How to Go Headless on WordPress VIP

While there are many reasons organizations want to deploy their CMS in a headless architecture, one of the inherent disadvantages of headless CMS is complexity. It involves more components, not least the additional code for one or more front-end applications. 

More pieces mean more things to manage and more things that can go wrong. Some, but not all, of this problem is unavoidable. However, with our latest enhancements, the WordPress VIP platform reduces this complexity for your teams, ensuring the right foundation for headless success.

If you’re new to the headless CMS topic, I recently shared a blog about the pros and cons of headless CMS and the emergence of decoupled architectures like the one offered by WordPress VIP. It makes for a good primer before we go deeper into necessary capabilities to take the headaches out of headless. 

Hosting of node applications

A key component of many headless architectures is Node.js apps. With no built-in front end, a company’s developers have to develop their own, composed of one or more Node apps. But those apps have to live somewhere. 

We’ve spent years developing a solid platform designed for security, performance, and management. Furthermore, it’s the same platform, run from the same data centers that host our CMS product, WordPress. By running on this platform, Node applications take advantage of all these core platform services, reducing the number of suppliers and services that can cause failures, and easing troubleshooting.

Bundling of everything needed

Headless architectures often require multiple pieces or components, including CMS plug-ins, API packages, and databases, which take time and effort to deploy and manage. 

We’ve packaged all this into a single headless bundle that can be instantly deployed on our platform. Getting started takes a fraction of the time.

Databases on-demand

Many Node applications in a headless architecture tend to be stateless. But not all. 

Where storage is needed, a Redis or similar in-memory database can be a good choice. However, it is important to ensure the security and reliability of the connection to this data store. Some choose to connect these components with third-party VPNs, which can introduce even more complexity. We’ve simplified this challenge by making Redis available right in our solution. If and when you need a data store, it’s easy to simply turn it on alongside your application in a private network. Everything works securely and with high performance right away.

Next.js Quickstart

Once you’ve got all the pieces in place, you need to start writing your own code. 

Each application will be unique based on your specific needs and desired experience. That’s probably part of why you chose a headless architecture in the first place. However, most applications have similar requirements like content preview, content querying, etc. 

We’ve included sample skeleton code that provides good solutions to each of these needs. This saves time, ensures performance, and lets you focus on your unique needs rather than the mundane nuts and bolts.

WordPress VIP: a strong hybrid option

While you may be looking for a headless architecture today, many organizations find over time it makes sense to combine the flexibility of headless with the out-of-the-box functionality of a single-stack CMS. 

For example, they may have multiple web properties and want to use existing WordPress themes for some while focusing their developers on only a few key sites. Others may find they want to serve the web with a more traditional technology stack while powering other digital experiences with an API-driven headless architecture. 

With WordPress VIP, you don’t have to choose headless or traditional single-stack deployment. We provide a single content hub that can power a hybrid deployment, fixing and matching architectures to meet your diverse needs. No matter how you deploy today and in the future, it’s all managed from a single administrative console, and content creators can build content blocks using our easy and intuitive Gutenberg editor. 

Want to learn more about how to get started with headless WordPress? Get in touch.

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