Hygraph vs Contentrain

Discover the key differences between Hygraph and Contentrain to determine which headless CMS fits your project's needs best. Explore our comprehensive comparison for an informed choice.

Andres PhilipsFeb 2, 2024
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Businesses have become digital-first to provide customers with the most enjoyable content experiences. When deciding on your next headless CMS, the number of options available can seem overwhelming. Ultimately, the choice will come down to what your specific business needs to create the best experiences for your customers.

Two platforms you are most likely to come across are Hygraph and Contentrain. Hygraph is a well-known and robust platform but not always the best for every use case. Which one is best for you will depend on a number of factors. This article will help you discover what makes Contentrain a great alternative to Hygraph.

What Is Contentrain?

Contentrain is a Git-based headless CMS that offers serverless functionality, which enables real-time updates and increased scalability. Contentrain simplifies content creation and publishing for marketers and developers while providing version control functionality through its Git-based architecture.

Key Features

Version Control

Contentrain’s Git-based architecture offers streamlined version control. Every modification to content is logged and saved as a commit in a Git repository. This empowers content teams to identify contributors, track changes, and revert to prior content versions effortlessly.

Serverless Collections

Contentrain uses Serverless Collections to effectively address dynamic data challenges by seamlessly integrating various database accounts like Firebase, AWS, Supabase, and others. This grants Contentrain users greater control and ownership over their data, enabling them to dictate how it’s used and managed.

What Is Hygraph?

Hygraph is a federated content platform that offers composability of the software stack. As an API-first headless CMS featuring a GraphQL API, businesses can use Hygraph to use content federation to integrate different services as well as distribute content to any channel.

Key Features

Content Federation

Content federation refers to the capability of pulling data from multiple sources into a single repository using an API. It helps create an aggregation layer to combine data from different tools into one.

GraphQL Content API

Hygraph’s robust GraphQL content API enables brands to pull data and content assets from any location and then distribute content wherever it needs to go. Content is hosted on a data center and served from an Edge CDN.

Comparing Headless CMSs at a Glance

CMS ArchitectureGit-basedAPI-first
Open SourceNoNo
Key FeaturesVersion Control, Serverless CollectionsContent Federation, GraphQL Content API
Best Use CasesDocument-driven Web Projects, API Documentation, Jamstack Sites, Multi-language SitesMedia Platforms, Knowledge Management, Inventory & Catalog Management

Hygraph vs Contentrain

Let’s take a look at how each CMS compares across different categories.


Hygraph is a federated content platform and API-first headless CMS. As a headless CMS, it is frontend agnostic, enabling teams to connect to any frontend and deliver content using an API.

As a MACH platform, Hygraph offers a microservices-based architecture that enables businesses to build their technology stack with best-of-breed components and swap out one tool for the next if required.

On the other hand, Contentrain is built on a Git-based architecture. Due to that architecture Contentrain can offer native version control and Git branch management. Additionally, developers can set up a local development environment, allowing faster iteration and testing before pushing anything to production.

Developer Experience

Engineering teams using Hygraph can leverage its native GraphQL Content API to build composable applications. Hygraph’s framework agnosticism means developers can create digital experiences using their preferred frameworks and tools and GraphQL and REST APIs.

However, Hygraph users have also mentioned that it can be “complex to create and publish large mutations, an issue that results in additional unnecessary fetch requests.” Additionally, there are gaps in the documentation, which make it difficult for users to find what they’re looking for when trying to solve some problems.

Meanwhile, Contentrain’s Git-based architecture offers a familiar experience for developers, allowing them to take advantage of branch management to increase productivity. Contentrain also offers native markdown support. As a result, markups are restored to application folders with preferred names and paths. This allows developers to create and manage web pages via the CMS in document-oriented web projects without coding.

Special configurations and coding are needed to accomplish this in an API-based CMS like Hygraph. That’s because API-based CMSs can send Markdown files as fields of JSON data, and in this case, functions must be created to create routes by parsing the JSON files in the frontend.

Content Modeling

Hygraph offers flexible content modeling, which enables customers to define everything about the content API, including structures, localizations, components, relations, and more. A flexible and intuitive low-code schema builder offers various field types, relations, localization, constraints, and input validations. Developers can create reusable components for dynamic sections and execute schema changes using the management SDK or mutations API.

Contentrain enables the creation of unlimited JSON-based nested content models. Development teams can design and save intricate content models effortlessly through a no-code approach. Users simply begin by selecting the desired data type and then choose the specific component they require.

Content Authoring

Hygraph offers a rich editing experience through a rich-text visual editor, including content versioning, content scheduling, publishs, and live previews.

Contentrain’s Git-based architecture automatically lends itself to more robust and intuitive version control for tracking content changes. Contentrain empowers users to build content-rich websites using Markdown, ensuring a straightforward editing experience that doesn’t require developer intervention. Furthermore, content authors can enjoy instant previews before publishing.

Extensibility & Integrations

Hygraph offers an extensive ecosystem of Apps and plugins that can extend the platform’s functionality and make integrating with additional solutions in the martech stack much easier. Contentrain offers some extensions and plans to introduce additional integrations through an extension store in its upcoming roadmap.


Hygraph’s community plan is free, while the professional plan starts at $299, Scale at $799, and a custom enterprise plan is also available. Unfortunately, Hygraph’s pricing model takes a big jump for some users, with there being no middle ground between the Free version, which offers very basic functionality, and the Professional version.

Contentrain provides more flexible pricing options that cater to different needs. It offers a Free tier for developers looking to explore the platform. There’s a Starter package priced at $39/month, a Professional package at $249/month, and a customizable package tailored for enterprises. Notably, there are no restrictions on the number of collection models, and companies on the Pro plan and above can have unlimited users.

Data Ownership

As an API-first CMS Hygraph, users are reliant on the vendor to host their CMS and will relinquish some control over their data. With Contentrain, your content assets and data are safe in your own Git repository. Contentrain doesn’t store your data, and with Serverless Collection, you have complete control.

Which Headless CMS to Choose?

Hygraph is a good fit if you are a large enterprise company with a robust tech stack and need to leverage capabilities like composability or move data between legacy systems. This makes it ideal for complex projects.

However, for several other projects, Hygraph may be overkill, taking longer to set up and get started. Additionally, unless content federation is the ultimate solution to your business needs because you need better middleware, you won’t get the most out of a CMS like Hygraph.

Contentrain, on the other hand, is built for startups, agencies, corporates, freelancers, or open-source project owners. It’s the perfect fit for small and middle-sized digital projects where teams need to get started quickly. The platform is forever free for any scale of open-source projects with large communities to manage their documentation content with collaboration. A scalable solution and easily adaptable for future business needs, Contentrain makes a worthwhile alternative to Hygraph.

Contact us today to learn more about Contentrain and see it in action.

Andres PhilipsTechnical Content Writer

Andres helping vendors & agencies create content to simplify complex ideas and stand out from the competition