Headless Technology Dictionary: All Must-read Definitions In 5 Minutes

Headless Technology Dictionary

There’s a lot of confusing specialized language around the topic of headless technology; that’s a fact. Their complexity can sometimes be daunting for non-technical business owners. Understanding this headache, we have built a headless technology dictionary to provide you with definitions of commonly used terms.

Headless Technology: 10 Most Common Terms

Since headless e-commerce is a new technology, it has numerous confusing technical terms. We will only list the top 10 essential terms in this article.

Headless Technology

Headless technology is one of the most critical terms to understand before upgrading your online business. Researchers also believe that this technic may change the future of e-commerce.

This term refers to a technical structure that can host, manage and distribute content in its supporting layers without a defined customer interface. 

Currently, the decoupled structure of this technology is commonly seen in headless websites. However, it has appeared long before in headless computers and headless software.

For the website’s headless tech, it needs to have a fixed backend. The frontend can be customized with more flexibility. Although this structure may sound absurd, the benefit it brings is highly potential and practical.

headless architecture

Headless Backend

Backend and frontend are two indispensable elements of a website. Usually, in traditional websites, they are integrated.

The backend contains the code and management features. It stores most of the website’s syntax and operational data are stored. Therefore, it is a premise to run the website. In addition to the usual backend call, many people refer to it as the data or hardware access layer.

Backend building is the most complicated part of website development. It takes up to 85% of the web building time. However, thanks to the structure of the headless site, developers can focus all their energy on the backend. As a result, development time and effort will reduce significantly.

Headless UI

headless ui

Headless UI is another way of calling the frontend. It contains what the user will see and interact with on the sites. Since UI is a web interface, the way it is designed and programmed is responsible for the functionality of your online store. For traditional websites, the backend will usually handle the functionality and data to determine the formation of the frontend.

The nature of the headless backend and frontend is similar. However, they are not directly connected. Therefore, changes in the supporting layer will certainly not affect the visible layer.

Headless Architecture

This is a noun used by developers to describe the structure of a headless website.

Unlike the traditional website’s block structure, the headless architecture follows a decoupled model. So the backend and frontend of this site are not directly linked. They are attached through a type of technological bridge called an API.

Headless API

headless api

An API connects a headless website’s presentation and support layers.

Imagine these two components as two islands that have nothing to do with each other. We will need a bridge to route the data on these two islands back and forth. And the API is that bridge.

For a more technical explanation, an API is an interface provided by applications or computer systems. Thanks to it, different computer programs can make requests and exchange data.

Headless Integration

Headless integration is a different way of calling headless technology. In other words, this term also refers to a solution that allows the backend of your website, software, etc., to store, manage and deliver content even though there is no connection to the frontend.

Headless Website 

Traditional websites have tightly integrated backend and frontend. They need to work on the same codebase and interact directly, creating a complete website.

For headless websites, it works according to the structure of headless technology. This means there is no head-end, and the frontend is an independent part that connects to the backend via an API.

These two layers work entirely separately and can be built on different servers. However, they can optionally connect to a custom web page through the API.

Headless websites are the latest form of headless technology.

One of the most common applications of headless websites is headless progressive web apps, in which the PWA storefront is connected with the website backend via APIs.


Headless Commerce

Headless commerce is a term that was first coined in 2013.

This is a noun that refers to an e-commerce architecture that follows the loose structure of headless technology. Specifically, the head layer will be separated from the supporting layer. Operations on these layers will not interact with each other.

Thus developers can update or edit the backend without interfering with the user interface and vice versa. 

Headless CMS

headless cms

Headless CMS or headless content management system is a system that helps manage content without a frontend. Its function is to store your content in the cloud. 

Unlike regular CMS, the content you prepare in the backend will not be forced to deliver on the presentation file. As a result, you can provide the contents more flexibly, conveniently, and planned. You decide which content is suitable for which situation, then customize your frontend with the available content.

Headless Software

Like headless websites, headless software is a term for software capable of operating on user devices even though there is no defined graphical interface.

Such software usually works on taking inputs and providing outputs through interfaces such as a network or a serial port.

Why Should Brands Switch To Headless Technology?

More personal experience for customers

With the fantastic flexibility of the discrete structure, the website’s interface is no longer limited to a single style like in the past. In contrast, the presentation layer and contents can be freely edited without worrying about backend impact.

Moreover, with the help of powerful extensions such as headless CMS, it also makes the content distributing process on the website more accessible, more convenient, and more personalized.


You can work on the backend or frontend separately, thanks to the headless architecture. You can easily upgrade, maintain, and expand your online store at any time. This process will not affect the website’s performance. No significant problems will appear.

Bottom Line

Since headless technology is a relatively new and unique technology form in the eCommerce market, many technical jargons relate to it. However, these terms mainly revolve around the unique structure of this tech. 

We have explained the most commonly used terms to help you better understand headless eCommerce. Thanks for reading!

If you are seeking a reliable headless website development agency, don’t hesitate to reach out to us ([email protected]). Your website will be in the best hand with us!

ecommerce development company

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