wcms evaluation tips

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This is a very old presentation providing some tips on how to evaluate a web content management system (WCMS) along with some details on our in-house WCMS.


  • 1. slate + tips for evaluating a wcmsDave Olsen, WVU Web Services September 30 2008

2. What Well Talk About Dening CMS About slate Tips for Evaluating a WCMS A Quick Tour Questions or Comments 3. Dening CMS "A CMS is a tool that enables a variety of (centralised) technical and (de-centralised) non technical staff to create, edit, manage and finally publish (in a number of formats) a variety of content (such as text, graphics, video, documents etc), whilst being constrained by a centralised set of rules, process and workflows that ensure coherent, validated electronic content." 4. Dening CMS Simplied: Its a system that manages content. The not so simple part? Dening content.also realize that once you have a system youre locked into itsway of thinking about content (e.g. organization, types) 5. Flavors of CMS by Content Document Management (PDFs or Word docs) Records Management (student recs.) Web Content Management (slate) Portal (MIX) Digital Asset Management (photos) Enterprise Content Management 6. What is slate? A web content management system focused on rapid production of traditional web sites at WVU Developed to scratch an itch in our unit Under on-again off-again development for 3 years Hosting 150+ production sites Managing 500+ users Handling 300,000+ page views a month (very old data) 7. Some Technical Details Ruby on Rails Framework Apache 2.2 w/ mod_proxy_balancer Microsoft SQL Server F5 load-balanced 2-server cluster Subversion 8. Why did we develop aWCMS in-house? NIHS: Not Invented Here Syndrome The ability to build a product that addressed our goals more directly It started as a small project (e.g. no funding) that has mushroomed 9. Initial Goals for slate Limit the disruption to the current process of creating templates for sites Allow broad design exibility One install of a WCMS to deliver multiple sites Try new technologies Work with centralized services where possible Make it simple to publish content 10. Evolution of Goals aka What Weve Learned Making it easier to use (e.g.WYSIWYG) Better documentation. Need lots of training. Focus. Focus. Focus. Faster release cycles of new features and xes Trying to take advantage of being a WCMS. Especially where content can be shared across web sites 11. Examples webservices.wvu.edu 12. Examples thequestion.blogs.wvu.edu 13. Examples wvudownloads.wvu.edu 14. Tips for Evaluatinga WCMS Figure out what youre open to: Homegrown: evaluate just like a vendor Commercial: need lots of hand holding? High-end: got big demands? Open Source: want a customized solution? What are the licensing terms? Pay by seat, site or install? 15. Tips for Evaluatinga WCMS One product will not t your entire organization. Identify things that you like from your current process. You dont want to change it too much because no one wants more work. Dont underestimate the ease of customizing and managing templates. Its not all about content. 16. Tips for Evaluatinga WCMS Its not about the features. Its about the process. Ask for full demos that you can prep content for yourself (e.g. dont accept just the sales pitch) Get referrals and try to visit organizations that are using the product. Real feedback is what youll need. Thoroughly evaluate examples provided and ask vendor if anything was custom 17. Tips for Evaluatinga WCMS A good product will not be simple. Evaluate: community documentation support & training evolution (e.g. how often their are new releases) maturity 18. Other things toconsider... Is there a solution that helps manage content based on guidelines you have to follow? e.g. HIPAA What are the security threats for both the application and platform? What about versatility? Can it deliver blogs, image galleries, other? There may be some hidden costs to take into account (migrating content, electricity) 19. Demo Time 20. Questions or Comments?