Part of the beauty of Varnish Cache is its flexibility. Most Varnish users are familiar with Varnish Configuration Language (VCL) and how it can be wielded like a weapon or deftly handled like a pen to create custom configurations.
As more media outlets implement paywall technology, they also want to have a freer hand in changing access control and metering policies easily and instantly. After all, a more flexible paywall offers the ability to make more customized offers to specific users and potential customers, leading to potentially more subscriptions in the long run. The Wall Street Journal, for example, found that ‘loosening’ its paywall and offering more content via specific metering rules would lead to a higher conversion rate. There are a lot of ways to do this, and given the somewhat unpredictable nature of online media, many outlets are experimenting with different structures to see what sticks. To make this as flexible as possible, paywall technologies need to be adaptable enough to let media companies “bend” their paywalls to meet their users’ needs and experiment with content sharing and access.
Migrating to the most up-to-date versions of software is important for a number of reasons: getting automatic or easy-to-implement critical security upgrades and patches, sticking with officially supported versions and avoiding the problems inherent in sticking with something out of date. You want the most recent, tested and most stable versions of business-critical software to save yourself from not just inefficiencies but also everything from lock-in to ballooning maintenance costs.
Some time ago, we wrote about the possibility of replacing the Adobe dispatcher with Varnish.