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Everything you need to know about Headless WordPress

In today’s digital landscape, maintaining the right content, touchpoints at the right time plays the main role. Thus, the majority of the global sites use content management systems CMS in some forms.

Usually, CMS is used to publish text, multimedia, structure (the content of an application), metadata, as well as visual layout assets, and client-side code i.e. design. Traditional CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, Magneto in self-hosted environments, Wix, etc. are known to be modest and manageable in terms of layout and general functionality.

However, when it comes to adding new delivery formats and introducing advanced or mobile functionality to an application, they are less flexible.

To overcome these challenges, now more than ever, developers and businesses are preferring to choose ‘Headless’. But, there are fewer expenses for a development team to use headless CMS, which can be efficient and decrease hours of development time, deployment, and user testing.

Headless CMS Explained

Understanding headless CMS is quite straightforward.

A headless CMS consists of an API and back-end technology that stores and delivers content to your desired front end, which is most likely not going to be apparent to the end-user.

Difference between Headless CMS & Traditional CMS

The major difference between a Headless CMS & a traditional CMS is only visible on the back end of the site. This means separate software manages the storage and delivery.

Each part of the system can focus on its specialty, and workflow can become more streamlined as it has dedicated tools, authoring and organizing data, presenting users with that data.

As it separates, manages, storage from distribution and display, headless CMS enhances flexibility and security of content. It does not have a defined front-end system or presentation environment.

The major theme of Headless CMS is to apply API as a bridge between frontend and backend to transfer digital data so quickly.

By using Headless CMS new content can be published to:

  • Your website
  • Facebook
  • Google Calendar

all at the same time. Isn’t it fascinating? But the question is, how are all these related to the WordPress website?

By default, WordPress is not a Headless CMS but later it can be turned it into a Headless CMS. In Headless CMS, ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (‘WYSIWYG’) editor is disabled and the REST API is used to manage other crucial functions of your website.

Using Headless CMS, there are advantages and disadvantages as well, though it provides a lot of flexibility.

Benefits of Headless CMS:

  • Multi-channel content publishing
  • Simpler redesigns
  • Increased performance
  • Better scalability
  • Tighter security

Top Plugins For Creating A Headless WordPress Site

You can use a plugin to turn a standard fresh installation of WordPress into a headless CMS.

WP Headless Installing this plugin makes your theme redundant as the front-end will be removed and you can use API to push your content to an external application or use it on other platforms such as Medium, Facebook, tech screens, etc.

Headless Mode – This plugin sets up a redirect for all users trying to access your site. You can use the standard post editor to create or edit posts. The only other requests that will go through are the REST API requests and WP GraphQL API.

WP Headless CMS Framework It provides you with a framework to set up your WordPress installation as a Headless CMS.

WUXT Headless WordPress API Extensions – This plugin will provide you with a few extra API extensions that will make it easier to use WordPress as a headless CMS.

Final Thoughts on Headless CMS

If you are thinking to choose between headless or traditional CMS, it is not just a matter of using the most innovative or newest technology available.

You should consider, evaluate not only the content type, most importantly, internal staff, agency involvement, and whoever will be maintaining the web property, delivery methods, and long-term maintenance.

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