Modern Stack Headless WordPress Development
WordPress has evolved from a simple platform for creating corporate websites to a complex ecosystem. It has tens of thousands of solutions and allows you to develop web applications of any complexity.
As the number of plugins and themes increases, the development of custom projects used for different types of businesses enables you to use almost any tools for your site. Still, because of old-school approaches to Frontend, they may not meet modern standards such as usability, speed, and scalability.
The good news for WordPress fans is that in recent years, all of the system’s functionality has become accessible through RestAPI, allowing you to use this platform in conjunction with any other technology solution. What’s more, the main plugins also have a well-developed API that extends WordPress functionality and enables us to do unique and modern things with this platform.
What Is Headless Development?
Headless development is a complete separation of the Frontend from the Backend and development of the front (visible) part of the site from scratch, using a modern technology stack – for example, based on the most popular framework, ReactJS.
This enables the admin to use some of the usual WordPress for editors, and build the whole front based on modern technologies and take advantage of all the possible benefits.
Let’s look at the more sophisticated cases that can be developed with these technologies compared to the clay approach.
Corporate Websites, Blogs, Content Sources
The vast majority of these websites are based on WordPress, as it seems to be a perfect fit for this type of platform.
Also, with a large variety of cache applications, you can make it fast enough, even according to modern standards.
You can get even better results by developing headless technology and building a site on ReactJS + GatsbyJS. If you do this, you’ll be able to use a static file generator and place your website directly on CDN, which will allow you to get an almost instantaneous opening speed.
Also, separating the header from the front will increase your site’s security and make it virtually inaccessible: hackers will not be able to access your admin panel as they will not even know where it is.
You’ll avoid the risks of potential peak loads. If you need to expand your website with new technologies, such as Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, or PWA development, or a version for VR, etc., you’ll be able to solve it on the Frontend quickly.
Your website will use a modern web stack that is easy to customize and scale.
The most popular eCommerce solution for WordPress today is the WooCommerce plugin. However, this solution has its disadvantages – such as scalability, styling, and withstanding loads, especially during peak periods.
All these shortcomings can be eliminated using a modern technology stack.
Education and Learning Management Sites
One of the most popular plugins for managing educational and course selling sites is LearnDash. However, it puts even more strain on the WordPress ecosystem, as it is often too time-consuming, and eCommerce requires an additional solution, plus a separate technology for mobile devices and the development of Progressive Web App.
Read more on finding solutions for these problems in an article about LearnDash.
Multi-brand, Multi-platform, and International Websites
There is no native support for internationalization on WordPress. You need to either use popular plugins, such as WPML, or incorporate this feature through multi-sites. In both cases, you’ll face the difficulty of scaling and managing the ecosystem.
However, in the case of technology heads-up, you can conveniently split the Frontend display between different sites and different platforms without any loss of performance and usability.
If you need to create a genuinely dynamic site that will actively work with user data, process data, and ensure continuous sharing, you need to use a modern stack. In this case, neither cache plugins, nor server caching will help.
Going to ReactJS Libraries will allow you to get the flexibility you need and all the other benefits.
WordPress remains the largest CMS platform and is suitable for a massive number of sites and cases at the expense of a vast ecosystem, and this is unlikely to change. Platform developers are continuously improving their developer tools, and enhancing management and navigation.
With WordPress management and Frontless Frontend technologies, you get all the benefits of an advanced ecosystem and advanced technologies and keep up with your competitors over time.
Terms and Costs of Development
Typically, the timing and cost of construction depend on your existing set of plugins and their API capabilities. Accordingly, if API is not available, you’ll need to involve the Backend development, and if API is available, a React developer can do everything on the Frontend.
The developmental process follows this pattern:
- Discovery Phase (up to a month)
- Development Phase (1-3 months)
- Deployment Phase (up to a month)
Find out more about the details and cost of development.