So you are happy with a static website but you are thinking of having a small news section which will be updated frequently and you want the ability to push to your mobile app, Facebook and Twitter feed with ease? A headless CMS might just be the solution.
What is Headless CMS?
A headless CMS (Content Management System) is an emerging architecture to store and deliver content – nothing more. It is comprised of content management that delivers content via an API that publishes that content to any device connected via Internet-of-thing (IoT – a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines.)
The term “headless” refers to having no predetermined customer facing design i.e. frontend design. The sole purpose of headless CMS is to store and capture data, and distribute it to other frontend platforms and technologies such as web, mobile application, and social media.
Headless CMS’ ability for cross-platform publishing is handy if you have multichannel communications as it minimises the effort for the “post once, deliver to many” approach.
How is it different from the standard CMS?
Traditional CMS platform such as WordPress and Drupal are referred to as “monolithic” or “coupled”, meaning the data is rendered to be displayed to site visitors, so the backend manages the frontend.
Decoupled CMS architecture separates the backend and frontend management of a website into two different systems. Headless CMS is similar to the decoupled CMS architecture, but does not have a defined frontend system on which to publish.
This means the projects are not bound by template engines and therefore developers can choose to work in any language or framework, which can open a whole lot of potential for development.
Can we use WordPress as a Headless CMS?
The answer is yes. Creating a headless CMS using WordPress is a great option as it equips you with a framework you’d otherwise need to create from scratch. That framework includes:
- Admin interface
- User management and capabilities
- Database structure
- Server setup
- REST API*
*The REST API infrastructure released at the end of 2015 allows developers to use WordPress as a headless CMS. There is a plugin available for installation.