Published on May 31, 2008
content management (without the killing) drew mclellan, edgeofmyseat.com
edgeofmyseat.com a specialist web development agency experienced in building web applications from content management systems, e-commerce applications, to the systems that run your business.
so, content management then.
a tool for preparing eggs should be as simple as possible, but no simpler. - Eggbert Einstein
“A boiled egg makes an almost perfect breakfast. It's the most nutritional breakfast money can buy. The downside is that it's a bit of a hassle to prepare. First you have to wait 5 minutes for the water to boil, place the egg in the boiling water, remembering to set the timer, ﬁsh it out when it's cooked and ﬁnally you have to wash up the pan.” - James Seddon
as simple as possible, but no simpler.
so controlling. you’re not the boss of me
you don’t understand my needs that’s all I’m saying
you’re not my type.
build something, anything.
your site, your way.
it’s not you, it’s me.
use readable, reliable and hackable URLs - Tom Coates
data stored in an open format
customisable and accessible administration interface
web 2.0 features (cringe)
user generated content (cringe)
off the shelf systems
weblog management systems
weblog management systems • posts / articles • categories and tags • comments • sections • ﬂat site structures • simple to set up and use
beware the pimped out blog site don’t launch a new site with a weblog cms already stretched to its limits.
case study webstandards.org
state of existing site • CVS proving too awkward for casual edits • Movable Type was painfully slow to publish • wanted the ability to turn on comments • considering a full redesign anyway
choice to use WordPress • continued to be free of charge • new ‘pages’ feature to handle site content • integrated blog • no republishing for comments • moderation and spam ﬁltering • Matt Mullenweg was part of WaSP
lessons learned • dynamic rendering is a lot more expensive • the ‘pages’ feature was immature and slow
lessons learned • dynamic rendering is a lot more expensive • the ‘pages’ feature was immature and slow • hacking WordPress was a bad idea
solutions • unhack WordPress • re-implement our hacks with the plugin API • upgrade to faster hosting
avoid getting into an unsupportable conﬁguration at all costs.
medium scale content management
medium scale features • weblogs, photo gallery, events calendar • user / membership systems • structure / hierarchy management tools • more powerful search • workﬂows • versioning
beware! • complicated way to cook an egg • more power results in less simplicity • set up / conﬁguration • maintenance and patching • ease of use
enterprise level content management
building your own
case study edgeofmyseat.com cms platform
edgeofmyseat.com projects • content management at core • bespoke requirements on top • design-led • built for phased development & future expansion
our goals • reusable core functionality • avoid monotonous tasks • decrease the skill level required • be more competitive on smaller projects • structured data • high performance
buy or build?
we decided to build
platform • PHP 5.2, MySQL 4.1 • good performance • easy and inexpensive to host • inexpensive to develop • reliable • in house expertise
design decisions • ﬂexible templating • multiple levels of caching • structured and extensible data types • embeddable applications • ability to exercise control of IA • simple administrative concepts
planning for the future
know your plugins authenticity, licensing & support
beware hidden costs update charges & maintenance time
be a licensing bofﬁn know what you own & avoid lock-in
plan for the future don’t buy it today
don’t push the limits from day one leave room to expand
be aware of design constraints design for the platform you have
avoid per-user licensing you’re probably being ripped off
speak with existing customers (everyone hates their cms)
know your exit route understand the data import & export options
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