How to choose a Headless CMS? An RFP Template.

Learn more about how to choose the best Headless CMS for your next project - complete with an RFP downloadable as an Excel spreadsheet and Google Sheet.

Ronak Ganatra
Ronak Ganatra

If you're starting a new project or re-platforming an existing architecture - it's critical to ensure that your new stack matches your expectations. In this RFP template for Headless CMS and Content Platforms, we provide an objective checklist on what you should look out for when selecting a new vendor.

Download our RFP template →

An RFP, or request for proposal, is a document that asks vendors to submit their proposals for consideration and ensure that their product is capable of matching a company's requirements for new software. It contains the requirements, goals, timelines, and features of an organization during its procurement process for finding the best Headless CMS for their needs.

Considerations for an RFP for Headless CMSAnchor

Business Needs: It's important to understand what the vendor is able to achieve for you when setting out to explore the best Headless CMS for your needs. Whether building a DXP with composable architectures, setting out to have MACH compliant stacks or re-platforming from monolithic services to modern SaaS CMS, this isn't a decision to be taken lightly. Content platforms form the core of most architectures, so it's important to enter the RFP process with business needs well-defined.

Technology Needs: Once the "why" of a CMS is addressed, it's critical to understand the "how" and the "what" - here are where the technology needs come in. Ideally, a conversation for the engineering team along with the architects, CTO, and content team, defining the needs for a successful selection is a cross-department initiative. Here is where it's important to know the benefits of a cloud SaaS CMS v. an on-premises solution, the scalability for enterprise content management, the ability to be the best CMS for React, Next.js, Gatsby, or whichever languages and frameworks you use, and the ability for the CMS to integrate with external services.

Features Required: Many Headless CMS features are offered out-of-the-box, but vendors have varied offerings based on their tiers. Here it's important to note down the features that are critical for your success - such as localization, versioning, webhooks, granular permissions, etc.

Our RFP template is meant to provide you with an exhaustive list of capabilities you should look out for when selecting a new Headless CMS.

Some of the points we cover are:

  • Whether the headless CMS is GraphQL native, or has support for REST APIs via remote fields.
  • Whether your vendor needs to be a MACH compliant headless CMS.
  • Whether this software enables agile content management as an Agile CMS, allowing editors, content creators, and developers to work efficiently in parallel.
  • Whether this vendor is the best headless CMS for React, Next.js, Gatsby, Rust, and other popular languages and frameworks.
  • Whether this vendor is able to support scaling enterprise content management needs, and so on.

Based on these points, content platform vendors would be able to provide the information you need to make an informed decision, as well as provide enough context to highlight how their solutions match your use case(s).

Download our RFP template →


  • Ronak Ganatra
  • VP of Marketing

    A free Wi-Fi enthusiast and pizza purist, Ronak is the VP of Marketing at GraphCMS. He's also the co-creator of Build Your DXP, co-author of the Composable Architectures for the Enterprise report, and co-maintains a developer marketing community.

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