Altabel Group's Blog

Archive for the ‘CMS’ Category

In the rapidly changing world of IT only those people win who are developing all the time: if you stop — you will lose. Besides general philosophy of life, it’s also true for CMS. Trying to keep up with the time the developers of CMS Drupal have released a new version of Drupal 8.

Many improvements have been made in the interface by default which makes it easier for non- professional users to use CMS. There is practically everything you need to build the “mid-level” web site without using additional modules. So, let’s observe some changes:

• From the very beginning probably the most sensational news was the transfer to Symfony 2 components, which greatly simplified the usage for those developers who are already familiar with it, but probably scared off those who are used to functional programming in WordPress. However, it should be noted that every time the page is loaded in Drupal 7, all enabled modules are also uploaded, even if we don’t need some modules on certain pages, which leads to unnecessary uploading and waiting time increasing for the user who is carefully studying the website. Implementing the basic principles of Symphony, Drupal 8 downloads only those modules that you need for a particular page and nothing more. It accelerates page loading for your visitors and probably reduces memory consumption.
 

 
• The introduction of HTML5 can be attributed to a significant improvement in comparison with XHTML in Drupal 7. Sites that are made by using HTML5 have a better structure and functionality. HTML5 provides better work for a user either on a computer or on a mobile device.

• Anyone who has ever run a website knows that it is better to use a computer or a laptop as most features of the admin section would require the resources of the computer and not work on mobile devices. The Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative is a concerted effort to make Drupal 8 a first-class mobile platform. Not only the admin section works on mobile, but the templates for Drupal 8 are also adapted for devices. It’s more comfortable not only for administrators but also for visitors who use gadgets.

• One more pleasant news was the improvement of multilingualism. Multi Language Module enables its users to create phrases in many languages and display them on your website. It helps developers and users to implement a multilingual website.

• Drupal 8 contains one of the fastest and most popular template engines. Twig is a popular templating engine for PHP, which opens the door to more robust, scalable and secure themes. It should be noted that Twig is fast, secure and flexible.

Fast: Twig compiles templates into optimized PHP code. The performance losses are reduced to the minimum in comparison with an ordinary PHP code.

Secure: Twig has a sandbox mode to test untrusted template code. It makes possible to use Twig as a template language for applications where users may modify the template design.

Flexible: Twig has a flexible vocabulary and syntax. It enables developers to define their own tags and filters and create their own DSL (domain specific language).

• With Drupal 8 you have an opportunity to use the Views without your developer. Views contain a set of parameters that determine which content appears on the page and choose the fields to display, field order, etc., In Drupal 7 Views module was a separate module and depended on the CT Tools Suite module. Development of the Views for Drupal (VDC Initiative) enabled to embed Views in Drupal core 8, so that it appeared immediately after installation. It means that Views has a better integration. Besides, Drupal 8 has made the Views much easier, now a site administrator can delegate the work with the Views to technical specialists, as it does not require complex skills.

These are just some of the changes that came with Drupal 8. It’s a fantastic platform for developing a wide range of sites, from simple to extremely complex.

Remember to feed back by sharing your discoveries and creations in using Drupal 8!

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype: kate.kviatkovskaya
LI Profile: Kate Kviatkovskaya

 
altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Java brings a lot of popular and user-friendly frameworks, content management systems and servers that help to simplify the application development process, website management process and much more irrespective of the size and complexity of the project. When it comes to CMS, Java possesses a host of CMSs that have been highly recognized in the market, but one CMS that has gained great popularity and attention from the developers and companies across the world is Magnolia.

Magnolia is an open source content management system which delivers exceptional simplicity on an enterprise level, combining user-friendly usage with a standards-based and flexible Java architecture. Companies such as Airbus Group, Al Arabiya, Avis and Virgin America use it as the central hub for their web, mobile and IoT initiatives. Founded in 1997, Magnolia is a privately-held company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. The company has offices around the globe, and customers in over 100 countries.

Making a good CMS to cater the needs of the clients is never an easy task, and the developers Magnolia knows this thing better. Hence, Magnolia brings some of the much needed features and functionalities for the enterprises.

• Magnolia comes with a smart cache, a built-in clustering capabiliy and distributed deployment architecture that easily decouples authoring from publishing and the possibility to develop load-balanced public servers to bring more throughput and availability.
• It also offer code highlighting for the designers & developers, easy integration of 3rd party frameworks, extendable workflow, J2EE compliance, RSS generation & aggregation and more for the customization.
• When it comes to designing, it brings standard-based templating in JSP and servlets, unlimited page and component design, Freemarker as a template engine, custom tag library to speed up templating and pluggable templating engine for the designers.
• It brings Open APIs, advanced caching strategies, unlimited scalability, clustering & load balancing, transactional activation and tons of other performance related features & functionalities for the enterprises.
• From the security point of view, Magnolia brings flexible user permissions using role-based user management and distributed architecture, which is a need of today’s enterprises.
• It also enables team work through concurrent editing, deletion, address book, workgroup collaboration and some other features.
Apart from all these, Magnolia also enables search engine optimization, content tagging, configurable workflow, content versioning, social media integration, multilingual support, multi-site management, mobile publishing and tons of other enterprise-scale functionalities.

magnolia

However, like any other technology or platform, Magnolia also has some advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each of them:

The Pros
• It’s an open source.
• User friendly, easy to use for Administrators/Content Editors/Authors
• Good set of standard components in the standard templating kit (STK)
• Very flexible, almost anything can be customized
• Vast set of open modules for many additional features
• Leverage from page-based site or navigation.
• It utilizes installer, but the WAR files can be used to redeploy it to some other place.

The Cons
• Steep learning curve
• Inconsistent or lack of documentation
• Configuration via JCR-Tree can be error-prone and not very transparent
• Versions -4.5, 4.5+ and 5 all have shifts in paradigms
• Versioning and collaboration

All in all, Magnolia is a very promising CMS that integrates well into an enterprise java stack. It is predominantly suited for medium to large businesses where processes need deep integration and customizations. With regards to small businesses, Magnolia might be somewhat of an overkill.

How about you? Did you have a chance to work with Magnolia CMS? What is your attitude to it?

Please feel free to share with us your thoughts and experience here below.

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Kate.Kviatkovskaya@altabel.com
Skype: kate.kviatkovskaya
LI Profile: Kate Kviatkovskaya

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Sitecore’s CMS flexibility, scalability and security make it an enterprise favorite, powering more than 32,000 websites around the world from financial powerhouses like American Express to some of the largest international sporting tournaments like Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Let’s try to find out why Sitecore is so popular nowadays especially among companies which have got high traffic sites.

What is Sitecore and why it is a choice for so many companies and businesses?

From the start, Sitecore’s architecture is able to meet every unique business need with speed, flexibility and dependability. The large variety of organizations are using Sitecore’s CMS solutions – companies (more than 3,000 of the world’s leading brands such as Experian, Toshiba, Canon, Nestlé, American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, easyJet, Heineken, and Microsoft), schools, and government agencies all over the world in every vertical sector are leveraging from Sitecore CMS to create business advantage and online success.

Sitecore is one of the leading enterprise-level content management systems built on ASP.NET, enabling web content editors and marketers to have full control over all aspects of their website from social integration and blog posts to advanced personalization, e-commerce and more. Launched in 2001, Sitecore has used the .NET platform from the beginning of the language itself, and has been growing in popularity over the last few years. Nowadays Sitecore is a quite popular CMS in the U.S.A. and Western Europe.

Sitecore CMS brings the power of personalization and conversation management right in the hands of your marketers and business users. The CMS incorporates a powerful desktop interface that is controlled by a fully-customizable role-based system. This desktop is very similar in look and feel to a Windows desktop, which makes it easy for users new to Sitecore to pick up and learn the system. Developers will find Sitecore’s powerful technology platform and open API architecture provides them the flexibility and scalability they need.

10 main reasons why companies should use Sitecore CMS

Some of the top features of Sitecore CMS include solutions that offer better insight to website user behavior as well as tools to increase site visitors:

1) Insight to Website Traffic Conversion;

2) Targeted Content Based on User Behavior;

3) Repurpose Content for Different Devices;

4) Easily Integrate with Third Party Tools;

5) Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO);

6) Fast Integration with Microsoft Technology;

7) Highly Scalable;

8) Intuitive and User-Friendly Design;

9) Optimize Web Experience with Multivariate Testing;

10) Web 2.0 and Social Media Integration.

.NET-based CMSs: Sitecore, SharePoint, Umbraco – how to choose the right one for your business?

Comparing Sitecore and SharePoint

Firstly, let’s look at SharePoint and Sitecore, as it is often asked about the possibility of using Sitecore for an intranet or SharePoint for a public-facing website. While the idea of using one technology solution to solve both problems sounds promising, there are many things you should consider before limiting yourself.

Here are some thoughts in which cases you should choose Sitecore CMS for your projects and in when it is better to stick to SharePoint (these points are based on experts’ views as well as on Altabel’s own experience):

  • it is better to use Sitecore for a platform to customize the web user experience based on non-authenticated users;
  • choose Sitecore for a marketing driven platform;
  • for an external content focus, choose Sitecore;
  • choose SharePoint for an IT driven platform;
  • it makes sense to choose SharePoint for a collaboration platform;
  • for an internal content focus with enterprise level security requirements,  choose SharePoint.

Following the beaten path, many companies continue using SharePoint for creating public facing sites – they are well familiar with it and have already invested a lot of time, money, and knowledge in SharePoint. But actually it should be kept in mind that SharePoint was not developed for such sites so it’s worth adopting another CMS to develop them. There are some advantages Sitecore offers over SharePoint as a CMS for a public facing website:

  • Sitecore allows high flexibility for content editors and a logical hierarchical structure;
  • SharePoint is very limited to List Viewsfor content entry;
  • Sitecore’s Web Forms for Marketers makes building forms and triggering goals simple;
  • Frontend development for SharePoint is restricted and requires a lot of customized work, Sitecore on the other hand, is free of restrictions and able to do anything you want;
  • Sitecore offers fantastic technical support;
  • Sitecore offers easy multilingual configuration;
  • A/B testing is included with Sitecore, a must for a modern website. SharePoint does not come with any kind of A/B testing;
  • Sitecore’s DMS (Digital Marketing Suite) – SharePoint has nothing like this. Any website that has marketing in mind can greatly benefit from this tool included with Sitecore;
  • Sitecore is developer-friendly – Development in Sitecore is much easier and requires a lot less specific knowledge. More developers are able to produce a better solution, faster, cheaper;
  • Sitecore has a clear line between data and presentation making content easier to manage.

The bottom line is simple: If you’re looking to build a public internet site on the Microsoft platform, SharePoint makes sense if you meet a certain set of criteria.  But Sitecore provides an extremely compelling alternative that, from a business owner’s perspective, offers superior tools for engaging with the customer.

Comparing Sitecore and Umbraco

Sitecore CMS and Umbraco CMS are two leading content management systems based upon Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework. Their flexibility, functionality, integration capabilities and ease of use is why many have chosen to focus their technical expertise on these systems.

Let’s have a look at the similarities between Sitecore CMS and Umbraco CMS:

  • Easy integration with Microsoft Office;
  • Endless expansion possibilities;
  • Easy-to use User Interfaces (UI);
  • Design layouts are separated from the content;
  • Due to the large open-source Umbraco community and the expert development teams within the Sitecore network both CMS platforms are constantly evolving at a rapid pace;
  • Easily scalable and customizable through modules (Sitecore) or packages (Umbraco);
  • Can be integrated with your internal systems like ERP and CRM;
  • Comprehensive documentation and online help & guidance.

And now let’s get acquainted with the differences between these two CMS:

– Sitecore is an enterprise solution whereas Umbraco is suited to small-medium sized businesses;

– Sitecore is a license-based product. This means a license fee is paid to acquire it. Licensing options can be chosen, taking in consideration a number of factors, making it possible to use Sitecore in a variety of projects: from small non-profits, with websites running on a single server, to big corporations with millions of visits per day;

– Umbraco is an open-source product, meaning there is no license fee;

– In both North America and Europe, you can easily find an existing Sitecore customer. This is very helpful to further increase adoption as it means that new customers have some experience they can tap into. In addition, Sitecore has many government references where Umbraco has almost none;

– Sitecore 7.1/7.2 has advanced feature set;

– Sitecore is an established global player; much more so than Umbraco. Sitecore is in particular strong in the important and highly competitive US and UK markets.

Our opinion is that if you do a proper CMS vendor evaluation, you will probably find that the license cost is only a fraction of the overall project costs. Your criteria should really be to look at which system will meet your requirements most efficiently.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a .NET-based CMS, all these products will work – but right now, at Altabel we would lean toward Sitecore when looking for a pure CMS that provides fast development time, stable platform and ease of use for non-technical content creators.

Of course, each organization is different, and it makes sense to check out the products and run them through your technology selection process to determine which is best for you.

Hope you have found the article interesting and helpful for you.

Also it would be nice to hear your opinion and practical experience. What CMSs do you use and for what kind of projects? What is your favorite CMS and why?

Thank you for your attention and looking forward to your comments.

 

mk

Marina Karabanova
Marina.Karabanova@altabel.com
Skype ID: m.karabanova
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

 

Among posts published in our blog, there are many about CMSs: Umbraco, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, WordPress etc. But one that slipped under our attention is Sitecore CMS.

What is Sitecore?
Sitecore is software Development Company that provides enterprise website, intranet, portal and marketing automation software. Sitecore offers two major products: CMS and its fully integrated “Customer Engagement Platform” which allows seamless integration between its major components: Web Content Management (CMS), Customer Engagement Platform, DMS (Digital Marketing System), E-commerce services, Sitecore Intranet Portal (SIP), Sitecore Foundry.

The Sitecore CMS – an introduction.
Sitecore CMS is .NET-based content management system and vc. Open source .NET based management systems (like Umbraco or Kentico for example), it’s paid resource. It’s not cheap (the cheapest Sitecore license starts around €10k and quickly goes up from there and then you still need to buy support) and depending on this fact the target market of this CMS is big enterprises such as Toshiba, Siemens, KIA, Mazda, Canon, Nestle, Microsoft, including government websites of Denmark. A full list of companies you could find by following this link.

Lunched in 2001 Sitecore’s CMS popularity has been growing over the last few years. According to the results of annual statistics, Sitecore demonstrated good results and what is particular important it is global player and highly competitive US and UK markets.

Sitecore’s benefits.
The Sitecore CMS is considered a pretty good product for its flexibility, scalability and accessibility to the widest range of businesses. Flexibility is an area in which Sitecore CMS excels as it is fully customizable and extendable, and practically anything can be overridden or extended. Scalability – Sitecore CMS is highly scalable and has been architected to scale extremely well, allowing organizations to grow and expand. Accessability – Sitecore is used by many companies, ranging from small and middle-sized to global leading ones.

Let’s have a look also at Sitecore’s benefits from a technical perspective:
• SQL Server and Oracle support allows flexible and hierarchical data storage;
• Simple and understandable API for technical specialists;
• Ability to configure and expand by increasing the pipelines supply, event handing, etc.;
• The engine dynamically collects and cashes management components that help to create solutions to re-use the code;
• Device management – designate page elements and other content for different clients (browser, PDF, XML, feed) or for mobile devices.
• ASP.NET Membership Services manage security, authentication, authorization, roles and profiles
• Workflow facilities make it possible to quickly define sophisticated material before being published
• Media Library provides storage of huge amount of items/data
• Integration with Visual Studio 2010 IDE

How to decide whether Sitecore is the best choice for your company.
If you decide that your company needs a CMS solution you probably need to make first steps towards understanding your use and defining requirements. If to speak about Sitecore CMS we’ve prepared some tips to find out if Sitecore is a good option for your company:
– You/your development team are fluent with .NET (C#, ASP.NET);
– You have a good sized website to host;
– You’re willing/ready to invest and migrate all your websites and web apps into a .NET environment;
– You agree with the payback period that could take over 1 year or longer depending on what you spend to implement and what customization you have done.

One more hot issue to consider is whether you’re ready to go with the paid license. Sitecore CMS is a paid one, it’s not open source. So you should pay for support and access to the code base if you need to create a highly customized deployment with heavy involvement from your team.

So to end up the abovementioned I could say that from technical point of view Sitecore is really looks great and it’s very powerful player among other management systems on the market as it is thoughtfully designed and well developed.

Thank you for your attention to my post and if you have any comments about any aspect of the Sitecore CMS, please feel free to leave your comments.

 

Katerina Bulavskaya

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Today comparing software on a market is a difficult task. Each product comes from a market / technology niche with great specific features developed by passionate people and open source lovers. There is no doubt the most appropriate CMS will depend on what one is trying to use it for, but let us try to have sort of a general comparison and see what definitely should be on our Java CMS shortlist.

There are so many Open Source Java CMS but let me focus on some of them which are considered quite popular now and they are Hippo, Magnolia and Jahia.

Hippo

Hippo contains an optimal combination of enterprise architecture capabilities, fast development possibilities and values of open integration. It enables you to gain the power to be open for integration with any technology that you require to manage, optimize and create high-impact customer experiences.

This CMS is really about managing content for multi-channel publication: web, mobile, social, print, etc. Separation of content from presentation is the cornerstone of the product.

Speaking of analytics systems like Webtrends, Omniture and Google Analytics Hippo CMS makes it possible for you easily embed tracking codes into content to feed analytics systems. You can also observe your content effectiveness, as Hippo exposes data collected by analytics systems in the CMS.

In terms of ecommerce, Hippo has been integrated with many custom eCommerce solutions. Take ATG, Konakart, Magento and IBM WebSphere Commerce as example. Due to the open interfaces of all Hippo components, it works whatever eCommerce system you chose.

Hippo format neutral way of managing content makes it a great source for publishing into portals. So, if your extranet or intranet runs in a portal environment, then it is not necessary to rebuild it with Hippo if you want to increase it with centrally managed content. Hippo plays nicely with all major portals and has been integrated with portals like Liferay, JBoss, SAP and Websphere Portal.

Hippo Pros:
• flexible content structure & faceted navigation
• integration with some external applications
• portal alike functionalities/ integrations
• a lot of sub-sites with sharing content capabilities

Magnolia

Magnolia powers the websites of government as well as leading Fortune 500 enterprises in more than 100 countries on all continents of the world. It is a leading CMS favored for its ease of use and license. The page editing interface enables authors to lay out content exactly as it would appear to the Web site visitor.

Magnolia is similar to Hippo in lots of ways, except that it’s very much focused on managing smaller, “single” websites. Magnolia CMS is not a framework to build web applications, however can be used to manage data. You can for instance manage products and use them as content for web pages.

Authors no longer need to switch between different navigation mechanisms to make a small change, but they can instantly edit any page in their browser.

Magnolia’s inline-editing feature ensures that editors see content paragraphs in their right context at all times, reducing the switching between working modes.

Magnolia has been designed for heavy-load enterprise websites, having a low memory footprint, a smart cache, built-in clustering capabilities, a distributed deployment architecture that decouples authoring from publishing and the possibility to build load-balanced public servers to provide more throughput and availability.

Magnolia Pros:
• good for smaller sites (content related); although, Magnolia can be used on quite big sites as well
• need in page editing/inline editing (this is possible within Hippo CMS but Magnolia is bit easier to setup)
• you only have page(content) based site/navigation. Hippo solution is much more flexible in this regard.

Jahia

Jahia delivers web content integration software by combining enterprise web content management with document and portal management features. Jahia is content centric depending on the type of project you envision, this is a major difference. The granularity of Jahia’s content model offers a deeper control on each content item. This provides greater benefit when it comes to repurposing, reusing content or controlling precisely how your content should behave (roles, workflow, layout, display options, etc.). Of course, these advantages need to be balanced with the specific objectives or your project. For a basic website scenario, this granularity is perhaps not necessary and Magnolia may be an easier choice. For intranet or portal scenarios, complex websites or content based applications, the Jahia model and its widely recognized flexibility may be more appropriate.

Jahia works great with structured content. For instance, Jahia offers options beyond the unique paragraph concept – more suited to create unstructured objects that must be displayed in a page, it offers a variety of additional objects with multiple properties you can manipulate, sort, validate, repurpose, etc. You can obviously decide to only use a simple, unstructured approach in Jahia but the ability to really declare, control and manipulate a wide range of additional object types is very powerful in more complex scenarios. Also important is that all Jahia editing UIs are auto-generated based on simple content definitions: not having to create your own input masks is a huge time saver and cuts development time.

Jahia embeds several frameworks that are very important if you plan to manipulate your content through API and code, and if you want your Jahia instance to interact with other apps / systems, some of the most important ones are) Jboss Drools, Apache Camel, jBPM.

Caching mechanisms in Jahia is based on long experience fine tuning performance for large and high traffic websites: there is a sophisticated and efficient caching solution that deals with both automatic invalidation and expiration. This allows avoiding dependencies and flushing management problems, which is key to complex, large and/or interactive sites scenarios.

Jahia Pros:
• deep control on each content item due to granularity of Jahia’s content model
• good for working with structured content
• good for large and high traffic websites

The CMSs under review have their differences but also have something in common. It might be interesting to note that all three products actually use the same storage technology: Apache Jackrabbit, which is the reference implementation of the Java Content Repository API. This ensures some guarantee as to the possibility to migrate in/out the content relatively easily.

You are welcome to make Java CMS shortlist of your choice longer with other products as well as to share your comments and comparative analysis details on the given ones. It would be really great to learn more on this subject as well as get to know your experience.

Thank you!

Aliona Kavalevich

Aliona Kavalevich
Aliona.Kavalevich@altabel.com
Skype ID: aliona_kavalevich
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

There are many good open-source CMSs for web development. TYPO 3 is one of them. Although it is considered to be a really powerful CMS, but does it mean it serves well? Will it be appropriate for your website? Why use it and not some other CMS? To answer all these questions let’s try to understand if it is the right choice for you and why it is so.

TYPO3 is a powerful open-source, enterprise-class CMS Platform based on PHP, designed specifically with the needs of both enterprise and corporate clients in mind. Many CMSs are intended for specific types of websites. For example Magento is great for e-commerce web sites when WordPress is ideal for blogs. As for TYPO3, virtually it fits any website type: home pages, blogs, newspapers, blogs, e-commerce, educational, etc.

Advantages:

• The first and probably most powerful advantage of TYPO3 is that it is a universal system. There exist over 2000 extensions to TYPO 3. When you install these extensions, you add corresponding functionality to TYPO3 at the same time keeping the power of the TYPO3 core and functionality added by any other extension. It means you can have for example a blog, a shop, support section and many more all at once. This is true universal solution. And it is all manageable using TYPO3 Backend. If you need something new, you just install an extension and you get the functionality. You don’t need to install WordPress or Magento on top to add some kind of shopping to your blog. You do not have to login to blog and shop separately like in case of WordPress and Magento. With TYPO3 you login once and you have access to everything you need. You can even refer from your blog to your products. If you rearrange pages, TYPO3 will automatically ensure that links still work.

• Another advantage of TYPO3 is a very flexible user system. Many systems allow only one administrator user. But with TYPO3 it’s possible to have as many administrator users as you want. You have access control over everything that is really important. Users can also be assigned to groups-“Editors” or “Reviewers”-so you may assign user rights to the whole group. Every user can be assigned to as many groups as you wish, which makes TYPO3 incredibly flexible.

• In TYPO3 you have real pages. Not just a flat list of pages where you have to invent titles and later search for a long flat list. With TYPO3 you have a real page tree where you can group pages as necessary, reuse parts of the page tree from other parts through shortcuts or mount points.

• TYPO3 comes with lots of types of content that you can create. These types are optimized for the best presentation of the content. For example, you can create a text, or text with image. Image can be opened in a separate window when it is clicked making a very easy enlarge-on-click feature. And editors do not have to bother about it much: they just turn on a check box that enables this feature. It is that simple! Tables, forms, multimedia – all is available with lots of tuning possibilities. It is an incredible degree of control over web site look.

Disadvantages:

• First of all, TYPO3 is large. So it needs a good hosting. If you run a company you can afford it, so it is not a great disadvantage. TYPO3 can run on a shared hosting too, though it is not the best hosting case for it. So need for a good hosting is a price to pay for a good system.

• Another often heard disadvantage is that TYPO3 is difficult to learn. But it depends. TYPO3 can be used by three types of people: editors, administrators and programmers. Learning becomes harder with each next group. It is easy for editors to learn TYPO3. Not as easy as WordPress (because WordPress is a very simple blogging-only tool) but still easy. If you are administrator, you need to manage TYPO3, write TypoScript, install modules, etc. This requires learning. It may take from several weeks to 2-3 months depending on your learning ways and enthusiasm. But the result is always rewarding. If you are a programmer, it is the longest learning curve. Knowing how to program in PHP does not mean that you can write a good TYPO3 module. But if you compare it to other systems, it is not different. Every system will require learning, so this is not truly a disadvantage. So, yes, it will take time to use TYPO3. But it is worth the result.

• Sometimes people say that being open source is a disadvantage. Open source is often driven by a group of enthusiasts and there is no support. Fortunately, there are lots of very professional companies, who can provide TYPO3 support for you. So, if you can’t do something “in house”, you always can get help and learn how to make it.

So, advantages are obvious and huge, when disadvantages are minor and temporary until you learn.

TYPO3 CMS is used by over 300,000 web sites, ranging from corporations and universities to small businesses and non-profit organizations. Some of the users of TYPO3 include: Volkswagon; New York Times; Lufthansa; Ford; Samsung; Stanford University; General Electric. Will you be the next to use it? 🙂 Do you agree that this CMS is really worth learning and using it? As always, eager to hear your comments!

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach
Yulia.Tolkach@altabel.com
Skype ID: yuliya_tolkach
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

Building a website wasn’t so easy earlier as it is now. Fortunately the time has passed when you had to hand-code HTML and PHP scripts in order to get an easy and fully functional website. Now content management systems (CMSs) do most or all of the heavy lifting for site creators. There are a number of CMSs for serious site creators, but the most common for websites today are considered to be three open-source tools: Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a CMS based on PHP and MySQL. It got its start as a blogging platform in May 2003 and gradually evolved, first into a blogging system that let users add Web pages outside of the blog and then into a full-featured, popular CMS. Of the three most popular open-source CMSs – WordPress, Joomla and Drupal – WordPress is both the most popular and the fastest growing by far, according to Web technology tracker W3Techs.

Earlier anyone could hardly think of using WordPress as the blogging platform. But now the situation has changed completely. Every second site owner using a CMS chooses WordPress. But to be objective let’s see what the facts are that speak in favor of this star-CMS. And what are there against it?

WordPress Pros

* Open-source
It means you get access to its source code and can study, modify and improve it according to your needs. However, it doesn’t mean you can do anything at all with the code. WordPress is issued under GPL license, which restricts certain actions (like limiting access to the code for others etc).

* Installation doesn’t cost anything
However, you may need to pay for customization, app development, premium themes etc, but the basic installation is at no cost.

* Easy set-up
That’s not even advertised anymore. It is simple and it is also quick. WordPress is known for 5- minute’s installation time.

* “Friendliness” with users
What can be a better way to gain popularity among users that become friends with them? WordPress is well suited for all types of users, even those who had never suspected a site can possibly have a backend. If you are able to google WordPress site and register your account, if you know how to use a text processor, you’re sure to get well with your new WordPress blog or website.

* No problems with customization
With the number of free themes and plug-ins for adding functionality to your site bigger than in any other CMS, a user gets the rich choice of website appearance and features that don’t come by default. And their integration is usually as easy as installing WordPress itself.

* Community support
WordPress has the enormously big community of users – from new born WordPressers to seasoned pros. They do great job helping each other via community support forums and discussion boards. Apart from that, WordPress provides exhaustive documentation on every possible issue, to ease the life of its followers.

* Multisite feature
WordPress allows its users not to be limited with just one website or start every new site with the new WordPress installation. With Multisite feature that’s available with all versions starting from WordPress 3.0 you can manage your several sites within one admin interface. However, to use this feature successfully, you need to study the WordPress codex well and have certain administration skills.

WordPress Cons

– Insecure
The security of WordPress leaves much to be desired, as with majority of open-source software. The thing is, when anyone gets access to the code, it’s easy to find flaws in it and use them to get into a site. But it doesn’t mean you’ve got to buy the most expensive software, you just need to use the techniques to enhance the protection of your site integrity.

– Advanced theming/features
If you know no HTML and coding and are satisfied with the looks of your blog by just switching to a new theme – you’ll be fine. If you desire to start off by changing everything to your taste – you may be in need for professional help. As to adding more functionality to your site via various plug-ins, in most cases, the common ones work out great, but if you experiment too much with them, you may get stuck when one plug-in is not compatible with the other, some need upgrade and some require tweaking the code to work correctly.

– Maintenance Costs
Although considered one of the most affordable CMSs, WordPress still may require money to be running successfully. For example, you pay for hosting, if it’s not self-hosted, exclusive themes or plug-in development in case nothing free suits you.

WordPress: what to expect?

During 2012, WordPress didn’t undergo any major changes. There wasn’t much new in WordPress 3.4 except easier theme customization. WordPress 3.5 had a mildly different new theme, some media improvements and not much else. In contrast, WordPress 3.6, which is set for a release sometime in April-May 2013 feels like a big step forward. There’s a bold new theme and several useful new features.

• Twenty Thirteen:
Twenty Thirteen will be the new default WordPress Theme with increasing support for post formats. Unlike previous default WordPress theme this theme is going to have lots of bold colors and will be fully responsive.

• Navigation Menus:
Lots of beginners complain that WordPress Menu system is quite hard to understand. In WordPress 3.6 this navigation menu options have been simplified and it will become easier to create and manage Menus in WordPress.

• WordPress Post Formats:
In WordPress 3.6 there will be a new User interface for Post Formats and theme authors will also have access to template the individual functions to change the structured data.

• WordPress Auto Save:
There will be some great enhancements related to Auto Save function. Posts are now auto saved locally so if the browser crashes, the server goes down or internet connection fails you will not lose the post and you will be able to resume editing right where you left it.

• WordPress Post Revisions:
Upcoming WordPress version will be a better handler for your post revisions. The changes will be highlighted with different colors so you can modify the usual things easily.

• Post Lock:
WordPress 3.6 will have a better editorial feature built in called Post lock. It will allow the authors or website administrators to lock a post to kick other person out of the editing and gambling between posts.

No site or platform is perfect, but WordPress has so much to offer and is very easy to use. In my opinion, the advantages outweigh disadvantages and with new version of it things are only getting better. Do you agree? Are there any other pluses and minuses of WordPress that are essential in your opinion and that I didn’t mention in the article? I’m eager to see your comments 🙂

Yuliya Tolkach

Yuliya Tolkach
Yulia.Tolkach@altabel.com
Skype ID: yuliya_tolkach
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


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