Exploring Headless WordPress

Headless WordPress is an innovative approach that enables developers to use WordPress for content management while employing any desired technology stack for the front-end user interface. This architecture decouples the presentation layer from the data and logic layer, offering the flexibility to develop rich, interactive web experiences that can leverage modern development frameworks and libraries. By using WordPress as a “headless” CMS, developers can use its powerful content management capabilities, including user-friendly admin interfaces and a vast plugin ecosystem, while having the freedom to customize the front-end with cutting-edge technologies for optimized performance and user experience. This setup not only enhances the scalability and security of web applications but also provides a seamless content publishing workflow, making it an attractive solution for developers aiming to create fast, responsive, and engaging web applications.

WordPress REST API

Developers use the WordPress REST API to create headless WordPress sites. This approach separates, as we previously mentioned, the front end from the WordPress back end, using the REST API to fetch content dynamically.

The WordPress REST API enables interaction with a WordPress site’s data through HTTP requests, making it accessible to external applications. It covers various parts of WordPress, including posts, users, custom post types, and more. For example, you can retrieve all posts from your WordPress site by accessing a specific endpoint like wp-json/wp/v2/posts. To test if the REST API is active on a WordPress site, you can visit [your_site_url]/wp-json/. If it’s working, you’ll see a JSON response with information about the site and available REST API routes. This feature is crucial for developers creating headless WordPress sites or integrating WordPress with external systems.


For authenticating an app on WordPress, use the JWT (JSON Web Token) plugin or the Application Passwords feature available since WordPress 5.6 was out. First, install the JWT plugin or enable Application Passwords in your user profile. Then, make API requests with credentials: JWT requires a token obtained by sending credentials to a specific endpoint, while Application Passwords require sending the username and application password with each request. This setup ensures secure communication between your app and WordPress, allowing you to manage content programmatically.

In developing headless WordPress sites, developers often turn to modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries such as Gatsby, React, Vue.js, Next.js, Frontity and Angular, thanks to their efficient handling of dynamic content and single-page application (SPA) capabilities. These technologies, combined with the WordPress REST API, provide a powerful stack for creating fast, responsive, and interactive user experiences while still utilizing WordPress’s robust content management system.

So let’s give a bit more explanation on each one of these lets call them tools



Gatsby is a cutting-edge framework that blends React, Webpack, GraphQL, and other technologies for building swift, secure web projects. It excels in optimizing performance, notably through pre-rendering for quicker load times and facilitating comprehensive data integration. Gatsby is ideal for crafting dynamic, SEO-friendly sites, particularly leveraging headless CMSs for content-rich experiences.


React is a renowned JavaScript library for crafting user interfaces, especially suited for single-page applications. It allows for the development of large web applications capable of updating data without page refreshes, promoting a seamless user experience. React emphasizes modular, reusable components, streamlining the development process and making debugging more straightforward. Its versatility and efficiency have made it a go-to choice for developers aiming to construct intricate UIs from compact, independent components.


Vue.js is a JavaScript framework for creating user interfaces, designed to be flexible and easy to integrate. It’s unique because it allows for gradual adoption, focusing initially on the view layer, yet it’s robust enough for advanced single-page applications when combined with additional tools and libraries. This flexibility, along with a gentle learning curve, makes Vue.js a preferred choice for developers building engaging and dynamic web apps.


Next.js, a React framework, offers capabilities like server-side rendering and static site generation for React apps. It focuses on enhancing developer experience through easy-to-use features, including automatic code splitting for quicker load times and support for CSS and Sass right out of the box. With its straightforward setup, Next.js stands out for those creating cutting-edge, efficient web applications.


Angular is a comprehensive platform used for developing dynamic single-page applications. It allows developers to use HTML and TypeScript to create scalable applications with rich interactive features. Angular’s ecosystem includes tools for routing, forms, HTTP client, and more, making it easier to implement complex requirements. Its modular architecture ensures applications are organized and maintainable, while dependency injection helps to efficiently manage services and data. Angular is suitable for both web and mobile apps, favored for its ability to streamline development processes.


Frontity is a framework tailored for WordPress, enabling developers to use React for front-end development. It simplifies integrating WordPress as a headless CMS, ensuring websites are fast and interactive. Known for its developer-friendly approach, Frontity enhances site performance and leverages WordPress’s content management strengths, making it a top choice for marrying React’s dynamic capabilities with WordPress’s extensive content features.

For those interested in headless WordPress, it’s essential to understand the benefits and complexities it introduces. Headless CMSs, like WordPress, offer deeper control of the user experience, flexibility for developers, and omnichannel support. However, they also bring challenges such as increased complexity, higher expenses, and potential bottlenecks due to developer dependence. When considering headless WordPress, think about the problems you’re solving, the impact of those problems, the additional resources needed, and hosting options for your front end.

Wrap up

It’s evident that while headless WordPress development offers flexibility and performance benefits, it also requires significant investment in time and resources. For many, a robust, secure hosting solution like ours, powered by Google Cloud, Kubernetes, and LiteSpeed servers, could offer a simpler and equally effective path to achieving a high-performing website. Our hosting environment is specifically designed to maximize security and performance, offering a solid foundation for your site and allowing you to focus on content and user engagement without the complexity of managing a headless setup.