Serverless WordPress

Can it be done? Yes. Is it practical? No.

That is so far what my conclusion is at the time of this writing. I was looking again at the web tier for the vSkilled website. I want to ideally run the website serverless, but without ditching WordPress. Like many others I use WordPress as the back end CMS. It’s a powerful platform that can do almost anything you’d like within reason. I don’t really want to give that up just for the sake of a serverless architecture.

While that sounds like it should be possible – it’s really not ideal. There are services out there that help with this process, like Shifter and Hugo. But it’s not truly a serverless WordPress environment. How it works is by hosting a temporary WordPress website then when you’re done editing, converting the entire site to static content.

Shout out to those companies for literally leading the way on this front.

Benefits of going serverless:

  • Security – Your attack surface is significantly reduced.
  • Speed – Since all content is static your website is CDN optimized.
  • Less Maintenance – No need to worry about a server
  • Scaling – Your site can scale easily to what ever size of traffic… if you can afford to pay for it
  • High Availability – Your website should never be down on a serverless architecture. If so, you’ve done something wrong on your end.

In the end it comes down to that WordPress was not designed for serverless deployment. Everything has to be static for serverless. Which itself is fine, you can still run your dynamic content in other ways, but the core of the site itself has to be static content. From my searching around there are no serverless based CMS. I feel like this will be the next leap in CMS systems as right now there is a big gap in this sector and plenty of opportunity.

There are other ways to go hybrid like the S3 Offload plugin, or using other CDNs – but I already use those. I’m looking for the full evolution. Unfortunately it seems it’s still too early to do it in any convenient and easy way.

Leave me a comment below if you found something I didn’t, or have any recommendations in regards to serverless web architecture. Thanks!

Karl Nyen has been involved in the virtualization, server, web development and web hosting industry for over 13 years. In his current role at a managed service provider, he is focused on cloud-based solutions for enterprise clients. His diverse background of sales, management, and architectural/technical expertise bring a unique perspective to the virtualization practice.

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