Headless Architecture + AMP = Speed

Headless architecture is gaining traction as the model enables breakthrough user experiences, rapid deployment and scalability.

Photo by Farzad Nazifi

Headless architecture is the latest, trendy industry buzzword. But it earned that status honestly. Headless architecture brings a lot of value to content management development for the dizzyingly array of screens and platforms from desktops and mobile devices to smartwatches and even apps and IoT devices. In terms of easily connecting content to a wide range of devices and platforms, headless architecture is particularly valuable to e-commerce companies.

How popular is headless architecture? Kentico research from 2018 found 86% of respondents were positive about the idea of using headless architecture, and almost half cited flexibility and having one place for different content applications as motivating factors for using a headless approach.

Here’s a list of headless architecture benefits:

  • Platform independence
  • Code simplicity
  • Efficient personalization
  • Future proofing
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Deployment velocity
  • Agility and flexibility
  • Enhanced security
  • Scalability

With a headless backend, the frontend is freed up. Many service providers are agnostic to a preferred framework such as React, Angular or Vue. At WompMobile, we recommend AMP-as-a-Framework as the frontend for a number of reasons. The open-source framework was built for speed from the ground up, and since its release in 2016, AMP has become more robust, has the largest web-component library, and has grown beyond its original purpose of delivering mobile content for publishers to now include commerce, stories, digital ads, email, and more.

The AMP framework allows for personalization, analytics and integration with most third-party software, while retaining its performance-focused roots by setting guardrails that prevent degradation over time. And AMP integrates with an ever-growing list of platforms.

In short, AMP is versatile, omni-channel and guarantees speed.

CMS flexibility and seamless delivery

WompMobile stands out among headless architecture vendors because we aren’t a CMS. Instead, we are a bolt-on presentation layer. For our clients this means there’s no need to re-platform. When developing Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), you keep your CMS and attach a headless, friction-free frontend that’s powered by the AMP framework. The presentation and application layers are always cached and updated via web services or API calls to ensure dynamic and database-driven content is always delivered fresh.

To leverage reduced bandwidth – and allow for more flexibility and scalability – we use open REST (representational state transfer) APIs and we have built-in performance caching to store and cache common elements and pre-fetch assets in order to deliver instant, seamless page transitions.

We also provide an enterprise-grade, serverless delivery system that allows for scaling during high traffic periods. This approach offers reliability, while reducing infrastructure costs by offloading delivery to the cloud.

The value of multi-channel deployment

The core purpose of headless architecture is efficiently publishing dynamic content across any platform. For content creators, headless allows content to exist in its pure form, while the frontend experience – AMP and PWA in WompMobile’s case – effectively publishes that content to a wide variety of platforms and channels. Headless increases site speed by shifting display logic to the client side and AMP further ramps up that speed boost.

We commonly use headless architecture for a mobile-specific PWA, but the benefits provided by a decoupled frontend can be applied to desktop and tablet, along with every emerging device and platform. Headless architecture effectively future-proofs development by adding the freedom and velocity to deploy and iterate, while keeping up with emerging trends.