26th January 2023

What Is a Headless Website and Why Should You Consider One?

Holly Hill

With the average website reaching their end of life after just 2 years, 7 months, websites built as recent as 2019 are now being rebuilt to be more secure, reliable, and fast. Key to user experience, conversions, and SEO performance, these features can be attained through a headless website solution.

But what exactly is a headless website, and why should you consider one for your business? Let’s take a look at the concept of headless websites and how they can benefit your long term commercial goals.

What is a Headless CMS Platform or Headless Ecommerce Website?

A headless website refers to a site architecture where the front-end of a website (the ‘head’ or what is visually displayed on the site) is separated from the backend (the ‘body’). With a traditional CMS , the front-end code (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) is tightly coupled with the back-end code (PHP, Ruby on Rails, or some other server-side language). With headless websites, however, this coupling is removed, and it is this separation of content and presentation layer that results in content as data that can be consumed by mobile apps, multiple websites, wearables, kiosks, and devices.

Here is a visual to explain how headless CMS architecture works:

The Benefits of a Headless Content Management System

On the technical side of things, a headless website or headless CMS gives developers more flexibility when building their sites. Because the front and back ends are decoupled, developers can use multiple different technologies for each end. This allows them to create dynamic experiences that are tailored to the needs of their users. For example, if a developer wants to create an interactive video game experience on their site, they can do so without having to worry about how it will integrate with their existing back-end code. Additionally, because there isn't as much coupling between the two parts of the site, changes made in one part won't affect the other part as much. This means that updates can be made quickly without worrying about breaking something else in the process.

For business owners, there are also several significant benefits of investing in a headless website solution. Whether it's a headless ecommerce website or headless content management system for service-based or lead generation sites like legal and recruitment, these are some of the perks you can look forward to:

  • Speed & Performance

Search engines look at speed as a trust signal when deciding what content to display to end users. A fast website can help with your overall performance and can also help encourage conversions, be it sales or inquiries.

  • Security and Stability

An incredibly important consideration for any business - but particularly those with websites storing sensitive user information - is security. A headless CMS offers added security for your business and end users.

  • Flexibility

As mentioned above, headless architecture allows developers to decouple the front and back end of a website, meaning less chances of one part of the site affecting the other should you wish to change the look and feel.

  • Content housed separately to design

Unlike a traditional website, the content in a headless website is stored in a structured database which is separate to the front end of your site. This means that when you eventually change the design of your website, no migration is needed. The data can simply move between designs. 

  • Extra freedom

The beauty of headless websites is that you're not tied to a propritary code base - you have the flexibility to use open source systems which can reduce your cost. Whether you change agencies or developers, the headache of hard-coded websites that cannot be easily changed, migrated, or changed is virtually gone.

How headless content management systems benefit end users

Better for your development team and your business, a headless commerce platform or headless CMS will also benefit those visiting your site and considering your products and services. Here are just a few of the benefits your site visitors can look forward to:

  • Improved load speed
  • Data security
  • Better, more tailored designs and outputs that end users love
  • Optimised experience on a variety of devices

Essentially, headless allows you to offer dynamic websites with functional elements that end users will love to use. A strong website is a key part of your digital presence - data tells us that positive digital experiences can really impact overall performance and how engaged a user will be with your website and brand:

Google reported that just a one-second delay in load time will decrease visitors’ satisfaction by 16%, and 79% of those users will not buy your product or service if they aren’t satisfied by your overall website performance.


Are you ready to embrace headless technology?

Here at I-COM, we've been busing headless for several years to build powerful, super fast websites for clients in a multitude of sectors. A headless system allows for a strong user experience on mobile devices, improves conversion rates, helps with search engine visibility and rankings, all the while making the process of managing content and web pages far easier.

A strong headless development approach will take in the needs and requirements of your business and end users, giving you a completely tailored result that ticks every box. Our headless web development team is highly experienced in delivering these projects, ensuring clients feel the many benefits of a decoupled CMS from the day the site is set live and beyond.

For more information about how a headless approach can help your business, get in touch by calling 0161 402 3170 or filling in our contact form.