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Making CMSs Suck Less

Posted on 07 October 2004 by Demian Turner

Henry Bergius of the Midgard project has an interesting post regarding what is considered important in a CMS, here are some of the main points:

  • Make it easy to install. Your tool will see better adoption if you stop to consider the out-of-the-box experience before you ship it.
  • Make it easy to get started. Give first-time users a
    series of quick wins that become increasingly complex. When I first log
    in, I want to create a Web page.
  • Write task-based documentation first. Most systems
    have installation instructions that are quite good: "First do this,
    then do this, this, and this." But when it comes to actually using the
    CMS, they revert to feature-based docs, carefully outlining what each
    feature does, and typically from a back-end perspective.
  • Separate the administration of the CMS from the editing and managing of content.
  • Users of a public web site should never – never – be presented with a way to log into the CMS.
  • Stop it with the jargon already. I don’t know what a portlet is. Or a component, module, block, or snippet.
  • Why do you insist Web sites have "columns"? I’ve used
    quite a few systems now that have the notion of a 3-column layout. They
    give me the ability to turn columns off and on, and put "portlets" into
    "content-slots". Where does this assumption come from?
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1 Comments For This Post

  1. rtr Says:

    CMSs suck no matter how you spin it. There is NO way to make them suck less. For a cookie-cutter website, they do just fine. Once you are developing something interesting, however, you would be *very* wise to scratch CMS and develop your solution from scratch.

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