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Off With Your Head!

How to confidently build a Headless WordPress CMS

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Off With Your Head!

“Your insights blew my mind...every knot was opened and I am now using all those insights in the subsequent tasks. Thank you and Good Morning 🤗”

So you want a Headless CMS but which one to choose?

There are many options for a headless CMS and a lot of these options have a free tier. Manage your content in one system and consume it with the front-end framework of your choice.
Once your needs grow and you need more than a single user or data shaped in a particular way, these systems get expensive fast.

WordPress provides a flexible, powerful and open-source route to creating and maintaining your own headless CMS. It is often overlooked by "modern developers" but in this book we will explore it's potential.

What problems does Headless WordPress solve?

By using WordPress as a headless CMS, you get the best of both worlds:

A world-class backend system combined with a modern frontend.
A headless architecture is a decoupling of the content creation and the content presentation layers of web based content. There are a lot of paid solutions available (search for headless CMS if you don't believe me!) but none of them are perfect.

This shouldn't be surprising to us. Most general solutions to any problem do 80% of a job well, right?

The Pareto principle in action.

But, that last 20% is the kicker.

How easy is it to achieve that custom 20% with these platforms? 

For your particular use case, is there a content structure that would just make your life easier?
Or is there custom logic that would help your editors speed up their workflow?

Developers have been bending WordPress to their wills for decades. The plugin ecosystem is vibrant. There is a lively community of open source contributors sharing solutions.

As a WordPress developer, you are in charge of what your API looks like. You control how to present and structure your content. You get to help your editors as you build a robust and powerful editing experience.

You're not starting from scratch though. WordPress comes with a REST API when you start a new site. If you prefer GraphQL, then the wpgraphql plugin has you covered.

This book will show you exactly how you can build your own headless CMS with WordPress.

We will build the features provided by the paid alternatives and see why so many media and entertainment companies are still looking to this proven and tested solution to fulfill their content management needs.

About The Author

Hi, I'm Kevin, a developer and educator based in Brighton, England. I build high-fidelity digital prototypes at http://spin-up.io.

I am energised by helping developers level up which I do as an egghead instructor, on my website (http://kevincunningham.co.uk) and through various communities I am a part of.

Table of Contents

What's inside the book?

  • 1. Welcome to the book
    • 1.1. Key information about the book
    • 1.2. About the author
  • 2. Off with your head
    • 2.1. What is Headless?
    • 2.2. Why WordPress?
  • 3. Getting Started
    • 3.1. The structure of a WordPress app
    • 3.2. Developing locally
  • 4. A RESTful API
    • 4.1. REST APIs
    • 4.2. Exploring wp-json
    • 4.3. Multiple calls or extend the API?
    • 4.4. Custom Post Types
    • 4.5. Gutenberg Editor
    • 4.6. Advanced Custom Fields
  • 5. GraphQL
    • 5.1. GraphQL
    • 5.2. GraphiQL
    • 5.3. Posting graphQL queries through your API Client
    • 5.4. Adding custom post types
    • 5.5. Gutenberg blocks
    • 5.6. Advanced Custom Fields
    • 5.7. Nested calls
  • 6. Practical skills
    • 6.1. Practical skills
    • 6.2. Back-up, local development and deploying
    • 6.3. Hosting
    • 6.4. Dealing with comments
    • 6.5. Dealing with the media library
  • 7. Next Steps
    • 7.1. What's next?
    • 7.2. Gatsby
    • 7.3. Next.js
    • 7.4. Any other approach
    • 7.5. That's all folks!

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