Sustainable Growth

What is "Headless Architecture" | For Publishers

adrian prieto headshot

Background on Adrian Prieto

Adrian Prieto discovered web engineering as a youth. He has since earned a Bachelor of Science from the Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, a certificate in financial analysis from New York University, a certificate for Python MITX web development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, built the engineering infrastructure for leading publications such as Futurism, and served as General Manager for the successful enterprise Pomponette Restaurants Inc. 

In this article, Adrian describes the benefits of "headless architecture" for publishers, as well as how to optimally run a media content publishing operation from a web development & engineering perspective.

The benefits of  "headless architecture" for publishers

As a software engineer with extensive experience in the media industry, I understand the importance of providing a top-notch user experience for websites. That is why I would argue that a headless architecture using WordPress as a CMS, Next.js as the frontend, and a GraphQL Application Programming Interface (commonly, "API") is the optimal technology stack/configuration for publishers.

This headless + WordPress + Next.js + GraphQL combination offers many benefits — for not only software engineers, but also editors, and website designers. Essentially, you can create a modern and efficient solution that meets everyone's needs.

  • Faster page load times: The headless architecture approach separates the frontend and backend of a website, with the backend managed by WordPress and the frontend built with Next.js. The idea of "headless" means that a site can render for a visitor even if the back end is down or unavailable. The separation afforded by developing front and back end modularity leads to faster performance, increased flexibility, and improved user experience. 
  • More seamless user experience: The use of WordPress as the CMS provides a vast array of tools and features for managing and publishing content, while Next.js is a modern frontend framework that offers a seamless user experience with fast and efficient performance.
  • More efficient for enhancing design: The GraphQL API also plays a crucial role in this architecture, making integration with other systems and tools much easier. This allows for quick and effortless additions of new features and functionality to the website, without affecting performance or user experience. The GraphQL API also enhances website performance by allowing the frontend and backend to operate independently, without interfering with each other.

The benefits of "headless architecture" for software engineers who work in publishing

Software engineers can take advantage of the benefits of headless architecture, such as quick redesign development as well as the ability to add new features to either the frontend or the backend independently. This level of flexibility and ease of maintenance makes it the ideal option for streamlining the software engineering workflow required to build maximal and optimal website performance. 

The headless architecture also provides numerous benefits for websites. For example, improved performance, as the website can focus on delivering multimedia content quickly and efficiently, while also providing a seamless user experience — regardless of the device or connection speed. This is particularly important for websites that serve large amounts of multimedia content.

The benefits of  "headless architecture" for search engine optimization / SEO
For websites looking to reach a wider audience and grow their business, the headless architecture also offers SEO benefits. By providing a faster and more optimized user experience, the website can achieve improved search engine rankings and increased visibility, leading to increased traffic and engagement.

The headless architecture using WordPress as a CMS and Next.js as the frontend with a GraphQL API provides a modern and efficient solution for websites and software engineers. With improved performance, greater flexibility, and a positive user experience, websites can reach a wider audience, increase engagement, and grow their business over time. The headless architecture ensures that websites have the best and most customizable tool available as a CMS and provides end-users with a smooth, modern, and fun experience on the browser.