Flexibility is the name of the game at Varnish Software. Anyone using or familiar with Varnish Software's offerings is at least aware that most of what we do aims to make things more flexible for users, and keeping their needs in mind.
Many companies have quite unique, specific requirements for ensuring that different kinds of content is made available and accessible only to specific users. It stands to reason that there are different kinds of content for different users: employees, contractors, customers/users, vendors. There can be some complexity to ensuring that content access is managed appropriately via appropriate authentication and authorisation processes. This complexity increases when one large company merges with another.
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.