Key functions of good CMS’

There are some rerally important features that make a great CMS. Since the main issue is usability with the current cms, this is going top be the main focus of the redesign. Simple adjustments that will make a world of difference to the user.

The Editor

The content needs to be easily editable and this is one of the key features of every cms. Therefore a great question is whether to use a top-aligned editor or an inline editor? This is reasonably easy to answer, the main editor should be available at all times while the inline editor should be available in a live edit mode. A great inline editor is the medium editor (https://yabwe.github.io/medium-editor/).

 

Managing assets

The user must be able to see images via upload date, and also search for file names, they should be able to delete or upload images to the assets section of the site.

Help/Search

The help and search feature is an important one, it offers users with no technical know-how information regarding a specific topic they are stuck with. For example they could search questions into the guide to get specific help with something, they could search for the title of a page they are looking for so they can edit it quickly. This feature could save the user from wasting valuable time.

Customisation

Customisation of the site should vary depending on the users needs. The majority of the sites the client designs for are predesigned and should not allow for further editing. That said, should the company want to update the looks of their site they should be able to without having to pay the company more to do so.

Customisation on a smaller scale could be like allowing the user to update the colours used in the navigation bar or site wide fonts.

Versioning

Versioning is a great feature that allows the user to have the safety of knowing that if they accidentily content, they can revert to an older version of the site. This makes it easier for them to update the site for short periods of time with short promotions etc with the ability to easily revert.

Social Media Integration

Social media is such a large part of running as business today, it should be relevant for the organisation to have a hub of all the social media on the site. The site could pull the integration even more into the design so that when the site developer adds a story to the blog they have the option to easily share the story through their social networks.

Analytics

Analytics should offer the organisation an outlook at hit views so they can track success of their posts on the site, what sections are most important to their users. Allowing them to move forward with enhanced knowledge of their business.

CMS: Interviews

Interviewing took place during November 2016 and involved speaking with many different users of the website.

Users of the site internally at the company use the cms to set up the website with the content and functionality, there are three main users who do this. They all find the CMS reasonably easy to operate, but find it lacks functionality, and think added features such as a live edit mode, a cleaner user interface and inline editor would streamline the editing process of a website.

Users of the site externally, the clients, use the cms to edit smaller things on their site to keep up to date with their site reports which include data on how many people have visited their website over a period of time. Their biggest issues of the site were related to ease of use and overal functionality. They found that when they became stuck with an issue, they would often call the business, a great way around this would be to have a brilliant Q & A section built into the search feature. The search feature should also have the functionality of being able to find any page/image contained within the cms. These two features combined with the features mentioned by the developers would make the use of the cms much more simple and easy.

Making the CMS as user friendly as possible.

The CMS should be simple and while researching I discovered the shop talk show (Episode 240: Rapidfire 76).They discuss some verty important points throughout their hour long discussion.

Firstly, people working at the company change, both the developers and the clients. It is important that both parties have the ability to add and remove users from it’s cms.

Also, most clients will have no technological ability whatsoever, therefore it is important that the users have the most simplistic interface possible. A great way to do this would to have a live edit mode that allows the user to browse the site and change content just by clicking on it.

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References:

240: Rapidfire 76

Client meeting – The newer brief

After the proposal of the project made to the tutors of my course, I went to the client and made the same proposal. This was to ensure everything I was planning was what they had asked and expected from my work, a few differences were noted early on and there were a few elements that were changed . This is what the client and I discussed during our meeting.

The content management system I am designing and developing should be built as the tool for the lawyer market, therefore defining the audience further.

The specific client this cms should benefit is the Sheffield based solicitors Banner Jones (http://www.bannerjones.co.uk/)

More complexity is required but the overall site is required to look less complex.

The help guides are not worthwhile, the client thinks that instead of using help guides, the cms should have tooltips or labels on the site explaining each step as the user arrives at it.

Tooltips are area discussed in the meeting where

The user is not to have access to designing layout of the site but only the content. The cms shouldn’t offer the ability to add/remove content columns. Though customising different layouts of a certain page should be an option to the customer based on a multitude of different themes.

Setting up Couch CMS

Couch content management system is a compelling option to making a website enabled with little php knowledge. First stage is to create a database through cPanel of the hosting company.

First, create a database;

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Next create a username;

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It is important to use the password generator to create a secure password;

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Once you have the database prepared, go to the couch cms website and download the package;

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Once you have the folder downloaded, rename the config.example.php to config.phpSchermata 2016-01-17 alle 16.49.29.png

Next you need to open it in a code editor, and add your database name, username & password;

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Save the folder, and upload it to the root folder on your domain;

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setup is almost complete, you should go to your domain and access the couch folder, this can be done by going to http://www.example.co.uk/couch. Once there set your username and password up and store it in a safe place. You will be greeted with the backend.

To make a .hmtl file editable through the couch cms it is done really easily, firstly change the file to become a .php file. Next you need to add the code before DOCTYPE;

<?php require_once( ‘couch/cms.php’ ); ?>

<cms:template title=’tester’ />

and the following code after </html>;
<?php COUCH::invoke(); ?>

Then all you need to do is add the following code to add something you want to edit;

<cms:editable name=’text_content’ type=’text’ label=’Text’
desc=’Enter Test Here’>
</cms:editable>

This sound then look something like this;

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you can then go into the backend and edit what should appear in this place, you can see an example of this here;

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Which appears on my own website at http://scottlewis.eu/exhibition/exhibition.php which you can see here under the back button in the top left (A mistake I am currently unable to fix);

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