What Is Headless WordPress – Things You Should Know [2022]

Of course WordPress is a widely used CMS platform enriched with lots of plugins and amazing themes to create websites instantly. But if you want to create websites by taking granular control of it, headless WordPress is the most recommended solution for you.

headless wordpress

WordPress has its own set of limitations because you need to create websites using their tools only. To overcome this system, you can create a headless WordPress website where the content database is decoupled from the website’s front end allowing for greater flexibility, easier cross-channel distribution, and better performance. 

As we have mentioned, having the granular control over websites is possible through headless WordPress. What we mean by this is that you do not need to be constrained by any tools or themes offered by WordPress. For example, if you want to construct a website without using a theme and instead create your own from scratch, headless WordPress allows you to do it effortlessly.

Headless WordPress – Simply Explained 

As you might have used WordPress or any other CMS to create or maintain your website, you already have an idea of some basics. Most of the website has two parts – front end and back end. You can create, organize and maintain your content in the back end and the files are stored in servers such as scripts or content databases. On the other hand, all these contents are shown in the front end or the user interface. 

This type of system is called ‘Coupled Architecture’ of a CMS. Because the use of front end editing tools are connected with back end management tools, this system is interconnected. For any beginner, this system can be feasible as anyone can have the control over the front end by managing the back end using CMS platforms like WordPress.

We all know that whatever ways you use to create a website, the ultimate result will be shown in the front end, which is shown to your website visitors. Suppose, the front end part as the ‘head’ of the website, and the back end part as the ‘body’ of the website. To create a headless WordPress website, we need to separate the front end part, the head, from the back end part.

A headless CMS can be used to create, maintain and customize the content but the catch is, all these activities are never pushed to the front end part. Through the use of REST API, the resources are stored in separate front end solutions, for which the headless CMS does not concern with the presentation of the front end anymore.

WordPress has a coupled architecture system where you can control the front end through the back end which has several themes and plugins as tools. But when you want to create headless WordPress, you are omitting the plugin or theme part completely and using WordPress REST-API.

Are you wondering that all these themes and plugins will disappear once you create a headless WordPress website? Fret not! All the content configuration tools are still available for you but front end tools like block editors and such are not available anymore. In this case, ​​another front-end program is in charge of the appearance of your WordPress website.

What Is The Difference Between Headless CMS & Decoupled CMS?

While you can easily create a headless WordPress website through creating a headless CMS, you might confuse it with decoupled CMS. There is a slight difference between headless CMS and decoupled CMS. Whereas the headless CMS eliminates the use of front end tools completely, decoupled CMS still offers front end tools like templates and such, even though in both kinds of CMS, the front end is fully separated.

Headless CMS contains data sources that you have used as input to create a website and does not concern the front end at all. It completely relies on REST API for any front end presentation. So in this case, decoupled CMS is almost similar to headless CMS but has differences.

Top 4 Advantages Of Creating Headless WordPress Website 

The concept of a headless website is not new any more. Anyone can start creating one all from scratch for several reasons. If you want to explore the ultimate benefits of creating headless WordPress websites, check out below:

📢 Omnichannel Marketing Or Promotion

The most interesting benefit of any headless WordPress website is that you can publish your content in multiple platforms from a centralized system. So omnichannel marketing or promotion is possible just by managing a single source. These channels include mobile applications, multiple websites, social media platforms, and so on. 

You need to connect your headless website through automation and manage the content publication through it. So it saves a tremendous amount of time for your content managers and speeds up your content publication process.

headless wordpress

💪 Total Flexibility In Front End

Even though headless content management does not concern the front end part, yet it serves very well to independently create your own front end using any coding language. For example, in the coupled WordPress CMS, you need to use HTML to create a front end and thus you are being restricted to it. 

headless wordpress

But when you have a headless website, you can use any language like JavaScript to produce any type of front end you like. You can try any format of content generation and attract your audience. As you already can manage mobile applications or web applications through headless websites, this system is becoming popular to create content for these platforms day by day.

⚡ Flexibility Of Using Different Coding Languages

Not all web developers know all the coding languages at a time. To solve this issue, headless websites can be made through using any language that includes React, Angular, Vue and so on. No matter in what language you might have expertise in, you can easily create an amazing front end using any language you want. 

What if your front-end system needs to be updated? What if you want to remodel your site or rebuild it from the ground up? Because your content is isolated from the front-end, headless WordPress may make these tasks easier. You can modify the look of your website as much as you want, but the content remains the same.

🔥 Faster Websites With Less Loading Time 

Research says that slow websites can drive off the users from your websites and negatively impact your website performance. If you create headless websites, as it separates the front end from the back end, fewer resources are used while loading. In this case, only resources that are connected to the front end are used. Use of several plugins or systems can slow down your WordPress website, but in terms of headless WordPress websites, you do not need to worry about it. Thus you can benefit from it and rank your website in search engine results.

headless wordpress

Probable Drawbacks Of Creating Headless WordPress Website 

If you are thinking of just diving in and start turning your WordPress website into a headless WordPress website, you need to be aware of the drawbacks of this system first. To begin with, you need to be skilled enough in coding if you are interested in headless CMS. It is not ideal for most of the WordPress users as they come to use this traditional CMS system for seamlessly managing their website. 

The biggest drawback is that while WordPress is mainly targeted to people who want to have a code-free experience during website creation, headless WordPress does not promise it likewise. You must need to have adequate experience in front end language like JavaScript or else you will not be able to pull it off.

The second drawback is that you will no longer get access to any drag and drop page builder or blocks as the front end is permanently separated already. So you need to create your own front end through your back end skills. 

Aside from the required expertise, maintaining a headless WordPress website takes a substantial amount of effort because you now have two systems to manage instead of one. If you don’t publish a lot of content, the time, money, and work it takes to manage a website like this isn’t worth it. That’s why bigger companies with enough personnel to handle the job and enough content and channels to justify the expense are more likely to choose headless systems.

Headless WordPress – A New Experience Of Building Website 

Headless WordPress websites are not ideal for everyone. If only you have the caliber to maintain and invest time or effort to manage this kind of website, that’s when it should be ideal for you. Besides skills and experience, you will need to show integrity while managing a headless website. No matter how you create one, you will be able to manage content throughout lots of platforms through using it. 

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Arshiana Tarannum

Arshiana Tarannum

As a literature graduate, Arshiana is always enthusiastic about writing. She's tapping on different styles of writing as a content writer. Her hobby includes painting and having humorous conversation.

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