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last modified April 4, 2008 by ctxlken


This project aims at offering a more integrated and out-of-the-box capability for Plone to be used more as an internal CMS and publishing tool that can export, or push out its published web site content as a static HTML website.

This project is a result of the topic's popularity at the Plone Strategic Planning Summit 2008 at the GooglePlex. 

 This architecture has the following advantages:

  • Security: You can run Plone internally, and possibly on a less robust/costly server, since it will only be used by internal content managers.  You could then export your published site content in its static form (.html, .css, .jpg, .swf, .pdf files, etc.) and deploy that static site easily to either a very affordable, simple shared HTML site hosting plan, or a massively scalable, load-balanced web server environment for larger organizations.
  • Scalability: Since the published site is static HTML, CSS, images, etc., with no database backend to have to connect to or dynamic scripting engine needed to transform the content as a page is requested, the site is served up much faster and the deployment environment is more stable due to fewer moving parts (no database, no scripting engine, etc.)  Demands on server CPU and RAM can be greatly reduced.
  • Flexible Hosting Options: You can run Plone on your laptop, export your static site as simple HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and image files, and deploy to a $5/month plan shared hosting environment.  Or, you can put your entire published site onto a thumb drive to carry around with you.  Your entire site could be served from memory (cache the static HTML and other files), since no database is needed for the published site to run.  There's no need to buy a Plone-centric hosting plan in this scenario.
  • It's Achievable!: There are a few sites out there using the CMFDeployment add-on tool for Zope/Plone.  This is the low-hanging fruit, but we shouldn't paint ourselves into a corner if there is a better approach.  Entransit may be another option, but to-date, this tool allows for exporting to a relational DB or possibly XML, but not HTML at the moment. 


Next Steps:

There were a few folks at the Plone Strategic Planning Summit who volunteered to be involved in this effort - you know who you are ;)  They'll be contacted, so we can gain some momentum, put a plan together and a reasonable time line, discuss how integrated this can become with the Plone core bundle for a future release, target a Plone release to marry to, etc.

If you're interested in getting involved as well, please join the project!