Wordpress vs Headless CMS: Which One to Choose?

[Img] Wordpress Vs Headlless

What is Wordpress?

WordPress is one of the content management systems (CMS) available for creating websites. It is an open source platform developed in PHP, using a MySQL database. Since its creation in 2003, it has become the most widely used CMS on the web.

What is a CMS?

A CMS (content management system) is a software program that allows users to create and maintain websites without having to write them from scratch or even know how to code.

It allows content to be generated, managed and published through an easy-to-use interface, and the look and feel of the site can be changed by simply downloading pre-built packages of templates and plug-ins.

The backend is usually written in PHP, while the frontend is a combination of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The site is maintained through an administration panel from which pages, content, etc. are added or removed.

Advantages of Wordpress

  • The installation procedure is quick and easy.

  • Images, videos and other multimedia components can be quickly added to enrich the content of the website.

  • The program has an intuitive interface, so that any user can become an expert. It has an integrated dashboard that allows you to create new pages or categories, modify themes and settings, etc.

  • As the open source platform is free of charge, it is a cost-effective alternative.

  • It offers a variety of themes, which can be modified to meet specific requirements.

  • The basis of this platform consists of plug-ins. By installing plug-ins you can modify the site and add the required features.

  • The need for coding is reduced to a minimum as the CMS comes with several easy-to-use functions.

Wordpress limitations

  • Security is a major limitation. As themes and plugins are created and maintained by a community of developers, some are not as secure, facilitating possible damage to the website. In addition, WordPress is a frequent target for hackers due to its popularity.

  • Its flexibility is limited. Companies may have certain requirements for their website, such as integrating logistics functions, CRM or Ecommerce, which don't come pre-built in WordPress. For this, new code has to be created with PHP, which is difficult to maintain because of the low-level coding.

  • Add-ons may be required. If you want to add some features, you will have to look for plugins, some of which are free and some of which are not. This makes WordPress fragile as it requires constant maintenance and, in addition, plugins can become obsolete.

  • Speed. It can be a slow platform due to all the add-ons and additional code bases. Also, it only includes a few SEO tools, which are insufficient to help it rank in Google.

What is Headless CMS?

It is a content management system comprised of backend development only, essentially acting as a content repository. What makes Headless CMS stand out is its ability to access content via an API, so that it can be displayed uniformly on a variety of devices. In this way a website can be developed without an integrated frontend.

A Headless CMS is a more flexible solution for today's businesses that are developing websites, mobile applications, conversational interfaces, digital displays, etc.

It is more flexible because due to its decoupled nature it allows the frontend of the website to be implemented in any language or framework of choice. Additionally, it allows to integrate through APIs any other tool to the website without having to have native support by the CMS.

Traditional CMSs like WordPress consist of four components: admin panel, database, a read/write integration, and frontend. A Headless CMS consists of only three: admin panel, database and read/write integrations.

This model allows developers the freedom to choose the most appropriate frontend technology for each project. In addition, because headless content is distinct from the interface, it has much less exposure to attack.

Limitations of Headless

  • Knowledge is required. Since frontend rendering must be handled by other software, developers must be familiar with multiple code bases or be frontend specialists. This drawback restricts access to non-technical people.

  • Costly development. Headless can be more expensive and complicated to manage. As it lacks a user interface, developers may need much more time to create a website, and this can be costly. You will need to pay separately for a CMS, developer and infrastructure to run the website, application, etc.

  • No templates. With Headless CMS the developer is required to build the design and structure of the site, as there is not a variety of templates to choose from to make the job easier.

Headless CMS vs Wordpress

WordPress is a fast, scalable and cost-effective solution that does not require much technical understanding. However, its available technology options are limited, as among other things it is not cross-platform, i.e. it can be used for web, mobile, wearables, etc.

Headless CMSs are cross-platform, fast and secure. Because of the way they work, frontend and backend design expertise is required and can be costly.

Headless CMS is an alternative to WordPress that allows companies to separate the CMS platform from the content being published, with greater security and scalability. 

The Headless CMS is designed to offer scalability to users and also flexibility to meet dynamic content demands. Headless CMS will arguably replace WordPress in the next few years.

When is it time to switch to a Headless CMS?

Headless CMS is the best option if the creation of a website is restricted by the frontend limitations of Wordpress. 

If you are looking to create a unique user experience with complex functions, it is time to switch to a Headless CMS. This is because it is very simple to connect to any frontend platform, for which developers have many more options.

Similarly, it is time to change if you are building an ecosystem of applications and websites. 

Because of its great flexibility, Headless CMS will enable efficient delivery of content to the entire ecosystem, as it is an excellent tool for cross-platform publishing. 

It is the best choice for mobile site or application development, because the API allows the flexibility to deliver content to iOS or Android from the same backend.

Contact us

At Aplyca we specialize in developing solutions for large scale websites. Contact us to discuss your project needs.

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