Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Now, more than ever, it’s vital that the content representing your online presence is current, valid and worth reading. That’s where the Content Management System (CMS) comes into play. I’ve been taking a fresh look at what our clients need from the CMS and how the myriad of systems currently out there, from the simple blogging tool to the corporate “Solution” can cater (and possibly over-cater) for the wide variety of requirements.
Our own humble CMS was born out of necessity. We started producing websites in the days when web designs owed more to glossy printed brochures than to the present-day silver bullets of behavioral economics and user interaction. Users began to realise that their message was no longer constrained by the frequency of the print run and that they had the right to demand changes to the website as frequently as they liked.
We quickly realised that we had to empower the user – to allow them to change their own content at will, whilst making sure that they couldn’t mess with the overall design integrity of the site. Hence the birth of our simple CMS.
It has grown over the years but we’ve deliberately avoided adding things that get in the way of the original case for user empowerment. Things such as content authorisation work flow, all very well in the corporate environment, but a bit of overkill when the website owner wants to get copy on the site asap. We’ve also flirted with one or two of the Open Source / LAMP offerings out there. It’s great to have a massive range of plug-ins and extensions available, but again, the noise can get in the way of what you want to do.
I’ve always liked the control we have over our own CMS, we can add what we like, integrate at will and make sure the software remains brilliantly supportable. But there comes a point where being humble can get in the way too. I’m not ready to deal with the corporate CMS, I’m not sure I ever will. But… the middle ground looks quite interesting at the moment.
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