Navigating the future of content creation:
A business guide to Hygraph

By Ikius Team

17th July, 2023

In the 2000s, we got content management systems like WordPress to help people create websites. As more devices emerged, creating omnichannel content that would look good on every platform became trickier. 

So, "headless" systems were created to fit content into any platform through an API. Working with these large software systems is tough, so smaller, specialized systems became popular. 

With the myriad interconnected platforms and services that compose a headless implementation, managing all these points of contact can be a headache. 

Hygraph was created to solve this issue. Recognizing the limitations of traditional platforms and headless CMSs, Hygraph’s devs created a user-friendly content platform for non-tech-savvy individuals and powerful enough to meet the needs of experienced developers leveraging a single content API that ties everything together, making the process simpler and quicker.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? 

Lucky for you, we are Hygraph partners and can give you a deep dive in a a friendly, business-oriented review.

    Table of contents

    In this post:

What is Hygraph?

Hygraph is a federated content platform that delivers content as data via API to any platform instead of being tightly coupled to a specific website, web app, or mobile app. It is built on top of GraphQL, a query language for APIs, which makes it easy for developers to fetch and manipulate content. 

Hygraph also offers features that suit teams well, such as role-based access control, multi-tenancy, and SSO integration.

But wait a minute, that all sounds good, but what does “federated” mean?

With Content Federation, you can unify your stack into a single API, reduce the complexity of your architecture, remove redundant copies of your data, and get rid of expensive custom middleware code that glues your services together.

Gijs Hendrix – Head of Product, Hygraph

In simpler terms, Content Federation helps you combine all your different tools and systems into one easy-to-use system –think of CRMs, PIMs, databases, analytics, and plugins. It simplifies your setup and eliminates software complexities. Ultimately, all the pieces of your tech puzzle are easier to manage and cheaper to run.

Read more: What is a headless CMS

Key features of Hygraph

  • GraphQL: Hygraph is built on top of GraphQL, which makes it easy for developers to fetch and manipulate content.

  • Headless CMS: Hygraph is a headless CMS that decouples the content from the presentation layer. This makes it easy to use Hygraph with any front-end framework or technology.

  • API-first: Hygraph is an API-first platform, which means you can build your front-end apps without worrying about the underlying data model.

  • Team-friendly: Hygraph offers several features that make it well-suited for teams, such as role-based access control, multi-tenancy, and SSO integration.

  • Components: Hygraph allows you to create reusable components that can be used across different pages and projects. This can save you time and effort when creating new content.

  • Schemas: Hygraph allows you to define your content schema, which specifies the structure and types of content that can be stored in Hygraph. This makes it easy to manage your content and ensure consistency.

  • Integrations: Hygraph integrates with various third-party services, such as Figma, Jira, and Confluence. This makes it easy to collaborate with other teams and bring in external data into your Hygraph project.

Use cases for Hygraph

Hygraph can be used for various use cases, including:

  • Building custom web applications: Hygraph can create custom web applications that decouple content from presentation. This can save you time and effort when working with large amounts of data and give you more flexibility and control over your development process.

  • Creating marketing websites and landing pages: Hygraph can create dynamic marketing websites and landing pages that can be easily updated with new content. This can help you to improve your website's SEO and to create a more engaging user experience.

  • Delivering dynamic content to mobile apps: Hygraph can provide dynamic content. This means you can update your app's content without releasing a new version. This can help you to keep your app up-to-date with the latest information, and it can also help you to save time and money on development costs.

  • Managing product documentation: Hygraph can be used to manage product documentation. This means you can create and store product documentation in a central location and easily update it with new information. This can help you to improve your product's documentation, and it can also help you to save time and money on development costs.

  • Creating customer portals: Hygraph can be used to create customer portals. This means you can create a secure and private website for your customers to access information about their accounts, make purchases, and troubleshoot problems. This can help you to improve your customer service, and it can also help you to build stronger relationships with your customers.

  • Building internal tools: Hygraph can be used to build internal tools. This means that you can create custom tools for your employees to use to improve their productivity and to collaborate more effectively. This can help you to save time and money on development costs, and it can also help you to improve your employees' morale and productivity.

  • Creating educational content: Hygraph can be used to create educational content. This means you can create interactive and engaging learning materials that can be easily updated with new information. This can help you to improve your student's learning experience, and it can also help you to save time and money on development costs.

  • Building eCommerce websites: Hygraph can be used to build eCommerce websites. This means you can create a dynamic and scalable composable commerce storefront that can easily update with new products and promotions. This can help you to improve your website's SEO and to increase your sales.

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How Hygraph works

Hygraph is a federated content management system that allows you to create and manage content in a way that is decoupled from the presentation layer. You can create content once and use it in multiple places, such as on your website, mobile app, or customer portal.

Hygraph works by providing a GraphQL API that you can use to fetch and manipulate content. GraphQL is a query language that makes asking for the data you need easy. This can save you time and effort when working with large amounts of data.

The Hygraph schema

The Hygraph schema is a JSON file that defines the structure of your content. The schema specifies the types of content you can create and the fields each type can have. For example, the schema might define a type of content called "blog post" with fields for the title, the content, and the date published.

The Hygraph schema is a powerful tool that you can use to manage your content. By using the schema, you can ensure that your content is consistent and that it can be easily manipulated.

Content 

Hygraph gives you many options to sort out your content just how you want it. People have ideas about how content should look and how tidy the user interface should be. The good news is, Hygraph has easy-to-use settings that let you tweak the appearance of your content dashboard to your liking. You can set it up in a way that works best for you.

Assets

Every Hygraph project has a built-in model called "Asset." You can tweak this model to include the information you want in your asset entries. The way you set up this asset model in your project's blueprint decides what data you can put into an asset entry. So you can customize it to suit your project's needs.

API playground

The API Playground in Hygraph is a super useful tool for making API calls. It gives you a space to mess around with pulling in data (querying) and making changes to data (mutating).

In the Playground, you can whip up a query, tidy it up so it's easy on the eyes, pick your working environment and development stage, select your language or region (locale), and run your query. You can even include variables in your query and send over custom headers. It's a fantastic place to play around and learn how everything works!

Business benefits of Hygraph

Decouples content from presentation 

Hygraph allows you to decouple your content from your presentation layer. This means you can create content once and use it in multiple places, such as on your website, mobile app, or customer portal. This can save you time and effort when working with large amounts of data.

API-first approach

Hygraph takes an API-first approach, meaning you can build your front-end apps without worrying about the underlying data model. This can give you more flexibility and control over your development process.

Team-friendly

Hygraph offers many team-friendly features, such as role-based access control, multi-tenancy, and SSO integration. This can help you to manage your content more effectively and securely. Hygraph is easy for developers and content creators. The Hygraph schema makes it easy to define your content, and the Hygraph API makes it easy to fetch and manipulate content.

Flexible and scalable 

Hygraph is a flexible and scalable platform that can be used to build various applications. It can handle large amounts of data and can be easily scaled to meet the needs of your business.

Open source-ready

 Hygraph has open-source qualities, and as such, it's free to use and can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Hygraph vs other headless content management systems

Here is an updated table outlining the similarities and differences between Hygraph and other popular headless CMS platforms, including Contentful, Strapi, and Sanity.

FeaturesHygraphContentfulDatoCMSSanityAgility CMS
Headless CMSYesYesYesYesYes
API-firstYesYesYesYesYes
Decoupled contentYesYesYesYesYes
SchemaYesYesYesYesYes
GraphQL supportYesYesYesYesYes
Team-friendly featuresYesYesYesYesYes
PricingFree, Professional, Scale, EnterpriseFree, Starter, Professional, EnterpriseFree, Team, Business, EnterpriseFree, Team, Professional, EnterpriseFree, Starter, Professional, Enterprise
CommunityActiveActiveActiveActiveActive
MaturityLess matureMore matureMore matureMore matureLess mature
Feature setMore focused feature setWider range of featuresWider range of featuresWider range of featuresMore focused feature set
IntegrationsMore Jamstack integrationsMore integrationsMore integrationsMore integrationsMore Jamstack integrations
FeaturesHeadless CMS
HygraphYes
ContentfulYes
DatoCMSYes
SanityYes
Agility CMSYes
FeaturesAPI-first
HygraphYes
ContentfulYes
DatoCMSYes
SanityYes
Agility CMSYes
FeaturesDecoupled content
HygraphYes
ContentfulYes
DatoCMSYes
SanityYes
Agility CMSYes
FeaturesSchema
HygraphYes
ContentfulYes
DatoCMSYes
SanityYes
Agility CMSYes
FeaturesGraphQL support
HygraphYes
ContentfulYes
DatoCMSYes
SanityYes
Agility CMSYes
FeaturesTeam-friendly features
HygraphYes
ContentfulYes
DatoCMSYes
SanityYes
Agility CMSYes
FeaturesPricing
HygraphFree, Professional, Scale, Enterprise
ContentfulFree, Starter, Professional, Enterprise
DatoCMSFree, Team, Business, Enterprise
SanityFree, Team, Professional, Enterprise
Agility CMSFree, Starter, Professional, Enterprise
FeaturesCommunity
HygraphActive
ContentfulActive
DatoCMSActive
SanityActive
Agility CMSActive
FeaturesMaturity
HygraphLess mature
ContentfulMore mature
DatoCMSMore mature
SanityMore mature
Agility CMSLess mature
FeaturesFeature set
HygraphMore focused feature set
ContentfulWider range of features
DatoCMSWider range of features
SanityWider range of features
Agility CMSMore focused feature set
FeaturesIntegrations
HygraphMore Jamstack integrations
ContentfulMore integrations
DatoCMSMore integrations
SanityMore integrations
Agility CMSMore Jamstack integrations

Closing thoughts

The increasing complexity of managing interconnected platforms and services can be overwhelming. That's where Hygraph comes in. Designed to overcome the limitations of both traditional and composable architecture, Hygraph offers a user-friendly yet powerful solution.

For tech novices and experienced developers alike, Hygraph simplifies the entire process. It uses a single content API that seamlessly integrates all elements, making content management simpler, quicker, and more efficient.

As we embrace this exciting evolution, we see that Hygraph is not just another platform but the future of content management.

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