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Content, Writing and Copyright Forum

    
Content Management Software
This is new to me....
asptony




msg:920571
 9:03 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have about 5 websites/companies that I am managing PPC, SEO, and other online/internet marketing tasks for and I have basically been doing this freelance. I would like to become more and more professional at this and make it my main source of income. A buddy of mine told me I should look into a Content Management Software to make things easier.

Any tips/suggestions from anyone. I am demo'ing Contribute from Macromedia as a paid solution or Drupal which is an open source solution.

All comments/suggestions are much appreciated!

 

malachite




msg:920572
 11:15 am on Jan 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Try Joomla!, IMHO one of the best open source CMS there is.

OldWolf




msg:920573
 2:18 am on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

hi

If you are planning to try a cms for improve your skills and ppc's,seo etc. let me throw my two cents :)

Im with a cms for over a year i was quite happy cause its like using a plane with auto pilot,you are hitting a button for anything and its done .I realized that i dont learn new things when using a cms and now im thinking to back to html.

pozitive sides of using cms
- everything is auto pilot
- its mostly for newbies who dont know how to make websites,some! of cms users can run a cms but cant make a 2 pages web sites with geocities :)
- ummm

negative sides of using cms
-it wont help you much improving your skills or learning new stuff
-you need to check whats going on often ( like everyday) for see if there is a new patch for your main cms/forums,you also need to check if there is a new version or bug discovered with the blocks, modules, addons you use.
-pray before sleep at nights for not see your site owned by a script kiddie when wake up.I think only better skill blackhats can exploit your own coded site but a kid whom can google may find a ready exploit can make your site down in 1 min ( its my opinion i can be wrong )
-you can find yourself spending more time for update,patch your cms software than adding content to your site
-You wont have much freedom to put ads everywhere you want like you did with html,css etc.
-if you are not good with coding it will be hard for you to seo.

if you plan to move your 5 sites to a cms please think 5x time

Good luck

TravelGirl




msg:920574
 12:16 am on Jan 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is a very interesting topic.

I also have couple of sites in basic html and they are doing very well. As these sites are reaching now about 550-600 pages each, I am also considering to move to CMS to manage it easier.

But the issue with SEO and boring paches updates are big for me.

I like to write articles much more than sort out technical stuff.

Does anybody else have any opinion on this?

Is it worth moving to CMS?

OldWolf




msg:920575
 1:20 am on Jan 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

hi

I dont have any idea if all cms's are same i must clear that i was talking about php nuke .You can check drupal,joomla,mkportal,cpgnuke or blog softwares :)

emodo




msg:920576
 4:44 am on Jan 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I love my CMSs.

Why? Because despite their limitations (although with some work these can be minimized) they make you more money than hard coding. Want to know why?

As a content website owner, I get paid for one thing: content. Anytime I am doing anything OTHER than making content is time I am not increasing my revenue. All that time hardcoding, interlinking, maintaining hand-coded older pages is WASTED TIME that I am not using creating content. With a CMS I just paste in an article and press publish, the rest (interlinking, updating navigation, etc..) is done for me.

I talked about this idea in an article a few months ago.

bumpaw




msg:920577
 9:45 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am curious as to how good the code comes out in the <head></head> that makes the SE happy. I tried PostNuke and it didn't seem that great in that area so I wrote my own CMS and am fairly well satisfied. It's very possible that I didn't give PostNuke a long enough try.

TravelGirl




msg:920578
 10:01 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

ok, i agree with you people who prefer cms, especially with emodo - i share your opinion.

but i am very reluctant to switch to cms as both of my sites written in html are on the top of the searches for all keywords.

i mean, not top ten, but very top positions like no1, no2 or no3 for houndered of keywords.

i can see that sites bellow mine are all cms, and i have a feeing that one of the reason is that my pages are optimised much better than theirs.

all my income is comming from advertising and my clients are very happy with sales coming from my sites. also, adsense is doing well too.

i know, if i loose these positions, i will loose large percentage of sales too, as it is obvious that site ranked no1 is selling much more that site ranked say no8.i think i saw statistisc somwhere saying there is drop of visitors of more than 60 % from no1 and no10 ranks.

so, i am wondering, is it better to put some more work in, and keep these good positions, despite the fact cms would be easier to manage?

did anybody tried to switch to cms and have any experiences regarding serps to share with us here?

OldWolf




msg:920579
 10:35 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

my site was html before (a friend built it for me)later i wanted try php nuke coz i felt its easy for newbies like me ( now half newbie :) ) I wasnt know any about seo, i wasnt know whats the risk changing from .html to .php learnt it after my site lost for 1 month at se's lol ,i wasnt have meta tags even coz i dont know what it means .

When my site was html i was all no1 with the words i want, after i start to use nuke it didnt changed im still there.But only one thing changed i start to read and learning.

Travel girl, you can try a cms with your unimportant website and see how it works :)

malachite




msg:920580
 11:27 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

TravelGirl - so long as you transfer to a CMS that allows search engine friendly URLs, ie. they remain .html and not .php, you shouldn't have too many problems.

Depending on the naming convention you use at present, it could be the case you end up with exactly the same URL using a CMS system as you have now. The bots won't know the difference.

I changed my sites over last year, and still maintain the same SERPs position I had with the html site, despite the fact all my URLs changed slightly.

I'd say go for it! It's so much easier than hard-coding, and as a previous poster stated, if your income comes from content, spend time writing content, not coding ;)

malachite




msg:920581
 11:34 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Old Wolf said of CMS:

its mostly for newbies who dont know how to make websites

Really?

How come government departments, major car manufacturers, and the likes of the United Nations use it then ;)

Beagle




msg:920582
 5:06 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Because a lot of different people/departments are contributing to the same website? And using a CMS allows them to upload content to the site without having access to the site structure itself? At least when the CMS idea started, I think that was its main reason for existence, and a lot of large organizations still use it that way, including the one I work for.

--The fact that the person who's contributing the content for a specific department doesn't have to know anything about building a website is kind of a fringe benefit. 8-)

TravelGirl




msg:920583
 10:21 am on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks to all of you for your cooments. I got the point, CMS will be inevitable for me sooner or later ... and it has to be soon, as I am already stuck and most of my pages are not updated due to this...

So, to move on, I already tried free Joomla CMS in conjuction with SEF Advance that gives you clean and SEF URLs. And it works fine BUT - no possibility to put meta tags in Sections and Categories (?!) That's not good.
Secondly : Titles are displayed in order : site title (general) + page title. I find it unacceptable. Page title is important to be first and has to be properly described for people to know what to expect to find if they click on that page.

I read a bit around Joomla forums and realised this issues are not resolved nor they intend to resolve them (?!)

Therefore, I decided to look at paid software.
My focus is now on Article Manager by InteractiveTools.
This software seems good. I didn't try it yet, but am very serious about buying it...

Does anybody have any comments on my Jommla findings? Am I missing something?

How about Article Manger experiences? Did anyobody tried this software?

Also,is anything else avalable that will be as good as Article Manager? Or better?

Thanks for your help!

Webwork




msg:920584
 12:58 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've looked at InteractiveTools products several times and have never been sufficiently impressed to consider their products "a buy".

I notice ITools only provides 2 links to installations of their content management tool. That alone causes concern. When a product is worth its price the product finds far broader acceptance. I'd like to see 2 dozen links to their product's installs before chosing them. A good comparison if VBulletin: Lots of examples of installations despite the fact that there are many other free BBS.

I checked the 2 linked sites for ITools CMS. The loading of the example sites is "clunky" (slow load, jerky load) which is something I've noticed about ITools other products over the years. It may be that the slow/jerky load of the example sites is attributable, in part, to busy shared servers. It may be that their coding is problematic. In any event, that "quality" is one reason I never put them on my must buy and try list.

As far as SEO issues are concerned I have to ask: How many ITools websites manage to outrank WordPress or other CMS sites? Before I based my outlay of cash on SEO factors I'd scrutinize what websites are ranking for what subjects and what CMS are they using. I suspect that the ranking of blogs/cms sites has far more to do with inbound links from authority sites than page titles, etc. SE friendly URLs are nice but, in competitive markets such as travel, IF ranking was as simple as SE friendly titles you still would never outrank all the other players that have developed other "SEO muscle groups".

My 2cents: Keep shopping. There's a reason why there are so many installations of WordPress, Movable Type, Mambo/Joomla, etc.

TravelGirl




msg:920585
 8:02 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

hi webwork,

thanks for your thoughts. i was under impression that most software that is used by most sites is a free (open source) software, so i thought that is the reason why lot of people are using it.... but now i have to think twice about this..

i know ranking is not only about sef urls, but is useful addition so i would like to stick with it.

good idea is to check ranking of various sites using cms, and base my choice on that info too.

do you have any idea how to know which site is powered by which software?

i can recognise some sites by intuition only (usually by template), but don't know exactly what to check to see which software is used.
i would apreciate your hint about this.

thanks!

asptony




msg:920586
 8:33 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wow, what a plethora of information i am getting from this topic. I'm glad I brought up these questions because now that I tried drupal and contribute i am slightly dissapointed and I have other options to look into.

I really like the point brought up by travelgirl about recognizing templates and such and trying to determind CMS' accordingly. This would help in "CMS shopping" for me and im sure many others.

malachite




msg:920587
 8:43 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

do you have any idea how to know which site is powered by which software?

If it doesn't say "powered by #*$!x" somewhere on the site, try view page source, the meta tag generator should give you some clues as to which CMS the site's using :)

asptony




msg:920588
 5:42 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

To add to this, my current company is looking for a buy vs. build on the content management systems and want something that is easily compatible with multiple systems.

Anyone know of any buy vs. build type information on the web. I will be doing some searches shortly too.

Winters




msg:920589
 10:37 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

I just want to add a bit to this topic, as I have explored so many CMS's out there. I have a background in programming, but did not want to reinvent the wheel. I tried almost all of them that are free and open source. (not just trying out the demo's but actually installed them on a host and used them for a few days).

Some of them don't do proper url's. I know there are solutions to making almost any CMS have friendly urls but if I have to spend time doing things, I'd rather not spend that time toying around with mod rewrite or related tools.

Many don't have at least a decent way to track visitors. The use of a CMS can get screwy with how logs are done, from what I can see. Some of them have their own built in tracking systems. As inaccurate as they are, those stats are our only way to plot predict and make changes and find trends so there is a need for more than just fluffy statistics.

Many are too difficult to customize. Some are very nice with alot of different skins and scripts and plugins, but at some point I realized I would have to be coding my own stuff using the CMS's standards if I wanted to integrate it. What about all the scripts I have written? Am I learning PHP or am I learning Nuke? I don't feel like the time spent learning the nuances of a particular CMS is really a valuable investment in the long term.

I found that alot of the CMS's are just really, really slow in proportion to what they were serving. The number of DB connections and requests can get pretty insane just to bring up a simple page.

I guess at some point I got burned out of trying to find the perfect CMS (btw: there is none :P). "Content Management System" has become a certain kind of thing that everybody seems to understand the meaning of. I still consider that phrase to mean "A System of Managing Content". I ended up just working out my own. It's not "full featured" or anything but I can add what I want, and I know it intrinsically.

What I'm saying is that, you should not rule out the option of working on a personal or custom solution. Some CSM's are really great, for certain situations, but there is alot of hype about them and many of them are simply TOYS. When you want something done right...

asptony




msg:920590
 5:34 am on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Winters,

I would just like to comment back on what you said that all of them have issues and not being the perfect solution. I think that vs looking for the perfect solution you need to look for what fits your business model best.

My company is in the process of choosing a Content Management system for our companies Intranet, Extranet, and Internet. We are compiling a Matrix and from there choosing what will fit our needs at best and then templatize/modularize the rest. We are also looking at the Buy vs. Build scenarios (in this case it would be Build vs. Open source...lol).

Basically, the whole point of this is that I am trying to say that it shouldn't be discouraged to use a content management system. But, compare what needs and wants you have of the system and then choose one that fits your needs best :-)

mromero




msg:920591
 3:53 pm on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I too have been looking for the Holy Grail of CMSs. I own several licenses of Article Manager but have none deployed. There are issues with AM and SEO. A user posted this response from Google in the AM Forums:

"We cannot include your site in Google News at this time because your articles are set up as posts or threads.

1. Set up your site in standard HTML format.

2. Each page that displays an article's full text needs a unique, static URL. We cannot include sites in Google News that display multiple articles from the same URL.

3. The URL for each article must contain a unique number consisting of at least three digits.

For example, our news crawler would not crawl these URLs: [google.com...]
[google.com...]

It would crawl these pages: [google.com...]
[google.com...]

4. Don't include a date in the URL. These URLs often change regularly. Since we're unable to detect the most current URL, we can't crawl the site for new content.

5. Create an HTML, text-based link structure. We are unable to crawl links pointing from graphics or embedded in JavaScript."

I have been searching for someone who would offer a customised version of Movable Type to use for a standalone website.

I recently came across a very well done non-blog website Seed Magazine, done entirely in Movable Type. I wrote the website design company who did it but did not get a response - maybe they are too busy.

apollo23




msg:920592
 1:11 am on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi mromero

Are u sure tht the first link in your post is not SE friendly?

I hv been reading once in awhile and hv seen their msg url are similar as your example.

http://example.com/?How-the-World-Sees-Us&id=139148

Therefore i dont think ur statement on this issue is valid.

[edited by: tedster at 4:14 pm (utc) on Feb. 11, 2006]
[edit reason] use example.com [/edit]

tedster




msg:920593
 4:16 pm on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

apollo23, these are Google News requirements, and not general search engine spideriong requirements.

jdancing




msg:920594
 4:34 pm on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Day to day use of a CMS may be easy once you get past the early learning curve. However, I tried Mambo and I found setting the business rules and making it output content in the right places and the right time and giving things the look and feel I wanted was a nightmare.

I ended up hiring an expert to help make the Mambo modifications I wanted to make it work the way I needed it to and even this 'mambo guru' had trouble. I don't know, perhaps there are easier CMS packages out there - or maybe I get too many bright ideas on how I want my sites to work.

aijohn




msg:920595
 12:17 am on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Very interesting thread. I looked at mambo, joomla, wordpress, etc. and they all seemed very complex and still couldn't get the things I wanted.

So, I am writing my own and allows me to put up (and edit) content pages.

These are the items I have so far. The Page Name variable is something like bluewidget3 and is a unique identifier for pulling from the database.

Once all this is input, I can create a page (e.g., blue_widget_stuff.html) by just changinging one word in my template to "bluewidget3", saving the file as "blue_widget_stuff.html" and FTP it to the site. Gives me control of title, page name, keywords, description, etc.

It's a crude work in progress and my php/mysql skills are pretty basic. I would imagine that a good programmer could do this in about an hour.

Here's what it has on the input screen with text boxes or text areas for input.

Create a new page

Page Title
Page Description
Page Keywords
Page Name (A short unique one word identifier for use in programs)
Article Title (The title that will appear above the text 150 chars max)
Style Sheet for this page, e.g.,mystyle3.css
First Paragraph Text
The rest of the text
Notes about this page
Another place for notes
Date Last Modified yyyy/mm/dd e.g, 2005/12/25

(and a Submit button!)

Would welcome any suggestions for additions that would be valuable for creating a content rich site that would appeal to search engines.

ThreeD




msg:920596
 1:34 pm on Feb 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Speaking of CMS's...does anyone here know of any good professional content management systems that are NOT open source?

I've looked at Bitrix and Nelogic - just wondering if anyone has any prior experience with any other CMS :)

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