What is a headless WordPress site & what are the easiest steps to build a headless WordPress site? Also, what are the pros and cons of a headless WordPress site? Tired of being stuck to the theme and plugins while running a WordPress website? Do you want the ultimate flexibility in your online store? We guess that’s the reason you are planning to move to the Headless WordPress site.

You already know that WP developers have worked hard and made it so functional that it can now operate headlessly. Going headless isn’t as spooky as it sounds. However, it is a tiny bit tricky.

However, let’s first understand what it is, the benefits and downsides it has, and then we will move ahead with the steps of building a headless WordPress site.

As it is a bit on the developer side, you can also go with the WordPress website development company for the task. And don’t worry we will keep the introduction brief!

What is a Headless WordPress Site?

When discussion goes about what is a headless WordPress site, the WordPress CMS is undoubtedly a powerful and functional tool for creating websites, its reliance on themes adds restrictions to building the entire website. Though there are different premium themes and plugins available that add some structure and functionality to the website, it’s not up to the point.

CMS is meant to handle both the front-end and back-end, this is where the restrictions arise. To eliminate those, the headless WordPress site is an excellent option. It is an extension of a headless CMS–a CMS that has been separated from its typical architecture.

In short, you are detaching your front end from the back end of the website, and hence you won’t be able to use the WYSIWYG editor of WP.

However, you will be using the familiar backend functionality to create and manage the content by accessing the API that will keep your website connected.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Headless WordPress Site

Just like every technology has both pros and cons, our headless WordPress site also has! As promised earlier, we will keep it brief so that you can move ahead to the guide on how to build a headless WordPress site.

  • Pros of Headless WordPress Site:
    • It allows you to have enhanced flexibility.
    • It gives you Better security.
    • It has improved performance.
    • It is easy to set up.
  • Cons of Headless WordPress Site:
    • It has more complicated coding.
    • It is not a great idea for websites to publish lots of content.

After reading the benefits and downsides of the headless WordPress site, you might have got an idea that you will need coding knowledge to move ahead with it.

Running a business is a hectic task in itself. If you want a coding expert, you can always hire WordPress developer to work with you on it.

Now, let’s move ahead with the tutorial!

How to Build a Headless WordPress Site?

For a headless WordPress site, you need to figure out things ahead of time. And by that, we mean first, see if you actually need it and if will it work for you. Consider the pros and cons of it to determine whether that’s the correct choice or not.

If you have a blogging website, the headless WordPress site won’t work for you. Why? It will be difficult for you to manage a large amount of content without access to CMS, which is the most important part of it.

On the other hand, if you have an eCommerce or static website and the content is for SEO purposes, the headless WordPress site will work perfectly fine.

To get started with a headless WordPress site, follow these steps:

Step 1: Download and Install the Rest API

WordPress developers introduced Rest API back in 2016 for help. You can download it from GitHub anytime you want. Login to the GitHub account, search for Rest API, and download and install it.

Step 2: Upload Rest API to your WordPress Plugins folder

After downloading it make sure to upload it to the same folder as other plugins to make it work. Only after that, it will be activated and you can operate it for the functions.

Step 3: Activate the Rest API

Now navigate to the plugin tab of your WordPress dashboard. You will see Rest API along with other plugins. Ensure you have activated it to start using it.

Step 4: Direct the Permalink

After that go to the settings, click on Permalinks, and pick either custom structure or post name. Once you have set your permalink, it needs to be pointed to your website where you wish to publish the content.

Step 5: Install Custom Post Type UI Plugin

In the next step, you will have to install another plugin–Custom Post Type UI. The procedure is the same, go to the plugins tab, search for the Custom Post Type UI plugin download and install it.

Drag it to the folders where every plugin is, only then you will be able to post content through your headless WordPress site.

Step 6: Create New Post

The last step is to get started with the new headless WP website. All you need is to create a new content post.

Ensure the checkbox for Rest API is set to true for the posting and let it appear on your website.

This is one way of starting with a headless WordPress site. When you pick this type of WP site, you are detaching from the WordPress CMS, which means you will have to either code or hire a WordPress website development company for the front-end design.

Go With a Headless WP Website For More Flexibility

WordPress has always been the go-to platform for first-time users or online business owners. The reason behind that is its easy-to-use and understandable UI and CMS. However, if you have a huge enterprise with many features, you will need a headless WordPress site for more flexibility and functionality.

The traditional approach of WP will always remain the first option, but a headless approach can help your business grow to another level. It does look like a lot of work down the road, but trust us in the long run it will save your time and grant more front-end flexibility than the traditional one.

Hope now you know what is a headless WordPress site and how to build it easily. Building with WordPress really a good decision to start with.

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Belayet Hossain

I’m a tech enthusiast, entrepreneur, digital marketer and professional blogger equipped with skills in Digital Marketing, SEO, SEM, SMM, and lead generation. My objective is to simplify technology for you through detailed guides and reviews. I discovered WordPress while setting up my first business site and instantly became enamored. When not crafting websites, making content, or helping clients enhance their online ventures, I usually take care of my health and spend time with family, and explore the world. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or read my complete biography.