Use WordPress with React to Create Headless CMS for Your Web Application

Use WordPress with React to Create Headless CMS for Your Web Application

Reading Time: 7 minutes

WordPress Rest API is one of the many great features WordPress offers. It enables developers to create fascinating plugins and themes, and also allows them to power third-party applications with WordPress CMS.

In modern web applications, the content management system is also developed to manage the content of the website. This can add extra workload for the developers. With so many possibilities that Rest API offers, one can also think of using WordPress with React as a headless CMS for their JavaScript-based web application(s).

So What the Heck Is Headless WordPress?

Being ‘Headless’ definitely does not mean that the CMS is missing the header section. It means that you can use the CMS as a generic content management system irrespective of the technology used to build the front-end.

Rest API allows developers to interact with cross-technology interfaces as long as both speak the same language of JSON. WordPress Rest API spits out data in JSON format which is understandable by a large number of web technologies. JSON is a text-based representation of JavaScript objects which contains data in key-value pair.

"friends": [
      {
        "id": 0,
        "name": "Harriet Stanley"
      },
      {
        "id": 1,
        "name": "Benton Odom"
      },
      {
        "id": 2,
        "name": "Jackie Edwards"
      }
    ],

Today, I will demonstrate the power of WordPress Rest API by using it with React and WordPress as a headless CMS for my basic web application.

The benefit of Using WordPress Headless CMS

Being an open-source platform; WordPress offers great flexibility to create any kind of website. Using WordPress as a headless CMS allows you to create the front-end of your web application using any web technology and manage its content using one of the most popular CMS.

You might come across the situation where you need to add a blog feature in an existing web app built with either React or Angular. Instead of coding the full-fledged content management system in the native framework; use WordPress headless CMS to manage the content using Rest API.

Setting up a WordPress Site

Let’s begin with setting up the WordPress site, as this will act as a data source for our front-end React application.

Download the zip file of the WP-Rest API plugin from git and upload the zip folder inside your WordPress plugins folder. Once the file is uploaded, activate the plugin. This will enable WordPress Rest API inside your WordPress website.

Now, go to Settings → Permalinks and select either Post name or Custom Structure.

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This article was written by Ibad Ur Rehman and originally published on The Official Cloudways Blog.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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