What is composability?

Think of composability as the special sauce in a differentiated, stand-out digital experience. Understanding how it works, its benefits, and its drawbacks can significantly enhance your site’s competitive advantage.

Composability is a modular approach to development where the different components of a system can be selected and assembled in a range of different ways to fulfill your unique business goals. It’s particularly useful when designing and building complex systems because it allows for each component to be developed, updated, replaced, or scaled independently from the others. In other words, it’s modular.

Let’s take a look at a simple example: You browse to a website, search for a product, then purchase. The simplest ecommerce interaction, but it may have been built using three or more distinct composable parts. When you land at the website, you’re able to view it because of the content management system (CMS). When you search, you may be using a different search tool (maybe Elastic or Algolia) in the background. Then, when you check out, the website is probably using additional solutions for the shopping cart and payment processing. 

The theory of composability allows you to choose among a wide variety of systems only the ones that are best for you. It allows you to use specialized elements that are broken out into independent, interoperable modules linked together via application programming interfaces (APIs). Together such an architecture can effectively meet specific user needs or respond to changing business requirements. This modular structure can help improve the system’s adaptability and manageability. So you can choose which is  the best CMS, the best search, the best shopping cart, the best of anything for you to create the specific experiences your customers will respond to–you’re not limited.

All this matters because, whether you’re managing an online presence or creating ecommerce applications, composability is what allows you to create the differentiated experiences that consumers and users expect now. Building a unique experience requires a unique set of capabilities.  Just as you might use different instruments to deliver a piece by Beethoven than you would one by Duke Ellington, it’s challenging to create your own unique experience using a standard set of systems.

But the decision whether to aim for composability is driven first and foremost by your business need and how you differentiate. For instance, if you’re selling cars, users may expect similar experiences as other auto dealers. The differentiation is with the product, the car, not necessarily with the web experience for looking at inventory.  But in other types of businesses, if you can offer a different kind of experience that stands out as more streamlined, intuitive, or efficient, you have a leg up. Many studies have shown that modern consumers are as influenced or more influenced in their choices by experience than by price or even quality. 

A composable architecture allows you virtually infinite differentiation opportunities in the experiences you deliver. Whether it’s incorporating new user interfaces, handling diverse data streams, or adapting to user feedback, a composable architecture makes individuality more manageable and less disruptive to the overall digital experience.

How composability works

In a composable architecture, the system is built using a collection of independent systems that communicate through well-defined interfaces. Each component performs a specific function and interacts with other components via APIs, following an API-first modeling approach.

What’s API-first modeling? It’s pretty much what it sounds like. API-first modeling starts the development process with the consideration of what APIs will be needed to create the experiences. By starting with the APIs, you make sure that your website or app will be able to access and manage all the services it needs through robust APIs to deliver smoother, faster experiences, integration, and scalability.

Understanding and implementing a composable architecture can lead to greater agility, improved performance, and a better overall user experience. Embracing this approach allows you to adapt to new opportunities and challenges more effectively, maintaining a competitive edge in the digital landscape.

Benefits of composability

By using composable architecture in your digital experiences, you open up opportunities to differentiate, customize, and future-proof your experiences, in a range of ways.


Composability provides the freedom to mix, match, and rearrange components to best meet the business needs of the moment. When you can rapidly adapt to emerging changes without disrupting the entire system, you’re more agile. 


Quickly switching in and integrating new components drastically reduces your time to value for any new idea or change. That means you’re more prepared to address market changes or implement new business strategies on a dime.

Rapid innovation

Composability fosters an environment of accelerated innovation. When teams can experiment with new ideas and technologies in a discreet and controlled manner, they can deploy and scale faster when the entire system is less likely to be impacted.


Composable architectures can make scaling less complex and more cost-effective as they allow you to scale parts of your system independently based on need. 

Best-of-breed Integration

With a composable approach, you can choose the best solutions available for specific functions and integrate them seamlessly. 

Differentiated digital experience

By enabling the integration of niche solutions and facilitating customization, composability allows businesses to create unique and compelling user experiences that stand out from the competition.

Creating differentiated digital experiences through composability

To create those critical points of differentiation, you need the control to tailor as many aspects of your digital experiences as possible. By integrating best-in-class services and continuously innovating, you can craft differentiated and compelling digital experiences that not only meet customer expectations but exceed them, fostering loyalty and driving growth using these tactics:

  • More personalization by smoothly integrating data from a variety of sources to tailor the digital experience to individual user preferences and behaviors.
  • A consistent omnichannel experience when all components work together harmoniously, for a consistent user experience across online, mobile, or in-person.
  • Faster innovation to respond to emerging trends and customer needs more swiftly by adding, removing, or updating components without impacting other elements.

This is how you not only keep up but start anticipating and shaping future trends to sharpen your competitive edge.

Composability and headless CMS

A headless CMS can support composable architecture, making it a critical component in modern web development. Unlike traditional CMS platforms, a headless CMS separates content management from content delivery, serving content through APIs that allow seamless integration with various front-end systems. This reliance on APIs make headless CMS a good candidate for composable architecture. 

By integrating headless CMS with composable architecture, you empower developers to select specific technologies for the presentation layer, such as frameworks and libraries that best fit the project’s requirements. This capability aligns well with the principles of composable architecture, where each component or service is chosen based on its ability to provide the most value in its domain.

Benefits of composable architecture in a CMS

In a composable environment, a headless CMS acts as the content backbone, interfacing dynamically with other independent services such as eCommerce systems, customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and personalized marketing platforms.

Composable architecture empowers a CMS to easily reuse content across multiple channels. By structuring content as discrete, standalone components, it can be published on websites, mobile apps, social media, and more without the need for duplication. With greater consistency across all platforms, improved brand coherence, and stronger content strategies it’s a winning combination.

How WordPress VIP’s API Mesh streamlines composability in a headless CMS

The VIP API Mesh works as the conductor’s baton for your composable API-first development. Just as a conductor uses a baton to direct the orchestra, ensuring that all components play in harmony, WordPress VIP’s API Mesh orchestrates the interaction of APIs and services. It aligns disparate elements of the composable architecture, directing data and functionality to create a symphony of integrated user experiences. Just some of the improvements API Mesh makes in composable architecture include:

Consolidated control—WordPress VIP’s API Mesh serves as a central hub simplifying the management of diverse services and APIs in a composable architecture. It’s a single point of control for integrating various components, reducing the administrative overhead and enhancing the overall governance of the digital ecosystem.

Decreased complexity—By mitigating the complexities of individual APIs and providing a unified interface for creating a unified GraphQL API, API Mesh significantly reduces the complexity inherent in managing multiple services. Developers can interact with a single dashboard that handles diverse data formats and protocols, simplifying the development process and reducing the time required to deploy new features.

Connection between frontend and backend—API Mesh effectively bridges the gap between frontend and backend systems, enabling seamless data flow and interaction. This connection is vital for maintaining a responsive and dynamic user experience, ensuring that all parts of the application communicate efficiently and without disruption.

Final thoughts on composability

Composability offers you a modular approach with many advantages for creating differentiated solutions that meet fast-evolving and specific business needs—all without having to overhaul entire systems. 

By employing technologies like WordPress VIP’s API Mesh, you can now also harness the power of a headless CMS along with other best-of-breed services to enhance your digital presence while nurturing innovation, easier maintenance, and faster scalability.