Headless CMS is becoming popular because it offers companies a fast and efficient way to manage their online content. However, just like we once had many poorly-made Flash websites, there are now many low-quality headless sites. These new sites have similar problems as those old Flash sites. So, before deciding to go headless, it's essential to understand what it really means and what you're taking on.

Understanding Headless Websites

A headless website operates using a headless Content Management System (CMS). In this framework, the "head" (user-facing frontend) is separated from the "body" (backend content management).

Why It's a Critical Decision

One major implication of adopting a headless architecture is the detachment from the web's innate backward compatibility. The web has long been characterized by its ability to support older HTML standards. Websites built a decade or two ago might look archaic, but they're still functional and, in many cases, remarkably fast.

Risks of Outdated Code

Transitioning to a headless approach implies discarding the web's backward compatibility. This is mainly because these setups rely on JavaScript libraries to produce HTML. Given the rapid evolution of such frameworks, they often become obsolete within a few years of their introduction. Even widely adopted frameworks like Angular or React have undergone substantial changes in recent times. This evolution may necessitate complete rewrites of applications. Failure to keep up could lead to system failures or security vulnerabilities. Over time, the upkeep cost of these applications may surpass that of traditional websites. However, with strategic planning, components can be reused across systems, integrating them seamlessly with design schemas.

Common Pitfalls: Inexperienced Developers and Managers

A significant challenge with headless solutions is the frequent oversight of fundamental web principles. Essential elements like URLs, page titles, and meta data are often overlooked in headless development. This oversight can hinder search engine indexing and complicate or nullify tracking mechanisms.

Making the Leap to Headless

Shifting to a headless model shouldn't be a hasty decision made by a lone developer or project manager. It needs to be a well-thought-out organizational strategy. While initial phases might see a rise in expenses, the long-term goal should be to build a responsive and adaptive organizational capability.

Pros and Cons of Going Headless


  • Flexibility in Design: Designers can work without traditional CMS constraints.
  • Omnichannel Publishing: Distribute content effortlessly across diverse platforms.
  • Performance and Speed: Potential for faster, more efficient websites.
  • Scalability: Easier infrastructure scalability.
  • Security: Reduced vulnerability points.
  • Future-Proofing: Enables modular technological evolution.
  • Developer-Friendly: Use preferred tools and languages.


  • Learning Curve: Adapting to new systems can be challenging.
  • Higher Costs: Potential for increased developmental and maintenance costs.
  • Complexity: Integrating multiple systems can be intricate.
  • Limited Built-in Features: Miss out on conventional CMS perks.
  • Dependency on Developers: Modifications might require specialized interventions.
  • SEO Challenges: Potential hurdles if not set up correctly.
  • Migration Effort: Transitioning can be arduous, especially for extensive websites.

Ultimately, the choice to go headless hinges on the specific objectives, competencies, and long-range plans of the organization or individual.


Embracing a headless website approach offers both advantages and challenges. While it promises flexibility and modern distribution methods, it also necessitates a departure from the web's backward compatibility and incurs potential costs. Organizations must weigh these factors and align their choice with both their immediate requirements and long-term vision. Making a well-informed decision is paramount to ensuring lasting digital success.

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