WordPress know-how firm WP Engine lately introduced new plans for Atlas, a framework for managing “headless” websites and functions. With the headless method, the WordPress software program is used strictly as an interface for content material writers and editors — it has been decoupled from the presentation (design) and publishing (construct and deployment). Headless know-how isn’t new, however in an interview with The New Stack, WP Engine co-founder and CTO Jason Cohen mentioned that almost all internet builders aren’t using it.

“Much of the incredible innovation in digital experiences today is coming from headless architectures,” he mentioned. “We found that many developers were excited about headless but didn’t know where to start. This announcement is a direct response to customer feedback, gaps in the market, and the internal innovation to make it possible.”

What Headless Technology Can Mean for Developers

By definition, headless know-how is storing, managing, and delivering quite a lot of content material on an internet site, however with out frontend supply. For internet builders, a headless method affords flexibility when constructing visible elements for backend information. In this on-line period, when you possibly can devour data on something from a cell machine to a fridge door, that is extremely priceless.

Without the frontend system in place to dictate how the content material is introduced and the place it’s hosted, internet builders are empowered to separate content material creation from the presentation and to construct and customise client-facing parts in their very own method.

The Internet of Things and the gadgets we use to entry it are continuously evolving. Smartphones, watches, and even computer systems are assured to see important UX design change within the subsequent 5 to 10 years. Adopting a headless answer might be seen as “future-proofing” for the reason that important backend is saved in place whereas the frontend might be thrown out and redone.

“Headless enables developers to uncouple the frontend and backend of a site,” mentioned Cohen, “so they can have the flexibility to build performant, dynamic user experiences. It enables developers to use modern frameworks and development tools apart from the core CMS, and take advantage of the fact that nearly all SaaS services nowadays have APIs.”

A New Way to Design

With numerous frameworks and templates obtainable for use within the WordPress ecosystem, new contenders need to carry one thing particular to the desk. Cohen claimed that Atlas’s two main differentiators are that it’s “a complete headless solution (offering a platform for both the CMS and the decoupled front-end) and it’s the most performant solution in the market.” He mentioned that “Atlas provides all of these pieces of a headless project, but already connected, from a single vendor, with one company to call for support and pricing.”

Because Atlas controls all of the layers, he continued, “it is the only headless solution where the frontend and backend work in harmony to deliver features that aren’t possible when other solutions are sold separately and not bundled together.”

As for Cohen’s declare that WP Engine is essentially the most performant headless answer, he says that is “because it leverages WP Engine’s existing CDN (which is the fastest among WordPress platforms according to Google’s Chrome Real User Experience report), and provides the fastest, most scalable content API between the frontend and WordPress, unlike any other solution.”

Faust.js and Blueprints

Contributing to the event neighborhood in an academic method is part of WP Engine’s values, in accordance with Cohen. Atlas was launched to the general public with Faust.js, a JavaScript framework geared in direction of frontend software constructing for headless WordPress web sites.

Additionally, Atlas comes with the selection of an Atlas Sandbox account, a free setting the place you possibly can study and play with all of Atlas’ options. Cohen commented, “Our sandbox accounts are a living example of the “give first, get later” rule. That is, we wish to genuinely assist folks develop into headless WordPress builders, so we offer a free sandbox account that doesn’t expire, with pre-made websites to get began with, and tons of instructional materials.”

Furthermore, Atlas affords “Blueprints”, that are extra complicated than the common WordPress template. Blueprints are React-based frontend web sites that include pre-installed plugins for headless WordPress publishing.

“Blueprints are complete, working, headless WordPress sites containing frontend code, data models, data, and plugins that are rapidly deployed, so developers can start learning how to put together their projects by looking at a working site,” mentioned Cohen. “They could use the Blueprint as a base for their project or just to learn and tinker. As we all know, it’s far easier to “edit” than to “write,” simpler to change one thing that’s working than to create one thing beginning with a clean sheet of paper (or an empty IDE).”


Headless gained’t change the standard WordPress CMS system any time quickly, however its utilization is ramping up. “The internet is an enormous space,” commented Cohen, “with room for many kinds of technology with a range of trade-offs. A traditional CMS will still be the right choice for millions of websites, as it is today, even if ten years from now there are also millions of headless sites.”

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