Today it was announced that Automattic, parent company of WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Akismet and more has acquired Frontity, a headless WordPress framework. The announcement stated that the acquisition will directly benefit the open source WordPress CMS and will further the goal of realizing full site editing with Gutenberg blocks.
A headless content management system (CMS) is an approach to publishing that uses a CMS like WordPress for handling the creation and management of the content (this is the back end) and a React front end for the part that users see (this is the front end, the head).
When you separate the front end functions from WordPress in order to exclusively use WordPress for managing the content and not the front part of the site (the head) that users see, this is called a headless CMS.
The CMS, in this case WordPress, is just used as the back end for the content creation and the management of that content.
There are speed and SEO benefits to using a headless CMS.
A headless CMS also allows publishers to more easily publish content across different channels like social media, Internet of Things, etc.
Frontity is an open source framework for making it easy to use WordPress as a headless CMS.
What Frontity does is to make it easy to bring the headless site architecture to the WordPress environment so that publishers can enjoy the speed advantages without having to worry about coding issues.
Automattic invested in Frontity in 2020 and began a close working relationship with the Frontity team at that point, with Automattic sponsoring Frontity’s work on the WordPress core.
With this acquisition the Frontity team will focus on the WordPress core and on Gutenberg.
This move does not mean that that the React framework is going to be pushed to the WordPress core.
Frontity will continue as an open source project.
What’s Exciting About Frontity and Automattic
Gutenberg is the WordPress project for modernizing the creation of websites with the goal of making it easy for anyone to create websites.
Gutenberg replaces the coding-centric traditional WordPress interface with the an easy to use visual editor that utilizes the visual paradigm of blocks for creating websites.
According to Frontity:
“As part of Automattic, our team will contribute to the WordPress open source project and work closely with its community to help improve the full site editing developer experience.
…The impact our team could make working directly on WordPress is much more significant than continuing on our own, so we decided to go for it!”
Big Score for WordPress
The reaction in the private Advanced WordPress Facebook group has been positive.
This announcement is huge news for the entire WordPress publishing community. It means that more top engineering talent will be devoted to developing the WordPress core CMS and helping speed up the development of the Gutenberg content editor.
Read the official announcement from Frontity:
Frontity is joining Automattic