With a large number of developments recently conducted on the platform that is WordPress, there are a number of noticeable changes. From the way that it works to the tools, it offers the users, helping the user to do far more than simply running a website. In fact, WordPress has grown with such power, that it now hosts 30% of the top 10 million sites live online.
Developers can now use the platform in an exciting array of different ways. From front end brochure sites, blog writing to entire back-end systems with its plethora of options such as eCommerce or learning management.
However, with the introduction of ‘Headless WordPress,’ The system takes a back seat, looking after just the content and leaving displaying it to the developer. This is a tool that will be greatly beneficial to a wide range of WordPress users and developers alike.
What Is Headless WordPress?
WordPress is traditionally a ‘CMS’ which stands for ‘Content management system’. But development on the phrase that has been stirring the online world, is ‘Headless CMS’.
In the past, any normal website would consist of a front and back end, with both being built and connected within the same system. However, this has begun to change with the ability to create a headless website. This is essentially when the front and back end does not connect, and instead, allows the user to control both individually. This enables the users and developers to work just on the parts they need. Editorial users only have access to the headless WordPress system, adding posts and pages in a way they are used to. The difference is that they do not need to worry about how that content looks. That is the job of the front end developer. Generally speaking, the front end of the website will request the content from the headless WordPress system via a connection called an API and then style the content appropriately and display it to a user.
In the past, WordPress was not supposed to have the ability to run in a headless manner. Yet with the explosion of JAMstack and existing popularity of WordPress with non-technical users methods are appearing online to remove the front end, serving content purely through the REST API.
So, now the definition of headless WordPress is clear, it would be beneficial to discover all of the advantages to this format, allowing you to decide if this is a route that you would like to take when building your next WordPress website.
Perhaps the most obvious, but definitely the most beneficial, is the flexibility a headless WordPress format will give the user. Through this form of architecture, the developer is given the ability to control every single aspect of the website. From even the smallest perspective, to how information is collated, managed and how the backend stores its data, allowing the best solution to be found to suit the needs of the user.
Using the headless CMS method, the developer is freed from all content management duties and will only access the content data through a standardized API. Therefore, the developer saves a large amount of time, which can now be placed into something much more worthy such as content distribution, or even the website build itself.
Equally, content writers don’t need to worry about how the content looks other than setting headers and paragraph text. This is because the standardized API will take control of the extra tasks, ensuring the content released is of the highest quality and will increase traffic as much as possible.
From here, the API can even connect with a high-quality server, such as a rackmount, allowing these services to be available to any external applications. This then allows any inside work to be completed from anywhere, with the same level of quality and efficiency.
When developing a website, scalability is an extremely important feature. By creating a website with reputable scalability is hard, but it will allow the platform to be able to handle dramatic changes in workload, without short-circuiting.
This is something that has been made possible, and simple, through the use of headless WordPress. This is a huge benefit to those who decide to use a headless version of the site, as it minimizes any chances of downtime that the site could possibly face an increase in workload. This increase is workload has the potential to ruin the popularity of the site in the coming future.
With the entire database and content management system hidden from everyday users, more traffic to the website will be hitting a static front end which is easy on the server.
A tool that wasn’t offered within the traditional version of the CMS WordPress, was the ability to publish content on a handful of platforms at one time. It was instead very restricted in where it could work compatibly.
As long as the content devised is suitable for each different platform, whether that is social media, websites or even data published into a calendar, the headless WordPress will be able to simply post on each, at the exact same moment. Therefore, saving more time and increasing brand awareness from the consistent interaction on multiple platforms.
The speed in which a website load is a huge factor in how well it will perform from both traffic and productivity, and SEO. And, by using headless WordPress, the speed in which the site performs can be improved.
It has been suggested that around 40% of people will decide to abandon a site if it takes more than Google suggested 2 seconds or less to load and will result in finding their requested information elsewhere.
The way in which headless WordPress works in order to better the website’s loading speed is by simplifying and increasing the time that the content will take to load on the user’s device. This tool is something that can be invaluable to those who own big businesses and therefore need to own reputable, well-working, fast sites. So, headless WordPress will be the best solution for them, especially when Google ranking comes into play. There really is no match for a headless CMS setup in terms of page speed!
When Would Headless WordPress Be Best?
It goes without saying that the traditional version of WordPress should not be left in the dark, as it is still a reputable software that can allow those with smaller projects or tasks to complete them with efficiency and high quality; if they are not needing the intelligent toolset that comes when working with headless WordPress.
However, for those that have to demand and rather challenging tasks to run within a site, this is when headless WordPress should be chosen. This is due to the greater amount of control, customization and overall freedom the user will be given when working with WordPress in this format. But, it is a case of reviewing your situation, to decide whether or not headless WordPress is the best fit, or if it is too diverse for the tasks that need to be completed.
Headless WordPress comes with many advantages, designed specifically to help those complete websites smoothly and professionally, within a time frame that does not cost them their name.
From being able to become more flexible for the user, customized in a way that suits them, compatible with many platforms for sharing content. To also having the ability to reduce the time in which it takes to complete any tasks at hand, there aren’t many reasons as to why headless WordPress should not be used.
By keeping this in mind, and working with WordPress in this way, the website will soon see other benefits. From a faster performance, a more satisfying user experience and a hopeful increase in brand awareness, due to being able to work across multiple channels at one time, when building your next WordPress website, be sure to consider a Headless setup.