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Buyer's Guide to Web Projects

Independent advice in planning and buying web projects.

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CMS

What are the advantages of commercially licensed web content management platforms over open-source products?

May 23, 2016

Platforms based on open-source code are conquering the world of online services. WordPress, in particular, has spread with vigor. The platform is constantly developing, and there is no shortage of implementation partners. With the number of installations as the criterion, WordPress is probably the world’s most popular content management system. Continue reading “What are the advantages of commercially licensed web content management platforms over open-source products?”

Low-cost website builders have become surprisingly good

Jun 2, 2015

A client wanted me to evaluate Weebly, a self-service website builder. She planned on using Weebly for a separate branch of their organization.

I confess, I was very skeptical. After all, this was a big company that usually spends hundreds of thousands of euros on their web renewal projects.
Continue reading “Low-cost website builders have become surprisingly good”

Good usability in CMS? A myth?

Feb 3, 2015

No, not a myth. Although for many people CMS usability doesn’t exist. The reason, though, is not that CMS vendors aren’t trying. They are working hard.

But the whole concept of CMS user experience is in its early stages.

First of all, the CMS world is divided into two camps. One side is making rich WYSIWYG interfaces while the other is working on structured content management. Yes, many are saying that they do both, but in reality most of them do structured content management. They have just invested a lot to a “decoration layer” on top of a structured content model.

The big paradox is that both camps are right.
Continue reading “Good usability in CMS? A myth?”

eCommerce is the new name for web content management – interview with Boris Kraft

Aug 25, 2014

The interview series with CMS experts continues. The founder of Magnolia CMS, Boris Kraft, tells about the early years of the CMS industry and why Magnolia chose the open source way. Boris also explains why he believes eCommerce is currently one of the biggest trends in the CMS industry and why CMS products should be the primary tools to manage customer experiences in all channels. Continue reading “eCommerce is the new name for web content management – interview with Boris Kraft”

Contentful—CMS for mobile applications and custom web services

Aug 13, 2014

Berlin-based Contentful is an interesting startup solving a problem whose existence traditional CMS vendors have all but denied: managing content that is published somewhere else than in the channels the CMS controls.
Continue reading “Contentful—CMS for mobile applications and custom web services”

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”

Good questions to ask yourself when choosing a Content Management System

Jun 9, 2014

Choosing a suitable content management system for your business is not merely a decision on a technical system – it has ramifications for the website built on it, for vendor options, for the maintenance budget and for the everyday life of content managers.

When making your decision, you will run into some problematic questions. Don’t be put off. Although these questions are complex, they are not overwhelming.
Continue reading “Good questions to ask yourself when choosing a Content Management System”

Future, present and history of CMS user interfaces

May 26, 2014/p>
You don’t usually hear content editors praising the usability of their CMS, but still a lot of effort is spent on designing the user interfaces. We interviewed designer Rasmus Skjoldan from Copenhagen to hear about the current trends and major challenges in CMS user interfaces. Are things getting better? What are the main problems in making CMSs easier to use? Are the CMS vendors focusing on the right things?
Continue reading “Future, present and history of CMS user interfaces”

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”

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”

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”

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”

How to avoid vendor lock-in in a web project

Jan 23, 2013

Many of our customers have had bad experience with one or more vendors in their web projects. What they’ve learned the hard way is that a vendor may provide substandard service resulting in the customer wanting to change vendors to get better service. But changing partner is not always easy as many website owners find themselves locked into their current vendor.
Continue reading “How to avoid vendor lock-in in a web project”

The 2012 CMS Market in Finland: Domestic products

Oct 4, 2012

This article lists the most significant domestic content management systems in Finland in 2012. The list contains CMS systems which compete primarily for web projects in Finland in the 10,000-50,000 euro range. The order of the systems listed is based on an estimate of how commonly they are used as platforms for medium-sized projects.
Continue reading “The 2012 CMS Market in Finland: Domestic products”

The 2012 CMS Market in Finland: International Products

Oct 3, 2012

This article lists the most significant international content management systems in Finland. The list includes systems which are suitable for both large-scale websites and intranets. Other international products are also used in Finland, but this list includes only those with several integrators or very significant implementations. Continue reading “The 2012 CMS Market in Finland: International Products”

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