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Headless or non-headless website architecture: Which one is best for my business?

Headless or non-headless website architecture: Which one is best for my business?

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in web design towards headless website architecture and content management systems. This new approach to building websites has many benefits, but also comes with its own set of challenges. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at headless and non-headless architecture, and help you determine which one is the best fit for your business.

What is headless website architecture?

Headless website architecture is a relatively new concept in web design. Over the past few years, it's gained popularity among businesses and software developers alike. In this type of website architecture, the front-end and back-end of a website are decoupled, meaning they do not rely on one another to function. The "head" of the website, which is the front-end or the user interface, is separated from the "body," which is the back-end, also called the server-side.

The separation means that your headless website’s content is stored in a different place from the layer on which it is being displayed. That means said content can be presented in multiple places, like a corporate website, online store, or even a mobile app. This allows for a better user experience regardless of the device visitors are using to view your content, as well as greater flexibility and scalability when building and maintaining a website.

In general, headless architecture is suitable for companies that prioritize flexibility and scalability. For example, large e-commerce companies with a large number of products, or businesses that need to integrate their website with other systems, such as mobile apps, will benefit from headless architecture. In terms of technologies, headless website architecture tends to use JS, React, and Angular for the front-end, and Ruby on Rails and Java for the back-end. For that reason, headless is best used by companies whose developers have already worked with the above-mentioned technologies.

Pros and cons of headless website architecture

One of the main benefits of headless website architecture is increased flexibility. Since the front-end and back-end are separate, businesses can easily make changes to the front-end without having to worry about affecting the inner workings of the back-end, and vice versa. This allows for faster development and deployment of new features and updates. Additionally, a headless website can be easily integrated with other systems and services, such as mobile apps and smart home devices, providing a seamless user experience across multiple platforms.

Another advantage of headless architecture is that it allows for better performance and scalability. The front-end and back-end are not dependent on one another, which means they can be optimized separately. For example, the back-end can be easily scaled to handle a larger number of requests without affecting the rest of the website. It results in faster loading times and better overall performance, which is an important aspect of web design.

However, headless architecture is not without its downsides. One of its main disadvantages is that it can be more complex to develop and maintain. Since the front-end and back-end are separate, developers need to have a good understanding of both to effectively build and maintain a headless website. Additionally, testing can be more difficult, as the front-end and back-end need to be tested separately.

Non-headless website architecture

Non-headless website architecture, also known as monolithic or traditional architecture, connects the front-end and back-end of a website, making them dependent on one another. In non-headless architecture, the front-end of the website is built using technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JS, while the back-end is built using technologies such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Java.

Non-headless architecture is more suited for smaller businesses and companies that do not require a high degree of flexibility and scalability in their website. Since the front-end and back-end are connected, a non-headless website might be easier to develop and maintain, and testing it might be simpler. However, non-headless architecture is less flexible and less scalable, making it less suitable for larger businesses.

The biggest advantage of the non-headless approach is simplicity. Developers only need to operate within one technology stack, allowing them to effectively build and maintain a website.

A big minus for non-headless sites is that it they are harder to work with when it comes to implementing changes. They’re notoriously inflexible and less scalable. Non-headless designs are also not as easily integrated with other systems and services.

Headless vs non-headless: what's better?

In conclusion, if you're torn between using headless and non-headless website architecture, you should consider your business' specific needs and goals, as well as its plans for the future. Monolithic websites had their time and place, and if the recent trends in web design continue, non-headless sites will be on track to become obsolete in the coming years. On the other hand, headless architecture offers greater opportunities to scale and adapt your website to the ever-changing market conditions, making it perfect for larger businesses and companies that often will also need to integrate their website with other systems and services. Even if you’re a small business or a start-up, it’s smart to get ahead of the curve and invest in a future-proof website that can serve you and your customers better.

At Adchitects, we're fueled by a passion for pushing the boundaries of innovation, and our track record speaks volumes. Countless companies have already partnered with us to transform their digital products and propel them into the future. Our extensive portfolio showcases a stunning array of modern headless websites.

By partnering with us, you'll harness the power of attracting more traffic, sparking countless clicks, and generating an abundance of valuable leads. So, don't wait any longer. Reach out to us now, and together, we'll craft your next extraordinary digital product that sets the bar for the industry.

Robert Krawczyk

Head of Development

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