WordPress vs. Headless WordPress for Your Website
WordPress is used by 30% of the top million websites on the internet. It’s an open-source content management system (CMS) that’s continuously updated and supported by a large community of developers and users. In summary, WordPress allows you to create an old-school blog and store your content. WordPress can, at most, be a highly customized (visually and functionally) solution.
WordPress is used by Beyonce’s website, Vogue’s website, and Mercedes-Benz International’s website. In terms of what you can accomplish with the framework, the evidence is in the pudding. There are, however, certain drawbacks. There are certainly a few things you don’t know about WordPress if you’ve never used it before or haven’t been involved with developing a web presence for an organization in a long time.
- Website speed is more crucial than ever before (for both user experience and SEO).
- WordPress has more capabilities than ever before (as well as more plugins and theme options), but it can quickly become bloated, decreasing performance and creating security problems.
- The WordPress REST API was introduced into the WordPress core in December of 2015.
- To put it another way, the WordPress Rest API allows you to customize
- WordPress through a variety of different routes.
- There are a few options for avoiding the speed and security difficulties that can arise with a bloated WordPress site.
Headless WordPress is one method of accomplishing this.
What is Headless WordPress?
In general terms, headless WordPress entails utilizing WordPress for your website’s “backend” and another technology for the “front end.”This entails storing posts, media, and other objects on your database utilizing WordPress built-in categories. When it comes to determining which content to serve to users, WordPress is lightning fast. Many developers are familiar with WordPress’s built-in functionality and how to extend it.
Furthermore, the structure of WordPress makes sense for a wide range of online media. The front-end, or visual “presentation layer” of your online presence, receives this information once it is queried from your WordPress backend. Since the inception of WordPress, front-end technologies have progressed significantly. While a WordPress front-end can do a lot, many themes become clogged with superfluous code and bloat from plugins here.
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How does this work?
APIs allow a program to obtain data by querying specific URLs. The section of the site in charge of presenting the material determines what to do with the return message once they have it.
WordPress, as previously said, is lightning quick when it comes to storing and managing your articles, data, and images. It also responds to inquiries quite quickly. The WordPress Rest API delegates all storing, administration, and query answers to the WordPress backend. In a nutshell, these are the things that WordPress excels at.
What does it mean for website owners and visitors?
A well-tuned WordPress backend might help with performance. However, a headless CMS offers nothing for site owners and visitors on its own. A solo WordPress backend produces almost little visual output.
Benefits of Headless WordPress With a Modern Frontend Framework
- Combine the best features of WordPress with the best features of other frameworks.
- Enhance the website speed and security.
- Your site should be built more like a progressive web app than a WordPress site.
- Customization choices are expanded.
- For a long time, it has been future-proofed.
Limitations of Headless WordPress With a Modern Frontend Framework
- The learning curve for modern front-end frameworks is higher than for WordPress.
- Fewer developers are familiar with contemporary front-end frameworks than WordPress. More expensive or more consuming to build than a basic WordPress theme.
- In the end, only a small percentage of new websites will require headless WordPress Themes. If you think your site will grow into anything more than a blog, you’ll probably want to consider developing something on top of WordPress in the future.
How Do I Set Up Headless WordPress?
Most contemporary front-end frameworks have a significantly higher learning curve than just updating WordPress for headless WordPress.
First things first, hosting.
You may create the most cutting-edge headless WordPress app in the world, but it won’t be as good as it might be if you don’t have good hosting. You’ll need a good hosting service to make use of many of the benefits of headless WordPress (one of which is speed).
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Next, set up WordPress.
While you’ll want to install WordPress on your new managed hosting, keep in mind that you’ll probably want to install it locally to test out your new headless WordPress site.
Then, you blank the theme.
To build a new theme, you only need to generate index.php and style.css files at the most basic level.
Simply include some basic information in your style.css files. To “officially” create a new theme, simply include the following:
- Theme name
- Theme URI
- And other details
Choose a front-end framework.
When you decouple the front and back ends of WordPress, you may use a completely bespoke solution built on a more contemporary front-end framework. If you’ve made it this far through the lesson and followed along, you’re probably at least familiar with HTML, CSS, and JS. While the learning curve for React or Node might be high, many people in my position have taught themselves.
Finally, customize to your heart’s content.
You’ll probably want to develop unique endpoints for your WordPress API to fully use the capabilities of a headless WordPress setup. You can use the Advanced Custom Fields plugin to create custom post types in the same way that you do in a standard WordPress setup. As well as the ACF to REST API plugin, which allows you to provide custom post types from your API.