Insights

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Why should you choose a headless website for your SaaS business?

Headless websites are best for SaaS businesses that need to scale quickly, have complex needs and want a flexible, performant and future-proof solution.

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Written by

Dan Spratling - Founder & CEO

Dan Spratling

Published on

23 November, 2022

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a booming industry that has impacted how we work and live. From apps and tools that improve our daily lives to intuitive systems and products that streamline business processes, the SaaS industry has a hold over our generation.

Yet, the growing popularity of SaaS means there’s greater market saturation. So, how can you make sure your SaaS company stands out from the crowd?

Part of the answer lies within your website choice.

Every second counts when running a SaaS business. If you’re going to stay ahead of the curve, you need to have a strong stack of business tools and processes. That’s where your website comes into play.

Opting for a headless website can strengthen the resiliency of your SaaS business, improve user experience, and reduce resource load.

Want to know how? Let’s dive in!

The power of headless websites for SaaS

SaaS is an industry that’s set to be worth an incredible $716 billion by 2028. In such a fast-growing, high-demand industry, you’re going to need a website that’s powerful.

In its simplest form, a headless website refers to the separation of the frontend and backend of the website architecture. This means that the presentation your website users see (the frontend) is independent of the underlying code and data of your website (the backend). Headless development is a brilliant way to decouple the content presentation from the content information.

Jamstack is one method of building headless websites — and it’s a method that we’re pretty fond of at Skyward. The reason is simple: headless websites are better for your users, developers, and content managers.

Better for users

Headless websites are great for users because they result in a user experience (UX) that is fast, consistent, and responsive.

Client-side rendering means the content is delivered instantaneously. Meanwhile, the content design will flow seamlessly and consistently as users move from page to page. Plus, atomic deployments ensure no changes go live until everything is ready, offering a site design that’s always consistent. Let’s not forget, the decoupling of the frontend and backend allows you to deliver responsive presentations by default.

Better for developers

Your web developers will also love using headless websites.

Headless websites allow developers to focus on doing what they do best — building high functioning, user-friendly websites that people love. With headless architecture, your developers can build powerful websites with the tools they are comfortable using such as JavaScript libraries and frameworks. They can then push that content out using APIs, bringing their code to life.

Altogether, the headless approach makes it easier for developers to build and maintain websites. They will save time by streamlining processes and building websites that are flexible and well-structured.

Better for content managers

Headless websites are better for marketers and content managers too.

When using headless websites, your content managers can easily upload content without having to ask developers for support or worry about any technical aspects of the backend infrastructure.

While this may be less relevant for your SaaS app, it’s critical for your marketing site to be able to move quickly to keep up with progress, and giving content managers full control over the marketing site leaves developers free to focus on your SaaS application.

When should you use a headless website for your SaaS business?

While we reckon headless websites are best, they aren’t always necessary. That’s probably not what you expected a website that specialises in headless websites to say, right?

But, it’s true. And we value honesty above all else.

Headless websites are best for:

  • SaaS businesses and startups that need to scale quickly and effectively, without sacrificing long term growth
  • Complex website ecosystems where you need to deploy content across multiple platforms (like a website and a mobile app)
  • Teams that need a website that is easy to manage without compromising on scalability, quality or performance

You probably don’t need a headless website if you have a small site with a few pages (we’re talking less than five). In this situation, a traditional CMS might be sufficient for your current needs.

But (and it’s a big but) if you want a highly-responsive website that can scale alongside your business growth, performs exceptionally well AND blows the socks off your users – you’re going to need a headless website.

Why should you choose a headless website for your SaaS business?

Having a website that looks good shouldn’t be the only driving force behind your site. Sure, good-looking websites are important. But, resiliency, UX and usability are more important.

Whether you’re a SaaS startup ready to make an impact on the industry or you’re a longtime SaaS player, you can future-proof your website with headless architecture.

Headless websites are:

  • Performant
  • Capable
  • Scalable
  • Flexible

These factors are the four main reasons why you should choose a headless website for your SaaS business. Forget marketing hype and creating websites that look good, with headless architecture you’ll create sites that look great and perform exceptionally well.

Let’s take a look at these factors in a bit more detail…

Performant

One of the biggest attractions of a headless site is its performance. I’m talking about sites that are faster than lightning and smoother than velvet.

Headless websites load much faster than their traditional counterparts thanks to their ability to pre-render content on the client-side of the site. Even heavy websites containing a lot of data will perform faster when using headless architecture.

The decoupling of the frontend and backend of headless sites also results in a smoother user experience. While the backend maintains site functionality, the frontend will deliver high performing and responsive content in real-time.

By switching to headless, SaaS companies can deliver high-performing websites that prioritise the user experience.

Capable

Headless websites are best for sites with a lot of client interaction.

Take Facebook, for example.

The Facebook interface is built using React — a JavaScript frontend framework that was originally developed by Facebook before being made open source.

The real-time capabilities of React allow content to be updated instantly. There’s no need to wait for the backend to process and update content. Instead, specific areas of the frontend are updated as soon as a change occurs. So, people can see notifications and updates as they happen in real-time — something that is imperative to the user experience on social media.

Facebook is a massive social media network. As such, it’s a highly complex and intricate website that holds reams of data. By using headless architecture, Facebook can run high-performance activities at ease.

The capability of headless extends toward the ease of running highly complex sites that are easy to maintain while offering increased security. The decoupling of the frontend and backend means your developers have full control over the development process and only need to implement what is absolutely necessary.

You also get omnichannel capabilities with headless architecture. Rather than creating a website, a mobile app, and other presentations separately, headless sites let you do it all.

You can build multiple presentations that can be delivered to site users depending on how they’re interacting with your site. This enhances the user experience however they choose to interact with your SaaS product, whether that’s on-site or through an app, smart device, or social media.

Scalable

Headless sites are infinitely scalable. And easily scalable too.

As your SaaS tool grows, you need a site that can grow alongside it. Headless sites are optimised for scalability. If your site experiences a spike in traffic or needs to hold more data, you can easily upgrade the backend to handle the increased demand.

With headless architecture, your site can also be expanded horizontally into other presentation types such as mobile apps and smart device content.

In short, headless sites can easily scale to align with your SaaS needs, growth, and consumption.

Flexible

SaaS products change — a lot. They go through multiple minuscule interactions and experience some big product updates.

How your product looked when you first started your SaaS business can look wildly different from the product in front of you today. With so many changes happening, SaaS businesses need a site that can change and grow with their product.

Headless sites make changing your identity easy. The frontend of the website is entirely detached from the backend data meaning you can easily change the look and feel of your site without interfering with the technical functionality.

The decoupled nature of headless sites means your developers are free to code in their preferred language. Developers can create as many presentation layers as needed and push content out to any channel they want using APIs. This offers increased flexibility in the way your site is built and managed.

Are you ready to go headless?

If you’re a SaaS startup wanting to scale your product quickly and effectively, a headless site might be the best choice. The same goes for large SaaS businesses with complex offerings or needs.

As for small SaaS businesses looking to keep everything compact and streamlined, the traditional route may be best for your business.

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a site. When deciding whether to go headless or keep things traditional, you should weigh up your goals, needs, and projected growth. Then speak to an expert (such as our specialist team here at Skyward) to see which solution is best for your business.

Here at Skyward, we’d love to hear all about your business and help you choose the perfect development method for your SaaS product.

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