What is Magnolia CMS?

By Max Ikaheimo

March 14th, 2024

Magnolia CMS is a versatile digital experience platform that offers a hybrid headless CMS, enabling the creation of composable digital experiences tailored to real-world needs.

Here's an overview of its key features and capabilities:

    Table of contents

    In this post:

Core features

Magnolia CMS offers extensive features tailored for the entire content lifecycle, categorized into creating, managing, delivering, and optimizing digital experiences. 

Creating content with Magnolia

  • Microsites and landing pages: Magnolia's straightforward WYSIWYG editor enables users to easily create landing pages and microsites, offering personalization and content reuse for enhanced user engagement.

  • WYSIWYG editing: With Magnolia, users can build complete web pages using an intuitive editor. The platform allows developers to configure available components, ensuring design consistency across the site.

  • AI accelerator: Magnolia's AI accelerator simplifies content creation by providing a suite of generative AI features that automate tasks and boost both content and design efficiency.

  • Omnichannel campaigns: Magnolia offers a streamlined approach to managing marketing campaigns, allowing users to create, preview, and launch campaigns from a single platform without coding.

  • Forms & marketing automation: The platform streamlines the creation of web forms and their integration with marketing automation tools, offering users a seamless experience from start to finish.

  • Multichannel preview: Magnolia lets users preview content directly within the editor across various devices and for different audience segments, ensuring optimal user experiences.

  • Single-page app (SPA) editing: Magnolia supports content editing for SPAs using a WYSIWYG editor, compatible with frameworks such as React, Angular, Vue, and others, for flexibility and ease of use.

  • Optimized content authoring (stories app): The platform offers structured and semi-structured content authoring through its stories app. It is suitable for various content types and enhances efficiency and creativity.

Managing content with Magnolia

  • Custom workflows: Magnolia supports out-of-the-box publishing workflows and custom workflows facilitated by the JBPM engine for tailored content management processes.

  • Multi-site management: The platform enables effortless management of multiple sites, allowing users to share content without duplicating efforts, and streamlining content distribution.

  • Multisource content: Magnolia allows for integrating content and data from various sources, delivering a consistent experience across all digital channels.

  • Unified user experience: It connects UI elements in the CMS with integrated tools and systems for a seamless and efficient workspace, enhancing productivity.

  • Automated content management: Magnolia automates content tagging and organization, improving processes and ensuring content accuracy and findability.

Delivering content with Magnolia

  • Magnolia for eCommerce: The platform creates personalized shopping experiences across all touchpoints using a versatile headless CMS, engaging customers effectively.

  • Headless accelerator: Magnolia enhances headless projects with a unified workflow and web components designed to create memorable customer experiences.

  • SPAs/PWAs: It facilitates content management for SPAs and PWAs with visual editing and preview tools, allowing for dynamic and interactive web applications.

  • Hybrid headless: Magnolia combines the benefits of full WYSIWYG editing with the flexibility of headless scenarios, including personalization and analytics, for a comprehensive content strategy.

  • Digital signage, VR, AR, & MR: The platform supports content delivery across digital displays and immersive environments, from digital signage to VR and AR experiences, enriching customer engagement.

Optimizing content with Magnolia

  • Personalization: Magnolia analyzes user behavior and integrates customer data to craft personalized experiences that resonate with the audience.

  • SEO: It provides an all-in-one SEO toolkit with diagnostics and insights, enabling users to improve their site's visibility and drive traffic effectively.

  • Analytics & insights: Magnolia allows users to monitor content and campaign performance with integrated analytics tools, offering a detailed view of metrics and trends.

  • A/B testing: The platform supports A/B testing, allowing users to experiment with content variations and optimize for engagement and conversions, ensuring content effectiveness.

Read more: Magnolia CMS features

Magnolia under the hood 

Magnolia platform overview

Magnolia's digital experience platform (DXP) stands out for its ability to rapidly create fully integrated customer experiences without trade-offs. 

It offers a content hub for consolidating content from multiple sources, enabling reuse across channels. Easy integration capabilities allow connection with any data source, application, or channel. 

Moreover, unified authoring supports the creation of experiences in one seamless workflow, irrespective of the content source. Magnolia's platform is designed for real composability, real collaboration, and real commitment, ensuring that digital teams can deliver meaningful experiences efficiently across any front-end and device.

Read more: Magnolia Digital Experience Platform

E-commerce Solutions

Magnolia enhances e-commerce experiences by bridging the gap between content management and e-commerce systems. 

Recognizing that dynamic and personalized customer interactions are crucial, Magnolia offers a best-in-class headless CMS, Connector Packs, and a Headless Accelerator. 

These tools facilitate seamless multi-channel shopping experiences from product descriptions to checkout. 

Features like easy authoring, seamless shopping experiences, and future-proof flexibility are central, allowing for easy integration with legacy systems and headless content delivery via API or traditional CMS use.

Read more: Magnolia eCommerce

AI accelerator

The Magnolia AI Accelerator enables digital teams to utilize generative AI tools within their normal workflows, thereby speeding up content creation, automating repetitive tasks, and improving findability and design efficiency. 

It supports connections to any generative AI engines, integrating AI services directly into Magnolia’s UI for a unified workflow. 

This includes automating content creation, personalization at scale, and optimizing content classification and rollouts, all aimed at saving time and resources across the content lifecycle.

Read more: Magnolia AI Accelerator

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Magnolia PaaS offers a cloud deployment model that provides fast and flexible deployments, efficient operations, high-performance experiences, and tight security. 

It leverages infrastructure from renowned IaaS vendors, adding specialized platform features that reduce the Magnolia application's hosting, customizing, and managing efforts. 

Features include fast and flexible deployment options, dynamic resource allocation, high performance, and built-in security and efficiency, reducing the digital experience's time to market.

Read more: Magnolia Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Use cases

  • Unified digital experience management: Magnolia supports the management of entire digital presences in a single platform, facilitating content delivery across sites, brands, and channels. For example, Baloise manages 16 sites with 20,000 pages on Magnolia, enhancing brand consistency across digital experiences.

  • Content-driven commerce: It enables creating engaging commerce experiences through storytelling, integrating commerce journeys with content. Sainsbury's, for instance, has unified grocery and general merchandise journeys, improving customer experience.

How Magnolia helps users

  • Magnolia CMS has been instrumental in enhancing digital capabilities, allowing for the easy creation and management of modern websites and applications.

  • It solves the problem of content management efficiency, offering features like easy content migration, backup, and multisite management.

  • The platform provides flexibility and customization options, empowering businesses to improve their web presence and digital marketing efforts.

The word of Magnolia CMS’ users

We are Magnolia CMS partners, and since we have a horse in the race, it’s better to give you an unbiased opinion. So, we scoured Magnolia’s G2, the software reviews page, and parsed them to provide you with an honest review.


  • User-friendly and intuitive: Users praise Magnolia CMS for its ease of use, making it accessible for users with varying levels of technical expertise. Its intuitive interface facilitates the efficient management of digital content.

  • Powerful integration and customization: Users appreciate the platform's robust integration capabilities with various systems and the flexibility to customize according to business needs.

  • Cloud management and backup: The CMS offers reliable cloud management services, ensuring data security and easy backup without the need for external sources.

  • Multisite and multilingual support: Magnolia supports the management of multiple websites from a single platform and offers multilingual support, enhancing its appeal to global businesses.

  • Excellent customer service: The platform is noted for its strong customer support, providing users with the assistance they need to leverage the CMS effectively.

Areas for improvement

  • Administrative interface: The administrative panel lacks functionality and user-friendliness, which can frustrate some users.

  • Complexity in upgrades and compatibility: Upgrading from older versions can be challenging and costly, with some compatibility issues between versions.

  • Plugin and management issues: Users have reported difficulties with plugin management and have suggested improvements in the software's administrative interface and installation process.

Ikius: Magnolia implementation partner

We know this all sounds like a lot to digest. And it is. But fear not. As your dedicated Magnolia implementation partner, we're here to streamline the entire process for you. Your role? Simply share your vision for your website and how you'd like it to function. From there, leave it to us. 

We bring the technical expertise, strategic know-how, and a seamless implementation process to the table, ensuring your website meets and exceeds your expectations. 

With Ikius, you can focus on the bigger picture, knowing the nuts and bolts are in safe hands.

Read more: Ikius technologies: Magnolia CMS 

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