In order to understand what a “headless WordPress” website architecture is, it’s important to first understand what a traditional WordPress architecture looks like. Let’s compare each of these approaches.
Traditionally, a content management system (CMS), such as WordPress, would handle both the frontend and backend of a website.
Users typically interact with a traditional WordPress site like this:
- Publisher: Creates and manages content such as blog posts and pages inside of WordPress.
- Developer: Writes code to control how the site looks and functions using PHP and WordPress’ Theme API.
- Website Visitor: WordPress generates the HTML page that is sent to the website visitor.
In this “coupled” CMS architecture, WordPress provides the content management capabilities to publishers, and it is also responsible for serving HTML pages to website visitors.
Users typically interact with a headless WordPress site like this:
- Publisher: Creates and manages content such as blog posts and pages inside of WordPress (the same as in a traditional WP architecture).
Hopefully this post has given you a good sense of what headless WordPress is and how it differs from a traditional WordPress architecture.
At this point, you may be thinking “Okay, but when should I use WordPress as a headless CMS?” Stay tuned for a blog post on that very topic, coming soon!