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PWA vs Headless PWA- Can you achieve PWA without Headless

3 Mins read

PWAs were the rage when they were launched and are still trending in the eCommerce world but as you know, technology is ever-changing and so PWAs have given rise to headless PWAs. Merchants often find themselves in a debate on PWA vs Headless PWA; what to choose?

If you own an eCommerce store you will be aware of the challenges faced with the mobile web, it is slow, doesn’t run smoothly, and has connectivity issues. You want to give your customers a great shopping experience within your budget, but the question is how?

There are many alternatives, but the most appropriate one would be to opt for a PWA or a Headless PWA.

Confused about which one to choose? Don’t be. This blog is dedicated to answering your queries related to both, what they are, and what makes them ideal for you.

Why opt for a Progressive Web App?

why opt for pwa


PWAs or Progressive Web Apps are an amalgamation of the web browser and a native app. It is built with web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. They are designed to look, feel, and run like a native app while being a browser.

Read more- How is Magento 2 PWA reviving eCommerce for a mobile audience?

With the help of certain technologies, you can turn almost any website into a PWA that is not so simple when we compare it to native app development. It also has features like push notifications, it can access your device sensors and to top it up, it works offline too.

Let’s take a look at some of the features of PWA that have made it such a rage:

  1. Fast
  2. Reliable
  3. Engaging
  4. Promotes re-engagement
  5. Increased customer experience
  6. Works offline
  7. Works with low network bandwidth
  8. Easy updates and modification

A story to inspire- Journey Of The Roasters: From An Idea To Reality

What is Headless PWA and why should you opt for it?

Headless refers to headless commerce which means that the front end of your website, the part that the user sees, is separated from the backend system which includes eCommerce, CRM, etc, that sends data and content to the front end.

Read: Headless Magento- The next step in eCommerce

 When headless commerce is integrated with progressive web apps it is known as headless PWAs.

Simply, PWA + Headless commerce = Headless PWA

So how does data flow from the backend to the frontend of the website? It is done through something called an Application Programming Interface(API). This API fits between the decoupled frontend and backend and pulls data from the backend to the frontend.

headless pwa

Via: Marketingblatt

Since the frontend is independent of the backend you can use the data to create different user experiences without having to invest separately.

We all know that the speed of PWAs is noteworthy, so now with headless, you can very well imagine how much faster and smoother the experience will be!

PWAs Vs Headless PWAs

The main difference between the two is the headless architecture, which requires the frontend to be decoupled from the backend. To make it more clear the presentation part, i.e, the part the customer sees, is separated from the CMS or the technical part where most of the eCommerce functions take part.

Cloth Face Masks achieved success by developing a PWA for their business. If you want to know how, read- How CedCommerce Cenia PWA theme gave the desired solution to Cloth Face Masks?

This headless architecture makes the PWA work faster and flexibly, and as we all know faster load time means better user experience which will lead to improved conversions.

Also, the development cost of a PWA will be less as compared to a headless PWA as it requires both headless and PWA functions to be deployed together.

PWA with or without headless?

Yes, you can achieve PWA without it being headless. You can develop a PWA for your website and not include it being headless. It is totally up to you.

Going Headless is the talk of the town and why not. Users navigate with ease through them, page loading speed is superb, leading to much happier and satisfied customer experiences which in turn have a positive impact on conversions.

You can achieve the same with PWAs except for it not being able to create a highly customizable user experience as you can do with headless. Don’t get me wrong, PWAs are known to enhance user experience but with headless you get to choose the extent to which you want to customize it.


Headless PWA, just like a PWA, has been a turning point in the eCommerce industry. It has opened a new level of opportunity and possibilities for eCommerce businesses.

How did EthnicSmart make PWAs work for them? Read: The Success Story of EthnicSmart’s Headless Magento PWA

With both, the scope and possibilities for your business are endless if implemented well. We hope the above blog has solved your queries about PWA vs Headless PWA and now you have a clear picture of what is good for your eCommerce business and what will be your choice.

If you are still in doubt, let us help you. We will be more than happy to guide you through both Magento 2 PWA and Magento 2 headless PWA, what will be suitable for you and how to go about it.

The post PWA vs Headless PWA- Can you achieve PWA without Headless appeared first on CedCommerce Blog.

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