NextJS and Headless WordPress - The Next Big Thing in Website Development World

Everyone knows about WordPress, the most frequently used CMS and I’m positive you must have experienced the WordPress admin panel once in your lifetime. WordPress is the most standardized open-source content management system (CMS) offering a complete Website development process within one platform. 

What is WordPress comfort? Have you ever wondered why developers and content writers like WordPress? Content writers just like the indisputable fact that it allows you to specialize in your writing. Developers like its extensibility and freedom for what you would like to try to do with it.

With the extensive increase in the introduction of new front-end technologies, the traditional CMS and ancient web development approaches have been limited. Plugins usually add plenty of modern features and add to your website you’re restricted by what the theming system and your plugins will offer you. 

This is often why “headless WordPress CMS” has become all the craze. Unlike a standard monolithic CMS, a headless CMS separates the presentation layer from the backend by making it as a backend only. The headless WordPress acts as a dashboard for managing content, served through REST API.

Why NextJS

Next.js is the modern framework for frontend development giving you the best developer experience with all the modern web development features you need for creating a hybrid or a static website by using it as a static site generator or server rendering with typeScript support, route pre-fetching, smart bundling, and more without the hassle of configuration and integration issues with headless CMS. 

NextJS Website Architecture

By using NextJS as a frontend using modern JavaScript frameworks for added features and reusable components options, you can rely on headless WordPress as a backend. One important thing about NextJS is it is based on the concept of server-side rendering, rather than Gatsby JS that is based on the concept of client-side rendering. One concept reveals that it can’t be considered exactly as Jamstack technology which supports client-side rendering. It can be considered as a hybrid approach whereas NextJS is also used as a static site generator for the Jamstack architecture approach. 

The Next.js website gets the content from a headless WordPress instance using APIs. Hee is where you can witness the flexibility of WordPress, wherein it gets integrated with any static site generator or JavaScript framework for developing the frontend. Making it decoupled using microservices rather than traditionally using it as monolithic. 

While designing a headless website, WordPress uses the REST API that any platform or framework will be able to fetch content from. Here since we are using NextJS as a frontend we have the freedom of designing and adding modern web development features using the latest technology and development approach. 

The complete setup is predicated on headless WordPress engineered making it a backend-only CMS or database for your website. It includes plugins, and even a fully-working Next.js frontend to kickstart your website. It also includes tools to change most of your enhancements and target code making it highly scalable and secure.

NextJS - Frontend 

Every developer loves JavaScript and more importantly eager to work on modern frameworks like React and Next. NextJS is famous for creating single-page web applications. There are several reasons why people love to use NextJS for frontend and developing modern websites. 

  • Image optimization performed automatically
  • In-built Analytics giving a lighthouse score
  • Auto compiling and bundling with zero config 
  • The hybrid approach, pre-rendering of pages at the request time as well as build time
  • Live editing and reliably fast refresh 
  • Pages become route in directory following the file-system rule
  • Facilitated with the API endpoints
  • Component level styling
  • Availability of preview mode

NextJS as a Static Site Generator

You might be wondering, what is the difference?

In simple words, In Client-side rendering, the browser downloads the HTML page, and content is filled using javascript. While in server-side rendering, content is generated on the server, and browser downloads page with HTML content and updates are handled by the browser. 

When you are using client-side rendering, you require Googlebot to crawl features for SEO, helping the website to perform well on the clients’ browser making it available for Google to rank higher in web vitals. 

Prerendering is the service of storing the cached versions of the pages making it load faster and perform efficiently in terms of SEO keeping the code clean and simple. 

NextJS as Server-Side Rendering 

Server-side rendering improves the performance but response takes a little longer and HTML file size also increases. This makes the client-side rendering more effective and impactful.  

A website needs to perform on google with a good SEO strategy implemented and higher scoring on google web vitals. This asks for extra resources for the server but as far as the performance of the website is concerned, it is exceptionally good. 

Headless WordPress - Backend

Using headless WordPress as a preferred mode of backend only CMS for the NextJS website is the easiest approach wherein WordPress is open source and you can easily connect features and frontends created in modern JavaScript framework using the REST APIs. 

This freedom of using headless WordPress gives an edge to the content writers as they are very comfortable in using the admin panel for content management. Similarly, backend developers need to work on APIs connection and content is self-managed. 

WordPress is here to stay with its flexibility with all the frameworks making it a more convenient platform than any other headless CMS. Its functionality of using plugins and embedding APIs makes it open to modern stack web development approaches. 

API based connection with NextJS

When you are using NextJS to frontend your web pages we build an independent page in the directory as a default function. The same is the case with creating a post. The frontend fetches the page content using the APIs that are relying on the headless WordPress backend.

NextJS calls the website content by limiting the Post method and using JSON parse in the route that sends requests to headless WordPress. 

NextJS Website Hosting

NextJS is powered by vercel, so the best choice for hosting a NextJS website is Vercel, it works faster and more efficiently. However, Netlify is also popular for hosting Jamstack based websites and web applications. 

The process of deployment in both cases is using Git repository, wherein the website project is uploaded and transformed into out that is production-ready by using the build step in the content delivery network ( CDN). 

CDNs like Vercel and Netlify are an efficient approach for hosting as they are focused on the end-user performance of the website and the web application. This encourages the front-end teams to perform will freedom and efficiency in designing and developing the application. 


Gatsby has been famous for being the best static site generator because of its freedom of design and integration with headless CMSs. Gatsby cloud was introduced to host the Gatsby websites. While there have been some limitations in development. 

NextJS gives more freedom by offering services as SSG as well as server-side rendering, wherein the option of matching the Jamstack approach and modern website development approach can be meet using NextJS. 

From a user’s point of view, your website is efficient and effective with;

  • 10x speed of website with the page load time of fewer than 3 seconds on any browser the user is using.
  • Highly secure with the decoupled approach and use of APIs layer for data fetching
  • Scalable with the reusable components
  • Serviceable with the use of CDNs for hosting. 


  • Next WordPress themes

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