Archive for September 26, 2011

What Are the Components of a Good and Effective Web Content Management System?

September 26, 2011

Once the decision has been reached to purchase a web content management system the issue then becomes “What makes a good web content management system?” Should the purchase be based on brand? Can the assumption be made that Microsoft (for example), because of their name and based on the fact that you are running a Microsoft shop, has a content management system that would best fit your needs?

There are four questions that must be a part of the debate. The four questions address:
What your web content management  needs  are versus what the available CMS’ offer How steep the learning curve would be for your  IT department and especially for your non-technical employees who will now be asked to create and publish their own web sites When can you have this system available for use across the enterprise – days? Weeks? Months? Which content management product is most effective in providing a return on investment that is easily quantifiable?Is the web content management system easy to use? Aside from the ROI, the most important question initially has to be “is this system easy to use?”  Chances are that the desire for a content management system is based on a perceived need to take basic website maintenance out of the hands of your IT department and place it into the hands of those who actually create the content. This saves time and money, but those savings will never be realized if the content managers have so much trouble learning how to use the system that it’s never adopted.

An easy to use web content management system will have:
Training and support in the form of easy to read and use documentation, online videos, and cost effective training  provided by the vendor WYSIWG editors that  make creating and editing content as easy as typing a memo in Word or creating a PowerPoint presentation Easily created page templates and the ability to clone existing pages and or templates Automatic versioning  where new versions are created upon update and the content manager can copy or rollback to a  previous version   Pre-built components that allow the content manager to easily create a feature rich user experience with images, audio, video, calendars, news feeds and blogs Globalization features that allow an entire website to be easily translated into the local languageIs the web content management system feature rich? Does the web content management system provide the built in features that your organization is looking for?  Sure, just about every product has the WYSWIG editors and some type of security and a couple of built in nice to have components. When the discussion turns to features here are just a couple of things to look for:
Just how deep does the” granular security model” go? Is it “role-based” and can it be easily integrated into your existing security model? Can it insure that the right people have access to the right content and can work with the content as required by the business?  How many components does the content management system ship with?  And how many components do you have to pay extra for? For example – will your marketing department be able to indulge their penchant for customer surveys at no extra cost whatsoever? Built in navigation components  for easy and fast creation of horizontal and vertical menus, bread crumbs and  even category specific menus  where needed Inclusion of social media type components – blogs, message boards/forums, personalized web pages, photo galleries. Tools that can be used companywide  such as a news release  manager,  or a Frequently Asked Questions component What if you need document management also? Is it  integrated with the web content management  system and a part of this purchase or does this require a whole new set of purchase orders, licensing fees and sales  agreements?Is the web content management system fast to deploy? I have worked on projects which involved a purchased software package, where the system was rolled out over the course of several years.  This is because there is a certain amount of customization required before the application is ready to go “live”.

You do not want this to be the case with your web content management system. Look for a product that doesn’t cost as much to deploy as it did to purchase. You also want something that can easily be installed by your own IT personnel and doesn’t require a manual to accomplish.

Is the web content management system affordable? I love taking cruises and going to certain resorts. Why? Because they are all-inclusive, I pay one price and am fed and pampered for a week, and any additional costs are clearly stated up front. This is  exactly what your web content management choice should be like – all inclusive and any additional costs clearly stated up front.

Do yourself and your organization’s bottom line a favor and get a test drive of the product – not just a demo. Make a list of the features that your organization is looking for in a content management system and the make sure that most (if not all) are included in the base price for the product.  Nothing shoots holes in a pre-calculated ROI like a product that continues to cost money long after the sale has been finalized.
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How Does Joomla Compare With Other CMS’s?

September 25, 2011

Joomla is a content management system (CMS) like none other I’ve researched to date. There are a dozen or so CMS competitors. Some are commercial and charge for their software. Several others, like Joomla, are open source and available without cost.

Any perceivable differences are limited to a few specific traits. For some there is the cost factor which could deter many potential purchasers from buying the commercial products. While there are a few open source products that have low costs the commercial software products tend to be much higher.

Many proponents of the commercial CMS software suggest the product is a better choice once installed, primarily because of the post sale support such as training and stability associated with security experiences with the software.

Since most of the open source CMS developers are largely volunteers the issue could appear to be a potentially formidable challenge. This is where Joomla, for one, works very hard to capitalize on several factors that are currently feeding the product’s success.

An example of Joomla’s out-of-the-box approach to creating a trouble free product is a recently held “Doc Camp.” This international get-together was a follow-up to a weekend Joomla “bug squashing event.” The company promoted the events with the goal of increasing the viability and functionality of the product while focusing on cleaning us any inconsistencies in its operational functions.

Reports indicate literally thousands of volunteer developers were on the project. Industry observers state Joomla has a strong commitment to timely upgrades and new releases. Credit is given to the marshalling of volunteers and their exuberant, as well as technologically strong support.

Comparisons tend to favor open source CMS options due to several features:

Consumer friendly free downloads Strong documentation. Reliable training. Ongoing support and development

The Players

In addition to Joomla other open source CMS’s are Mambo, Drupal, PHPNuke, Post Nuke, Plone, TYPO3, e107, Open CMS, MODx CMS, WordPress, XOOPS and Zope.

The commercial entrants in the field are Vignette, Alfresco, RedDot CMS, Interwoven Teamsite, Tridion, Microsoft CMS, Oracle portal, Immediacy CMS, GOSS iCM, Hot Banana and Fatwire Content Server.

Can Joomla Hold On To The Top Spot?

Joomla tends to meet the strictest parameters expected of companies that would like to be considered leaders in the field. The competing team at Mambo also renders a build quality and application strength that keep them squarely in Joomla’s sights.

The remainder of the group provide add-on features like, job posting, guest books, and chat to name a few of the most popular features.

Once thing all open source CMS have in common is they are distributed under GNU GPL and tend to work well with most operating environments. Joomla gets the higher marks mainly because of the strengths of its largely volunteer developer family.

When looking more closely through the list of commercial CMS contenders we find the licensing differs greatly. Additionally databases and related servers in addition to programming languages are similar but created specific differences depending on the applications.

Overall, when comparing features like, building applications, operability, performance and user friendliness, Joomla out ranks 99.9% of all comers in every category. It must be hard to be humble when you’re that good and Joomla’s legion of fans is expanding more rapidly at every download.
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Joomla Social Sites – Using Joomla to Build Social Sites

September 23, 2011

So, what are the capabilities of the Joomla software? Actually, the capabilities are endless. Because of the open source coding, variations and extensions to the initial Joomla core components are endless. If you can think it, someone, somewhere can design it and it will work with the core software program.

Yes, this means that you can use this program to create a social networking website. And actually, it can be very easy. You can have all the cool features on your social site as any of the other social sites do. There are actually social sites that have already been developed using this software. And yes, there is an extension of the core software that will help you do this!

JomSocial is a set of components from this program that are designed to work with the core software program to allow you to build and operate a social networking website. The complication level for JomSocial is very low compare to others like it that is available in Drupal. You can create a unique and interactive social site very easy.

The features include: connect and talking with friends via personal chat, uploading and sharing photos, create, join and participate in groups, connect with others with a friend system and so much more. With the availability of an increasingly large variety of Joomla components and modules, your options are limitless when it comes to what you can do with the Joomla social software.

You will be able to find a directory of the available extensions that you could use to build a Joomla social networking website. There are about 60 pages of various types of extensions that you can use. Some of the extensions will only work with a certain version of this software, so make sure that you have the correct version. There are two versions: 1.0.X and 1.5. Version 1.5 is the newest, so before long you probably won’t see any new developments in the 1.0 field. Just make sure that your extension versions will match the version of the core software program that you have; otherwise they won’t work.

Here is another great source to information on creating social sites using Joomla and its called greendoc. Through research, you will be able to find a wide variety of blogs, documents that will help you through the process of developing your own social site using Joomla. As we all know, social networking sites have become extremely popular in today’s society. Whether you use the site just to keep up with friends who have moved away or to find new friends, to connect with business people and to network, social networking sites are engaging and fun and can be extremely useful. So, it’s no surprise that you would want to create your own. If you don’t know much about software or if you’re not an IT expert, using this open source program can definitely be beneficial to you throughout your social networking site development. Have Fun and enjoy!
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Content Management System Uplifts Website’s Content Quality

September 1, 2011

A CMS can be designed for various purposes like servers, desktops, some may need system developers so get it accessed through browser or the web. Content management system help in preserving consistency in all of the web pages of your website to preferred level. It would give user the freedom to manage the web content and don’t need to post it to the service provider for formatting or editing, and saves on time also. It works wonders for website owners and do immense good for their online business.

Some of the web content management system also contains plug-ins that can boost up the functionality of a website. Stay a little cautious while selecting content management system with SEO. Features like meta description tag, meta keywords and title tag should be present in CMS.

Whichever content management system you choose make sure that they don’t go on making their own title tags because most of the time they are not correct. Any good CMS would always create proper and meaningful tags so that your website gets easily found in search engines. Take care that the company you hire for CMS practices white hat optimization so that there is not any negative influence on your web site’s search engine results and visibility.

Using SEO techniques leads to rapid and simple website maintenance. Just make sure while choosing a CMS software it gels well with the search engines. You can publish your content and share with an effective open source CMS also. The content covered in online CMS are articles, blogs, guides, manuals, etc. The features of different CMS software do differ with each other, thus you have to choose the one that fulfills your needs.

Companies that happen to use content management system for their website, desire better productivity and improved ROI by the means of quality intranet and site content. Due to fresh and relevant content, visitors would like to come back to your website. Installation of content management system have enabled the webmasters to complete the job of managing content in an easier manner and fulfilling demands of the customers and the business.

Place the content on a web page with care and don’t overstuff it. Uncluttered look always gives soothing effect to the eyes. Selection of these keywords/key phrases should be made after proper discussion with the Search Engine Optimization experts and insert them constructively in the website content.

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