Types of CMS

zuhair-naqvi edited this page Jun 21, 2012 · 13 revisions

While obvious there is not a one-size-fits-all CMS, it would be useful to list the types of CMS we see a need for, so bundles can be designed to cover as many options as possible.

Small CMS

In my opinion these are too small to be a direct target for the CMF, but no doubt the bundles can be used to build them.

Medium CMS

Comprising a content-managed site of ~50 pages, maintained by 1-2 people who are given responsibility within the organisation. The site has forms which would be great to have content-managed (nothing like clients wanting to tweak labels and error messages every 10 minutes), and some level of interactivity (in their wannabe-web2.0 frame of mind, this usually means a link to Twitter, a Facebook ‘Like’ button and some form of commenting/forums.

There may be a visitor registration/login system, different roles/groups/perms for website visitors who log in, to gain access to additional content and ‘perks’.

Turning to the management, revision history is very useful for these people to restore pages they have damaged. A workflow, while not often vital, would also be a good component to have. Navigation structure management is vital, as is some way of allowing admin staff to understand where in the site they are editing. Asset management likewise.

Row level permissions can be useful in the admin, where users should only be able to edit their own pages. ACL is a complex field and one we will have to cross in the design of our system.

Finally, at this level we find clients want to insert fairly complex styled tables. Having an Excel style datagrid1 where they can enter the ‘data’ for the table without messing around with TinyMCE table tools and having to worry about the classes/styles would be very useful.

Reporting & A/B testing tools also v useful.

Example systems and notes

MODx

Very good at allowing custom fields to be attached to any document

Silverstripe

Even better with custom data types than MODx. The admin interface has versioning of documents and there is a workflow component

ExpressionEngine 2.12

Already built on a PHP framework (albeit a poor PHP4 one). But from the way designery types use it, I guess the interface is something we should investigate, as well as the flexibility it has

Drupal

Not sure if a medium one or an large/enterprise system – can be use for both. Those of us who know the curse of so many module know what the bundle system we design must avoid.

Large CMS

For users based in many offices working under the same umbrella company. Numbers of concurrent users can be in the 100s with separate websites for each office in a range of languages. There are users with different specialities who need different interfaces depending on their jobs. Roles include:

  • SEO specialists (who needs to edit link titles, page titles, descriptions, google analytics custom variables etc)
  • Content Editors (who write content)
  • Content Managers (requests content, handles navigation, sanity checks and puts live)
  • Managers (who want activity reports)
  • IT department (who want super-user access)
  • Translators
  • Designers (who create and tag images)

Enterprise systems can contain millions of assets, including some sensitive data. Security and comprehensive advanced search is a must.

Integration with other technologies is also a key concern, including CRMs and integrating and enriching data from various (legacy) sources like ERP systems and 3rd party webservices.

Example systems

Microsoft Sharepoint

http://sharepoint.microsoft.com

Sitecore

http://www.sitecore.net/

Currently a very popular Web Content Management System in the Medium Enterprise. Featured as a category leader in Gartner’s CMS Magic Square – rapidly growing.

SDL Tridon

http://www.sdl.com/products/tridion/

Big brother of Sitecore, truely enterprise Web Content Management system. Used as a preferred solution by the likes of Accenture, Cap Gemini, Hewlett Packard etc. Licence / Pricing starts at $80,000+

Alfresco

http://www.alfresco.com

Day

http://www.day.com/day/en/products.html

eZ Publish

http://share.ez.no

CMS with Ecommerce

It appears only large ecommerce packages (and by this I mean larger than Magento) include a fully integrated CMS, rather than a bolt-on for static pages. In our minds the whole site should be content-managed, and products inserted into the CMS, rather than CMS pages linked to from the ‘core’ catalog system. This allows the user experience to be customised, and makes it possible for the site to stand out further, be better search engine optimised, and relate to prospective purchasers in a way that traditional category/product tree systems can’t.

Web application

Our experiences with clients who want to micromanage their web applications has convinced us that some form of CMS for every screen is vital – a way to let the client manage all language strings in an application, and possibly switch out images and blocks/components within the website.

Existing CMS’s to refer to

For functionality

Sitecore

http://www.sitecore.net/

Currently a very popular Web Content Management System in the Medium Enterprise. Featured as a category leader in Gartner’s CMS Magic Square – rapidly growing.

SDL Tridon

http://www.sdl.com/products/tridion/

Big brother of Sitecore, truely enterprise Web Content Management system. Used as a preferred solution by the likes of Accenture, Cap Gemini, Hewlett Packard etc. Licence / Pricing starts at $80,000

For UI Design
For user interface design for the manager, these are the systems I have bookmarked and think we can learn from:

Ekklesia 360

Designing for a non-technical audience, the guys from http://www.monkdevelopment.com/ have done a very good job with the UI

Squiz Mysource mini

Look at that interface… mmmmm

Squarespace

An interesting option – hosted but with a real following from its users (you know it has to be good when people will pay for using it)

One other vital piece of interface design is asset managmeent. My feeling is that a virtual filesystem is the way to go, so if an image (for example) or PDF file is replaced, then links to it can be updated throughout the system even if the ‘file name’ changes.

Feature Reference

Squiz

Definitely worth having a good in-depth look at

Immediacy

Has a whole asset management component. Plus sharepoint integration.

Day

Uses ExtJS for the admin area. Allows page building and intriguing social connection features. Written in Java

MODx Revolution

Not played with in depth (yet), but looks a very promising CMF. Would have used Doctrine had it been in existence when first planned.

pimcore

Built on the Zend Framework and uses ExtJS for the frontend. Some really interesting features, including Webdav support for asset browsing and the ability to communicate with Java using the Java-PHP-Bridge, the Zend Java bridge and Apache Thrift.

1 Matrix ExpressionEngine custom field example of a data grid.

2 Google Groups discussion on pros of EE2

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