Anchor CMS vs. Contentful Spaces: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Anchor CMS vs. Contentful Spaces: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


In the digital age, a reliable and efficient Content Management System (CMS) is vital for organizations to effectively manage their website content. Two popular CMS options available in the market are Anchor CMS and Contentful Spaces. Both CMS solutions offer unique features and benefits, making the decision-making process for digital leaders and decision-makers quite challenging. In this comprehensive comparison guide, we will explore the key aspects of Anchor CMS and Contentful Spaces to help you make an informed decision for your organization.

Foundations of CMS

Anchor CMS is a lightweight and open-source CMS designed to provide a simple, minimalist approach to content management. It offers a streamlined interface, focusing on essential features without overwhelming users with unnecessary complexities. On the other hand, Contentful Spaces is a headless CMS that separates content creation from presentation. It enables users to create and manage content separately from the front-end display, allowing for greater flexibility and easy integration with different platforms.

In terms of ease of use, Anchor CMS excels in simplicity. With its intuitive interface and minimalist feature set, users can quickly get up to speed and start managing their content. Contentful Spaces, although more robust in terms of features, may have a steeper learning curve due to its flexibility and separation of content and presentation layers.

When it comes to extensibility, Anchor CMS offers a limited number of plugins and themes compared to Contentful Spaces, which has a vast ecosystem of integrations, extensions, and apps. This makes Contentful Spaces a more suitable choice for organizations looking for extensive customization options and integration capabilities.

In summary, Anchor CMS is ideal for users who value simplicity and ease of use, while Contentful Spaces is well-suited for those who require flexibility, scalability, and a wide range of integrations.

Design & User Experience

The design and user experience of a CMS play a crucial role in its adoption and efficiency. Anchor CMS focuses on providing a clean and minimalist interface, allowing users to focus solely on managing their content. The limited number of theme options may be seen as a disadvantage for organizations that prioritize visual customization.

Contentful Spaces, on the other hand, offers a highly customizable front-end experience. Users have the freedom to design and structure their content as per their preferences. With the ability to create custom content models and use different content types, Contentful Spaces provides greater flexibility in defining how content is displayed on the website.

Both CMS solutions offer responsive design capabilities, ensuring that the websites built on these platforms look and perform well across various devices and screen sizes. However, if visual customization and highly tailored designs are important to your organization, Contentful Spaces provides a stronger foundation.

In conclusion, Anchor CMS focuses on simplicity and a clean user experience, while Contentful Spaces offers extensive customization options and flexibility in design. The choice between the two depends on the specific design needs and preferences of your organization.

Content Management

Efficient content management is a fundamental requirement of any CMS. Anchor CMS simplifies content creation and management with its user-friendly interface. You can easily create new pages, blog posts, or other types of content without any coding knowledge. The content editor provides basic formatting options, making it easy to structure your content.

On the other hand, Contentful Spaces takes a more structured approach to content management. You can define custom content models with specific fields and data types, ensuring consistency in content creation. The content editor offers more advanced options for content structuring and organization, suitable for complex projects and larger content teams.

Both Anchor CMS and Contentful Spaces provide revision history and version control, allowing you to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed. This feature is especially important for collaboration and content workflows.

In summary, Anchor CMS offers simplicity for smaller content management needs, while Contentful Spaces is a better fit for organizations that require a more structured and flexible content management approach.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management features are crucial for organizations with multiple users involved in the content creation and publishing process. Anchor CMS offers basic role-based access control, allowing administrators to define user roles with different levels of permissions. However, it lacks more advanced features such as content approval workflows and user activity tracking.

Contentful Spaces shines in this area, offering advanced collaborative features such as content approval workflows, user roles and permissions, and content localization. These features enable larger and complex organizations to manage content creation and publication efficiently, ensuring that the right content is delivered to the right audience at the right time.

If your organization requires robust collaboration and user management features, Contentful Spaces is the ideal choice. However, for smaller teams or organizations with simpler content workflows, Anchor CMS offers sufficient collaboration capabilities.

In conclusion, Contentful Spaces provides advanced collaboration and user management functionalities, while Anchor CMS offers basic collaboration features suitable for smaller teams or organizations with simpler content workflows.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting capabilities are critical factors to consider when selecting a CMS. Anchor CMS is known for its lightweight nature, resulting in fast loading times and efficient performance. Additionally, the simplicity of Anchor CMS helps reduce the server resources required to run the CMS, making it a good choice for organizations looking for optimized performance.

Contentful Spaces also offers excellent performance and scalability. As a cloud-based CMS, it leverages Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to ensure fast and reliable content delivery worldwide. The headless architecture of Contentful Spaces allows for easy scaling and handling high traffic volumes efficiently.

In terms of hosting options, Anchor CMS can be self-hosted on any compatible server or hosted using Anchor Hosting, which provides a hassle-free setup and maintenance experience. Contentful Spaces, being a cloud-based CMS, handles the hosting and infrastructure for you, relieving you of the burden of managing servers and ensuring high availability.

Ultimately, both CMS options offer strong performance and scalability. If you prefer a self-hosted solution with more control over the hosting environment, Anchor CMS is recommended. However, if you prioritize hassle-free hosting and scalability, Contentful Spaces would be the better choice.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization capabilities and a thriving ecosystem of extensions and integrations can greatly enhance a CMS's functionality. Anchor CMS provides a limited number of themes and plugins compared to Contentful Spaces. While this may be seen as a drawback for organizations seeking extensive customization options, Anchor CMS's simplicity is also its strength, allowing for quick setup and easy management without overwhelming users with excessive options.

Contentful Spaces, on the other hand, boasts a wide range of integrations and extensions, allowing users to extend its capabilities as per their specific requirements. The extensive ecosystem offers integrations with popular tools and services like eCommerce platforms, marketing automation systems, and analytics tools, making Contentful Spaces highly adaptable and suitable for complex projects.

In summary, if your organization requires extensive customization and integrations, Contentful Spaces would be the appropriate choice. However, for simplicity and quick deployment, Anchor CMS offers a more streamlined experience.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketing, and monetization features are essential for organizations looking to make their online presence successful. Both Anchor CMS and Contentful Spaces offer good support for these aspects, but with some differences.

Anchor CMS provides basic SEO features, allowing you to optimize meta tags, URLs, and headings. It also supports basic analytics integration, enabling you to track website traffic and user behavior. However, for more advanced marketing automation and analytics capabilities, additional integrations may be required.

Contentful Spaces offers greater flexibility for implementing SEO best practices. You can easily define custom fields and structured content models to enhance SEO aspects. The CMS also integrates well with various marketing automation, CRM, and analytics tools, providing a seamless experience for marketing teams.

In terms of monetization, both CMS options support various approaches, such as integrating with advertising platforms or eCommerce systems. Contentful Spaces' extensive ecosystem allows for easy integration of monetization solutions.

To summarize, if your organization's SEO and marketing requirements are more advanced, Contentful Spaces offers a stronger framework. However, if you have simpler needs, Anchor CMS provides the necessary essentials for establishing an online presence.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical considerations for any CMS, especially for organizations dealing with sensitive data or regulated industries. Anchor CMS follows best practices to ensure system security and data protection. Being an open-source CMS, the community regularly audits the code for vulnerabilities and releases updates when necessary. However, dedicated security features like two-factor authentication and granular access controls are limited.

Contentful Spaces places high importance on security. It adheres to industry standards and compliance requirements, such as ISO 27001, GDPR, and HIPAA. Contentful Spaces offers advanced security features, such as role-based access controls, Single Sign-On (SSO), and data encryption, making it a reliable choice for organizations with stringent security and compliance needs.

If your organization requires stronger security and compliance capabilities, Contentful Spaces is recommended. However, if your content does not involve sensitive or regulated data, Anchor CMS offers the necessary security measures.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating to a new CMS can be a daunting task. Both Anchor CMS and Contentful Spaces provide options for content migration, making the transition smoother. However, the complexity of migrating may vary depending on the size and complexity of your existing website and content.

Anchor CMS offers dedicated support resources, including documentation and a community forum. As an open-source CMS, it benefits from an active community that contributes to ongoing development and support. However, official support options may be limited.

Contentful Spaces provides comprehensive support, including detailed documentation, webinars, and a dedicated support team. Their support options cater to users of all expertise levels, ensuring you receive assistance throughout your journey with the CMS.

In terms of maintenance, Anchor CMS requires you to handle updates and security patches manually. Contentful Spaces takes care of all maintenance tasks, ensuring that you are always using the latest version of the CMS.

In conclusion, both CMS options offer migration capabilities and support resources, but Contentful Spaces stands out with its comprehensive support options and hassle-free maintenance.


Choosing the right CMS for your organization requires careful consideration of various factors. Anchor CMS and Contentful Spaces both have their unique strengths and suitability depending on your specific needs.

Anchor CMS is a lightweight and simple CMS that excels in ease of use and performance. It is an excellent choice for organizations looking for quick deployment, straightforward content management, and streamlined workflows.

On the other hand, Contentful Spaces offers extensive customization options, scalability, and a wide range of integrations. It is an ideal choice for larger organizations with complex content workflows, advanced SEO and marketing requirements, and the need for robust collaboration capabilities.

By thoroughly analyzing the foundations, design and user experience, content management, collaboration and user management, performance and scalability, customization and extensions, SEO and marketing, security and compliance, migration and support, and maintenance aspects of Anchor CMS and Contentful Spaces, you can make an informed decision that aligns with the specific needs and goals of your organization.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.