Efficiency Unlocked: Why Users Are Turning to Frontend as a Service
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Frontend as a Service (FEaaS) is a solution that lets developers build sites and applications without worrying about the frontend infrastructures. It does so by providing pre-built components that are reusable and customizable. The end result is an optimized frontend done quickly and easily.
People are always looking for ways to make their development faster, easier, and more efficient. New technological offerings promising solutions are emerging faster than ever, with Frontend as a Service (FEaaS) at the head of the pack.
Let’s go over what frontend as a service is and cover a few benefits that it can offer your organization.
What is Frontend as a Service (FEaaS)?
Frontend as a service is a strategy often used in composable commerce where users outsource frontend development to a third party. This party provides a platform that developers can use to build and deploy their projects without having to think about server-side complexities.
Instead, they operate with ready-made components that can be reused, rearranged, and customized to craft a frontend tailored to meet their exact needs. FEaaS platforms are separate from the backend, so all the focus can be on what the frontend users interact with.
Some examples of the development tools frontend as a service providers can offer to users include templates, libraries, and APIs. Other tools and programs can be easily integrated as well.
For instance, if an organization wanted to start a composable commerce site from scratch, they would need to create a huge variety of different tools just to get started: an API orchestration layer, a search application, hosting, an eCommerce platform, a CMS, and so on. Developing all of these from the ground up would take a ton of time. With frontend as a service, teams don’t have to do this. Instead, they can get the same results using pre-built functionalities.
Basically, it’s a streamlined, simplified, and scalable approach to building digital experiences. You’re outsourcing the extra work so there’s more time and energy to spend on your core competencies – without sacrificing the quality of your final product. The result is more engaging content experiences that can be produced even faster and costs even less.
How do headless CMS and frontend as a service work together?
A headless CMS is a powerful tool that allows you to manage your digital content through an API. However, one of the key parts of headless is that it has no default ‘head’ - and so, no built-in presentation layer or frontend.
On the other hand, frontend as a service provides users with a platform where they can build that frontend, without having to consider server-side infrastructure.
Headless CMS and FEaaS work together as two distinct tools: the headless CMS stores and manages the digital content, and the FEaaS provides it with the presentation layer it needs to actually be displayed.
Frontend as a service: examples and key features
When creating a composable commerce site, FEaaS can be a great help as it offers many different features for deploying and managing frontend components of applications.
While each provider offers something different, here are a few key features that you can generally expect from FEaaS:
- Frontend Frameworks: Providers often include popular frontend frameworks as the foundation for the site you’re building. This can include React, Angular, Vue.js, or any other number of options.
- Hosting and Deployment: Some FEaaS providers supply hosting services so that developers can easily deploy their frontend applications. You may be able to access static file hosting and CDNs.
- Third-party Integrations: An essential part of any FEaaS, third-party integrations allow you to connect programs that will extend the functionality of the application. Examples include payment gateways and social media platforms.
- Cross-browser compatibility: This feature ensures that the application will work consistently regardless of what browser is being used, typically by providing you with testing tools.
- Optimization: Performance optimization features in a FEaaS may include code minification and image optimization.
The great benefit of these features is that with a FEaaS, you can use them all without having to build them yourself from scratch.
4 benefits to using frontend as a service
So FEaaS sounds good, but what does it mean for your business in practical terms? Let’s take a closer look at some of the concrete benefits that it has to offer.
1. Reduce time and resources spent
FEaaS allows you to spend less time on your frontend development overall as you won’t need to be building each element from the ground up. The time that you will spend will be maximized for efficiency thanks to reusable components. That means your team can focus more on the backend.
That means your team can leverage ready-made UI components, templates, and frameworks to create user interfaces. This allows for things like faster prototyping and iterative development while being free to focus more on the backend.
In addition to contributing to a shorter time-to-market, these less time-consuming processes will help your team prioritize their work better and get more out of the effort they put in. Cutting out extra unnecessary effort will also save you money and resources that can then be reinvested elsewhere.
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Storyblok reduces time even further with a variety of streamlining tools. For example, you can set up customizable workflows to make sure work is getting passed clearly to the next stages without any confusion or mix-ups. Other features like in-engine commenting eliminate the need for a third-party program, further reducing the time and money required to operate.
Other features like in-engine commenting eliminate the need for a third-party program, further reducing the time and money required to operate. This streamlined process encourages knowledge sharing, making it easier for all teams to work together seamlessly.
2. Optimize your frontend
Frontend as a service comes with components that can easily be swapped in and out wherever you need to. However, speed isn’t the only benefit here. The components remain completely customizable.
You’re free to copy the basics of a block you need while tailoring it exactly to your particular audience. There’s no need to start from scratch or settle for ill-fitting content. The result is a professional frontend that’s been optimized for your exact needs in a fraction of the time.
Storyblok makes it even easier for content editors and developers alike to optimize the frontend. With an intuitive Visual Editor, content editors can make changes they need to just by pointing and clicking on the intuitive interface. That means they don’t have to rely on developers to do their jobs, making the process more effective and efficient for all teams.
Additionally, FEaaS is an approach that naturally helps you focus on the user experience thanks to the tools and features that most offer. Many top-tier frontend as a service providers will include tools that help ensure applications display correctly across devices, cache efficiently, and improve responsiveness for an optimized user experience that you can create without having to build it from scratch.
3. Enjoy service benefits
The ‘as a service’ part of FEaaS is important, too! In addition to not needing to code the frontend from scratch, having a frontend that is managed by a responsible third party brings benefits to the rest of your organization.
For example, FEaaS means it’ll continuously be updated to the best possible version. There’s no need for your team to constantly and manually keep up with the software. You’ll always have access to the most recent features and functionality. It’ll also be monitored for security purposes. On top of that, you’ll likely also have access to customer service that can assist you if anything goes wrong.
Another major service benefit is simplification. FEaaS can make all the tasks associated with launching a website easier through its features. For instance, FEaaS simplifies the deployment process because it provides you with hosting capabilities and deployment workflows directly. That way, you don’t need to worry about managing servers or other infrastructure issues – it’s all taken care of for you.
An additional service benefit to consider is scaling. Scalability is an essential trait for any organization hoping to grow. Many frontend as a service providers handle the resource aspect of the scaling process behind the scenes. This leaves development teams more time to develop the application since they now have to worry less about the details of how their site will handle it.
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4. Improve flexibility
Most high-quality frontend as a service providers allow you to integrate with your favorite ecommerce platform. If it’s flexible enough, that means you won’t have to switch platforms or overhaul your system just to get the benefits of frontend as a service. All you have to do is choose the service that best suits your needs, budget, and plans.
Moreover, frontend as a service empowers you to access the newest digital advancements. These platforms are designed to be up-to-date with the latest frontend technologies and frameworks, often providing built-in support for the most popular options. This gives you access to the most avant-garde resources for building your site without you having to manually deal with setup, configuration, or compatibility issues.
This bonus is especially strong if you’re using a headless CMS. Headless providers like Storyblok let you integrate with multiple frontends and technologies easily. That way, you can embrace an omnichannel marketing strategy powered by whatever technology fits your needs best. This makes scaling and internationalization easier, too.
Key takeaways: Frontend as a service
When you’re building your online presence, every second, dollar, and ounce of effort counts. Frontend as a service helps you make the most of your resources by boosting efficiency and reducing the required work, all while enabling you to optimize your site with reusable yet customizable components.