188 – Headless v’s not headless

Debate with Nathan Wrigley and David Waumsley

Setting up the Debate

This topic was suggested by Fayaz Ahmed. He probably never thought that foolish non-developers like us would even try to tackle a weighty topic like this… but why not!

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We guess most who listen to the WP Builds podcast are similar to us and more knowledgeable folk can put us right if we stray too far from the truth!

A Headless WordPress is, in simple terms, when you separate the back-end of WordPress (the admin dashboard side, the PHP and database stuff) from the front-end (the website visitors see). 

This is something that has only taken off because the REST API was bundled into WordPress.

Nathan is going to take the argument for headless as he has some experience (using Strattic hosting) and David will be the luddite who is keen to dismiss anything new which he does not fully understand.

So with that in mind, what are the main points in favour of headless and not headless…

Headless – Nathan

  • It could be the future – one day there could be a headless Woocommerce – maybe if all wish hard enough
  • Multi-channel content publishing – through the REST API  being able  to send content/data to other places (Facebook and others)
  • Simpler redesigns – no need to copy the existing site
  • Increased performance 
  • Better scalability
  • Tighter security
  • Better performance 
  • Can have mixed developer skills (Angular, Python, Laravel ) working one project
  • Technically the front end can be moved to another CMS

Not Headless – David

  • Only horseman of the apocalypse should be headless!
  • Advanced programing need and skilled maintenance
  • Speed – we can just serve html via caching plugins 
  • Security- minimal issue if update monitoring and choosing plugins wisely
  • Isn’t it security through obscurity as the backend is somewhere? (no says Nathan, the backend is completely switched off when not in use)
  • If it’s just for the purpose of having a html site why not build a html site?
  • If it is because you are a clever JS developer – why use WordPress in the first place
  • Not many plugins work with this set up – forms, WooCommerce all the good stuff of WordPress
  • The plugins on the WP repository to help you go headless don’t have high number of installs, so are they reliable?
  • The cost of static site generators will probably rule it out for many clients

Some useful links which informed the debate:

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Links to static hosting companies:




WP2Static – plugin

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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the WP podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Welcome your host, David Waumsle and Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. Once again, this is episode number 188 entitled headless versus not headless. It was published on Thursday, the 16th of July, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley and a few bits of housekeeping. Before we begin, please head over to WP Builds.com over there.
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You never know you might learn something. I certainly am. Okay. This week, we are talking about headless versus not headless. It's a debate with David Waumsley and I, so there seems to be a growing trend at the moment, to take our sites to some kind of headless technology, some kind of static technology.
The idea being you are able to serve up a static flattened HTML file. There's a variety of different hosting companies that do this. But it's all fraught with problems. It might be a difficult thing to implement on your own. There might be inconveniences, plugins, don't work. Certain things don't work as you've expected, but then there's also upsides.
It might be faster. It might be more secure. So we debate that today. I hope you enjoy it. Hello
David Waumsley: today, we are debating the headless WordPress versus not headless. So this topic was suggested by Fayez Ahmed. Who's a good friend of ours in our WordPress group, and I probably thought. That we wouldn't be foolish to take on this topic because both of us are non-developers and this is a fairly weighty topic, but anyway, we figured why not?
Because I guess most people are similar to us. And this is in fact, I would say to you Nathan earlier, didn't I, every time this has mentioned, I have to look up what we're talking about. When people say headless WP, It's still one of those kinds of new concepts.
Nathan Wrigley: Yes. I suspect that we will demonstrate ignorance in abundance during this episode, because although I think we've got a handle on aspects of it.
Um, I would imagine there's people in our community who will be yelling at us. No, no, that's not what it means. Um, but I suppose it's fair enough. You know, I think a lot of the people in our community will have an, an equal level of understanding of it because it's just not something you normally stray into thinking it's pretty much a tinfoil episode, you know, a propeller, a propeller head episode.
And, um, and so we'll do what we can we'll make mistakes along the way. I'm sure. And like I said, reveal ignorance, but that's probably widespread ignorance as well. So the caveats MTL that's, what's gonna happen. Yes. And
David Waumsley: it's something particularly new because it's taken off only because we have the rest API now in bundled into WordPress itself.
So I suppose we'd better explain exactly what it is. So I've got little. Things I would have written down because we wouldn't remember there's. So headless WordPress is in simple terms when you separate the backend of WordPress. So the admin dashboard side, the PHP and the database stuff from the front end, the website that the.
Visitors see, sometimes it's called decoupling. So that's kind of the basic overview of what this is, whether it's a good idea, Nathan, you're going to take the argument for headless on you.
Nathan Wrigley: Yes. I think I will. I'm going to, I'm going to go to that side because I do actually think there are honestly some benefits.
Um, but I equally think that you you've got a very, very easy win today. I think it's going to be difficult to persuade many of us to go over to the headless side. Um, just because of the wealth, the things that you're about to demolish me with, but I must say at the outset, there's going to be a significant amount of people as well, for whom this will be absolutely perfect.
And we'll probably tease out who those people might be in the next 40 minutes or so.
David Waumsley: Yeah. So going, give us the name reason why we should even consider this.
Nathan Wrigley: Well, the first thing to say is just to sort of add some clarity to, to my understanding of it. And I'm going to be talking about hosting over the next few minutes.
I'm going to be talking about a new brand of hosting company. That's come along that allow this to happen. Um, so. There are a few companies out there. Most notably companies like static. We've had Miriam on the news on several occasions and she's talked about it to us. And there are other companies like Hardy press and get shifter as well.
And they've got this really interesting angle in that they, they. Are able to serve up WordPress websites really quickly. That is to say the page load time is very, very fast indeed. And also they, they offer the benefit of increased security. And I think those are the main thrusts of these, uh, headless static hosting companies to security.
And the speed and the way that they do that is that when you log in to your WordPress website, it's a much more difficult process. So what you have to do is, and I'm going to use static as an example here, because I've used this platform. Um, you log into static and once you've logged into static, all of your websites are shown in their dashboard.
You then click on the website that you'd like to interact with. And then you have to wait a moment or two typically like. 10, 15, 20 seconds. Something like that. And what's happening is they're actually. They're actually creating a virtual private server with that website on it. In other words, WordPress, until you logged in and click that button, it just didn't exist.
It wasn't on the internet, even though your website was, which is fairly strange. And you wait a few seconds. You can then interact with WordPress in the normal way, on this little VPs. And when you've made all of your changes and updated your posts and what have you, you then have to not log out of WordPress.
You have to actually click a button. And what happens is the, their, their platform goes out and. A bit like Google bots, it searches the internet, their platform goes and searches your website and follows all the links and finds out what all the pages are and what have you. Then once it's found all of those, it makes a flat copy of that website.
That is to say it just keeps the HTML, presumably all the resources, the images and JavaScript and CSS and whatever else. And then it shuts WordPress down. So. The, the, the idea is that when you then search for your website or you browse your website, it's, it's serving up a flat HTML file. And you can imagine how quick that is.
There's no queries, you know, it doesn't have to do anything with the database. It's, everything is dumb. And I can honestly say without hesitation that they are really fast. Um, these websites load in the exact same amount of time, it takes to, to transfer that data across the, across the wire. So they are really quick and you can really see it.
You know, you, you go to, in my case, I've interacted with the big orange heart websites because they use static for hosting and. And you, you just navigate on the menu and it's like, you click the button, bam, the pages, there you go to another page. Bam. It's there, you know, it's really quick. Um, and because WordPress simply is not switched on, you know, the WordPress website just doesn't even exist whilst you, whilst it's not.
I'm active on the static hosting platform. There's no, there's no opportunity for hackers to do naughty stuff. Cause there is no PHP backend running. There is no ability for them to sort of, you know, let's, let's see if we can find a nifty way I'm talking about hackers now. Let's see if we can find a clever ruse to inject some dodgy stuff into your website and take over your website.
It just can't be done. So. That was a long ramble. I apologize. But the primary benefit, I think is speed and security. And, you know, I don't care what you say. You cannot, you just can't do it faster or you can't do it more securely. I just can't see a way of making that argument, uh, upside down, you know, it just that it wins on that front.
But he is, I
David Waumsley: guess when I first heard about this, I thought, well, largely I'm serving up HTML anyway, through caching plugins. I know it's not going to be as fast, but I wonder because there's a cost to many of these services, which are greater than the, the kind of things that I would pay for my regular hosting or services that I just think.
Is that speed enough for me? And do I have enough security issues? So, you know, it doesn't take too much as if you've, you've got a system to update your plugins regularly, monitor those and you choose your plugins. Well, choose good hosting security is so rarely a problem for most of us looking after kind of average kind of clients.
I can see why you might need this.
Nathan Wrigley: Because
David Waumsley: every second world count. If you've got a big player in security, if you've really got a big client, probably would justify the costs, but otherwise. I struggle.
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I'm totally with you. I mean, although we hear horrific stories about people's websites being exploited and you know, when, uh, when a major plugin suddenly has a very serious vulnerability, we all run around like headless chickens and, and, uh, get ourselves fixed up.
But you're right. It, you know, although security is a concern. I'm just not really having experience with that too much, because I like you, you know, I choose my pod plugins fairly wisely and I update them habitually, you know, at least once a day, possibly more. And, and you're right. You know, I think. I think it's interesting that the problem is though, is those moments where we do run around like headless chickens.
You know, I'm sure that you, you and I can both remember it moments in the last 12 months where you did read something in a Facebook group or an email came through and you thought, darn right. Put everything down, go and update. Well, you know, maybe in the time it took you to read that email, somebody got in.
And it's possible, right. Whereas with these platforms that's completely removed. So it's a bit like insurance, right? You just, there is no vector for hacking your website or at least I can't think of one. Maybe there is some tiny possibility that there is a hack that could be performed on these platforms, but it's the, the, the attack vector is massively reduced.
So you're right. If you choose your plugins carefully. And you update fine. But what about all these people who don't, who then mean that the rest of us are getting spammed with email all the time, because somebody didn't bother to secure their website.
David Waumsley: Yeah, exactly. Well, I, my Trump card, and this is always going to be particularly with WordPress.
I mean, I think what's made WordPress so popular is all of its plugins and, and this isn't going to help you any longer if you're decoupled from that PHP, your WooCommerce, your forms. Although those plugins that we love from WordPress, they're gone. Aren't they.
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. I mean, let's, let's be clear, I suppose, most plugins perform a function to output some flat HTML anyway.
Right. You know, they there's, there's quite a lot of plugins that, that just. Pushed off onto the page, you know, it might be, I don't know, um, the, the way that a particular aspect of your site looks, but you're right. When you come to things like, uh, forms and let's say searching and filtering those kinds of plugins, which are constantly going back to the database and saying, okay, Just show me blue cars, just show me red cars.
That kind of stuff is as far as I'm aware, not possible. Now I know that a few of these platforms have endeavored to get things like gravity forms and contact form seven. Working. And I don't quite understand how they do that, but they've managed to do it, but you're right. If you've got interactivity. So for example, WooCommerce, and you know, any forms plugin you might like, because there is no PHP running because the database is not there to be queried.
All of that stuff falls down. So there are definite use cases. And I would say that sites with. Static content. Um, yeah. Uh, perfect. But yeah, if you need to, I suppose people like, um, static and Hardy press and get shifted would come back and simply say, well, just use a, just use a hosted solution for your forms.
Go and go and pay for a forms platform, which is, you know, secure and online. And that's what they do. And then embed the form on your website. And that will work. And that's, that's true. There are ways around it.
David Waumsley: Yeah, but it does, you know, for me, because it is a lot of the dynamic content that you get with WordPress, which brings you into WordPress as opposed to creating a HTML site, you know?
And, and I think you're losing that. So that's the bit I would struggle with. Although I think I probably understand the fact that the way that you use it, you're used to WordPress as the end user. That's your way of getting the data out there and that takes care of it. The security and the speed. I can see the benefits for sure
Nathan Wrigley: on that.
Yeah. There clearly are benefits, but I'm sure you're about to, um, to list a whole bunch of things which are inconvenient. Shall we say with this
David Waumsley: setup? Yeah, but maybe, I mean, one thing we haven't covered actually, because we are talking about kind of one use of it, where did this, the kind of site generator type use of it?
I think the people, you know, we're doing headless. WP versus headless. I think so many people are excited if there are developers that, that you can decouple.
Nathan Wrigley: So
David Waumsley: those benefits that because they can work with whatever kind of language that they want to in teams of developers, separate to the backend. So the client can be using the backend, the backend put into the data, but those front end developers on larger projects can work with other languages and manipulate.
Delete that data send it wherever they want. So we're missing that a bit of the argument out, cause it's completely out of our capability, isn't it?
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. I mean, it's good to get to mention it though, right? The fact that WordPress can be used in that way, you know, it's used as the, the interface, which is widely understood and known.
Um, you know, there's all the different things that WordPress is famous for. And obviously now things like Guttenberg. You know, that's just fabulous. You can input whatever it is that you want to input in there, click publish, and then that data can be pulled, pushed, shoved anywhere into any application using any application language.
But as you say, um, it's a little bit beyond our pay grade, isn't it? I think if we start to, if we start to discuss that, Then we're probably gonna go into a whole mess of weeds, but, but you're right. I mean, I bet there's a load of people who are for whom that's exactly what headless means, you know, just the ability to interact with WordPress.
It does kind of, I do, I do wonder a little bit. Why would you choose WordPress as the thing to, to create the data that you're creating, whether that's text or whatever, why WordPress is it simply because it. It's familiar and loads of people are used to the way it looks. I wonder why not some other platform.
I wonder why not just some, I don't know, Wiziwig editor, like tiny MCE on a page. Why work? What, what does it, what does it have over, over the opposition? And I just don't know.
David Waumsley: Yeah, you made a point to me earlier and I thought it was a really good one. You know, you could see this may be a little bit pretentious, but, um, you know, it, this technology could be a little bit house CSS was for website building separate in decoupling.
One thing, styles, um, from the kind of content. I thought it was a really good point. You made, I'm arguing your side now.
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah.
David Waumsley: It could be the way that the future goes.
Nathan Wrigley: If you go back what? 10 years? No, goodness. No, that's an exaggerated. More like 20 years. Isn't it? Since CSS came along, I can't remember, but you know, there was a time where if you wanted something to look nice on the internet, a webpage, you had to do everything basically within the HTML that you were creating.
So, you know, inline styles and all of that. And then some genius thought this is a mess. Let's create. A language called CSS so that we can decouple the, the way it looks from the actual text and so on and so forth. And that was brilliant because it then created a whole industry of people who became experts at CSS who could really wrangle things to look brilliant.
And, and so the people who were creating the content for the web page had now no need to worry about the way it looked, because somebody else could take care of that. So you could, you know, you could create a team you're the content. Creators you are the people that make it look nice. And I suppose in a sense, that's what this is doing.
You know, you're decoupling the, the WordPress from where it goes and what can be done with it. I mean, I can, because I'm not a developer I'm, I'm, I'm sort of struggling to reach for a, an exact use case of this, but, you know, you create something in WordPress, it goes off to some other platform, some Laravel application or some react application and yeah.
And something wonderful can be done with that. And it can be passed in some way or fiddled with in some way. And an output can be created that PHP and WordPress simply isn't up to that job. And so it is exciting. Um, but just not something that's in my wheelhouse. So we just have to move along, please.
David Waumsley: Yeah, well, exactly. But I think, you know, those who are excited by headless is that idea, isn't it, that you, you decouple that content, they can, you know, do that with whatever language they like, and you could move around from, you know, whatever CMS you want. So it wouldn't necessarily just be a thing for WordPress.
You know, you, you could effectively once you've decoupled it, but the downside of this, and this is one of the arguments. Against it, if it's truly headless like that, then you really don't have a Wiziwig, which is what most of us like to use a page builder where we can control the content.
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. And honestly, I just about shoot myself in the foot and argue from the other point I do like, um, the fact that everything I do in WordPress is in WordPress.
You know, it's nice to know that you've got some semblance of understanding of what's happening. But, you know, I'm not working for a big company with big teams of people, for whom it's just expedient and necessary to decouple all these things. And yeah, so it's just a different use case. And I quite like the fact that I know largely what's going on because of what I've installed and what I've managed to learn over the years.
David Waumsley: Yeah. And you know, I'm still in the dilemma really with some clients, whether, you know, even WordPress was over the top in the first place, the idea of moving to WordPress to create the content, then to turn that into HTML for speed and security seems like, what should I take a few
Nathan Wrigley: steps back with a lot of my clients
David Waumsley: or a lot of people that need.
Websites that, you know, it's really whether I should have just been doing it in HTML. Anyway, should I be going back to Dreamweaver? Maybe
Nathan Wrigley: it's interesting. I built, I built a one page website for a client probably about three weeks ago and I was about halfway through it. And the, so this is a vanilla install of WordPress.
I was about halfway through it and I just thought this is total overkill. You know, it's one page, what's the point. And then, then I thought, well, actually I like the tools. I liked my page builder. It allows me to do all these things, but then as soon as it was finished, I thought, well, what's the benefit now of having WordPress?
Why don't I just view the source? Somehow, you know, overwrite where the images are stored and cause it's basically, it's a bunch of CSS, um, maybe a little bit of, yeah, a little bit JavaScript and some images and texts and that's basically all it is. And I thought, well, I could easily package up the, the JavaScript and the CSS and just have it all in one folder on, you know, and point the DNS to where that folder is and so on and, and jobs done.
Then I just suddenly thought, do you know what. I've got all the tools to update these plugins. Anyway, I've got the, I've got the capability to do all of this. I'll just stick with WordPress because then it suddenly occurred to me. What if I've made a typo or if they want to come back in two weeks time and say, actually, could you just change that word to that word?
And suddenly it was hit with this? Uh, yeah, although it would be kind of cool. Hmm, it would also have this massive drawbacks as well. So yeah, but that's me doing that. Whereas something like, um, you know, these, these hosting companies that flatten everything static and so on, I've still got WordPress. It's just not alive until I click a button.
So all of the benefits are there with, with, you know, very few downsides. Hmm, but
David Waumsley: you gave me one of the points, which I could argue against you earlier, which was the fact that even, so it still takes quite a long time to compile once you've done your updates in what you're familiar with and then send it off to be compiled again and served up securely.
There's still quite a wait time within these things. Isn't that? So you can't just, like you say, correct something easily.
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. So let's say for example, that I've, um, been onto these hosting platforms and I've created a page and I've clicked save. There's then a period of time and I'm going to say it's like 20 minutes.
It could be more, it could be less, I suppose it depends on the size of your site, uh, in which it's crawling and figuring out what, what, what to say even what have you. I'm not entirely sure if I can then go back in whilst that crawling is happening and update something, let's say I've suddenly realized I have to spell a word wrong and I just want to remove one letter.
I'm not sure if I have to wait. Uh, and then when it's all been, you know, correctly saved and that the platform has said, yeah, your website is now published. You can go and check it. Do I have to wait until that's done? Or can I spin up the VPs again and interact with it? I'm just not sure. Um, but certainly there is, there's an additional burden there.
And so I feel that if it's just me, that's a burden that I can live with. Right. Because. I can just wait 20 minutes, even, even if that's what I have to do, I can just go and do something for 20 minutes and then come back and publish that update. Um, depending on where I suppose there might be critical situations where you really, really need to correct something.
You know, if you'd put something that was politically inflammatory and you were being like, W, you know, castigated on Twitter, um, the phone was ringing for the BBC calling you up, how dare you, moral outrage. Um, and you need to get this thing removed immediately. Can you do that? I don't know. I just don't know how, how, how, how that would work.
David Waumsley: Yeah, meaning that one thing that I did look at, um, uh, I found some article where it linked to hard bunch of plugins, which would help you to take your WordPress install to go headless. And I think I looked about three, maybe four of them that are out there, but I noticed that they had very, very low numbers and installs.
Maybe that's the way that plugin works. I could be misreading, but the, the one that had the most, which was only 300 plus. Um, had not been updated for the last three installs of weather for the last updates of WordPress. So I just wonder the popularity of this and whether it will take off. Cause it sounds ideal if all of the WordPress plugins became let's imagine a world where, you know, the rest API and Gutenberg itself is going across different CMS is, and some of the plugins could be shared because they've all gone headless.
Imagine the control that we might have over that kind of thing. But to me, it just seems like it's not taken off enough yet.
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that is an interesting point. And. I would be interested to know in our community how many people are looking at this seriously, or if it's just a very edge case, you know, if there's just one or two people who are looking at doing it, I mean, obviously I'm in the lucky position in that, you know, I'm allowed to log into the big orange heart website and what have you.
And that's great. So I've had to, I've had a bit of experience with that and the benefits have become clear in certain constrained situations. Right. But I'm just wondering. W w whether this is for everybody, you know, whether or not this is just, is it too much overhead? Is anybody really interested in it?
It's interesting that a lot of the venture capital. Seems to be moving in this direction, you know, static just received a round of, I think it was $6 million from various Silicon Valley companies. So there's serious people thinking this is a serious proposition, but at the minute, I don't know. Um, I don't know if there, you know, there's a big swing towards it.
In other words, is this just a new technology which has become available, which is interesting because it's new or is it, is it interesting? Because there's value in it and it will carry on being interesting into the future, or, you know, in 10 years time, will we still be working with ever increasingly fast and secure service?
Hopefully that obviate the problem.
David Waumsley: Yeah, and I can't help, but think, you know how silly this episode might look in years to come, it would be like, you know, having a conversation now about the CSS will never take off, you know?
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. No, this conversation is going to be silly. Like tomorrow, don't worry about
David Waumsley: that.
It is one of the thought though, on this, um, you know, you see go to all these lengths to, um, you know, get this speed with your security, but you're using WordPress and most people, these days will be using a page builder, which itself is some kind of compromise. It, you know, adds more HTML, CSS and JavaScript than it absolutely needs to, you know, wouldn't the time be better spent on that side of things.
Nathan Wrigley: What do you mean? Um, I'm not following all this extra hassle to,
David Waumsley: to, you know, to increase the speed and security. Well, speed may. Now I'm just talking about here, you know, to turn this into HTML and then you have to not have some of the pH people against that. You've got, but.
Nathan Wrigley: For, for most
David Waumsley: of us now using WordPress, but uses some kind of page builder and those page builders or, you know, whatever they are, there is a little bit more bloat than it used to be.
So speed was so important. You know why it's kind of like you're solving the problem after you've created it.
Nathan Wrigley: Oh, I see. You're
David Waumsley: proving problems, but wouldn't the energies be better spent on, you know, it still sends me back to if you really want this, why are you just not creating really well set out HTML pages?
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, that's a good point. You know, if you, if you examine the, um, the HTML that's, that's provided by page builders, it's, it's, there's lots of dibs. Shall we say Dave's within dibs, it's devs all the way down and, um, yeah, I suppose if you are serious then, um, then yes, you could go to those links. I'd be interested to know.
Let's say for example, that I serve up a dot HTML file, a flat file, and it's got. Let's say it's got 2000 lines of, Loram just just 2000 solid lines of Lauren. How long would that take to go across the wire to my internet connection, as opposed to one that had 200 lines. I wonder if the difference just for text is, is even worth it, you know?
I mean, so the, the problem is creating that isn't it, it's the PHP that's needed to actually. Pass that and make it happen. And that, you know, that querying of the database and the creation of all of those dibs within devs, it all has to be done by WordPress and the database and all of that. But the serving up of, I imagine you could serve up it.
Boatload of raw text in a fraction of a second. So I'm not sure whether that argument would hold the interesting to speed test that actually I'd be interested to know, just as an example of that, you know, when you, um, when you look at like the view source. Of a, of a web page, sorry, I don't mean view source when you download like a, a text file or something like that.
These things come across. So breathtakingly quick these days. Um, I don't know, but my guess is that, you know, if you've got 10,000 lines of Loram or 50 lines of Lauren, I bet you could blink and it would be there.
David Waumsley: Yeah, you're right. Yeah. I made a useless point there with one other thought I've had, cause I've run out of things on, as she wrote down to talk about, but it's just occurred to me going back before my WordPress days, there were quite a few platforms out there that would allow you to, um,
Nathan Wrigley: Oh,
David Waumsley: add functionality to hasty CML site.
So you could kind of like sort of slot in bits of your CMS, wherever you'd like. So, um, clients could go in and it was almost like a page builder where they could go and change certain sections of the site, but the other pages where they didn't need to change things. When in this kind of CMS, I can't remember the name of any of those, but there was a whole bunch of those and you think, well, Maybe they still have the same problem, I suppose, to still connected for security.
I'm not sure. Um, but anyway, it's just strikes me as another thing that you never hear
Nathan Wrigley: of these days. I'm going to, um, I'm going to give you a free, a free criticism of the static site generators. Um, and that is teams. I'm going, just going to say teams, and then I'm going to back away and hope that you pick up, pick up on it and
David Waumsley: go for it.
Yes. Well, you get, you gave the information before that length of time that you need for it to be generated and it's serving up. The site for you temporarily means that you can't work in a team at the same time on the site. Do you, you have to communicate I'm going on now.
Nathan Wrigley: Yes. So yeah. Well, I could be wrong about this, but certainly this is, this is something that those kind of platforms bring with them.
Right. So imagine that I've just clicked publish and I'm unclear on this. Um, does that mean that everybody who's currently editing stuff has this. You know, it are there edits gone because it's now saving everything on the website and you know, you're halfway through writing something. Um, in other words, do you need manual office based?
I don't know, maybe you do it on Slack or messenger or something. You, you, you have to go around the team and say, look, everybody out. I'm about to click publish, or at the very least save draft. And I'm about to click publish. In other words, do you need some sort of housekeeping rules, um, SLPs for. When to click publish, who has the right to publish, do you have to communicate with the CEO who then says yes.
Publish? Um, and so that's an interesting one. So again, it raises questions. How, how do these platforms cope with teams? How do they cope with minor revisions? How do they cope with all of that kind of stuff? And, yeah, I don't have an answer.
David Waumsley: No, but I think that's, you know, specific
Nathan Wrigley: to the site generators, the static
David Waumsley: site generators, I guess, but I don't understand this, but the people who would say, Oh, we use headless WordPress as a team of developers and because we've decoupled it, you know, we work to, everybody can be working on this because they're using some other kind of system yes.
Be working with that code.
Nathan Wrigley: So, yeah, that was very specific to my site generators. Yeah.
David Waumsley: Yeah, they might argue that. Yeah. She gives you more freedom on that. So the problem is we've really reached the limits of our. A knowledge haven't we on this?
Nathan Wrigley: I think we reached the limits of our knowledge about 30 minutes, which is about 30 seconds after we started recording.
Yeah. So it's an interesting chat and, and because we're, you know, normal folk in the WordPress community, not, not really developing stuff and with a, with an understanding of this stuff, Gleaned from what we've managed to hear online and what we've managed to try out ourselves, I think has merit in the conversation because maybe, maybe we've dropped a few climbers along the way and people will then chime in and get us straight.
And by, by dropping the clangers and being told what's right, we've learnt. So that's, you know, I think there's merit. Yeah,
David Waumsley: absolutely. And I liked it because now I won't have to Google headless every time somebody mentions it. Right?
Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think this podcast is founded upon that principle of make terrible mistakes regularly and be told the truth after the fact that is a, that is our mantra.
David Waumsley: Okay, I'll be done.
Nathan Wrigley: Yes, I think so. I think so. Anyway, please, if you've got any thoughts on this, you know, if we have clearly missed the target or we've just said something which is in error, or maybe we could get any funding, what's the possibility. Maybe we said something which is true. Uh, let us know.
That'd be nice, but yeah. Thanks for that, David.
David Waumsley: Cheers. There we
Nathan Wrigley: go. I hope you enjoyed that. Always a pleasure chatting with David Waumsley about these things. Maybe you got something out of that perhaps headless or static hosting is something you want to explore. You think that the features and the benefits, security and speed and so on are going to be something you would benefit from, perhaps you're the other side of the coin.
You think this is too much? Too much, hassle, too many problems, too many things that go wrong and plugins that don't work. It's too unfamiliar. Tell us what you think. Reach out to us in our Facebook thread. Or you can go to the website and look for the comments right at the bottom and make some comments there.
We'd very much appreciate that the WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split test in record time? The new AB split test plugin for WordPress. We'll have you up and running in a couple of minutes. Use your existing pages and test anything against anything else.
Buttons, images, headers, rows, anything. And the best part it works with elemental Beaver builder and the WordPress block editor. Check it out and get a free [email protected]. Okay, we'll be back next Thursday for another podcast. This time it'll be an interview. We'll be back on Monday for our weekly WordPress news.
The curated version at 7:00 AM, UK time and the low version at 2:00 PM in the afternoon. That's WP Builds.com forward slash live. And don't forget Tuesday. Sabrina's I, Dan and I chatting about plugin installs. All that remains for me now is fading in some cheesy music. Bye bye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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