Payload as an alternative to Contentful

Comparing Payload to Contentful as a headless CMS underscores the benefits of open-source over a SaaS counterpart. With Payload, you own your data. With Contentful, you do not, and will invariably encounter vendor lock-in.

contentful logo
Own your data with Payload
Payload square but on the left

Building with Payload can be done quickly and effectively, thanks to its code‑based customization and developer-friendly features.

Microsoft - Payload ClientMicrosoft - Payload Client
Sowmya Reddy Peta, Engineer
Microsoft front end screenshots

The world is moving toward open source. Are you?

In a recent study, 80% of enterprise decision-makers planned to use open-source platforms like Payload—with 89% finding them more secure than SaaS alternatives.

As a proudly open-source solution for managing content, Payload is committed to this sea-change in software.

Comparing Payload to Contentful




01

Take back your infrastructure

While Contentful confines your data to their servers through a third-party API, Payload delivers you the freedom to store and manage your data on your terms.

Explore Docs
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import { postgresAdapter } from '@payloadcms/db-postgres'
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export default buildConfig({
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// Your config goes here
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collections: [
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// Collections go here
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],
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// Here is where you pass your database adapter
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// and the adapter will require options specific to itself
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db: postgresAdapter({
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pool: {
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connectionString: process.env.DATABASE_URI,
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}
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}),
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})
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02

Point, click, edit.

Payload's visual editor empowers marketers to create and edit as they browse, delivering a powerful tool that pairs nicely alongside its first-class developer experience.

Explore Visual Editing
A mockup of visual editing.
03

Lower cost at scale

As an open-source platform that can be self-hosted, there are no bandwidth, document, or usage limits within Payload. In Contentful, you may be liable for overages and could even hit usage caps based on your plan.

Since you can choose to self-host Payload, you are in full control over the usage (and costs) of your data.

Explore Docs
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const payload = require("payload");
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const express = require("express");
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const app = express();
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// Do whatever you want with your app.
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// Just pass it to Payload and everything
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// will be scoped to Payload routers.
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payload.init({
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secret: "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX",
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mongoURL: "mongodb://localhost/payload",
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express: app,
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});
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app.listen(process.env.PORT, () => {
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console.log(`Application listening on ${3000}...`);
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04

Unmatched flexibility

Contentful’s extensibility is significantly limited when compared to Payload. With Payload, you can extend and add additional functionality however you need, including full customization of the Admin UI.

Learn about Hooks
Payload's clean minimal admin panel interfacePayload's clean minimal admin panel interface
05

Reusable authentication

Payload offers customizable in-app authentication, allowing full control and robust access management, unlike Contentful, which requires an external auth provider due to its platform-limited authentication.

Learn about Auth
Authentication admin and external loginAuthentication admin and external login
06

Custom components

You can completely and easily override Payload views, fields, and more with your own React components. In Contentful, you can only swap out fields, and you need to build custom fields via iframes which is significantly more difficult.

Learn about Components
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import { buildConfig } from 'payload/config'
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import {
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MyCustomNav,
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MyCustomLogo,
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MyCustomIcon,
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MyCustomAccount,
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MyCustomDashboard,
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MyProvider,
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MyCustomAdminAction,
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} from './customComponents'
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export default buildConfig({
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admin: {
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components: {
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Nav: MyCustomNav,
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graphics: {
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Icon: MyCustomIcon,
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Logo: MyCustomLogo,
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},
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actions: [MyCustomAdminAction],
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views: {
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Account: MyCustomAccount,
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Dashboard: MyCustomDashboard,
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},
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providers: [MyProvider],
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},
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},
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})
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Schedule time with us

What we'll talk about:

  • Dedicated engineering support
  • Demo of enterprise features, including visual editing and AI
  • Custom solutions to extend Payload
  • Influence over the Payload roadmap
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