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Serverless technology is bringing CMS out of the past

clock-iconFebruary 19, 2018

The world is shifting to the cloud, but web content management systems (CMS) are still stuck in the past. Even the easy WYSIWG editors are limited in features. Developers are forced to constantly fill out form fields, preview their work, and regularly patch CMS installations.

In an age where organizations are trying to innovate to be the best, “they’re facing a watershed moment in web development,” according to CMS provider Scrivito.

Thomas Witt, founder and CEO of Scrivito, explained ReactJS, which is developed by Facebook, was the first JavaScript framework that really worked well with what they needed it to do with their CMS solution. He said that since it is very component-based, developers can go in and build their own components and reuse them between projects, making it useful for digital agencies. That combined with the serverless approach of ReactJS makes it a very powerful framework.

By taking a serverless approach, ReactJS can be loaded onto a content delivery network and be rendered in the browser. Developers are able to access any backend server they want to with this serverless approach.

This is a big advantage in development because everything takes place in the browser, the company explained. Gone are the days of having to constantly preview what your code looks like. With a serverless approach, developers are able to see those changes instantly. This means that the “turnaround times for developers are much, much faster than they used to be before,” said Witt.

“We think that ultimately everything is changing and we’re on the cusp of a new way of doing things and we want to take advantage of this technology and really push it to the limit and really try to make a product that speaks to everybody and does something for everybody, but really excels at security, scalability, and flexibility for editors, developers, and so forth,” said Douglas Patten, head of marketing at Scrivito. “We think that this combination of pretty much just working in React really is accepting into that and really pushing the boundaries of what’s possible right now. Things are going to change and we want to stay ahead of it.”

In terms of web app and web frontend development, Witt believes JavaScript “is simply the ultimate language and we think React is — at least at the moment — the ultimate framework.”

To address all of this, Scrivito announced today the first serverless JavaScript-based CMS. Scrivito is built on ReactJS and will improve the experience of building websites for web editors and developers.

“We’re at a tipping point. Agencies and dev teams that stick with WordPress and the like are doomed to be overtaken by the inevitable shift to serverless computing and JavaScript development,” said Witt. “We built Scrivito to help agencies and companies meet the needs of today’s dynamic website requirements across any device or platform. And this is just the beginning.”

WebriQ CMS -- A Git-based approach to managing content

The premise is that you can leverage modern frontend tooling to create lighter, faster, more secure sites. And FYI, this isn't fringe developer extravaganza. Entire organizations like Smashing Magazine, Sequoia Capital & Mailchimp have migrated to frontend tooling. One of the first implications here is decoupling the building & hosting of your site. You can "pre-bake" and pre-build assets and then serve them on Content Delivery Networks. This effectively frees your content from the database/templates imperatives of traditional CMS, like Wordpress and Drupal. However, the content itself still needs to live somewhere. That's where Github comes in. To create your site, you can use a static site generator like Spike, the one implemented as standard by WebriQ or a Javascript frameworks like Ember, Angular, React, or Vue. It doesn't matter. The point is you store the site's content in a GitHub repository, where most of your pages can be simple Markdown files. Then, you deploy & host that static content on a content delivery delivery network of your choice. WebriQ CMS is a Git-based, open source Ember CMS. The CMS is part of an APP to build, manage, update and host sites build with unique front end tools. With WebriQ CMS your content lives in Github and the CMS leverages Github's API to interact directly with your content repository. The WebriQ API allows the CMS to interact directly with the Github repository. It loops editors directly in to Github workflow. You can see our Git based CMS in action on WEBRIQ CMS DEMO