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Buyer's Guide to Web Projects

Technology and vendor neutral advisor for web projects

Author

Perttu Tolvanen

Perttu Tolvanen is a Web Technologies & E-Commerce Expert at North Patrol. Perttu assists clients on early-phase service design, defining requirements, and in technology selections.

Marketing has inherited the web, but doesn’t know what to do with it

Jun 25, 2014

The interview series of CMS experts continues. In the following interview Janus Boye, the founder of CMS Expert Group Europe, talks about the history, present and future of CMSs. This interview took place in Leipzig, Germany, where the CMS Expert Group Europe had its latest meeting.
Continue reading “Marketing has inherited the web, but doesn’t know what to do with it”

Strongest WordPress agencies in Finland 2014

Jun 3, 2014

The web design blog Vierityspalkki surveyed the WordPress experts in Finland last winter. The project collected information on the agencies, their services, competencies, specializations, and the significance of WordPress to business on the whole. This information was compiled to help clients more easily find their most suitable partner for their WordPress projects. The survey was financed by North Patrol.
Continue reading “Strongest WordPress agencies in Finland 2014”

CMS battle: Drupal vs. EPiServer

May 20, 2014

Drupal and EPiServer seem to be the most common adversaries in Finland right now when it comes to big website projects. Therefore we decided to publish some comparison slides that help to figure out the main differences between these systems. Continue reading “CMS battle: Drupal vs. EPiServer”

Interview with Drupal insider Vesa Palmu

Mar 3, 2014

This time, North Patrol interviews Vesa Palmu, a web professional since many years. We will first glance at the history of the CMS market and how the rise of Drupal coincides with it. Vesa also casts a look at the biggest changes on the CMS market in the last few years and analyzes, for example, the rise of frameworks. Continue reading “Interview with Drupal insider Vesa Palmu”

How to buy concept design—10 tips for cost-effectiveness

Feb 3, 2014

Given that design quality correlates highly with results, companies pay surprisingly little attention to selecting great designers and buying service design projects.

Buying a concept design project is not a simple task. Agencies have vastly varying approaches and experience backgrounds, which makes it hard to evaluate whether a certain agency is fit for your job or not. But there are ways to make the selection process smoother and more successful.

This article gives you 10 tips that help you be a better buyer. Follow the advice and I can guarantee that your next concept design project will bring you more results—most likely at a lower cost.
Continue reading “How to buy concept design—10 tips for cost-effectiveness”

Choose the blogging platform that is best for you

Jan 30, 2014

Aalto University, Finland, recently held a course on building successful blogging concepts. I gave a presentation about choosing a blogging platform.

The main message of the presentation was that you can run a blog with any CMS. Dedicated blogging platforms make your life easier, but they won’t decide whether you succeed or not.
Continue reading “Choose the blogging platform that is best for you”

Future, present and history of CMSs as told by CMS expert Deane Barker

Nov 11, 2013

Deane Barker’s childhood aspiration was to be an architect and today he is one – building content management solutions for his customers. He sees the emergence of decoupled content management and true multichannel publishing as current hot topics. Continue reading “Future, present and history of CMSs as told by CMS expert Deane Barker”

WordPress challenges Drupal in media sites

Oct 31, 2013

WordPress has a variety of different use cases, but it’s notable that many larger and smaller media sites have switched to WordPress during the last couple years. Even though Drupal was once the rising star, WordPress shines when pushing streams of content and showcasing the best articles visually. This recent development has especially affected the Drupal community, because just a few years ago Drupal was the rockstar child that every media company wanted to use. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Continue reading “WordPress challenges Drupal in media sites”

Project story: Responsive web design propels former front runner back to the lead

Oct 2, 2013

Tampere University of Technology (TUT) registered one of Finland’s first two web domains in 1986 and was among the first universities to introduce intranets for both students and staff and launch an electronic magazine. TUT’s redesigned website caters to the web browsing tastes of various user groups across a wide range of browsing devices:
Continue reading “Project story: Responsive web design propels former front runner back to the lead”

Concept design done right

October 1, 2013

Ida Aalen gave an excellent presentation about concept design process at the CS Forum 2013 few weeks ago that should really be mandatory reading for every concept designer and content strategist.

Since everyone couldn’t be at the CS forum, we’ve attached the slides of the presentation and some key highlights from the case study for you to see for yourself. Of course there are thousands of somewhat similar presentations around the internet, but this presentation works nicely as a stand-alone learning material with great visuals and real-life images from the workshops. Continue reading “Concept design done right”

Present and future of CMSs by Jeff Eaton

Jeff Eaton, CMS expert, frequent writer and speaker at web and open source conferences, shares his thoughts on topical real-world content management trends and issues. Currently Jeff works as senior digital strategist at Lullabot in the US.

Jeff is also a highly respected Drupal expert. He is one of the core developers for the Drupal project, specializing in architecture and API development. See “eaton” on drupal.org if you want to see what Jeff works on. We met with Jeff at Content Strategy Forum Helsinki 2013. Continue reading “Present and future of CMSs by Jeff Eaton”

Predicting the CMS of 2017: Smart previews, stream management and simpler CMSs

Instead of focusing on present-day features, what will CMSs look like four years down the road? Rasmus Skjoldan, designer of Typo3 CMS, asked several experts about the future of web content management, and many CMS experts answered to this challenge, such as Karen McGrane and Janus Boye. Many of the experts mentioned the need for better experience management and content targeting, but also many other interesting views were mentioned.

The leading CMS publication, CMSWire, picked up the issue and wrote an article about the challenge. CMSWire seemed to like especially my predictions, but also other experts were quoted. CMSWire article: WCM Insights: What Web Content Management Will Look Like by 2017. Continue reading “Predicting the CMS of 2017: Smart previews, stream management and simpler CMSs”

WordPress setting the minimum standard for web content management systems

Aug 22, 2013

The popularity of WordPress has been consistently on the rise all over the world. But in Finland, its popularity has grown so fast in such a short time that you could say there is a “WordPress Boom” going on in Finland.

One factor driving this boom are advertising agencies who are quite openly championing the use of WordPress as their default web content management system (CMS). Also this “boom” has given birth to numerous WordPress specialist companies based in Finland.

Especially for article-driven websites, WordPress has become the default choice – even for bigger brands. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the product development of WordPress. WordPress has focused almost exclusively on the development of features related to article publishing. Continue reading “WordPress setting the minimum standard for web content management systems”

Project story: Making a giant public sector website using agile

Jun 10, 2013

Kela.fi is the website of the governmental agency in charge of social security programs in Finland. The website touches the life of practically every Finn: last year 19 million visitors accessed some 7000 pages of content and 1000 attachments. This agile 400k euro IT project involving around half a dozen external partners moved the website onto an up-to-date technical platform. A key usability aim was to introduce a responsive HTML5 based user interface (UI) suited for increasing tablet and mobile use of the site. The wide, multifaceted group of partners that joined forces to bring the project to fruition can be considered a speciality.
Continue reading “Project story: Making a giant public sector website using agile”

Web CMS market trends in Finland 2013

Jun 3, 2013

This article summarizes a few trends that have been fairly strong in Finland during the last two years or so. Somewhat similar trends can also be seen happening elsewhere in Scandinavia, but this article focuses specifically on Finland.

Strongest trends are the steady the rise of WordPress and Drupal. Bigger players like Microsoft, Oracle and Sitecore still have trouble in getting traction on the market in Finland. Even frameworks like Django seem to be challenging the traditional players when it comes to choosing technology to power world-class web presences. Especially the growth of mobile is driving big web renewals, but the Web CMS products don’t seem to have much to offer when it comes to building these highly responsive websites.
Continue reading “Web CMS market trends in Finland 2013”

Is the role of the Web CMS getting smaller?

Jun 3, 2013

The question of the current status of the evolving role of Web CMS was the key takeaway from my recent conference trip to Philadelphia. This article summarizes my presentation that touched the topic from one angle. Also in the end of the article I will summarize the discussions around the matter during the conference. Continue reading “Is the role of the Web CMS getting smaller?”

Advice on working with large software integrators

Apr 17, 2013

Choosing the right-sized company for your next project can be a tricky task when faced with larger “name brand” companies and the smaller unknowns. This article is about large software integrator companies that employ hundreds or thousands of software developers and work with multiple technologies.
Continue reading “Advice on working with large software integrators”

Don’t expect your CMS to do multichannel publishing

Feb 28, 2013

Multichannel publishing has been around for some time, but many organizations are dreaming of a system that would publish their content to several channels, like their extranets, social media services, email newsletters and mobile sites.
Continue reading “Don’t expect your CMS to do multichannel publishing”

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