The print front end for your headless CMS: how to add professional print integration to your WCMS

Publishers have to be able to simply display content on a wide variety of platforms. This article will show you how to add professional InDesign integration to a web content management system (WCMS) such as WordPress or Drupal or a headless CMS.

When it comes to publishing, everyone is talking about “headless CMS” right now. While a classic WCMS captures and stores content in its back end and displays this content in format templates via a link to the front end, the front and back end are decoupled in a headless CMS. Instead, applications and websites can access the content from the CMS via an interface and display it individually. One of the advantages of a headless CMS is the fact that the content stored there can be displayed on one or more websites and also used in native iOS and Android apps. This makes headless CMS architecture appealing to mobile and web developers and digital publishers. But can print also be effectively integrated into a (headless) WCMS?

Print’s not dead

We have developed a solution called “tohoop” (Low German for “together”) which enables your WCMS to be conveniently connected to InDesign. tohoop is not only a WordPress-to-InDesign solution – it can also be used with Drupal and other systems. As an interface, tohoop is ultimately a print front end for a headless CMS architecture. This is how we integrate the print channel in a digital publishing environment to support all publishers who want to efficiently create print publications from their content held in a WCMS as a central content platform.

Efficient workflows for layout designers and editors

An integral component of the solution is our tohoop planner, a browser-based planning tool that makes it incredibly easy to create and manage publications. Each page can be linked to an InDesign page layout that a designer sets as a template. Of course, other templates can also be created for different pages or documents. 

As part of our solution, editors continue to use their trusted online editor in the WCMS and simply create a print version with the tohoop plug-in, which is then assigned to a sample layout. This allows them to adjust their texts according to the print layout specifications. Online-specific content is automatically ignored.

This makes it easy for layout designers to find an article from the WCMS using the content search in the planner and then drag & drop it onto a page to mold it into the pre-defined layout. Our tool even transfers formatting from the CMS and intelligently converts it into InDesign formatting. And if a picture doesn’t look quite right or the text is too short and the heading is too long, this is where the tohoop features come into play as a WCMS plug-in… The planner can be used to open the article in print layout view within the WCMS, allowing each individual line of text to be edited. And an InDesign client doesn’t even have to be opened for minor alterations to the layout, as this can be done in the planner itself using the “page layout” feature, which is a kind of slimmed-down version of InDesign. Needless to say, the tool also enables the fully free layout of all articles in InDesign. By the way: Ads can also be managed using the tohoop planner.

Bottom line

tohoop is not only a WordPress-to-InDesign solution – it also adds a professional print channel to every (headless) WCMS. The tohoop planner makes it easy to create publications and editors can tailor their print content in the WCMS. Layout designers and editorial teams can collaborate efficiently and remotely with tohoop. 

More information: