Web development is far from the Wild West it once was. Websites no longer need to be built from scratch; in fact, there’s a wide variety of platforms that have positioned themselves as the proverbial “go to” for e-commerce merchants across the globe, these of course being Shopify, Drupal, and WordPress. These well-established solutions have helped countless digital businesses get up and running in far less time than ever before.
As with anything however, new tools are needed to address emerging problems that these “out of the box” platforms don’t necessarily address – problems that include slow performance, a lack of flexibility, and of course, security vulnerabilities.
This article will examine each of these issues in turn and provide ample reasons why Composable Architecture and Next.js is not only beneficial for addressing the aforementioned issues, but also for improving customer engagement and boosting website performance.
The Need for Composable Architecture
Composable architecture is a system design philosophy that advocates that each component of a website (e.g., content, store front, template, data, etc.) is effectively a unique piece that is developed, deployed, and maintained independently of the others.
For example, a headless content management system can be used to manage the content of a website, while a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal can be leveraged to handle financial transactions generated by the website.
Additionally, Next.js can also be used to build the site’s presentation layer, and the whole thing can be hosted on a global CDN. But how does Composable Architecture improve the speed/performance of the site, make it more secure, and ensure it is flexible enough to accommodate change?
The Need for Speed with Next.js
To be fair, websites written in HTML aren’t as slow as they once were. Having said that, website load speed is unequivocally tied to customer experience and conversions, so any boost in speed is good for business.
Additional benefits of Next.js include:
- Easier setup – Most features are built-in and require no configuration whatsoever.
- Baked in CSS support – Developers can integrate CSS stylesheets to support the project.
Composing Speed with Composable Architecture
It’s a widely held belief that a CMS is much faster than simply using HTML, but creating new pages can be a tedious process. Tedious in the sense that page creation using a CMS requires selecting the correct template, having the work reviewed by any number of subject matter experts or stakeholders.
Additionally, editors are more likely than not going to make inline revisions to format and style which, while well meaning, could introduce inconsistencies from one page to the next.
Composing pages using Composable Architecture not only simplifies page creation, but also mitigates the issues discussed above. In this framework, pages can utilize common components to quickly create a new page like how content creators can use snippets of reusable content when populating pages.
Flexibility with Composable Architecture
Since we’ve already introduced templates to the discussion, it should be noted that, generally speaking, they perform adequately in terms of ensuring the style and formatting used across the application are consistent. Having said that, what makes templates beneficial can also make them difficult to work with in an environment that requires agility.
This means that any proposed changes to the page, regardless of the size or importance of the component, may end up requiring a developer being pulled away from other duties to assist in the test. With Composable Architecture, each element – pages included – is completely segregated from the rest, meaning that changes and edits can be done much more effectively, requiring fewer resources and far less time.
Why Composable Architecture and Next.js are Key to Your Website’s Success
When it comes to technology and the methodologies they employ, it’s understandable if business owners are hesitant to embrace the change. It may even seem preferable to stay the course on your existing platform. Having said that, Composable Architecture is by no means a passing fad and the many benefits that go along with it – speed, flexibility, and security – are definitely worth the investment.
If you’re considering transitioning your application to Composable Architecture and a Next.js framework, or if you would like to know more about how such a change can impact and grow your business, it’s worth your while in speaking with an experienced web development agency.