From plain static to LAMP and back to static
A lot of years ago CERN engineers invent Word Wide Web technology as a linked set of plain text documents with links to each other and special formatting for visualization. Ancient Content Management was just an editing of static files on the disk. Times changed. We passed several huge revolutions in Web Development and Content Management. LAMP stack and its similar analogies based on other platforms were like standard for decades. We hold data and other content in relation database with SQL interface to access it. The pages have been treated as HTML content generated dynamically on server side by some engine implemented in a programming language with appropriate library or framework. All parts of this scheme have been re-designed or re-invented from time to time. Some of them even several times. There was a lot of hype about Web 2.0. For making development process more robust and performance of solution better, we started to use solution appropriate for specific task or project, e.g., MongoDB instead of MySQL, MVC instead of mess of code. One of such method is to present web site as a set of pure static web pages without any dynamic logic on server side, absolutely.
Generate static content offline
Main idea of such approach is to have a project with sources like data, html templates or includable parts and containers to wrap all those elements together and configure navigation between pages. On another hand, we need a tool or even several utilities to build the project into destination representation of static web site. First time, our team experienced such technology in the Fitness project for very famous Top 50 public Web Portal 10 years ago.
Nowadays, nobody code raw CSS3 in real-world HTML5 Applications Development. Huge amount of monotonic repeated code is too hard to create and support. Usually, one of CSS preprocessors are used to implement CSS3 styles in more elegant way. LESS [http://lesscss.org/] is one of such approaches. It doesn’t need to spend a lot of time to start using it. Try online tool [http://lesscss.org/less-preview] to process LESS into CSS code.
First of all, LESS is pre-processor of special syntax into CSS code. Besides, CSS code is a correct LESS code as well. You can start porting your existing pure CCS3 project into LESS just by a copy-paste action. When we mark some section or module with specified CSS class we are going to format and style not just wrapper but all its inside components as well. LESS helps us in this most used case by its nested syntax. E.g., LESS code:
Nowadays, search engines impose much more strong requirements for web sites to be ranked on top positions or even be parsed at all. Fast rise of mobile market pushed sites to be responsive to all kinds of screen widths and input schemas. But it’s not just about support mobile devices. For any Content Management system there is very important to load the pages as fast as possible. It’s not a recommendation anymore, but rather a rule. Google and other search engines may ignore your cool web site with a bunch of modern features just because it’s too slow.
Check loading speed online
First of all, check how fast is your page loading by Google’s PageSpeed test [https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/]. After several seconds you’ve got pretty complete report about issues at line of loading speed and suggestions how to improve it. If you receive green checks, congratulations, you are doing Content Management in right way. As it’s a Google’s service, so we can look at this list of points as optimization plan for Google Search Engine. On the other hand, the issues and methods to solve them are common for any search engine and for user experience as a whole. There are two separated modes (workflows) of analysis: for regular usage via PC’s browser and exploring on mobile devices like smartphones.
Let’s have a close look on CMS, what does it actually mean and how does it work?
CMS, also known as Content Management System, is designed mainly for business and is used in following fields:
- Development and design,
- Business cases,
- All kinds of smartphones including iPhone,
- Kindle and iPads,
- Authors and their editors,
- Social Networks etc.
The main task for CMS is to make content delivery and authoring as easy as possible. With its help even users who are not common with technique can create websites, publish or stream in the web as well as create any kind of content. WordPress, Drupal or Joomla customization is what’s usually needed from web developer for successful site creation.
The famous conference known as Content Management Strategies/DITA North America 2013 is going to take place in April the next year. The Iflexion is going to take part there as well to offer the latest strategies of the modern market.
Here are some reasons for content management developers to attend the conference.
– You own a small budget and a small list of workers, yet you’ve got a lot of work to do;
– You wait for the significant productivity increase year after year;
– You’ve got really short schedules for development;
– Your team is going to work in the really agile surrounding;
– You have a lot of data to be translated multilingual;
– You’re ready to offer the minimal content from the dynamic resources to your customers;
– You want the content creators to be brought into the fold.
There are many companies nowadays who pay all their attention to improving their websites with the help of the definite system of the content management. The usage of the portal technologies is rather beneficial the portal vendors, so they try to make the integration of it with the main content. If we talk about the non-portal vendor, they tend to sell the products that are based on the traditional features of the content management. These can be creation of the pages, site management and much more.
May customers appear to be confused with the choice in web content management; the main reason of it is the total difference between the various systems. Here we will try to show the basic differences between the platforms and will show you the ways of choosing the right platform for the portal development.
Usually the systems of the portal are focused mainly on the delivery of the applications made in the integrated way. The content here is usually one single application. For example, let’s see how it goes in the intranet portal. Our main thoughts here are about how to provide the basic self-service access to the given resources and the system of the payroll. This system is created in order to allow users to run the update process with all the access to the given information in the web content management. The needed changes in the payroll can be also performed. Also the users will crave for display of the following content like the help or the policy. As we see, the main idea is to focus on the bare surface and perform the integration of those applications as well as to run some placeholders for the needed content.
Myth #1: It’s all about being social.
Social doesn’t mean being a friend to everybody and spending all the time in social networks. This is not this type of “Social” after all.
Now all the vendors have clear understanding about how the social software development actually works. A lot of them tend to recreate Facebook or Twitter; they try to promote themselves without even the clear thought of the strategy. And sure thing no one takes some time to step back and consider what this kind of enterprise really needs.
The main focus shall still be on business activities. Do not concentrate on networks only, you’re here to earn money, not to chat.
Myth #2: You waste your time with social media.
And again social software development can bring you the significant profit. Let’s look at this as on the meetings where not everyone is invited. Most employees are sure meetings take their time and nothing more. The reason for it is that the leader is rather weak and can’t offer the valuable data in a clear form. Another problem is that the leader is not a good organizer.
If you’re having a nicely structured conversation, people will listen to you. That is what happens actually with social media. This way you will save your time and will not interfere in the working process.
During the last several years the usage of the electronic documents has rapidly increased. Yet not all the people know of their specifications. They tend to mix them up with the things like file management or the enterprise content management or anything else. So now we offer four main myths about the business application development.
Myth # 1: I do not need to have the document management system separated if I have Windows file management.
Thing is that Windows Explorer can only help you to manage the current files, still this is nothing more but the basic tool. You will not be able to store custom metadata or meet the requirements of your organization unless you have the special program. With it you will also get a lot of ways to do the daily operations, so you will be able to choose the most suitable one and economy your time. Moreover you will be free to create the links between the offered documents.
Myth # 2: Document management solutions are not for small business.
The reality is not even close to this statement. The small business companies also operate with money and resources, which is why they do need the ways to ease the routine paperwork and to search, punch and retrieve the current documents. All the companies have their own document management systems development which shall be mostly available by one single click.
A lot of organizations obtaining the small and middle size have to drop most of their resources to keep in touch with the customers. For this they tend to turn to the customer service strategy. The major priority for the company appears to keep the service of the existing customers on the high level. They sure thing pay attention to attracting the new customers, however it’s much less priority. The main reason for it is that the main course for the customer’s attention to stay focused on the company products. The economy tends to awaken nowadays, so the concentration shifts from the initiatives focused on the customers, to the whole customer groups in web content management. As the result the investments given into the CMS projects is popular again. Here are some reasons to gear up the CMS projects:
– Lead the generation improvement and pay attention to customer experience as well as to the awareness of the market. Many companies use the web to search and analyze the current products and the situation on the market. The customers tend to do just the same. The web properties in the limits of the web content management are nowadays the key source for getting the needed data about the companies and organizations. It’s also the perfect way to get the actual lead in business.
The companies tend to address the set of basic questions in the process of the evaluation of the portal or the content management application. These questions tend to help in the determination of the design as well as the implementation approach.
The following example of the solution based on the main functions:
The content is targeted
The portal might be driven by the membership, in this case the data is offered to the user based on the information from the profile while the CMS customization.
Commerce and sales
The revenue of the driven applications goes through the sales; the environment of the application is rather rich and offers sales process and the function of shopping carts.
Sharing of the knowledge
The knowledge of the application development is basically self-service; the users may be registered or unregistered. The ticketing of the system is troublesome.