Scalability: Plan For The Future
Off-the-shelf CMS platforms are almost never built for high-traffic scenarios. The reason is simply that the developers of these systems don't plan for it. The highest-trafficked websites almost always rely on custom solutions, because they know that a high-availability, scaled solution is difficult with off-the-shelf solutions.
Don't Drink The Kool-Aid
Many off-the-shelf platforms tell the story of their successes on their very own homepages. WordPress is used by CNN! Drupal is used by Al Jazeera! But in reality, those organizations are not using these platforms for mission-critical applications. They are using them for side projects.
The largest websites and web applications in the world rely on custom solutions to power their websites. And when they do have something off-the-shelf, whether open-source or enterprise, they commonly have them hacked to be decoupled or headless.
How can you best scale a custom CMS?
There are a lot of methods that can be used effectively with a custom CMS. Some tactics include:
- Separation of the CMS from the front-end experience: Also known as "Headless" or "Decoupled" CMS solutions. Separating these from each other make scaling the front-end experience very efficient and easy.
- Load balancing made easy: When the CMS is separated from the display layer, load balancing across a platform of servers is no problem!
- Technology options: Almost every off-the-shelf platform, open-source or not, will rely on one database option: MySQL. While being a great option, at scale it has its moments. Custom CMS solutions can utilize the latest NoSQL solutions such as MongoDB, resulting in large performance boosts.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
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