Are you wondering whether you should build a headless WooCommerce site? It’s possible to separate the backend and frontend of your WooCommerce site, rather than keeping them locked into the same CMS. This way, you can connect your WooCommerce backend to one or more custom frontends.
There are many reasons why eCommerce store owners opt to build headless WooCommerce sites. Some popular reasons include improving their site performance, increasing security, adding more customizability, and getting a shop that can scale with the business.
In this article, we will explain what a headless WooCommerce site is, its main benefits, and how you can build yours using the WordPress freelancer platform Codeable.
What is a Headless WooCommerce Site?
A headless website is one where the user interface (or the frontend, what users see when they visit your website) is separate from the database (or the backend, the place from where you manage your pages and products).
A headless site would allow you to use a custom UI (one that is written in ReactJS or another programming language you like) and connect it to your WooCommerce database.
One huge benefit is that a headless WooCommerce site is able to keep your entire product catalog, inventory, shopping cart, payment gateways, fees, tax configuration, and all backend available – but you would also be able to deploy this data on any frontend you want. This means that you have complete control over what your site looks like and how well it performs!
In other words, a headless system can decouple the “body” or content repository for your site from the “head” or presentation layer that your visitors see.
Many popular sites do this. For example, Amazon has an online store and a dedicated mobile app. Both these channels display the same information; in this case, products available from a database.
How Do You Create a Headless CMS?
One way to create a headless CMS (or Content Management System) site (for instance, one build on WooCommerce) is by using the WooCommerce REST API or WordPress REST API. APIs are tools that assist applications in exchanging data; in this case, making your WooCommerce database endlessly reusable and allowing you to connect your store backend with a customized frontend.
Some developers also like to use GraphQL, a query language for APIs that can break data queries into smaller and more manageable chunks.
What Are the Benefits of Using Headless WooCommerce?
There are several reasons why you might want to consider separating your WooCommerce backend and frontend. So, let’s go through a few of them in a little more detail and include some examples to help you decide whether your store is a good candidate for doing this as well.
Improving Your Site’s Performance
If you want to build a standard WooCommerce website that looks good and performs well, you will need to rely on themes, plugins, and extensions – all of which will include plenty of code. The issue is that the more plugins and extensions you use, the more likely you are to increase your site’s load time because each functionality you install will require visitors to download multiple files to display things right.
However, if you create a custom UI, you don’t need to rely on themes, WordPress plugins, or extensions to give your users the feature they need to look for and purchase products. You design what you want how you want it, which translates into fewer plugins required and an overall better site speed and performance!
Having More Customizability
If you use the standard WooCommerce functionality, you will quickly find it can be pretty challenging to customize the code. The reason is that your store probably relies on several plugins, extensions, themes, and templates that are not always compatible.
With a default WooCommerce installation and a set of bulky tools on top of it, you’ll be limited to what your templates allow you to design. You won’t be able to, for example, customize your files beyond their specific base functionality. And, worse yet, you’ll be loading tons of resources your site doesn’t actually need.
On the other hand, if you choose to use a third-party system, you can implement much more flexible design features that are tailored to your business. This is another reason why many shop owners prefer to move away from WooCommerce plugins and themes and instead use a customized frontend created to their exact specifications.
Using the Same Backend Across Multiple Channels
Another one of the main reasons why several people opt for the headless WooCommerce approach is that it allows them to connect their backend to a personalized frontend. So, you get all the functionality of a powerful platform like WooCommerce but can choose how to use it to your benefit! There are various scenarios where this can come in handy:
- You want to create multiple eCommerce stores that share the same backend. For example, you can have a separate site for your Japanese users or your American users but sell them the same products.
- You want to connect your backend to a mobile or smartwatch app in addition to a website. This way, you have access to all the functionalities and data but can distribute it how you see fit.
Improving Your Site’s Security
Another important reason why many site owners choose headless WooCommerce is to improve website security.
Since the front end and back end are kept separate, attackers have a much harder time breaching your site’s security. In large part, because headless sites make it much more difficult for them to find the admin panel!
Other Considerations When Using Headless WordPress
We’ve covered the definition of a headless site, some common approaches to creating one, and its advantages and disadvantages. Now, let’s quickly go through a few more specific things you should keep in mind if you choose this path.
- You’ll need to build your own schema: schema markup is essential for helping search engines understand your WordPress site’s structure and type of content. While headless CMS is lightweight and high-performing, you will need to set up schema and SEO yourself.
- Your images might not be optimized: If you want to make sure the site loads fast, make sure you also include a way to compress your pictures.
You can use a static site generator: If you don’t want to use a specific framework to create your headless site, you can output all content created through your WordPress installation automatically using a static site generator. Gatsby, for example, is an open-source program that can pull data from anywhere using ReactJS.
Build a Headless WooCommerce Site with Codeable
If you think a headless WooCommerce site is a great idea for your shop, but you’re not sure you can make it happen yourself, you should consider using a freelancer platform such as Codeable.
Codeable is a WordPress developer hiring platform with a pool of over 700 coders who specialize in different areas of the popular CMS and WooCommerce. Whatever WordPress project you have in mind, Codeable will have several experts available who can turn your vision into a reality.
Many of Codeable’s developers are also experienced in custom API integration and will be able to build your headless WooCommerce site in no time. They will also create your custom UI and connect it to your WooCommerce backend.
All you have to do is submit your brief and wait a few hours to give as many developers as possible a chance to show their interest. You’ll be matched with one to five professionals who will be able to take on the work immediately. You will also be able to chat with them to see who is the best fit and ask all relevant questions or request links to previous work.
With Codeable, you get a single estimate no matter how many web application developers are interested in giving you a hand with your headless WooCommerce site. This means that you can make your choice based on quality and not price!
This efficient process means your whole project can be scoped within 24 hours.