General concepts > What is DatoCMS?

What is DatoCMS?

DatoCMS is a cloud-based headless CMS designed to work with websites, mobile apps, and server-side applications of any kind. Freelancers, agencies, and startups use DatoCMS to empower non-technical clients and team members to manage the content of their digital products within a web-based CMS.

What does "headless CMS" mean?

A headless CMS clearly separates the actual content from the display layer and the front-end user experience.

The headless CMS concept stems from the demands of the digital era and a business’s need to engage customers with personalized content via multiple channels at all stages of the customer journey.

As the content in a headless CMS is considered pure (because it has no presentation layer attached), just one instance of it can be used for display on any device: websites (both desktop and mobile), apps, smartwatches, digital signage, Internet of Things devices, etc.

To learn more, you can read our Introduction to Headless CMS over at the DatoCMS academy.


DatoCMS provides a content infrastructure that comprises different APIs for working with your content. Each of these APIs serves a different purpose, so which one to use depends on what you want to do:

  • To obtain content for presentation to users on a website or app, it is recommended that you utilize either the Content Delivery API or the Real-time Updates API. The latter is preferable if you require dynamic content that can be updated in real-time, delivering events as they happen.

  • If you want to programmatically create or update content items, or make any other change to your project/schema, use the Content Management API.

One account, multiple projects

Once you sign up to DatoCMS and create your account, you'll be able to create an arbitrary number of different projects. For each project you'll be given an administrative area at a specific domain (i.e., https://[my-project] from which you'll be able to invite collaborators to manage its specific content. All the projects you create will be completely isolated from each other.

New to DatoCMS?

If you want to get started with DatoCMS and learn the basics, check out these video tutorials for beginners!

A gentle overview of all the features of DatoCMS
Play video »
Creating a localized blog using Next.js
Play video »
Next.js + DatoCMS tutorial for beginners
Play video »