We review the case for a standard Magento frontend vs. headless architecture, in terms of maintenance, performance and return on investment. How do you go about removing headless architecture on Magento 2?
The end goal was to deliver a solution that:
For most Commerce sites this is a simple check - a full rebuild or replatform is likely to be measured in tens of thousands of pounds, climbing rapidly in line with complexity. In contrast, even where significant version upgrades are needed, maintenance with a view of only staying current and PCI compliant, is likely measured in hundreds per month. Cursory sums will show that most builds can enjoy a comfortable lifespan of at least 3-5 years.
The context of a return on investment for the client is a key factor that we consider when conducting Magento audits for inbound support clients - for more information, click here.
Identifying features and customisations
Remove the headless architecture
The website now scores highly on Lighthouse, from a performance score of <10 when ‘headless’ to scores in the 90’s with the Magento theme. The website also now offers users more ways to pay, facilitating a smother checkout experience. Headless architectures often require ongoing support and maintenance from external developers, which can be expensive. If the client does not have the budget for this ongoing support, a headless approach may not be ideal.
In such cases, it may be more cost-effective and efficient to use a traditional, monolithic approach with a standard frontend. This approach is often easier to maintain and update, and may not require as much external support. The lighthouse screen grabs below show a near identical performance between the traditional frontend and the headless version - clearly showing that vendors can utilise a more cost effective solution without the integration and maintenance issues of a headless site. Perhaps headless isn’t quite ready?
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)
Interaction to Next Paint (INP)