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What is Headless App Architecture and how is it used?

Headless App Architecture

When talking about headless app architecture, the first thing that pops into one’s mind is probably content management software (CMS). Simply put, it is software that we use to create and manage digital content on our websites without having prior technical knowledge or using professional software developer services.

Typical examples of a CMS tool include WordPress, Drupal, Magento, PrestaShop, Joomla, Shopify, and Wix. Many retail businesses use CMSs to create sophisticated, cutting-edge eCommerce platforms that help them quickly sell a wide variety of products and at the same time provide a seamless customer journey across a single platform.

It’s not only retailers who reap the benefits of the CMS - editors, marketers, managers, and basically everyone else find it quite easy to adjust to their specific needs. For instance, a candidate looking for a job can create an appealing portfolio with CMS’s help.It’s not only retailers who reap the benefits of the CMS - editors, marketers, managers, and basically everyone else find it quite easy to adjust to their specific needs. For instance, a candidate looking for a job can create an appealing portfolio with CMS’s help.

But the times have changed. Many eCommerce businesses now sell their products not only through websites, but also through mobile apps, IoT, etc. And it has become almost impossible to efficiently manage and leverage content across multiple channels. This is where headless app architecture comes in handy.

What is Headless Architecture?

With the advent of technology, businesses need to manage content at different points of contact to provide high quality services and satisfy their clients’ needs. If you are an entrepreneur, you want to create and post your digital content across various channels — your eCommerce platform, blog, mobile application and website, and even VR headsets and smartwatches. To perform this tedious task, you have to manage your digital content in each channel, which is time-consuming, to say the least.

To successfully manage content across a lot of channels, you need to use an efficient multichannel publishing tool. This is exactly what headless architecture does. It helps you publish dynamic content to any platform repeatedly and in the most effective way.

How does Headless Architecture work?

To understand how headless architecture works, it’s important to understand what website architecture means. According to Technopedia, website architecture is considerate planning, design and preparation of the technical, functional, and visional parts of a website before you have designed, developed, and deployed the website.

As a rule, a traditional content management system is a tight combination of frontend and backend. Backend is the place where content is managed, and frontend is the place where content is displayed to the user. The term “head” denotes frontend and delivery channels, and backend can be addressed as the “body”. There’s nothing wrong with the coupled architecture, which represents a traditional content management system, but it definitely lacks the flexibility to use content across multiple channels.

So how does headless app architecture work and how is it different from the traditional one? Technically speaking, headless architecture offers its users all the capabilities of the traditional CMS’s backend, but instead of being coupled, the head and the body are separated from each other. It means that you can publish your content anywhere you want — through any device, including smartphones, laptops and even tools such as Amazon’s Alexa, and through any programming framework.

In headless architecture, the content is published through an API that helps promote content to different devices. The bottom line is that, with the help of headless architecture, you can render your content to any delivering channels without altering it. Additionally, it is suitable for any kind of technology. Now you can have many “heads” instead of just one.

What are the Major Benefits of Headless Architecture?

Let’s see how you or any other business organization can benefit from this technology.

Critical for seamless user experience

Gartner, the world’s renowned research and advisory firm, predicts that 89% of businesses are likely to compete on customer experience in the near future. Headless app architecture can provide a competitive edge. Nowadays, brands try to communicate with their clients through many channels. To make the communication fast and smooth, companies are more and more inclined to use this type of architecture.

Diversifies eCommerce

Headless app architecture moves eCommerce forward by providing the utmost shopping experience for customers. For instance, if you want to order a new pair of shoes, with a traditional CMS you have to visit the retailer’s website and go through many different steps to complete your purchase. With headless app architecture you can purchase the shoes simply using your voice via an IoT device.

More freedom for developers

With headless architecture, developers can use various technologies to create different “heads.” Due to the architecture's flexibility, software engineers are able to use the frontend framework that actually makes sense for a specific app.


Increased scalability

Headless architecture’s flexibility allows you to future-proof your business by modernizing the design without reapplying the whole CMS. You can use the existing content and leverage it across various channels.

In a nutshell, headless app architecture is a way that can distribute your raw content across multiple devices in the most consistent and efficient way, while ensuring a seamless customer journey to your users. Plus, your developers will have more flexibility to choose a technology that will perfectly fit each app. To make a long story short, headless architecture can help you future-proof your business and scale it in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

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