Dcycle Blog

The Revenge of Simple

July 19, 2021

All public websites work the same way; clients request a URL and, as a response, get some standard HTML, CSS, JavaScript and image files.

If you are building the next Tinder or Reddit or Yelp, things are a bit more complex. You need a database, security policies, user management, PHP or Node.js servers and so on. If that is your case, this article is not for you!

However, if all your traffic except content administrators is public and anonymous (that is, users don’t create accounts), you are throwing money down the drain if you are using a CMS like Drupal or Wordpress.

Wordpress, Drupal, Node.js: the wrong solution for the wrong problem

You are paying top dollar to develop, maintain, update, host and cache these incredibly complex and attack-prone systems (don’t calculate your costs right now, it will depress you).

The only reason you need these systems is to have a nice CMS-type backend, something like this:

A simple backend interface with Wysiwyg

Think about that:

  • You’re maintaining a 24/7/365 complex unversioned database
  • You need to manage backups
  • Because your setup is so inefficient, you need complex front-end caching if you have any volume of visitors
  • You need to manage security updates for your CMS

All that so that you can go in and have a Wysiwyg editor once a year.

How often do you use your administrative backend?

Whether you’re the only editor of your website, making changes once a year; or there are ten of you making changes several times a day, it simply is more cost-effective to use a modern client-side CMS.

Simply put, you have two options:

  • Host a CMS on a webserver available 24/7/365.
  • Use your site editors’ computers to power the CMS only when they need it.

Which do you think is cheapest?

Yeah but I’m too invested in Wordpress/Node/Drupal. I can’t change everything now

Bad news, Jack: Drupal, Wordpress and their ilk are constantly publishing security updates; and worse still: end-of-life advisories which force you to make major changes whether you like to or not.

(That’s not a typo, by the way: Drupal 8 will reach end-of-life two years before Drupal 7.)

Now, take a long hard look at the above links. You are running a business, I am willing to guarantee that you do not care about end-of-life advisories.

Pro tip: your competitors are moving to a much cheaper, better approach to manage public websites

While you are discussing end-of-life advisories, security updates and web hosting options with consultants,

  • you are paying top dollar to web experts, money which your competitors are investing into their business.
  • you are spending precious time on topics which have zero bearing on your business, time which your competitors are spending on improving their products and services.

So what is this approach?

As a reputable, growing business, your front-end web solution needs to be:

  • fully open source
  • fully standards-based
  • fully exempt from vendor lock-in
  • fully customizable

The approach is called JAMstack, and top brands around the world are using it.

How do I move to JAMstack?

You can hire a development team to move your properties to JAMstack, but at Dcycle we have found that most businesses prefer a subscription-based model with predictable monthly costs.

If your monthly public facing website management budget is $500 or above, contact us if you’d like to schedule a one-hour call to discuss how we can move your web properties to a fully customizable, zero-vendor-lock-in enterprise subscription model.

If you’re more of a DIY type, do a web search for migrating from Drupal or Wordpress or Node.js to JAMstack. Before you decide to go the DIY route, though, do yourself a favour and read Common Small Business Mistake: The Do-It-Yourself Attitude (April 30, 2020) by Ana Fejzagic Livancic, on LinkedIn.

Either way, you’re on a path to never hear about databases, security updates or end-of-life advisories again. And focus on your business.