Vaadin for a full Site - few questions

Hey guys,

I am currently working on a quasi-portal site. In other words, the site will hopefully be experiencing a lot of traffic, and due to that I have several questions.

Originally I was planning to use Vaadin for the whole site, and setup HTML snapshots to allow Google to crawl the site,however I am slowly realizing that it might not be the best idea to do it in such a way.

  1. Has anyone been able to successfully develop a whole site in Vaadin, with SEO, that gets over 100K pageviews per month? If so, what were your server requirements and were you able to use AdSense on your site for example?

  2. Has anyone been able to successfully split their site in such a way that Vaadin gets used for certain things such as forms and other dynamic content, but still have them wrapped in an HTML site? Were there any communication problems with this approach (data synchronization between the Vaadin form data and then the HTML etc)? What approach did you use? JSP for the general page, and then

    to embedd?

  3. Would using vaadin to build a forum on a site be a good idea? Vaadin would make dealing with layouts and panels extremely simple definitely speeding up the design process but I have no idea if it would perform well enough, and if the servers would be able to handle the rendering and such, especially if the forum gets a lot of page views.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Hi Bart,

we were playing a lot with pure-web sites and Vaadin, and by my experience, if your goal is the real web site, not a system or application, exposed to a web, it is better (IMO) to stick with dual-model for such projects:

  • main content engine to be plain html/jsp/servlet, e.g. not a RIA-framework powered
  • when required, you can embed Vaadin apps or mini apps (like portlets) as blocks inside your plain web content as iframes or other techniques.
  • all backend part of your site is truly deserves plain Vaadin - it will fit excellent there.

This does not mean you cannot use Vaadin-only. We were successfully able to support SEO (not with snapshots but with live data) by implementing alternative content streams for search engines, but the main trouble you’ll encounter when making a pure website with Vaadin is likely:

  • designers will want to implement some fancy JS, effects, galleries, etc
  • business will want to add more JS counters like GA, more JS stuff like live help and so on
  • put “that cool thing” here and there

and those tasks will be easier to implement with plain html model, not with RIA app, as you can pass this kind of job to web designer / web engineer, not to a JEE developer.

Here are our past projects, done purely with Vaadin:

Hi Dimitri

Thank you so much for the response.

The two projects you provided are extremely well done, especially if as you say they are all done completely in Vaadin (The wrapper being the Vaadin application itself).

The tab switching in
Gui Machine
is very quick and changes content flawlessly.

The second site, has what seems to be a complete e-commerce system implemented. Was this part also done strictly in Vaadin?

If you have info on things like that, how is the server load performance with such sites when they experience a lot of traffic?

Also neither site seems to be implementing any advertisements. Was this simply unwanted or were there problems related to implementation?

This is very interesting. What exactly do you mean by live data? If i kill javascript on the site, it displays something that resembles just a pure HTML site (although the content is slightly different between the original and the one without the JS) and I thought this is what was meant by snapshots. How does live data work exactly?

Again, thank you for the response.