John Faber Managing Partner Follow
October 17, 2023

There’s a lot to be said for going decoupled with your website. From speed and scalability to increased security and front-end flexibility, headlessness offers solutions to most website shortcomings. And Drupal, as an API-first platform, is an optimal tool for this headless revolution.

That all said, however, there are added complexities that come with going headless with your website. Hosting is one such complexity. With a traditional CMS, you just need a single host. With a decoupled site, however, you typically need two hosting agreements: one for the back end and one for the front end.

The major hosting providers have all, out of necessity, come up with ways of hosting both pieces of headless sites, which allows for clients to continue receiving a single hosting bill. However, all these offerings have limitations that twin hosting doesn’t – particularly in the case of Next-Drupal front ends supported by Vercel.

Why Vercel?

As a company founded by the inventor of Next.js, Vercel maintains the Next.js web development framework. As such, their entire hosting system is built around the technologies that Next.js runs on. This makes Vercel a natural fit for Next-Drupal, as it is a version of Next.js optimized for Drupal.

In addition to being optimized for the Next.js environment, Vercel’s hosting offerings come with unmatched stability, ease of use for developers, and additional features for the client. Vercel is particularly good when it comes to spinning up preview environments, allowing the client to go in and not only be able to see the preview on the front end but also be able to comment on it directly on the website.

Vercel’s front end hosting is particularly developer friendly. Its build system is much faster than in other platforms – you simply push a front-end change to GitHub and that change will be recognized by Vercel and it immediately starts building your project. Such changes can take up to 30 minutes to update in other platforms, whereas in Vercel it’s virtually instantaneous.

Other features of Vercel’s front-end hosting include:

  • Speed insights, similar to what you’d get from Google’s Lighthouse reports, giving you data on how your site is performing from an end-user standpoint
  • Other add-ons (integrations) other companies such as Shopify
  • A choice between a handful of logging options
  • Slack integration, enabling updates on builds

Vercel itself cannot host the Drupal CMS, so it will need to be paired with a different back-end hosting provider. However, as a front-end hosting platform, it is unbeatable.

What we do

Chapter Three has a proven decoupled practice and is a leader in Next-Drupal development. We are ready to help your company transition to a decoupled architecture using Vercel's comprehensive solution.

Drupal is indeed a stellar CMS and one whose capabilities truly come to life in decoupled environments. If you're looking to free yourself from traditional Drupal and embrace the headless revolution, the Next-Drupal platform hosted by Vercel is definitely the way to go.

Let's chat about your Next-Drupal project!