If you’re like most online stores, you’re always looking for ways to improve your page speed. A fast website is essential for a good user experience, and it can also help with your search engine ranking. In this case study, we’ll show you how RUDIS was able to increase its page speed by 900% by switching to a headless WooCommerce setup.
RUDIS launched in 2013 with a vision to create quality performance gear for wrestlers and in the years since has distinguished itself as the market leader. From scrappy beginners to Olympic Champions, Rudis is known throughout the sport for reliability and innovation.
After their website crashed during a high-profile product launch, RUDIS began to question if building their website on WordPress and WooCommerce was the right decision. They started experiencing back-end slowdowns that began to affect content management and customer support. This caused them to worry about how quickly the company would outgrow everything they had built.
User experience and performance were primary concerns for RUDIS, so they needed to ensure their ecommerce site was engineered for speed from the ground up. Unfortunately, when they asked questions about this, they often received answers like “WordPress wasn’t built for that” or “WooCommerce doesn’t work like that”. This led to higher operating costs as they were recommended to change hosting environments and use larger servers.
Enter Headless WooCommerce
Fortunately, they found an agency with very deep experience with WooCommerce at scale, and a ‘headless’ approach to the problem was the solution Rudis needed to continue to scale with WooCommerce whilst solving the performance and UX issues.
So, what is headless commerce? Well, it’s a way of doing business where the backend systems that manage orders, inventory and customer data are separate from the frontend systems that present products and accept payments. This can be really useful for ecommerce businesses because it allows them to use different software for different parts of the process, which can lead to more efficient operations.
Headless WooCommerce is an architecture for WordPress that separates the frontend from the backend. This allows developers to create a decoupled system where the frontend can be hosted and managed independently from the backend. This solves some of the issues with a monolithic architecture, where the backend and frontend are tightly coupled. Headless WooCommerce also allows for more modularity and flexibility, as different parts of the system can be updated or replaced independently.
There are many benefits to using headless WooCommerce. Perhaps the most obvious is that it can speed up your website. Because the WooCommerce core is not loading, your pages will load faster. This is especially important for mobile users, as studies have shown that people are increasingly using their phones and tablets to shop online.
Another benefit is that it can make your website more secure. With WooCommerce, you are adding a plugin to your site that makes it more vulnerable to attacks. By using a headless solution, you can keep the WooCommerce plugin separate from your website, making it less likely to be hacked.
Finally, using a headless solution can make your website more scalable. As your business grows, you may find that you need to add more features or products to your ecommerce store. With a headless setup, you can easily add these additional features without affecting the performance of your website.
How to make WooCommerce Headless
There is a slew of high-profile WordPress headless projects, but there are a few key differences between headless WordPress and headless WooCommerce. Headless WordPress is typically easier to set up and use than headless WooCommerce because most WordPress content is ‘static’ and doesn’t change a lot, but WooCommerce has dynamic categories and product pages that are constantly updating on busy stores, so a different approach is required.
In addition, there are the cart and checkout pages to consider, so a hybrid approach has been used to deliver all frontend content via headless, and switch to the standard WooCommerce cart and checkout to capture the order.
GraphQL was added to the WordPress instance to enable efficient communication between the new headless frontend and WooCommerce. GraphQL is a query language for APIs that was developed by Facebook in 2012. GraphQL allows clients to request specific data from servers, instead of receiving the entire dataset. This makes it possible to request only the data that is needed, which improves performance and reduces bandwidth usage.
The headless WooCommerce architecture resulted in a 900% increase in pagespeed. This lightning-fast speed meant that users had a much better experience on the site, and were more likely to complete a purchase. In addition, the flexible codebase meant that RUDIS could easily add new features and products as their business grew. Finally, the improved security meant that our site was less likely to be hacked.