What does “headless WordPress” even mean and how does it work?


WordPress has evolved massively since its launch back in 2003, and the CMS (Content Management System) has caused much conversation among web developers ever since, whether that’s because of the easy to use Dashboard, or because of more recent options, such as making WordPress “headless”.

But, what does “headless” WordPress even mean?

Well, its not a new coding language, neither is it a new type of CMS, nope instead “headless WordPress” is a term used by web developers to describe the backend of WordPress.

What it therefore refers to is the backend of the website which is often referred to as the “Dashboard” being separate from the front end, and this is quite different to the normal configuration that us web designers have got used too, that’s when designing a WordPress website at least.

WordPress by default links the two together, so they very much are connected, yet now HTML, CSS and also Javascript now communicate with the WordPress Rest API.

So, this means that the front end of the website can be built using HTML, CSS and Javascript, which then pings the Rest API, which simply stands for representational state transfer application programming interface- quite a mouthful!

This is all well and good, but how does this change how WordPress works?

Well, quite simply put the WordPress Dashboard can be hosted elsewhere, and it doesn’t even need to be on the same server as the website your visitors see.

Okay, so what does API mean?

API simply stands for application programming interface, and this allows one website to talk to another.

So, this is all very clever stuff, and with more and more businesses using AMP to speed up the businesses website, could we see even more businesses using headless WordPress to build a company website that’s faster, and therefore possibly helping to reduce that company’s bounce rate, because the website is quicker, and shoppers find the website much easier to use?

Okay, sock it to me what are the main advantages?

The main advantages of hiring a web developer to build a headless WordPress website is that your WordPress website will not need to load all of the scripts, styling CSS, and bloat that would need to function correctly.

So, what does that mean?

Well, a more leaner company website can be built, one that’s faster, yet as with everything, this does depend on which web design agency you choose, as if you are going to opt for a headless WordPress website, you must make sure that everything is tested, as there’s more scope for coding errors.

Light weight pages

Okay, so what do you mean by light weight pages?

Well, lets imagine your on the train on the way home from work in Cardiff, and you want to purchase that new coffee machine, you haven’t got time to do it later, so on your 10 minute train ride, you want that fancy espresso machine that you had wanted to purchase for some time.

Yet, the websites really slow, in matter of fact it times out, so what you going to do?

Well, you may look for another company, that offers the coffee machine at the same price.

And in matter of seconds you find a Cardiff based business, and their website is fast, so you purchase from them.

And this is why so many businesses are now having AMP versions of their website built, plus also looking at getting headless WordPress websites built as well, as if they are built correctly, they can be fast and lightweight.

So, this means that you only need to build a front end of a website and for it to built so that the pages are lightweight.

How our digital marketing agency can help

No matter if your business would like a headless WordPress website, an AMP version of your website or a website built using Joomla, we can help.

We an established web design company, if you would like a quote for SEO or web design, they why not give our company a call?