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Content Management Systems What Your Mother Never Told You…

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Presentation on theme: "Content Management Systems What Your Mother Never Told You…"— Presentation transcript:

1 Content Management Systems What Your Mother Never Told You…

2 What is Static? “Flat” page Same information to all users No use of server-side scripting or coding to display information (no bells and whistles) Stays constant –text, images, and other items are in the HTML.

3 Things People Say About Static Sites Advantages –Quick to develop –Cheaper to develop than CMS –Cheap to host ( is free) Disadvantages –Requires HTML expertise to update site –Maintaining large numbers of static pages can be impractical

4 What is a CMS? A web application designed to make it easy for non- technical users to add, edit and manage a website.

5 Some CMS Brands Drupal WordPress Joomla Expression Engine Plone

6 Things People Say About CMS Sites Much more functional website Much easier to update Can allow staff or users to collaborate Control access to data, based on user roles. –User roles define what information each user can view or edit Can manage and control a large, dynamic collection of Web material

7 Is It True? More functionality = more to maintain Updates can be frustrating Need to define a process before collaborating Need to monitor your users Need a good practice for organizing content

8 Challenges…

9 Challenges Slower to launch –What’s the site supposed to DO? –Who will design and build it –What if we add one more cool thing… –How the heck do we use this thing?

10 Challenges Can’t make changes easily to the design –Need to update templates Templates may require some knowledge of PHP –Can become quite complex - cascading nature

11 Challenges More expensive to develop –Higher complexity –Hard to find good programmers –Different coding skill, not as easy to learn as HTML

12 Challenges Money, money, money. Can you pay for… –Design –Development –Training –Hosting –Server maintenance –Application Maintenance –Functionality upgrades

13 Myths Debunked…

14 Myth: Save Money with Open Source CMS Needs to be updated regularly –Drupal updates come out every few weeks, WordPress every few months –Most cases can’t do this in house Test updates on separate server –Make sure plugins/modules still work Re-launch the site

15 Myth: Free Modules Save Time and Money Plugin/module updates are maintained by user community –Can’t count on a quick response for troubleshooting –Many times they are released with bugs Need to be updated regularly –Will they still work on your site? –Who will do the update for you? –What if the update wrecks your site?

16 Myth: Free Modules Save Time and Money Drupal major versions not backwards compatible. –Modules developed for Drupal 6 will not work for Drupal 7 without recoding. Security problems –Modules can compromise the site as easily as security problems in the core.

17 Myth: Easy Content Updates WYSIWYG editors –Not reliable –Usually don’t have all the features you need –Need to have basic HTML/CSS skills Structure of the page may not let you add what you want… –Not all the elements of the layout are easily changed without extra coding.

18 I bet you didn’t’ know that you need…

19 Administration & Moderation Who is going to create users, maintain roles? –Full access to the CMS, can be daunting Who will monitor user comments/posts? –What time commitment is involved? –Who has the right to change content?

20 Training Who will train the site administrator Who will train your editors? Will the site’s admin interface be easy enough to use? –Display certain fields for certain users

21 Security Do you need an intranet? Do you need registered user only functions? How will administrators/editor log in? –Touchstone – certificates, Kerberos, or CAMS account –Certificates – have to be installed on your machine –Username/Password – diluting the security of your kerb, limits the way you can restrict access to groups

22 Security Different levels of security? –Admin –Users

23 CMS: Multisite environment How many sites are you going to need? How will you update them all? What if they use different plugins? What if you don’t start with a multisite set up and want to add a new site?

24 MIT Best Practices…

25 Hosting No IS&T-supported solution for hosting on Athena –Be prepared for hosting costs or –Student server down time or upgrades Need a system administrator –Usually programmers don’t have this skill set Need a safe hosting environment –Locked, power backup, HVAC

26 Hosting Security: Consider the software environment, such as shared hosting, where someone else might have access to your files –If files uploaded to the server need to be private, make sure the server has limited login access and that the CMS is configured correctly. If your CMS is sharing server space with another application, you may not be able to control who else gets to log into your server.

27 Hosting Best practices: have three servers –Test Server –Staging Server “Dress rehearsal” of deployment Matches the production server Tells you whether the world will come down crashing on you when you finally deploy If you have several applications living on your production environment, you can test to see if there's any negative interaction between them –Production Server

28 CMS: Backing up your data Some CMS don’t have auto-back up –Manually download the entire site –Need to know what you are looking for and how to FTP in If hosted by IS&T, comes with TSM backup

29 Benefits…

30 Permissions Granularity Permission can be given to an editor to manage the updating of a single item of content on a single page of the site. Permissions can range between single page and whole site access - and pretty much anything in between. Very granular permissions mean's maintaining control over who is doing what on the site.

31 Multiple Editors Many times numerous authors want to contribute to a site. –Administration panel can be configured to store multiple user roles and access –This facilitates the authors to just login and add their contents to the website.

32 Global Usage Editors and authors can access a CMS site from any part of the world. All they need to have is a computer and an internet connection.

33 Variety of Core Modules Wont suffer from upgrades to the core Sample core modules include (differs per cms): –Webforms –Role and permissions management –Categorization and tagging content –SEO friendly urls –Search –Workflow

34 Community Support Forums Chat Meetups Usergroups

35 Thank you (and say “Hi” to your mother) Lisa Mayer Myra Hope Eskridge Rebecca Asch Yang Gu IS&T Departmental Consulting and Application Development DCAD

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