CMS websites are now the norm as the preferred content management and delivery solution. Nevertheless, many CMS web applications face scalability issues. However, when a CMS is put in the cloud, it theoretically resolves the scalability issue to obtain a complete benefit.
But, if a cloud platform is not configured to match the particular needs of the CMS, it will need to work harder. This will result in higher loads than what is actually needed to serve the incoming traffic. Therefore, in most cases, it is sensible to cache the static content. The issue that one faces here is whether the cloud is able to tell the difference between a user who has signed into an application and is therefore being served with dynamic content and the one who has not yet signed into the application.
At the same time, a CMS presents many other challenges other than scalability due to the paradigm shift from the traditional model of sharing files from a central repository. The reason behind this is that websites no longer operate isolated or in standalone mode. They must be able to interact with a range of other business applications that range from ecommerce business solutions to CRM databases to a range of reporting as well as analytics tools. To cut a long story short, websites have become increasingly data and content hungry because of their complex nature and the requirements of their users.
Managing such websites is now a full-time job. Earlier in the traditional hosting scenario, the site owner had to figure out how to look after the application, but also the servers, backups, databases, and others. Now, the platforms are specialized, so handling a web application which was a full time job can now be addressed by a person who can pay full-time attention.
Developments in the CMS landscape
Early CMS developers faced complex situations. Traditional web development techniques became obsolete. Proprietary solutions which became available at that time lacked the flexibility that was required. Open source CMS was the result of this upheaval. One of the notable CMS that is a great example of flexibility is Drupal. It is a free and open source content management software powering hundreds of thousands of websites and even online applications. The success of Drupal has resulted in an enormous business ecosystem. Therefore, thousands of add-ons have been developed that extend its functionality. Drupal fits the bill as a unique web content management system that addresses the needs of most websites. Drupal applications can be deployed in a ‘PaaS’ environment, where the stack is already optimized for Drupal. In this case, Drupal websites are designed to succeed.
Cloud and elasticity
Website performance can degrade due high demand for viewership owing to a sudden spike in traffic. With the help of cloud, you can solve this problem. Before Cloud, there were problems related to servers as they had to be sized to meet the peak demand. Drupal implements the elasticity concept really well, because it has a modular architecture that is designed for scaling up as well as scaling down on the cloud so that it can handle the elastic load.
What is PaaS
PaaS stands for Platform as a Service that is an evolution of cloud computing. It includes platforms for building as well as executing custom applications, which are also referred to as web based, on demand, and even ‘Software as a Service’(SaaS) solutions. Opposed to to the traditional model of building as well as running on-premise applications, which was expensive, complex, and even risky, PaaS is all about providing the infrastructure needed to run applications using the Internet.
Understanding the Scenario
A good website is one that delivers a great end-user experience. A successful site is the one that is more accessible for its target audience. Therefore a site needs to become a cross-channel interface for including content of a range of subjects. At the same time, CMS needs to face the challenges such as uptime. To address these challenges such as the need to scale websites vertically and dynamically, a CMS can be moved to a cloud to provide enhanced scalability.
Additionally, adding ‘PaaS’ architecture manages complexity and an open source solutions enable flexibility. Gone are the days when proprietary solutions imposed limitations, because open source CMS Web Development have seen the light of the day that can deliver a content rich user experience along with supporting a large authenticated user base and even nurture major social networks as well as communities.
Note: The author of this paper is associated with Viteb. Viteb can be consulted for CMS Web Development and Web Design Services.