Bespoke Content Management
I've developed a modular Content Management System (CMS) that, unlike most other CMSs, actually does what it claims - i.e. manages content.
Why do I say that? Because your average pretender to the title of content management system is actually really just a content formatting system. Typically each page of your website is presented as a blank canvas accompanied by a suite of buttons allowing you the humble user to plug in your content, apply styles and generally, er, format it. No thought or attention is given to the actual content itself, much less its semantic meaning or relationship to the other content in your site. Your content exists as blocks of marked up text, with the advantage that you haven't had to learn code to get it that way.
Of course, my content management system does that too. But it also treats each type of content with the individual attention and respect it deserves. So (for example) an FAQ (as in a Frequently Asked Question) is not just a couple of lines of formatted text, but an actual question and answer pair, with its own unique relationship to the other FAQs, maybe belonging to a category, and which can appear on one page of your site or on several. Plus, if you update the question or the answer, everywhere it appears on your site will be updated too.
By this point, anyone who is familiar with databasing will have spotted what is going on - namely that the content is being stored in a relational database, thus facilitating you the now not quite so humble user to actually (drumroll) manage it.
Simple huh? My CMS is designed to be easily deployable as part of initial site development, or added to an existing website with the minimum of hassle. I call it bespoke, because it is. Like a perfect suit it requires a little tailoring and doesn't arrive in any amount of shrink-wrapping, but don't let that scare you because customisation is provided as part of the implementation process.
- Modular approach means that all or some of the CMS can be utilised with minimum configuration (read cost).
- Multi-user permissions-based environment means that different users access can be restricted to selected features if required.
- Reporting and Auditing means that every user is accountable and that changes can be easily tracked.
- Standard (X)HTML interface means that the CMS can be accessed from any standard web browser and requires no special software.
- 'Intelligent' interface means that knowledge of HTML (or any other code) is not required.
- Optional workflow approval process means that edits need to first be approved by an administrative user before going live.
The examples shown and listed below (screens used with kind permission from Nicholas Dattner) are 'standard', but of course the content management system can be customised to any degree required. Please email me at email@example.com if you would like more information.
The basic module allows easy and convenient updating of web text. Paragraphs are automatically formatted, links can be easily created, and styling can be applied with the click of a button.
Images asociated with the page are shown alongside and can be added to from the library or removed by simply clicking them.
The Image Library contains all images that are available to be used on web pages throughout the site. Images that are not used in pages can be easily removed by clicking on them.
The upload facility will take any suitable image, resize it as appropriate and add it to the library automatically.
Other modules and components include:
- Products, to facilitate a range (or ranges) of categorised product offerings (easily customisable to be linked to merchant facility).
- Subscribers, so that you people who have subscribed to communications through the website can be efficiently databased and sorted (expandable to CRM system).
- SMS Broadcast, (currently under development) to allow SMS messages to be sent to all or some of the subscribers through a cost effective and easy to use interface.
- Questions & Answers, for easy administration and categoristion of FAQs.
- Links, to allow a database of links to external resources.
- Documents, so that a repository of downloadable docs can be easily maintained.
- Testimonials, for easy addition and maintenance of customer/client comments.
- Gallery, for simple addition and editing of paginated artworks or pictures.
- Directory, to maintain a directory of links or resources.
- News, to facilitate addition of 'Latest News' type updates, including XML/RSS feeds.
I have produced many custom versions, including an art gallery content management system implementation that facilitates management of artists, their artworks, exhibitions thereof, press releases and reviews, and more. Read more about it here, or see it in action at Sullivan+Strumpf Fine Art.
"I love the content management system. I had no idea it could be made so easy. I would certainly have classified myself as one of those individuals who, though computer literate, would always have thought being able to personally edit the website you built beyond me..."
- Nicholas Dattner