Headless. Even the name sounds agonizingly painful. And if you know enough about the process – detaching the "head" (the presentation layer, such as a website) from the "body" (the backend functionality, such as the cart) – you know there is some pain involved. Don’t take our word for it.Just ask the dev department of any company currently migrating to headless.
Ok, migrating to headless can be a headache. But the benefits are well, definitely worth it. More personalized content. More consistent user experience. Faster cycle times so you can hit your revenue goals. So how can you make the move to headless but make it less hard? We actually created a guide to answer that! You can download it here: The 5 biggest pitfalls with a headless migration (and how to avoid them).
Let’s delve into the top two challenges now to learn how to avoid them.
1. Problem: Going headless is time consuming.
Migrating to a headless platform takes many companies years. (Yes, we said years.) Why? Headless implementations involve breaking the frontend of your site from the backend of your existing content management system (CMS). You then need to carve your backend into sub-pieces called microservices. On the frontend, you’ll need to recreate all of your storefronts and anything visible to your customer with the customization you want. And you won’t see benefits to your site performance until your migration is finished and the two parts are reconnected.
Working on the front end and back end at the same time definitely has its challenges. The work is expensive and time-consuming, often taking over your dev resources – not to mention your marketing and creative departments. While many companies focus a lot on resources for the backend, the frontend is equally important. After all, that’s what gets customers’ attention.
Solution: Here’s how to avoid the long wait:
Most organizations find it impossible to take on a headless migration with their IT department’s existing backlog of tickets. This means they can either add people to their dev team or add even more months to their already slow timeline.
There are two ways to boost your dev team. You can either scale up and hire specialized developers, either in-house or by adding freelance resources. Or, you can hire an external development agency. Just remember, whichever you choose, you need to think about backend resources and frontend resources. They need to work in parallel to reduce that painfully long timeline.
There is another approach to getting your website up to speed in a matter of days, not years. Pick a frontend system that doesn’t require time-consuming reformatting. There are frontend systems that require you to wait until your entire site is done before you can go live. And then there are dedicated frontend composition platforms that don’t require you to change the underlying code. This second option means you can change the entire frontend experience for your customers, without the need for a full migration. These types of frontend composition platforms help you get improved performance and flexibility quickly. These platforms are rapidly changing the game for ecommerce companies looking to go headless without all the headaches.
2. Problem: The amount of investments and changes you need to make is significant.
There’s a lot to consider when going headless. It can feel overwhelming. Especially since going headless isn’t just about one platform – you need to think more broadly. You should do a detailed and comprehensive audit of your current tech stack so you understand what you have now, what parts might be affected, and what you want to change or build for the future.
Solution: How to avoid missed considerations:
As you think about going headless, here are some questions to ask yourself:
What frustrates you most about your current site? This is the time to change it.
What functionality do you want to add? Are there any international considerations?
Think about the future and where you want to grow your business. Is your tech stack equipped to handle this?
What does your customer data show you? Where do your customers demand more speed, flexibility, or access? Any new customer touchpoints or channels you want to add?
Ready for some good news? We've been working with companies like yours to make this whole process easier. We’d love a chance to talk with you about how Creator Frontendcan help you skip the migration hassle and create immersive digital experiences without the need for any IT involvement. Visit CreatorByZMags.com to request a demo.