Why Should You Use WordPress as a Headless CMS – Key Points to Consider

Content is king and businesses use various types of content management systems (CMSs) to handle it. In short, CMS platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc typically provide a user-friendly interface where content creators can easily publish articles, images, videos, and other types of content. 

This blog will flash light on the gone of the most famous CMS i.e WordPress CMS ( mostly used to create stunning websites without prior knowledge of programming ) and use cases of WordPress as a Headless CMS (it decouples the CMS’s backend from the frontend presentation, providing flexibility and scalability in web development). In addition, we will also explain important concepts such as headless CMS, decoupled CMS, the advantages of headless CMS, and more.

Headless CMS

What is a Headless CMS?

In traditional CMS, you put in content through a backend and organise it in databases. Then, it links the content directly to themes or designs and shows them on the website for visitors.

Now, a headless CMS works differently. It doesn’t connect the backend and front end. The name “headless” means there’s no set front end. It’s like a changed version of a regular CMS where only the backend is used, and there’s no direct visual part (frontend).

Instead, the content is sent from the database through something called an API (which stands for “Application Programming Interface”). This lets the content be shown dynamically on various devices and platforms, all from one central database. Websites and apps can get the content from the API but decide how it looks on their own. So, a headless CMS is just for handling content and isn’t tied to how it’s shown.

Headless WordPress CMS

What is Headless WordPress CMS?

WordPress is sometimes called a “monolithic” CMS. This means it’s good at handling content creation and organization, but it’s mostly focused on how things look on the website’s front end. WordPress bundles up how things look into themes and plugins, connecting the front and back ends tightly.But here’s the thing: you can still use WordPress for its awesome content management abilities and make it into a faster and lighter headless CMS. You can do this by using WordPress’ REST API, which lets you expand your content management beyond just the theme.In this setup, you still get to use all the backend features of WordPress, but it works differently. Instead of pushing out content actively, it becomes more reactive. Content stays quiet until someone asks for it, and then it shows up. This is quite different from how WordPress usually sends out content to regular websites on browsers. The main benefit of a headless WordPress site is that it separates your content and development teams, reducing their reliance on each other and enabling them to use their preferred tools independently.
Difference B/w Headless vs. decoupled

Know the difference between the Headless vs. decoupled CMS

Traditional cms vs headless cms

Many traditional content management systems have undergone significant transformations in recent years, allowing them to function conventionally with a front end and also as headless CMS. This shift is often termed a “Decoupled CMS,” where the system maintains a visible front end for the website while being simultaneously accessible through APIs for diverse channels.

Nowadays WordPress has also adapted to serve as a headless CMS. Essentially, this adaptation, known as “Headless WordPress,” aligns with the concept of a Decoupled CMS. Starting from version 4.7, WordPress includes a REST API as an integral component of the platform.

This means that you can still utilize WordPress in its conventional form, complete with its template engine for website creation. Simultaneously, you have the option to distribute your content through the integrated interface, such as in applications or across other channels.

 In the following sections, we will provide a brief overview of WordPress as Headless CMS and its benefits, features and more.

function as a headless CMS

WordPress as a Headless CMS

WordPress can also function as a headless CMS, allowing you to decouple its backend content management features from its frontend display. One significant advantage of utilizing a headless CMS is its ability to future-proof your WordPress content.

As long as the API remains intact, your content can always be accessed. With a headless CMS, the focus shifts towards creating a developer-centric, API-first system, rather than being constrained by backend administration for frontend design.

Headless CMS

Going headless grants you increased flexibility in migrating content, as you’re not tightly bound to specific themes and plugins. From a marketing perspective, it allows for the creation of personalized customer journeys without the need to submit a ticket every time you want to modify or add content.

The Pros

Why should you use headless WordPress?

multiple channels

A headless CMS allows for virtually limitless scalability. Numerous frontends can seamlessly access backend information through the API-based system, enabling content to be showcased across various platforms, including websites and mobile apps. Additionally, emerging technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are within reach.

Swift performance

By stripping down to a database and REST API architecture, a headless WordPress operates with increased agility and speed. Furthermore, integrating modern frameworks for frontend development enhances user experience, ensuring faster loading times and smoother interactions.


With a headless approach, you're not limited by front-end design constraints, allowing for greater flexibility in content delivery across various platforms and devices.


By decoupling the backend from the front end, you ensure that your content remains accessible as long as the API endpoint exists, thus future-proofing your content management strategy.


WordPress Headless prioritizes developers by providing an API-first system, enabling seamless integration with other applications and technologies.

Content migration

Headless architecture reduces dependency on specific themes and plugins, making content migration smoother and less restrictive.

Personalized customer experiences

Marketers can create tailored customer journeys without constant backend/frontend adjustments, streamlining content management processes. These benefits are especially pertinent for developers who often contend with static CMS platforms and restricted design choices.
The Cons

What are the Potential Issues With A Headless WordPress?

At the same time, there are some cons of headless WordPress CMS  taking WordPress into a decoupled or headless state. that should not go unmentioned at this point:

Dependency on Technical Expertise:

Operating a Headless WordPress site may require a higher level of technical expertise. Developers must be proficient in working with APIs and frontend frameworks to effectively manage and display content.

Higher expenses

Establishing a headless WordPress setup requires higher initial costs. Additionally, maintenance expenses rise as multiple developers may be required to manage separate instances effectively.

Inconsistent User Experience

Distributing content across multiple platforms can lead to inconsistencies in presentation, detracting from the overall user experience.

Not all features are available

Headless WordPress doesn't offer all the same functions as traditional WordPress. For instance, features like the WYSIWYG editor or Live Preview won't work when the front end is separate. Additionally, any plugins that impact the front end cannot be used in this setup.
headless WordPress suitable

For whom is headless WordPress suitable?

It’s difficult to imagine the online content landscape without WordPress, and this is unlikely to change in the future. However, what may evolve is how WordPress is utilized: either in its traditional form or as a headless CMS. Determining whether a project is suitable for a headless CMS primarily depends on its specific requirements.

Headless WordPress might be a good fit if:

  • You aim to implement a highly customized design on your website, which cannot be easily achieved with standard WordPress themes and page builders.
  • You’re undertaking a sizable project and wish to showcase your content across various platforms and devices, such as on a website and within your own application.
  • You possess programming skills or have access to developers who can assist in creating a tailored solution.

On the other hand, headless WordPress may be less suitable when:

  • Your goal is simply to display content on a website, such as a blog, without the need for intricate design elements.
  • You have a limited budget and anticipate frequent adjustments and maintenance for your website.
  • You’re a novice without experience in development or programming and plan to independently create and manage your website.
In a Nutshell


In the end, You have the freedom to choose any platform based on your individual requirements and technical expertise. Headless systems offer a variety of options, most of which are compatible with your existing tech stack. While some options may require a bit of extra effort to integrate, the flexibility and scalability they provide often outweigh the additional work.

Frequently Asked Questions


Although traditional WordPress themes may not be entirely compatible due to the separation of the front end, there are often specific adaptations or headless-ready themes available.

You may want to explore hosting providers that specialize in supporting headless architectures, particularly those optimized for API-driven setups. It's essential to configure servers to efficiently handle API requests for optimal performance.

It's feasible to integrate a headless WordPress CMS with e-commerce platforms. However, factors such as seamless data synchronization, transaction management, and maintaining a consistent user experience need to be carefully addressed.

Some major companies using headless WordPress include The New York Times, Vogue, Ticketmaster, and Dollar Shave Club..

Roopesh Jain


Roopesh Jain

As the Founder and CEO of WPToppers, I have been leading a team of web developers and designers for over 12+ years, delivering innovative and user-friendly solutions for clients across various industries and domains. I have a strong background in computer engineering and a passion for exploring and applying the latest technologies, such as AI, ML, Generative AI, and LLM, to enhance the web development process and outcomes.

Contact Us

Get In Touch With Us

We’d love to hear from you! Whether you have questions, feedback, or simply want to say hello, reaching out to us is easy. Our dedicated team is here to assist you. 

Office Location

1042, Second Floor, Sector-4, Hiran Magri, Udaipur, Rajasthan - 313002

Our Social

Contact form