there are a number of CMS that can provide content personalisation management and rules over many different devices, this need can usually only really be fulfilled by using other software. This only increases the time it takes to have new content published and make a company’s marketing technology stack even more complicated.

What is a DXP?

A Digital Experience Platform, otherwise known simply as a DXP, has achieved a permanent position in the landscape of web content management. A DXP is not bound by the limitations of a CMS and can craft and manage in-depth customer experiences.

CMS and DXP share some overlap in terms of asset management and content creation as the latter emerged off the back of the former.

What’s the difference?

A CMS is fundamentally foundation software for the likes of digital engagement, identity and strategy. A DXP is a complete suite of tools that can power the delivery of personalised experiences that are able to scale and connect throughout a multitude of different channels, languages and countries.

Platform architecture

One of the most significant differences between CMS and DXP is platform architecture. The usual CMS software solution is monolithic, being a standalone platform that comes with all the features. They can be purchased in the form of single-vendor solutions that have minimal capabilities for integration, resulting in a closed and siloed solution. Headless CMS can remove the front end but keep the content delivery application and it can be integrated with various APIs to allow it to work with different platforms and devices.

A DXP has that same versatility and come as platforms with integration capabilities and core components.


CMS usually have very limited scope, being primarily focused on the creation of websites and content management.

A DXP however offers a radically open platform in terms of omnichannel or multi-channel support, featuring API integrations, a strong focus on the delivery of a seamless customer experience and extensive options for personalisation. It has the competence of CMS but with a wide array of additional features.

The decision to change from CMS to DXP can bring dividends but should only be taken after a thorough analysis of the benefits to a business and how ready it is for a digital transformation such as this.