Headless PWA: Everything You Need To Know

Headless PWA_ Everything You Need to Know

Progressive Web Application has brought superb performance to online stores. And the introduction of rising headless e-commerce has helped PWA become even more unbeatable. Let’s grasp everything about headless PWA thoroughly by following this comprehensive article. 

What Is PWA?

headless pwa

Progressive Web Application, a.k.a PWA, is one of the latest technology combining website and mobile app functionality. PWA delivers an indistinguishable experience from native apps and allows enriched features that prioritize the mobile-first approach.

PWAs are reliable, fast, and engaging. In addition, they can be discovered by search engines and installed on the user’s home screen without going through an app store.

What Is The Headless PWA?

A headless PWA follows the decoupling approach in which the frontend is not connected to the backend. In this case, the app owner will benefit from less complex work and flexible development provided by PWA’s headless technology. They can change the site’s look without re-implementing the entire content in the system.

Headless PWAs collect data using an application programming interface (API). This advanced API promotes speed and flexibility by bridging a website’s decoupled frontend and backend.

A headless PWA is built using the same technologies as a traditional PWA but does not require a web server. This makes it more lightweight and efficient. It can be deployed as a static website or hosted on a headless CMS.

What Are The Difference Between PWA And Headless PWA?

1. Theme


With PWA, its theme is derived from the website’s template.

This inheritance makes it simple to extend themes while cutting down on maintenance work. E-commerce merchants can use the current theme as a starting point for adjustments or minor store design updates, such as seasonal displays.

Instead of duplicating enormous theme files to modify what you want, you can add overriding and extending files.

Headless PWA

Headless PWA does not support theme inheritance. Instead, when integrating a headless PWA into an e-commerce website, a new template will be applied. It may result in the disappearance of functions on the old website. 

Rather than starting with a base theme and customizing minor components, a developer puts together a storefront from scratch using different React modules. This method gives you more freedom and control over the storefront creation process.

2. App-like Performance


Though Progressive Web Applications bring a good feel of the app-like performance, its approach is not too close since it does not allow to recode the design/layout independently from the website.

Headless PWA

A headless PWA structure allows independent development between the front and backend. As a result, merchants can flexibly recode the storefront theme and make it more responsive like native apps.

In addition, a headless PWA can be deployed as a static website or hosted on a headless CMS. This approach makes it more lightweight and efficient, close to mobile apps. Headless PWA is an excellent option for businesses that want to deliver an app-like experience without needing a web server.

3. Customization


With PWAs, the admin can set the splash background and theme colors. In general, using PWA only does not allow broad customization.

Headless PWA

Following the on-trend architecture, headless PWA is the right choice for content customization. The admin side has more access to modify the splash background, theme color, text color, and button position.
As a result, headless PWA can be customized to match your company’s or product’s branding. This makes it more visually appealing and easier to use.

4. Technology


A PWA is built on core web technologies, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It allows responsive and app-like performance for websites. Critical components of PWA are web app manifest, service workers, data cache, and the application shell architecture. PWA is compatible with multiple browsers and devices to deliver smooth and responsive websites.

Headless PWA

The front of the headless PWA is built on ReactJS, an on-trend technology allowing flexible customization and a better user experience.

The information in headless commerce is updated in real-time and delivered instantly. Headless PWA has cloud features to execute and can integrate any function in the development process. The data fetch using API makes PWA headless more advanced.

Merchants can freely customize the frontend without harming the technical system. PWA is already one of the top websites and mobile app platforms, and adding the headless architecture would be an additional feather in its cap.

How Can Headless PWA Help Online Businesses?

The Latest Architecture

The headless CMS is the latest architecture that helps businesses build e-commerce platforms. This technology uses the decoupling structure and APIs, allowing merchants to develop frontend channels flexibly.

While “headless” implies that the architecture lacks a head, it actually refers to a “flexible head.” You have greater freedom and opportunity to evolve the customer experience with this independent architecture.

When the backend is separated from the frontend, it can help optimize the workload and minimize any risk in the development. If there are minor errors in the storefront, it may not affect the entire coding system.

With great benefits in mind, many famous brands are moving to headless PWA. Lancôme, West Elm, and Zadig & Voltaire are a few examples to name.

We have an entire article talking about examples of progressive web apps if you want to learn more.

Modern Technologies

To stay ahead in the dense competition, businesses need to take advantage of on-trend technologies. And headless PWA is among them. It is built on web technologies and ReactJS to enhance responsive and dynamic performance for online stores.

In particular, ReactJS is a javascript library for building user interfaces. It allows you to design flexible user interfaces. This technology allows a user-friendly interface and promotes SEO performance. In addition, ReactJS enables the reuse of components, which saves time in coding for developers.

And the headless architecture will move the work of rendering the UI to the client-side. The client will receive data from the server in JSON code through advanced APIs. This decreases the server’s processing load and the amount of data transmitted between the client and the server.

Users just reload the modified data rather than the complete page for the instant load. This method allows a web application to behave like a native app on mobile or desktop. Headless improves the power of web applications by improving performance and modularizing the architecture.

Broader Benefits

Headless PWA offers various benefits from both PWA and headless commerce.

PWA Benefits

Lightweight: PWA applications are much lighter in size than native. If the original web is up to 200MB in size, with the progressive web application, it only stops at KBs.

Single-code base: PWA does not require source code. One codebase can be used on multiple devices.

Easy installation: Instead of going to the application store to download and install the application on your device, now, with the PWA, users only need to open a website to experience it. This helps reduce the effort to reach customers effectively.

Time-saving: PWA enables enormous time savings on development and release. The silent update approach allows smooth and fast speed performance. Users do not need to download updates from the app store, a notification will appear, and they only need to refresh the page.

Push notification: Merchants can use PWA to send unlimited messages to users instead of paying for a third-party push notification service. It helps save time and money and enhances better engagement between merchants and customers.

Offline mode: This is one of PWA’s powerful functions. Users can process even under low or zero Internet connection.

Headless Structure Benefits

Optimize the site speed

When using a headless structure, the backend and frontend will not be considered a single system but a repository of separate information. The frontend will only get information from the backend when necessary.

Thanks to this feature, the information users need to download will be significantly reduced, and the web pages will also become faster. The increase in web speed will result in a better user experience, contributing to increased conversion rates for e-commerce websites.

Web speed will also help improve the friendliness of the website on search engines like Google and Bing (SEO – search engine optimization). From there, users can find the website address more quickly.

Faster development

With the independent approach in the headless structure, programmers can reduce a significant amount of time when they only need to work on either side. As a result, the feature will quickly be put into practice without hindering business operations or other backend features.

Promote personalized experience

Business owners can control the whole user experience across different device platforms in a headless architectural environment without disrupting the systems.

Furthermore, based on user data, business owners can swiftly capture the customer’s journey and adapt adverts, consequently providing buy recommendations and establishing promotional strategies. Customers’ requirements and consumption habits are taken into account.

Cost-efficiency in the long term

Running a Headless Commerce platform is much more expensive than a traditional e-commerce website. However, in the long term, a business using traditional e-commerce websites will have to cope with many potential problems such as:

  • The cost of operating and upgrading the old system is relatively high
  • The old system, after being upgraded and improved, still has a slow loading speed

However, when switching to work with the new system, business owners can quickly expand, shrink, or retain customers. In addition, businesses will save a lot of money for future sales and marketing campaigns but still attract customers to visit their online stores.

Why Should Integrate Headless PWA Into Magento?

develop a magento pwa

It is time to consider integrating headless PWA if you are using an old Magento with a monolithic structure.

A Seamless Experience

With headless PWA, your Magento website will load 3-5 times faster than usual. As a result, customers can enjoy the quick search, product views, and checkout process. In addition, with offline mode and push notification, headless PWA enriches customer engagement with your online store.

You can send personalized messages or discounts at any time. Even when the Internet connection is down, users can still get the notice once they are back online. All data will be cached in the background without any interruption.

One more benefit of headless PWA is that users can instantly “add to home screen” on any browser. They do not need to take complicated steps to download from app stores like native apps. This approach is ideal for reaching broader traffic of mobile users.

Better SEO Rank

With a seamless user experience (one of the critical SEO factors), headless PWA can help your Magento site rank higher on search engines. Besides that, headless PWA prioritizes a mobile-first approach with responsive design and features. It also contributes to a higher SEO ranking since Google considers mobile-friendliness an important element.

Flexible Development

The old monolithic structure of Magento may necessitate a significant workload and time investment. Because the frontend and backend are tightly connected, any adjustment on one side might affect the other. As a result, developers need to work on both sides, even for small updates.

With the decoupling approach in headless PWA, Magento merchants can freely work on separated sides. If you want to change the look of the PWA storefront, you can develop it on multiple channels and then connect with the back end via APIs.

A headless PWA can also significantly shorten the time it takes to launch. You can minimize testing when selecting integrations that work with your backend systems. There won’t be numerous “go-live” attempts over many months.

How To Integrate Headless PWA Into Magento?

With a fast, reliable, and engaging user experience, you may want to integrate a headless PWA into your Magento site. The work of developing headless PWA demands a professional and tech-savvy approach. If not, its integration into your Magento website might not be successful. Let Tigren help you for a smooth integration.

With over 5 years of experience, our team has flourishingly delivered high-quality PWA work. We offer pre-made and customized PWA solutions using on-trend technologies.

You can find a wide range of solutions on our website, including PWA design, customed PWA development, PWA optimization, PWA migration, and PWA maintenance & support. Our mindset focuses on aesthetic design, cost-efficiency, and high-converting outcomes. As a result, we have been trusted by famous brands, such as Shop Eddies, Truclothing, BOONTHAVORN, etc.

Seeking a headless PWA developer? Look no further. Leave a comment below or contact us directly at [email protected].

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