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What is GraphQL and How Does it Benefit Content Management Systems?

· 3 min read

Content management systems (CMS) have revolutionized the way websites are built, managed, and updated. CMS software provides website owners with the tools to create and manage content with ease, without requiring any technical knowledge. However, as website complexity increases, traditional CMS systems have struggled to keep up with the demands of modern web development. This is where GraphQL comes in.

What is GraphQL?

GraphQL is a query language for APIs, designed by Facebook in 2012. It allows developers to define the structure of the data they need and receive exactly that, without over-fetching or under-fetching data. In simpler terms, GraphQL provides a more efficient way to request data from APIs.

How Does GraphQL Benefit Content Management Systems?

Traditional CMS systems have a fixed structure for data, which can become a bottleneck when the website needs to be updated or restructured. With GraphQL, CMS systems can become more flexible and scalable. GraphQL allows developers to request data in a more granular way, making it easier to manage complex data structures.

For example, let's say a website has a page that displays a list of blog posts. In traditional CMS systems, this might involve requesting all the data related to each blog post, including the author, tags, and date published. With GraphQL, a developer can request only the data they need, making the website more performant and scalable.

WordPress as a CMS with GraphQL

WordPress is one of the most popular CMS systems in the world, powering over 40% of all websites on the internet. With the release of WordPress 4.7 in 2016, the platform added support for the REST API, which allowed developers to build custom applications that interact with WordPress.

However, REST APIs have their limitations, and GraphQL offers a more efficient alternative. In recent years, there has been a growing number of plugins and libraries that allow WordPress developers to use GraphQL as a data layer for their websites.

CMS Systems and GraphQL

GraphQL is not limited to WordPress; it can be used with any CMS system that has an API. Popular CMS systems like Drupal, Joomla, and Magento have all added support for GraphQL in recent years.


GraphQL is a powerful tool that can greatly benefit content management systems. It provides a more flexible and efficient way to request data, making CMS systems more scalable and performant. As more CMS systems add support for GraphQL, we can expect to see a new generation of websites that are faster and more flexible than ever before.