Businesses are always on the lookout for new and interactive ways to connect with customers. While many technologies fulfill this need, few go to the extent of redefining it.
Headless architecture is one of them.
According to a WP Engine report, 92% of respondents say that headless architecture is one of the most effective solutions for businesses to deliver consistent content experiences.
But how does headless architecture empower businesses’ digital infrastructure?
Keep reading this blog post to find out.
Headless Technology Explained
Unlike a traditional CMS that has both backend and frontend connected, a headless CMS is decoupled from its frontend, a.k.a. head. That is why the name – Headless. Headless architecture consists of only the content database and a user interface for adding, modifying, and managing the content.
The user has to add on APIs and a frontend development framework to publish the content. This allows them to deliver content wherever they want for the desired experience. In other words, headless CMS facilitates true omnichannel experiences.
How Headless Works
A headless architecture is a subset of decoupled architecture, meaning that both have a content management and storage backend and deliver content through an API or web service.
However, the key difference lies in their presentation layer. A decoupled architecture has a pre-defined front-end system but a headless CMS has no such functionality.
This allows the user to publish content to any device as there is no restriction of a particular user interface. All it needs is an API that connects the backend to the delivery channel.
The user also has complete control over how the content will appear on the channel, thus, providing the best possible digital experience for that particular device. One can develop separate heads or functionalities for any channel independent of the backend. This enables them to tailor the CMS according to the business requirements and adopt a content-first approach. As a result, the headless CMS is also called Content-as-a-Service (CaaS).
Why Should You Go Headless?
Headless CMS offers businesses a plethora of benefits. It caters specifically to the needs of the development team, provides maximum flexibility, and complete control over content delivery. Here are some of the key advantages of headless CMSs –
Enhance Website Performance Manifold
Right from development to management, headless CMS has speed as its advantage. Two teams can work in parallel on the backend and frontend of the website, paving the way for an agile approach. Additionally, it improves the website performance for end-users by delivering seamless experiences across all touchpoints.
Added Security Layers
With a headless architecture, the CMS access can be restructured internally for additional security. Since it is separated from its presentation layer, there’s already a smaller area for attack. This minimizes the database vulnerabilities with no unknown getaways that a hacker could exploit.
Easily Organize Content Repositories
In a headless architecture, the body of the CMS acts as a content repository, storing all your content in a centralized hub. This enables effective organization and management of the content across multiple channels. You can also edit content easily to tailor user experiences.
Improve Workflows and Collaboration
Headless CMS facilitates working in a cross-functional team due to its separate components. The content editor provides an easy workflow that streamlines the publishing process. You can also create different workspaces and sub-workspaces using REST APIs for smoother collaboration.
Increase Flexibility and Scalability
As content is delivered through APIs, the headless architecture allows developers to choose their own frontend tools. They can also move from one framework to another and integrate any tool through coding. Headless CMS also offers businesses unlimited hosting options, thus, making it easier to scale.
Today, businesses’ digital strategy is no longer limited to websites. It has expanded to a variety of platforms including apps, social media, IoT, and smart devices. Using headless architecture, they can deliver content anywhere in this digital ecosystem to interact with their customers and grow their presence.
If you’re interested in going headless, here are some popular options to consider.
Headless with WordPress
A headless WordPress allows you to manage your content in WordPress while using a custom frontend stack such as React or GraphQL in a Git workflow to deliver this content. As a result, you get to use the latest graphical user interfaces, optimize site loading time, and maintain and scale the application easily.
Headless with Drupal
In a headless Drupal architecture, the Drupal theme layer is replaced by a client-side framework such as AngularJS, React, or Backbone.JS. The website sends out the data in HTTP/JSON formats which is then rendered by the frontend UI framework to deliver the webpage. This provides you with more flexibility and efficiency for the Drupal content module. Moreover, complete control over the presentation also helps improve the UI and UX of the website.
Headless with Shopify
With headless Shopify, you can combine your Shopify backend with another frontend solution to scale your store’s capabilities. This enables you to use the powerful eCommerce functions of Shopify while leveraging new technologies for advanced content management, more control over product display, fast loading speed, and unique site experiences.
Owing to the advantages of headless architecture, many businesses have already adopted this approach. Furthermore, the changing digital customer behavior and evolution in technology are making its case even stronger. Hence, it would be fair to say that headless architecture could be the next-gen CMS in digital commerce.
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