A headless WordPress CMS is a decoupled “Content Management System” where the front end of the system is built using a different standalone framework than the one used in the back end.
The term “headless” refers to the lack of a user interface, and there are several reasons why you might choose this type of CMS.
In this article, we’ll explain what “headless” WordPress actually means and why it’s worth considering for your next project.
How does the headless CMS work?
Publishers work on the content, and programmers work on the codes. They do what they do the best. The roles are pretty clear between the developers, writers, and analysts.
The headless CMS works effortlessly because the frontend and the backend are linked and connected through a REST API.
You can create, edit, or delete any content in the backend of the WordPress dashboard.
When the content in the backend is complete, it is ready to be published on the website. The new frontend layer requests the CMS through an API, or application programming interface.
The content delivery is completely unformatted. It is the responsibility of the front-end developers to present the content visually.
This seems like a pretty long route to take, but it offers far more than you can imagine. The website handlers and owners take on the extra work due to the benefits it has to offer.
Why choose a headless CMS?
Faster, Easier and Flexible
Unlike in the past, when we would create a website and leave it alone, we now have developers involved who create websites that are more flexible, and you can open your content on multiple platforms, such as an app, TV, or any other digital screen anywhere. Developers are active participants in your day-to-day operations, helping to evolve your online digital branding.
You can build your website and your content and send them to multiple platforms. So there is a separation between the content and the presentation. You can build your website, put different themes and frontends on it, and keep changing the content. Thus, you do the work once and get the huge benefit of being scalable.
Headless WordPress supports omnichannel architecture. Your brand exists in digital space on the web in multiple different ways. You can create a piece of content once, and using the headless CMS, you can send it to all the different channels. In this way, you can adapt and evolve your brand very quickly with the help of simple tools.
Increased Loading Speed
More control on Front End
Over time, websites get really slow, but a headless WordPress or CMS works fast. It is due to the fact that the content is separated from the presentation layer, making it fast and scalable, and you can grow your business as your digital presence expands.
One might think that handling both ends separately may endanger your website’s security, but actually it makes it more secure. Being a standalone, the frontend is harder to hack for the bag guys and access your information. Headless CMS helps you protect your website from cyberattacks like DDoS.
Why NOT to choose a headless CMS?
Extra Workload: Being headless means having extra front-end work to manage. Unless you have a good number of human resources to maintain both platforms, it is going to exhaust you.
Expensive: Going headless means hiring multiple developers to build your website and manage it separately. It will cost you a lot of money.
Dependence on developers: Unlike traditional WordPress, you will be dependent on developers for even the smallest change in your frontend.
No Access to WordPress Features: Losing the head means you lose access to a lot of the features WordPress offers. There are no WYSIWYG editors or live previews. You are also restricted from using WordPress plugins for customization purposes.
What’s the difference between a headless CMS and a traditional CMS?
If you have been involved in the process of building a website for your organization, you may have faced the challenge of deciding whether to choose a traditional WordPress platform or go for a headless CMS with WordPress.
The decision about which one to choose for your website depends upon the website’s architecture, team, mission, and goals.
- A traditional CMS allows the control over both the frontend and the backend of the site.
- While a headless CMS only deals with the content or the backend, It doesn’t have a frontend end, which is the reason it is called headless.
- Traditional CMS contains all type data of the content that exists in the website i.e. text, product data, images, etc.
- The headless CMS is used for storing and editing the content, but it is not responsible for how the content looks visually.
- Under the radar of WordPress, traditional CMS handles the presentation and frontend layer of the website.
- In a headless CMS, the frontend designers or publishers have the flexibility to use any framework they want for the visual representation of the website.
- The frontend and the backend of the website are closely connected in a traditional website or CMS.
- In headless WordPress or CMS, the frontend and the backend is loosely connected via an API.
The benefits and use cases for headless CMS are far-reaching and make it worth considering for any development team. However, you must consider the pros and cons of getting any type of CMS beforehand. Choosing the right type of “Content Management System” can make your brand identity stand out, and choosing the wrong one can make you lose it.