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What is Headless WordPress and How to Use it?

WordPress has always been popular, but headless has become more widely used in recent years. What does headless WordPress mean? To put it simply, headless WordPress means that you don’t need to use the WordPress admin area to manage your website(s). Instead, you can automate many of the processes an

What is Headless WordPress

WordPress has always been popular, but headless has become more widely used in recent years. What does headless WordPress mean? To put it simply, headless WordPress means that you don’t need to use the WordPress admin area to manage your website(s). Instead, you can automate many of the processes and create an API-driven website without any front-end interface on your WordPress installation.

What Is a Headless WordPress Website?

Headless WordPress

A headless WordPress site is simply a WordPress website without the admin part of WordPress. The back end is where the management part comes in.

In WordPress, this is where the dashboard resides, giving you access to your content creation and management tools, which include but is not limited to: managing users, creating new pages and posts, editing their content, etc. In this situation, users can only interact with the site through their accounts. While working on our design, for an example:

Job board site with WordPress as its CMS, we discussed how that would have a different set of features from traditional WP since there will be no admins in this case – all user registration should be handled by an outside 3rd party. That takes us directly into user management concepts.

A coupled CMS solution provides users with a simple solution for building websites and managing content. Using a content management system that’s tightly integrated with your website reduces the costs of running your business by making tasks such as updating website content, creating new pages, or uploading photos much easier.

Why Is It Beneficial to Have One?

WordPress headless, also called WP REST API, offers a great way to use the back end of WordPress while keeping the front end as flexible as you need.

If you’re just starting with your own web development business, you might think that a headless approach would take time away from building your site. However, the opposite happens.

WordPress headless gives you an easy way to use the back end of WordPress while leaving your front end free to do whatever it needs to do—this means you can better manage your design resources and become more efficient overall! This allows for less development time in things that would be hard to modify if something went wrong or looked off. Designers can focus on being creative rather than on chasing down bugs!

If you want your headless CMS to connect with third-party applications, like invoicing apps or other forms of analytics, Ruby is great for that! Other programming languages are useful for integrating into more complex applications. For example, Node.js allows developers to take advantage of real-time chat in several ways.

This approach gives you access to a fully-featured version of WordPress, with all of its familiar functionalities in place. In addition, your developers can use frameworks that enable cutting-edge web app capabilities, including real-time user communication.

Decoupling WordPress means you won’t have to worry about security issues, updates, bugs, or design problems. Your website will run faster than if WordPress handled all of your content (for example, your website would be slower if you had a thousand different images on your homepage).

The decoupling of WordPress can also improve security, especially if you have your website deployed in front of millions of users. A downside of decoupling WordPress from your website is that you can no longer update WordPress with one click; instead, developers must push updates via Git/SVN. It won’t be easy if someone wants to break into a decoupled WordPress instance.

The required skill set for a decoupled website has expanded beyond developers, with new roles such as a front-end developer or SASS architect. Some companies have created entire teams devoted solely to decoupled sites. The new skill set requirements can make starting in decoupled development intimidating. Still, it’s an opportunity for a community of full-stack developers to collaborate on projects and learn from each other.

Are There Any Special Requirements I Need To Know About?

Before using a headless architecture with your project, be sure that you need one. If you have a few pages that serve as standalone entities (such as an About page or a Contact page), they probably don’t need their domain name. But if you’re creating a portfolio site with multiple complex web pages (like my company’s website here), then it might make sense to look into headless design patterns.

You’ll also want to consider any additional factors such as caching plugins or CDNs when making your decision. Keep in mind that headless isn’t for everyone or every use case, but for many projects, it can help you get some big wins.

One great way of starting a headless implementation in WordPress is with a REST API plugin. We’ve looked at several other options, but currently, our favorite option for creating a REST API-first website is Stargazer by Automattic. It’s simple, easy to implement and has many practical applications.

Using a headless approach, you can also decide how best to deploy your website. When I worked on Craft CMS, we tried many different approaches for getting our headless website into production. Our favorite strategy was S3 bucket publishing, which allowed us to access our content from multiple places with simple URLs and HTTP calls.

What Can Headless WordPress Do?

WordPress’s robust management tools are one of its most significant selling points. Whether working in a development environment or a live site, WordPress makes it easy to update your content. You can create posts and pages using an app (WordPress recommends using Coda for iOS or Dreamweaver for macOS). Even if you don’t use WordPress’s built-in management tools, you can still edit content by uploading files and editing them through a CMS.

Using headless WordPress, you can code your public-facing website in a language you feel more familiar with – PHP, Python or even Javascript. Headless adds greater flexibility in data management. It makes updates faster and more secure (in terms of security).

These headless clients run independently on separate computers through client-server communications using WebSockets but serve as one entity. Clients are sent page requests which then create bundles that help reduce requests. Only once a user clicks on something will headers be passed back and forth between servers.

Change frameworks at any time — but keep your content safe. If you want to change frameworks, move themes, or integrate new technologies in the future, you can do so without losing your content. You can also run multiple front-end applications on different sites on different frameworks.

If you make a conscious decision to begin from scratch, you can use headless WordPress as an outline. You can follow your old content’s taxonomy for categorization when you rebuild your site. You can keep all existing links in place with redirections or relocations.

Talk about using Django with a PHP library. If possible, put up a couple of links to frameworks that can be integrated with headless WordPress. This is optional but very helpful in making your post more interactive and trustworthy.

What About a Hybrid CMS?

Many development teams have struggled to incorporate content management systems (CMSes) into their development workflow—particularly if the CMS doesn’t easily integrate with a front-end framework or dev stack.

In some cases, developers have built their own CMS for the project team to use, especially in the case of one-off apps without much maintenance overhead after launch. These solutions have long been called headless CMSes.

However, in recent years new headless CMSes created to solve the long-standing issues of difficult content deployment across platforms developers’ languages/frameworks have emerged as a hybrid solution to make both worlds happy.

The admin section allows you to create pages, posts, content blocks, page templates – all of that good stuff.

They integrate with a front-end framework like React or Vue in three key ways:

  • 1. A future-proof CMS : A content management system that can scale into a headless solution should have an admin area that you can use long after launch. Without an admin panel, you might get stuck without any way to add or edit your site’s content.
  • 2. Accessibility : You should be able to access both CMS and front-end (headless) versions of your website via a good old internet browser or by using native mobile apps (for example, on Android or iOS).
  • 3. Faster Workflow : If you’re using a headless CMS on top of a front-end framework, your development team will also benefit from adopting a new workflow where client-side development can progress independently from creating pages on a back end.

Can I Still Add Plugins To My Site?

You can still add plugins to your site with a headless installation of WordPress. You won’t be able to install them directly.

Instead, you’ll have to utilize one of three methods.

  • 1. Add your plugin as a dependency in package.json.
  • 2. Install any modules that are required by your plugin with npm install -D NAME_OF_MODULE
  • 3. You can now write custom functions that call into your plugin using: `node-wp.`

If you do go that route, we suggest using a server-side language like PHP or NodeJS rather than doing everything in JavaScript (which makes things more difficult). The same goes for content management systems like Drupal and Joomla—those also support headless configurations now.

Innovate With Headless WordPress

Thanks to all the tutorials, separating WordPress from its front end is easier than ever. There are, of course, plenty of legitimate use cases for separating WordPress from its front end. Things like single-page apps (where the bulk of the website’s content lives in a single, JavaScript-heavy page), email marketing platforms (where you can customize your site’s branding on a per-email basis), or complex sites with multiple themes.

Here’s a warning: All that power is also extremely easy to abuse. If you’re an agency or freelancer building sites for clients using WordPress, I’d suggest being selective about how many pages you include in your design mockups.

Working with a decoupled CMS doesn’t necessarily mean you have to throw everything out and start over, but unless there’s a good reason why your site needs custom functionality—and lots of it—you should probably just go ahead and get used to using plugins.

Enable anyone on your team to manage content without worrying about HTML or CSS. Make sure your designs are always responsive by automatically resizing images according to breakpoints. Automatically crop photos using image recognition so users don’t have to upload them at specific sizes (and risk losing quality).

If there’s something you can dream up, there’s probably already a plugin for it—so before you spend hours writing custom code, see if someone else has already done all of that work for you.

Is There Anything Else I Should Know Before Getting Started?

There are a few things that you’ll need in order to execute on a headless WordPress website. For starters, you’ll want to know that you don’t need additional plugins or themes, nor do you need to rebuild your site from scratch.

You will, however, have to make sure that your hosting supports PHP 7.0. If you already have a LAMP stack (Linux server with Apache 2 MySQL 5.x Web Server), then you should be good-to-go.

Other important things include an understanding of how content works within Drupal as well as how taxonomies work in general (e.g., tags). Once again, I highly recommend getting familiar with Drupal before executing on a headless architecture for one of your existing websites.

It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with JavaScript, PHP (and/or Python), HTML, SQL, CSS3, and any CMS APIs that you might be using. You will probably want to have access to a Windows machine for debugging purposes as well.


Though there are a number of options for headless WordPress, choosing one that works for you can be challenging. Finding a solution depends on your exact needs and goals, but ultimately, knowing why you want to use a headless CMS can help make that decision easier.

Understanding both what a headless CMS does and why it might be valuable for your business or project can go a long way toward deciding if headless makes sense. Ultimately though, getting started with using one is simple. If you also want to implement headless WordPress website, you need to hire WordPress developers in India.

That’s it! Thank you for taking the time to read through these articles, I hope they are useful for you or someone you know! Please leave me any feedback in the comments section below as well!