You’ve invested time and resources into your WordPress site and now you want the ability to update your commerce features and functionality to allow for growth within your existing site. So, what’s your best move?
Is it to find a commerce plugin that adds the features you need? Switch to a new platform altogether to create a ground-up experience? Or is there a better way?
For WordPress users interested in maintaining the designs and functions they’ve worked so hard to build, the answer is door number three: headless commerce for WordPress.
Although this might sound like a complicated technical project, headless commerce and WordPress go hand-in-hand. Headless commerce offers a host of benefits to businesses interested in maintaining or upgrading their WordPress sites, and with the right integration partner in your corner, updating your site may be easier than you think!
Headless commerce enables advanced, rich capabilities in your WordPress site without the need to re-platform to a new CMS. Keep WordPress, but upgrade the commerce platform.
A core feature of headless commerce is that there are no required or built-in front end specifications, templates, or restrictions. It’s easy to redesign your storefront in whatever way best suits your marketing and sales goals. Compare this with commerce plugins that may offer limited functionality, or full transitions to traditional platforms may allow more commerce functions than plugins but force you to rebuild your storefront from the ground up. Complete rebuilds to a commerce-only platform may also mean moving away from WordPress altogether, exposing risks for search rankings and more.
Headless commerce for WordPress gives you the best of both worlds: Full accessibility to enterprise-level functionality while still allowing enough agility and flexibility to support the fast-changing needs of a growing business.
Headless commerce for WordPress operates on a simple principle: Keep WordPress, upgrade the commerce.
Headless commerce is deployed and maintained entirely separate from your front end functions, meaning that you can keep the WordPress environment and its features that work while adding in new commerce functions.
Traditionally-built commerce platforms with tightly-integrated front/back ends may force you into concessions that limit your storefront options. Either the features you need won’t be available, or they will be – at the cost of your carefully-designed front end layout and user experience.
But with a modern CMS that’s separated from the commerce functions, there are no sacrifices needed on either side.
Smaller businesses interested in making a foray into eCommerce may find these benefits particularly valuable. Building for eCommerce in the front end is time-consuming and challenging; headless commerce makes it easier separating the storefront from the commerce side, allowing you to add commerce functionality while maintaining a consistent look/feel across your consumer-facing storefront.
In other words, don’t change what’s working!
It’s no secret that commerce upgrades can be costly. Under traditional eCommerce service models, WordPress users either need to either maintain multiple plugins (each with its own cost of ownership and ongoing fees) or re-platform altogether to a different system.
Headless commerce works a little differently. Companies can unlock full feature sets without the costs of re-platforming or maintaining plugins. The CMS and backend functions are connected through API and can be upgraded, secured, and managed independently, offering a more granular way of running your storefront. Compared with other options that enable the same functions, headless commerce is the most cost effective over the long-term.
A key benefit of headless commerce for WordPress is that it offers complete control over design options with no need to consider how those designs will affect commerce functions.
Your developers already have plenty of experience with WordPress on the front end, and headless allows them to preserve that expertise while folding in new revenue-driving features.
After a headless integration, the storefront itself remains the same – but the tool delivering data to that storefront changes. You get to keep the same WordPress designs and layouts that your customers are familiar with, all the while replacing back end data calls/requests with headless-specific references. This offers better control over each component of your storefront/site, easier customization, and faster redesigns when needed.
The unique approach offered by headless commerce allows you to add rich commerce functions to your WordPress site without any disruptions to loading speed or performance.
Many commerce plugins, while effective at adding new features, don’t integrate perfectly with your CMS and create sluggish connections that detract from performance. This used to be a necessary evil for smaller businesses seeking simple commerce functionality, but these days, newer solutions like headless offer a better approach without the drawbacks.
As the two systems are maintained separately, they aren’t dependent on each other in the same way as tightly integrated front end / back end systems. Thus, changes to one won’t affect the performance of the other.
This benefit is especially important when pushing content across multiple marketing and sales channels. Headless lets you maximize content delivery without duplicating efforts, maintaining efficiency no matter how many multi-channel strategies you’re using to reach customers.
While commerce plugins can do their job well, each one added to a CMS exposes the business to risk. Plugins are one of the most common attack vectors for WordPress sites, and over time, they can grow outdated and vulnerable without adequate developer support.
Additionally, the decoupled architecture of headless is easier to monitor and control, making it easier for users to detect problems before they escalate. When you have visibility into a system that’s streamlined and efficient, security improves across the board.
Headless commerce for WordPress offers a modern way to transform your WordPress site into a fully-featured eCommerce store. But the above benefits are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what a headless implementation can bring to your company.
Your next step is to take a deeper dive into headless by downloading our Headless Commerce for WordPress eBook. Or, if you’re ready to take the next step, visit our site and Get Started with a Headless Commerce Approach!