Headless Shopify Hydrogen and Oxygen

headless shopify hydrogen and oxygen

One of the biggest game changers in the industry, Headless Shopify Hydrogen and Oxygen, were recently launched at the Shopify Unite 2021 event. Till now many industry specialists have glorified them as the future of the e-commerce industry.

But do you know what they are? Let’s talk about them in short!

In simple terms, Shopify Hydrogen is a React-based framework that is, used for building unique and customized storefronts. On the other hand, Shopify Oxygen is a platform that provides hosting to showcase custom storefronts.

Read on this article till the end to gain a deeper insight into the endless possibilities they offer and how you can take advantage of these solutions to boost your e-commerce store in the digital world!

An Overview of Headless Commerce Shopify

Are you aware of what Headless Commerce Shopify is?

Headless e-commerce Shopify is a system in which the frontend backend of your store is independent. Here, the frontend is referred to as the ‘head’, and ‘headless’ means an e-commerce store where the frontend and backend are distinct.

Undoubtedly, Shopify is a one-stop-shop solution for your e-commerce needs and requirements. On the contrary, when you expand, you may experience some rigidities like feature inefficiency or design capabilities. This approach ‘one-size-fits-all’ may work for some time, but you may start to face some issues when your business experiences growth.

Thus, you’ll need a storefront that can get adapted to your store’s ever-changing needs and requirements. And this is where Headless Commerce Shopify comes into the role!

Now, let’s look at the specifics of Shopify Hydrogen and Oxygen distinctively!

headless commerce

What is Shopify Hydrogen?

Well, Shopify Hydrogen is the React framework that gives power to developers to create unique and customized Shopify storefronts for customers. It offers the merchants a set of tools and components that can help them build a distinctive store from the beginning. You can even develop e-commerce sites that are lightning-fast and remarkably dynamic.

Shopify Hydrogen contains a rich catalog of certain React features including a shopping cart, variant picker, and content gallery. When these features or elements are integrated into your store, it will compel the customers to keep returning to your store.

All credit goes to the Shopify Hydrogen framework! This way, the developers won’t need to take the complexities and obstacles of customizations into consideration. Rather, they’ll concentrate more on creating effective store experiences for their customers.

What is Shopify Oxygen?

Shopify Oxygen is a platform that offers custom hosting services to Hydrogen storefronts directly. It has the power to manage the server components and complexities without the need for a third-party hosting service provider.

Earlier, merchants who wish to set up headless e-commerce have to rely on third-party hosting service providers. But, Oxygen offers its hosting services to create seamless headless e-commerce stores.

One of the additional features that Shopify Oxygen offers is that it helps your e-commerce store to handle huge traffic to run sale campaigns or social promotions. Even big websites crash down when they receive traffic. Thus, Shopify Oxygen saves you from that trouble and helps run your site smoothly.

Shopify Hydrogen vs Liquid

Shopify Hydrogen and Liquid are both frameworks for building Shopify storefronts. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses.

Feature Shopify Hydrogen Liquid
Performance Faster Slower
Flexibility & customizability More flexible & customizable Less flexible & customizable
Framework React Liquid
Server-side rendering Supports server-side rendering Does not support server-side rendering
Ease of learning More difficult to learn Easier to learn
Support Not as widely supported Widely supported

How Does Shopify Hydrogen Help You?

The main challenge for all Shopify merchants is the trade-offs. This means that the developers had to make choices between various technologies to achieve a creative vision for the site. To date, they had to prioritize either the site’s speed or customer experience. 

With the innovation of Hydrogen, a lot of technologies work together to build a stunning shopping experience for the customers without compromising on the site’s performance.

With its effective and quick creating experience, stunning components, and smart caching tools, it is no wonder that developers can now work on it to offer you the best speed and creativity you want for your Shopify store.

Why Consider Going Headless with Shopify Hydrogen?

There are many reasons to consider going headless with Shopify Hydrogen. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  • Performance: Headless commerce solutions can offer significant performance improvements over traditional e-commerce solutions. This is because headless solutions decouple the frontend and backend of an e-commerce store, which allows for more efficient use of resources.
  • Flexibility: Headless commerce solutions offer a high degree of flexibility and customization. This is so that developers are not restricted to using the frontend components and templates that the e-commerce platform offers. Instead, they can use any frontend framework or technology that they choose.
  • Scalability: For businesses that need to be able to scale rapidly and easily, headless commerce solutions are ideal. This is because headless solutions are not tied to a specific frontend technology, which means that businesses can easily switch to a different frontend framework or technology if their needs change.
  • Future-proofing: Headless commerce solutions are a good choice for businesses that want to future-proof their e-commerce platform. This is because headless solutions are more adaptable to changes in technology and customer behavior than traditional e-commerce solutions.

Know Some Exciting Benefits of Shopify Hydrogen!

Benefits of Shopify Hydrogen

Undoubtedly, Shopify Hydrogen is on the way to offering you exciting benefits! Let’s have a look at the benefits of Shopify Hydrogen!

  • React.js

    Shopify approved React.js as the building framework for custom storefronts. And if Shopify is investing in React, it is something that will surely make a huge difference in the e-commerce industry. It improves the credibility of React.js as the future of dynamic, fast, and customized storefronts.

  • Performance Optimization

    To get the best speed on the store, Shopify Hydrogen allows a mix of static and dynamic data that can be fetched from both the client and server sides. To enhance the speed and performance of the store, it has inbuilt caching controls that can handle dynamic data and minimize API calls.

  • Fast Development

    Hydrogen utilizes Shopify’s certain e-commerce skills to speed up the development process. It works together with the Storefront API to offer you a fast data retrieval process. Do you know how it’s done? Hydrogen consists of certain components, hooks, and utilities that assist in reducing the complexity that arises while creating a custom storefront.

  • You Get a Starter Kit

    One who starts to work on Hydrogen gets a starter kit that includes buttons, toggles, and navigation. If you are a pro in this field, you’ll no doubt create certain elements, but still, you can use pre-built components that can help you get started!

  • More Design Flexibility

    The ‘headless’ method of Shopify enables you to experiment with the layout and content hence giving you more freedom to design your Shopify store layout the way you want. It follows a streamlined process to build a frontend and share it on Oxygen. Additionally, your store won’t be affected after a redesign as the whole process is communicated through Hooks and APIs.

Can you use Hydrogen Today?

In 2021, the Developer preview of Hydrogen and Oxygen was made available to try out. It was for experimentation. But now, the full version of Hydrogen is released!

Now, the main question that arises here is that, if you decide to build your custom storefronts with Hydrogen, can your e-commerce team run a 100% developer-focused workflow?

Hydrogen is something that can be performed well only with larger merchants, and for this, you need a skilled development team to work on it. Similar to creating and building headless e-commerce, you’ll need a talented development team to create and maintain Hydrogen builds.

Need Help?

Reach out to us for quick guidance (via email/meeting) and our team will help you to select the best suitable solution/plan as per your requirement.

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