About A Webmaster - What You Need To Know

Custom CMS Special Features

September 23, 2005

In a previous article, we discussed how to go about building your own content management system. We talked about why you would want to build a CMS of your very own, what design considerations you should take into account and how you can add special features as you need them. Today we'll discuss some of the extra features that you can build into your own content management system.

The purpose of this article is to get you to think about what extensions would work best for your specific application. Your website is special and unique in its own way. Some of the ideas presented here might be invaluable while other ideas might be a waste of time depending on your application. In either case, you need to think about what will help your website so keep an open mind as you read.

One of the technical improvements you can consider is to improve the script that writes out to the filesystem. In our previous discussion we had explained why using a script that wrote out your database contents to the filesystem could be a very effective strategy. The proposed script was very simple, but inefficient. A major improvement you can make to this script is to write it in such a manner that it will only update files that have been modified since the last time it was written to the filesystem.

Making this change will be important as your website scales up and the volume of data you need to write out each time increases. As your updates become more frequent, allowing your script to run perpetually as a cronjob will remove yet another manual step from your website management. By having it write out only the files that need to be written, you will allow for a short efficient process each time it runs, saving precious server resources. There are a few different methods to alter the write out script accomplish this goal, but keep in mind that as you consume less CPU and disk I/O time, the solution will become more elaborate. The tradeoff is yours to make.

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