EXCERPTS Web Content Management Systems: How to Understand, Choose and Implement the Right One

Plus: When and How To Go Open Source
What a CMS is, how it works Workflow management Charts , Worksheets and Case Studies

Updated February 2009



Amy Webb, Dorian Benkoil and A. Adam Glenn 2009. All rights reserved.

About This Paper
Disclosure BGV Media Consulting is a vendor-neutral partnership of media consultants who specialize in developing strategies for digital content creation and delivery to meet specific business objectives. This report has been produced without outside funding or investment from any content management company, and was created only for those wishing to learn more about content management systems or those who need assistance in selecting a CMS solution.

Lead Author: Amy L. Webb Principal Webbmedia Group, LLC

Authors: Dorian Benkoil Principal Teeming Media A. Adam Glenn Principal a2g Media

Contact Information: BGV Media Consulting http://www.bgvmedia.com Email: cms@bgvmedia.com Phone: +1 (646) 258-7879



Amy Webb, Dorian Benkoil and A. Adam Glenn 2009. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

(of full paper)


Amy Webb, Dorian Benkoil and A. Adam Glenn 2009. All rights reserved.

Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. All rights reserved. . Adam Glenn 2009. Dorian Benkoil and A.

What youʼll find inside • Worksheets and Guides: o A needs assessment worksheet to help in researching and evaluating content management systems and vendors.) o A 70-point criteria list for evaluating vendors. In the early days of the Web. There are hundreds of such content management systems to help power Web sites. with consumers expecting an ever-increasing volume of on-demand digital content from a variety of sources. o Questionaires to help figure out upfront and hidden costs. behind nearly every site is an automated series of tools and code that enables digital content to be managed sensibly. it can be difficult to determine which CMS best fits a particular organizationʼs expectations and real-world needs. Who this paper is for This detailed report offers you a comprehensive examination of content management systems. o A checklist to help avoid common pitfalls. Today. All rights reserved. Adam Glenn 2009. including seven new vendors since our previous report. a publisher. products and solutions. Instead. page 1 . COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. Making updates or changes required only a few lines of code. The challenge is to find a CMS solution that will meet your current digital content needs. most Web sites contained just a few pages. enable your company to grow and expand. It is written for key influencers and decision-makers.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Publishing has changed dramatically in the years since the launch of the World Wide Web. • Vendor Report: o Detailed evaluations and objective summaries of 21 vendors. and enable you to adapt to the inevitable changes and developments on the Internet. an editorial director or another leader. But with so many solutions. Dorian Benkoil and A. as well as best practices and common pitfalls. no one person could possibly undertake the management of all digital content on modern Web sites. o A technology assessment worksheet to help determine your technology needs. as well as guide a team you may be working with. adding more than a dozen new criteria from our previous report. It contains helpful worksheets (with tear-out versions at the end) to help you come to decisions at crucial junctures. the people who will help decide which Content Management System is installed and see to its installion. This may be a general manager.

• Assess the CMS you currently have and determine if that system best meets your companyʼs needs. explainers and links. realistic technology budget that will help you better allocate your available resources toward existing CMS solutions. page 2 . Using this report. • Create a working.COM COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. • Avoid common mistakes and unforeseen pitfalls during selection and implementation. Dorian Benkoil and A. All rights reserved. o Additional resources including reports. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA. TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER. • Create a vendor shortlist. determining quickly which vendor categories and CMS products will and will not work for your site(s). Adam Glenn 2009. o A Web glossary guide to help define terms in common use that are introduced throughout the paper.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems • Resources: o A three-page guide listing the necessary terms and definitions for learning more about CMS solutions. your Web team will: • Learn the lexicon and gain a general sense of how content management systems work so that you may have an informed discussion with potential vendors. • Work toward implementing a new CMS solution within a reasonable timeframe.

A CMS automates this process. but that wasnʼt always the case. to let others know about your content through feeds and other means. you should be able to tell the CMS to go through all of the documents and change it to the correct spelling instantly. a CMS helps you update an entire site at once by making only one small change. A DAM easily allows an organization to categorize. Many Web sites use a CMS today. you can create original content. Web developers must hand-code changes and upload them. what CMS options are available and steps to help guide you through the decisionmaking process. And if any of the technology terminology used is unclear. especially now that limited staffing has become the norm. For most organizations that produce new content regularly. hopefully. a digital asset management (DAM) system differs from a content management system in many ways. In one place. And you can typically accomplish all of this with a series of simple clicks of a mouse. and it gives you the ability to manage how your site functions and what it looks like. A CMS can automate manual publishing tasks and can even be set to make new content live when no one is in the office. re-purpose and retrieve large amounts of digital content that is not necessarily changed or updated frequently. All rights reserved. In many cases. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. edit and proof it. It ensures the timely delivery of your content. page 3 . Adam Glenn 2009. distribution and storage of digital information. The following sections of this report provide a thorough explanation of how to assess your organizationʼs technology needs.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems SECTION ONE: Understanding Content Management Systems CHAPTER ONE: What Is a Content Management System? A CMS is an automated series of tools and commands that supports the creation. publish it to the World Wide Web and other outlets and archive it for later use. For example. A good CMS allows consumers to navigate throughout your site and. A working CMS is critical to the success of many organizations. There are differences in the available digital content management tools. a CMS is the best solution. weʼve provided a handy glossary of Web terms and concepts at the end of this report. The process can be time-wasting and tedious. management. Dorian Benkoil and A. So if someone misspells Mississippi in several different places. even for very small Web sites. Without a CMS. freeing up valuable staff time for other projects.

Her company contracted a CMS architect and Web site designer to build a new system and to migrate all of the existing content over to it. 1: Updating a legacy Web site at a medium-sized news organization Helen. Dorian Benkoil and A. mobile and additional content verticals. All rights reserved. page 4 . Helen and her team opted for an open-source content management system. such as integrating user comments or developing blog templates for her reporters. And. especially as technology changes. The process took six months. photos. the manager of a medium-sized news organization Web site. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. so all new content – stories. now the site is updated automatically. allowing Helen and her team to focus on other projects. This process was time-consuming and made it nearly impossible for her to focus on other tasks. it has been relatively easy for her team to expand and grow the site. Helen no longer must manually create pages and link them to the rest of the site. stylesheets and tools that enable them to stay current as the Web changes. Her company’s site was built using standard HTML pages. Adam Glenn 2009. because Helen used an open source system with lots of free add-ons. however. That includes social networks.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems Case Study No. captions – had to be entered manually and then uploaded. They have access to the templates. wrestled with updating daily content – especially during a busy news day. Content is added and archived instantly.

publishing and archiving. a digital asset. usually entails four stages: content creation. photos. But they are also able to easily access and edit the HTML (or other) code. edited and filed for later use. etc. it is critical that others can also access and manipulate the material. a story. formatting and more.COM. For instance. Content Management – After content has been created. you may need to know about and have access to: • all versions of a page. images. • a hierarchy of users that determines who can . etc. below. users are able to edit text just as they would in a word processing software program. Many CMS products offer an easy-to-use WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editor. such as Microsoft Word.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems CHAPTER TWO: How To Evaluate Possible CMS Solutions In this section. A. the “front-end” refers to the simple graphics and buttons that guide your staff as to where to enter that text. along with buttons to enable hyperlinks. that content may be labeled as a story page. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. page 5 . at least in terms of technology. Content Creation – Most CMS products are Web-based. All rights reserved. Some CMS products also allow multiple users to track changes to a document and follow its workflow. To access the CMS.”) Here.. MATERIAL EXCERPTED. youʼll find a detailed description of how content management systems work and various considerations as you make your technology decisions. photos. information. (See Figure 2. for a more detailed workflow illustration). Adam Glenn 2009.. etc.. below) In the best case. It is vitally important that the storage features of the CMS complement your organizational structure. are collected and organized. How It Works Producing content for the Web.. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER.. a “detail” page. • complete data on who altered a page and when. content management. Meanwhile. Depending on the system. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA. a content page. (The front-end is also known as the “user interface” or “UI. This database represents the “back-end” of a CMS where documents. (See Figure 1. Dorian Benkoil and A. audio and video can easily be entered. a user goes online and logs in to an entry screen that may look like a friendly. text. easy-to-use database.

you may want to list all of your content by date. For example. or by author. or by topic area. Elements such as author names. while the text and other elements are modified in a simple WYSIWYG editor. publication parameters and the like are selected using preprogrammed drop down menus. from the company Ingeniux: NOTE: Many content management systems use a left-hand navigation to find and store content. All rights reserved. Figure 1: A sample page of a CMS user interface.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems You may need to archive your content based on a specific set of parameters. Various options are available depending on the CMS vendor. page 6 . Adam Glenn 2009. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. Dorian Benkoil and A.

.. All rights reserved. Adam Glenn 2009. MATERIAL EXCERPTED.. page 7 . COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.. Dorian Benkoil and A.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems Figure 2: Sample Workflow Content Created in CMS Multimedia Elements Uploaded via FTP All Elements of Story Page Edited .

AdSense uses a scripting language called JavaScript. Not all CMS products will (1) allow that kind of JavaScript or (2) allow access to copy and paste the necessary code.. MATERIAL EXCERPTED.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems B. All rights reserved. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA. It may not matter whether you know a database language (such as SQL – pronounced “sequel” or PHP -. and in order to enable ads to be placed on your site... a CMS is a simple user interface for a very complicated database. Adam Glenn 2009. What does matter is whether the CMS you choose will integrate with other platforms and systems.COM. youʼll need the ability to put code into a designated area. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. .. Technical Considerations Not all content management systems are created the same way. you may want to use Googleʼs AdSense program to run advertisements on your Web site. Dorian Benkoil and A.if you plan to outsource the technical development and maintenance. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER. But at the core. For example.. The best content management systems will always be those that allow the maximum number of . page 8 .

COM. Dorian Benkoil and A. ensuring .Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems SECTION TWO: Assessing and Implementing New Systems CHAPTER THREE: Assessing Your Needs Before you select a vendor. Others in your group may want your CMS to accomplish the arduous task of managing workflow. Some staff may have innovative ideas and will be ready to help develop your organizationʼs Web site. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. we advise you to take inventory of your current content production and publication methods. MATERIAL EXCERPTED.... PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA.. Virtually everyone in your organization has a different perspective on how and when to use Web tools. page 12 . Adam Glenn 2009. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER. This process will help to ensure that all of the decision-makers and those charged with implementing any changes have input. All rights reserved. Itʼs critically important to first complete a self-evaluation within your company.

Within a few months after launch. the editor of a local arts Web site..000. All rights reserved.. the ability for users to email others story links from the site. Adam Glenn 2009. one-click buttons for users to share stories on Facebook and Digg. originally contracted with a local Web programmer to design an easy-to-use content management system. Dorian Benkoil and A. the site became wildly popular. had little content and included a staff of just two.Section One: Understanding Content Management Systems Case Study No.. She contacted the Web programmer to find out about adding in some extras: the ability to upload and offer streaming video. page 16 . since she was fielding pitches from various freelance journalists who were offering photos. she wanted a very cheap. herself and a friend. music and videos. She was promptly told that because her original CMS plans .. . Sarah. 3: Preventing CMS pitfalls at an arts Web site. MATERIAL EXCERPTED COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. simple option under $2. Because her site was very small. Sarah wanted to include more than just text-based stories.

there are several solutions that have been developed within the software programming community that attempt to solve problems created by commercial providers. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER. When.” and generally have been developed and updated by scores of professional and amateur programmers from around the world. Perhaps the most well-known open source code project in publishing is Cofax. say... most are covered either by what is called a GNU General Public License or by a Creative Commons License.Section Three: The Vendors CHAPTER FOUR: When and How To Go It Alone Content management systems are designed so that the largest number of users possible can all benefit from the same solution.. For that reason. It behooves a CMS company to create and offer one system rather than dozens of customized products. . COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. However. Adam Glenn 2009. Dorian Benkoil and A. upgrade and customize a Web site may be integral to the success of. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA. As such. These systems are called “open source. MATERIAL EXCERPTED. a CMS solution developed by the Knight Ridder Interactive/Philadelphia Inquirer staff and used by Knight Ridder properties from 1999-2007. such as a local weekly newspaper. There are no licensing or purchase fees to implement or launch Web sites created with open source code. How and Why To Use Open Source If your company has a dedicated tech team that is well-versed in programming languages such as SQL. page 17 . While hundreds of commercial CMS products are available and ready to use out of the box.COM.. This may not be a problem for a smaller publication. a large broadcasting corporation. All rights reserved. the ability to frequently change. no one person owns the rights to the software. no single commercial CMS product can possibly meet every need of every organization. Because their code is open source.

Next to each criterion. Adam Glenn 2009. We have chosen these 21 leading domestic and international providers and evaluated them based on multiple criteria. you can use it to help you make your decision. breadth of services and access to support. features and workability for your staff. mid-market and open source platforms. please see the Web/CMS terms glossary in the appendices. we selected a few examples from each of the most commonly used enterprise. the authors are available to vet and quantify additional CMS products upon request. For broader definitions. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. Even if you are considering a CMS that is not included on our list. All rights reserved. This sample is not meant to steer you toward the purchase of one particular product. you will find a simple definition. page 19 . This list should enable you to compare prices.Section Three: The Vendors SECTION THREE: The Vendors CHAPTER FIVE: Vendor Key and Definitions Different vendors and CMS solutions offer various price points. We have also created a key (starting on the following page) with a list of 70 criteria used to evaluate the vendors. Rather. Dorian Benkoil and A. If your organization is interested in a CMS not included within this report. This vendor list provides a snapshot and summary and should help enable you to evaluate content management systems when your organization is ready for that step.

page 20 . Dorian Benkoil and A. How are the pages displayed? Does the URL contain semantic information. Can users easily send messages through the system to other users? Is the system hosted? Can it run independently on servers of your choosing? This gives you the ability to trace back who has logged into your CMS and made changes. others do not. colors. “What You See Is What You Get. Does the CMS require Windows? Linux? Mac? What language is the CMS created in? There are many different options: SQL. PHP. or is each story page identified with a number? Automatically checks spelling Tracks a document (or page) as multiple users work on it. Some CMS providers offer tech support on the phone.” Text appears in the text edit area with the formatting (bold. to proofing to publishing. Some CMS providers will send out a certified trainer to work with your staff on your office computers to learn the system. to editing. All rights reserved. What is the URL format? Spell checker? Workflow management? Edit cycle within the system? Project management tool within the system? SSL compatible? SSL logins? Support – Manual to read? Support – via Telephone? Support – In-person training? COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. underline) that you will see once it is published on your Web site. in print or on the Web. from creation. Adam Glenn 2009. Can you access the primary files of your Web site? Shell access gives you the ability to run commands and change parts of the site regardless of where the files of your site are actually being stored. Does the CMS have a system of editing a document (or page) that enables you to see who made changes and when? Is there a tool that enables you to follow an editorial or other project from conception to completion? Secure Socket Layer – does the CMS comply with sites that have this security-related feature enabled? Does the CMS allow for secured (SSL) user logins? Not all CMS providers include a written manual.Section Three: The Vendors DEFINITIONS: Key To Vendor Criteria Tables CRITERION System requirements: server? Operating system? Programming language Users have root access? Users have shell access? Users have email access within system? Hosted? Security – audit trail? WYSIWYG editor? WHAT IT MEANS What kinds of software does your server need to run? There may not be any requirements for some systems. etc.

causing the CMS to load instantly when the user is online? (If not.Section Three: The Vendors Support – Developer community? Support – Online help? Drag-n-drop content? Easy image resizing? Many open source CMS have a community of users online who discuss tools and tricks via discussion boards.) Can you schedule a day/date/time in the future to publish content? Some CMS providers include a traffic counter as part of their system.) page 21 Edit code directly? Advanced caching? Page caching? Content scheduling? Web statistics? Style/template management? Is the system modular? Module management? Translation management? RSS? FTP support? Mobile publishing support? Supported mobile platforms? COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. such as an image. how easy is it to modify sections? Does the CMS enable smart filtering and encoding for the Web? Will your Web site automatically publish RSS feeds (syndicated content)? File Transfer Protocol: In order to upload large photo. All rights reserved. can you resize it there. video or other multimedia files. . or will you have to use a third-party system? Can you publish both to the Web and to mobile? What mobile platforms are supported? (iPhone. you will need to connect directly to the server using FTP. Because of this. Adam Glenn 2009. Some CMS providers offer help via instant messaging (or chat). while others require you to use a thirdparty application. Dorian Benkoil and A. some or all parts of the CMS interface could potentially take several minutes or more to load each time it is used. directly into the CMS and see it appear? If you need to change the size of an image on one of your pages. Does the CMS include FTP access. etc. such as GoogleAds or certain analytics (traffic counters). Can you edit one section of the site and apply changes throughout? Can you augment one section of the CMS without having to change the entire thing? If the system is modular. Will the CMS cache only designated parts of the page? Will it allow only designated users to view parts of the page once cached? Must a user “authenticate” to view certain cached content? Is a static HTML file created that can be read outside of the CMS application. Can you drag a file. you may not be able to include certain features. RIM/ BlackBerry. It can be especially helpful to tap into a particular CMS vendor’s users if you need help or advice. or do you need to use another program (such as Photoshop)? Not all CMS providers allow users to edit the HTML (or other code) directly.

Will the CMS accept and publish content using characters other than English? Does the CMS come with blogging software. iCal or other calendar application support? Multilingual content support? Blog? Chat? Social networks? User profile support? Aggregation support? Classifieds? Discussion/Forum? Document management? Events management? Job-posting boards? Mail form? Customizable user page? Newsletter? Automated photo gallery? Embedded video support? Video player? Does the CMS integrate with such calendar features as iCal (Mac) or other calendar software? This might be used for scheduling events. Adam Glenn 2009. integrating ad placement or implementing an events listings section on your Web site. page 22 . or will you have to use a third-party system? Can you embed videos into your site using only the CMS? Does the CMS require a separate video player? If so. multimedia files. is it included in the CMS? COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. or will you have to use a third-party system? Does the CMS provide a clear system to track where all pieces of the Web site are based or which staff member is/was using the file? This would include text. etc. Twitter. Does the CMS include a calendar and RSVP system to create and manage events? Does the CMS include software to manage and publish job ads. or will you have to use a third-party system? Can users type and send email messages directly on your Web site? Can each member of your staff using the CMS customize his/her own start page with the editing/ publishing tools s/he needs? Some CMS providers include an e-newsletter that you can create and send directly from the system. All rights reserved. or will you have to use a third-party system? Does the CMS come with software to manage a discussion board (online forum). etc. or will you have to use a third-party system? What social networks are integrated? (Facebook.) Can individual users create member profiles on your site? Can you aggregate information from other sites and present it on yours? Does the CMS come with software to manage and publish classifieds. They often store and manage all of your email addresses. Does the CMS include a template for creating and publishing photo galleries. or will you have to use a third-party system? Does the CMS come with chat (instant messaging directly on the Web site) software. Dorian Benkoil and A.Section Three: The Vendors Microsoft Outlook.

some search engines request that you submit your site map to make it easier for crawlers to find all of your content. or will you have to use a third-party system? Does the CMS include a so-called native search engine so that users can search directly through your site’s content? Some CMS providers use Google or Yahoo instead. page 23 . All rights reserved. or will you have to use a third-party system? Can users log onto your site to upload their own written content? Can users log onto your site to upload their own images? Can users log onto your site to upload their own audio/ video content? Does the CMS include a template for syndicating and publishing local/national weather reports. Adam Glenn 2009. For optimal visibility. Dorian Benkoil and A. or a system for collaborative content uploading/managing/publishing? Can you tell your advertisers/sponsors how many people have clicked on their ad? Does the CMS include a system to collect payments securely.Section Three: The Vendors Polls? Search engine within CMS? Site map? Surveys? Tests or quizzes? User contributions – text? User contributions – photo? User contributions – audio/video? Weather? Wiki? Affiliate tracking? Shopping cart? Supports Javascript? Supports Flash? Community/developer backlash? Does the CMS include a template for creating and publishing polls. or will you have to use a third-party system? Does the CMS include a wiki. Not all CMS providers support it. or will you have to use a third-party system? Javascript is used for a number of Web tools and applications. Will the CMS automatically create and publish a complete site map of your Web site on demand for distribution to search engine spiders? Does the CMS include a template for creating and publishing surveys. or will you have to use a third-party system? Does the CMS include a template for creating and publishing tests/quizzes. Has there been community or developer backlash about the CMS? COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. Not all CMS providers support it. Flash is used for a number of Web tools and applications.

Section Three: The Vendors CHAPTER SIX: Vendor Specifications and Comparisons Alfresco Enterprise + Community CONTACT: http://www. System requirements: server Operating system Programming language Users have root access? Users have shell access? Users have email access within the system? Hosted? Security – audit trail? WYSIWYG editor? Any with Java 1.$20k/year (supported) LICENSE TYPE: Open Alfresco. Knight Ridder Digital. Adam Glenn 2009. COST: $15k . page 24 . McGraw-Hill SUMMARY: Open source alternative for enterprise content management.5+ Any Java + PHP No No Yes No Yes Yes COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. APPROX.com SAMPLE USERS: Christian Science Monitor.com allows users to upload and convert documents to new formats via a Webfriendly interface. All rights reserved.alfresco. MIT. Dorian Benkoil and A.

Dorian Benkoil and A. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.. All rights reserved. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER.COM.. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA. MATERIAL EXCERPTED... Adam Glenn 2009. page 25 .Section Three: The Vendors .

COM.. Dorian Benkoil and A.S. COST: $50. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA. RedHat Linux XML.ingeniux. Navy. UCLA Anderson School of Management SUMMARY: XML-based content management system.000 LICENSE TYPE: Per Server or ASP. page 54 . All rights reserved. MATERIAL EXCERPTED. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.. XSLT Yes – after training and approval Yes – after training and approval No Yes Yes Yes PageNumber.Section Three: The Vendors Ingeniux CMS CONTACT: http://www.com/ SAMPLE USERS: American Optometric Association. software-as-service/hosted CMS APPROX. Adam Glenn 2009. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER.xml (doesn’t use natural language) ... U. monthly only (no annual pay option) System requirements: server Operating system Programming language Users have root access? Users have shell access? Users have email access within system? Hosted? Security – audit trail? WYSIWYG editor? What is the URL format? Windows 2000 or 2003 Server Microsoft Window.

Widgets can do just about anything: they can display advertisements. It collects and displays the URL to various Web site addresses. Wikipedia is a famous wiki. Toolbar A toolbar lives within the browser window. mp3s and any other content available online. Once that content is archived. Google Reader and Bloglines are popular feed readers. Podcasting A podcast is basically an audio or video file attached to an RSS feed. It is a way of distributing audio or video content using the Internet. and more. RSS is what differentiates an mp3 (audio file) from a podcast. Podcast. allowing others to subscribe to the content and receive alerts about new posts.Explanations Web 2. Feed Reader (also called “aggregator”) A piece of software that collects the RSS feeds you subscribe to and displays them in a readable format. page 87 . Dorian Benkoil and A. Blog software gives you the ability to deliver new content to the Web and to archive all of your old content. the URL changes. Blogs are updated frequently and have been used as personal spaces that reflect the specific ideology or beliefs of the author. They tend to be open in nature. Each blog post has a “permanent link. Wiki A “wiki” is used for members of a group to create. list other Web sites. such as a podcast or RSS feed. lots of people are creating map mashups using Google Maps. develop. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. Widget A “widget” refers to a stand-alone mini-application that lives on a Web site.” and they are usually categorized (or “tagged”) by a particular theme or keyword.” Blogs and podcasts use this format in order to deliver their content to Web sites outside the one they're hosted on. MyYahoo. documents.0 Terms Blog or Web log A blog (short for Web log) is a simple way for you to publish content. display photos and applications like the weather or email or maps. Adam Glenn 2009. Any Web site can have RSS enabled. Toolbars can be customized for content areas. All rights reserved. Right now. New stories are typically called “entries” or “posts.Section Three: The Vendors SECTION FOUR: Appendices CHAPTER SEVEN: Web /CMS Terms . mashups take advantage of syndicated content. to do this. Permalink Blogs have several posts within a single page with a general URL. Mashup Web pages or features on sites that are automatically created by combining content from two or more sources.” RSS or RSS feeds RSS stands for “really simple syndication. Blogs usually have RSS feeds (see below). Usually. edit and modify a Web page collaboratively.

. SEO -. Using Ajax can greatly increase the utility of your site for users and . Dorian Benkoil and A. or multiple times in a month if monthly uniques are being measured. and everything else on the page under a single URL. If you visit a Web site multiple times within the same day. and so on. Pageviews The number of times you load a particular page on a Web site is called the “pageview. MATERIAL EXCERPTED. links. page 88 . Unique Each time you visit a site and your cache is empty.COM. you are counted as a “unique” visitor. it will record 21 “hits” every time someone visits: 20 for the graphics and one for the HTML page containing text and other elements. Programming Languages Ajax -..(Search Engine Optimization) Sites are “optimized” to ensure that they rank as high as possible in search results.” This includes all the graphics. Adam Glenn 2009. If a newspaper homepage has 20 graphics. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER. “Hit” is not common terminology in todayʼs digital media discussions. All rights reserved.(Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Ajax is the name of a code that allows programming of a Web site so visitors to the site can grab content little by little as they access it.Section Three: The Vendors Analytics – Whoʼs Visiting Your Site Hit A “hit” means a single request from a Web browser for a single item on a Web page. you will only count once as a “unique" for that day.. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA.

html at the end) COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.Section Three: The Vendors Spider A “spider” is a program that is used by a search engine to roam the Internet. etc.) (2) Domain Name (the location of the file on the Internet) (3) Name of the file and its extension (often has . Dorian Benkoil and A. Spiders collect information on Web sites and databases along the way.pdf (3) (1) type of file (FTP. Anatomy of a URL: http://www.com/ (2) resource. site updates. All rights reserved. and they report that information (a site is dead. secure HTTP. etc. Adam Glenn 2009.) back to the search engines. (1) google. page 89 .

Section Three: The Vendors CHAPTER EIGHT: Further Resources Definitions. of course.COM. All rights reserved. As consultants... Dorian Benkoil and A. We also know the value of a mix of resources and methodologies. vouch for their accuracy): .. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. we know that no one report can fit everyone's needs. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER. Adam Glenn 2009. Links and More We hope this paper has provided a comprehensive and valuable resource as you move through the choices of defining how to manage your content and choosing a content management system. Here's a list of a few other resources we have found to be useful (though we cannot. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA. and we in fact spend a lot of our time customizing solutions for clients. page 90 . MATERIAL EXCERPTED..

weekly)? How heavy does it get at the peak? 2. Who provides your content? Staff? Freelancers? Users or community groups? Do you bring in feeds from elsewhere. How many people publish content? Do they publish simultaneously? 3. do for you.Section Three: The Vendors Sample Worksheets Worksheet: Initial Needs Assessment Answer the questions below before researching a CMS. Content Questions 1. page 91 . Is your staff able to solve Web-based technical problems on their own? 6. daily. How much content does your organization produce each day? What types? What is the frequency (every minute. Dorian Benkoil and A. Compile your answers and use them to assess a vendor and/or system. Do you have in-house technical staff. such as blogs? Where are contributors located? Staff and Technical Questions 4. How technologically savvy is your audience? Would they take advantage of new Web tools as they become available? Cost and Planning Questions 8. What are your immediate priorities? Your secondary priorities? 10. All rights reserved. or do you outsource technical tasks? 5. They will help you understand your needs and specifications to help determine what a CMS or vendor can. Where do you see your company in two years? In five years? COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. or canʼt. What can you afford? Can you buy an expensive software suite? Would it be better to lease as you go? Do you need a very low-cost/free option? 9. Does your company own server space or are you leasing space somewhere else? 7. Adam Glenn 2009.

Consider sending a copy to each team member individually and then synthesizing their answers into a short report.. Do/will you need to use your CMS to track the workflow of each piece of digital content? Do you want to write. page 92 .. Dorian Benkoil and A. If not. Do staff members have programming knowledge? Who are they? What programming languages do they know? Be specific. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. will your company commit to establishing a permanent Web developer position? 3. Adam Glenn 2009. 1. will your company commit to paid training for current staff members? 4. below). MATERIAL EXCERPTED. All rights reserved. Is yours a Windows or Mac shop? Which system takes precedence? 5. That way.will content be behind a “wall”? 7. If not. edit. Does/will your site require subscriptions (or registration) -. proofread and publish your content from one geographic location? Do you want the workflow tracking and CMS in a single Web interface? ... you may find it easier to keep dialogue free and open (see Case Study #3. copyedit. 2. Does/will your site require high security? 6. Use it to help facilitate discussion among staff about your technology needs.Section Three: The Vendors Worksheet: Staff and Technology Needs and Workflow Assessment This worksheet will also help you research systems and ask questions of vendors and also help determine your workflow.

• Allow editing the HTML directly. including Appleʼs Safari.. MATERIAL EXCERPTED. Adam Glenn 2009. Dorian Benkoil and A. Consider if you need to: • Wrap text around an image. All rights reserved. • Publish for various browsers.. page 94 . COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.Section Three: The Vendors Worksheet: Common PItfalls Use the list below to consider features you may need that some CMSs donʼt provide. ... • Write and edit in Spanish or another language.

Here are costs you should consider and budget for as needed: • CMS search fees (this may involve hosting a vendor to try product demos. allowing staff time to work with possible CMS products). COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.. • Redesign costs. in addition to charging a license fee? • Is there an additional charge for items such as: . if working with an outside firm. PHONE 646-258-7879 OR VISIT BGVMEDIA... If you choose an open-source solution.. MATERIAL EXCERPTED. TO LEARN MORE AND TO ORDER THE FULL VERSION OF THIS PAPER. Dorian Benkoil and A. We advise that you read all documentation.. MATERIAL EXCERPTED.Section Three: The Vendors Worksheet: Costs Upfront Costs Even before youʼve installed a CMS you may have to spend a considerable amount.COM.. Here are some of the possible unexpected costs you should ask your vendor about: • If I decide to change part of my initial build-out design during the process. All rights reserved. Adam Glenn 2009. page 95 .. contracts and discussion forums about the CMS vendor thoroughly before finalizing any agreements. • Content migration costs: Some CMS providers may not be willing or able to migrate all of your digital content over to the new system. will my company be charged? • Is my CMS provider charging me to host the CMS. you may need to • .. • • Hidden Costs There may be many hidden costs associated with your CMS choice.

video and paid content. a2g Media Adam Glenn is an award-winning news veteran and digital journalism consultant. the South Asian Journalists Association and other organizations. He writes for Poynter Institute's E-Media Tidbits. BGV Media Principal. Newsweek and The Associated Press and has written columns for JackMyers Media Business Report. Adam Glenn 2009. they have produced this report – one in a series designed to help organizations adapt to digital media -. All rights reserved. Glenn is co-founder of I.com. more than a decade of it in digital media. His work has won awards and recognition from the Society for Professional Journalists. Contact us at info@bgvmedia. Adam Glenn Principal. his clients include former NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright. He received a masterʼs in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy. editor and foreign correspondent for ABC News. Also at Columbia. he managed a network of targeted media industry blogs. BGV Media Principal.without outside funding or investment from any content management company. are long-time journalists with rich experience in digital media. American Universityʼs J-Lab. and Naked Media. The Knight Digital Media Center. and serves on the editorial advisory board for the Society of Environmental Journalists. A New York-based independent consultant since 2005.com. attracting and retaining millions of users. He has been a reporter. he serves as managing editor for the Carnegie/Knight Foundation-funded News21 news initiative. The Marist Institute for Public Opinion and the New York Press Association. a New York-based strategic digital media business and editorial consultancy focused on helping content publishers meet specific business objectives. the Mirror Awards. and a 2005 Environmental Media Fellowship at the Vermont Law School. was a Fulbright Fellow studying media issues at Sophia University in Tokyo and received a bachelorʼs degree in communication and international relations from Stanford University. whose Web TV show he also hosts. and partner on this project Amy Webb. There. As editorial director for mediabistro. He received an MBA from Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business.org) COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. Fairchild Publications. Reporter. CNET. blogs at MediaFlect. a journalism training operation that in 2007 won a prestigious Knight News Challenge Grant.com. among others. both as independent consultants and as senior editors and executives for major international news organizations. email newsletters. page 96 .. As a vendor-neutral partnership. CNETʼs Webware.com and elsewhere. Dorian Benkoil and A. He frequently speaks at media conferences. Principals Dorian Benkoil and Adam Glenn. The Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation. he has held posts with news media in New York and Washington. and at ABCNews. Yale University. Teeming Media Dorian Benkoil is founder and senior vice president at Teeming Media. Dorian Benkoil Principal. he created multiple new content and revenue streams across platforms. magazine publisher Rodale Inc. Adam was awarded a 2002 Ford Environmental Journalism Fellowship to teach in India.com. He currently holds adjunct teaching positions at graduate journalism programs at Columbia University and New York University.Section Three: The Vendors CHAPTER NINE: About the Authors BGV Media Consulting specializes in developing digital content creation and delivery strategies to meet specific business objectives. During the last 25-plus years. The Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri. He has more than 20 yearsʼ experience in the media business. most recently as senior producer at ABCNews. and a bachelorʼs degree in journalism from Boston University.com and is host of Naked Media (NakedMedia. BGV Media Consulting also provides direct consulting services designed to fit custom digital media solutions to individual needs.

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and many others. Editor & Publisher. publisher and consultant. Webbmedia Group consultants work out of offices in Miami. media associations and journalism schools. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. speaker and future thinker and heads Webbmedia Group (http:// www. She began her career as a reporter/writer with Newsweek (Tokyo) and the Wall Street Journal (Hong Kong) where she covered emerging technology. including major television networks. Investigative Reporters & Editors.A.com. She has an M. Amy is a regular commentator on various broadcast shows and is a frequent keynote speaker at media conferences and journalism workshops around the world. media and cultural trends. Temple University. D. Amy serves on the Board of Directors for the Online News Association. She has been on the adjunct journalism faculty at University of Maryland. Knight Foundation. Adam Glenn 2009. a digital strategy consultancy that adapts current and emerging technologies to solve problems in mainstream journalism/journalism education. mydigimedia. Recent clients have included People.com/webbmedia). ABCNews. Society of Professional Journalists. tech startups. national newspapers. Amy has spent more than 15 years working within media as a reporter. Amy can be found on twitter (twitter. Global Forum for Media Development. All rights reserved. Her team of consultants and programmers at Webbmedia helps news and tech organizations around the world innovate. page 97 .com. Her work has been recognized with awards/nominations from Webby. Hearst Digital. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and holds a B. National Public Radio. Webb Principal Webbmedia Group LLC Amy Webb is an author. IN. Philadelphia Inquirer and many publications and broadcast shows.webbmediagroup.com).S. She is based in Baltimore. Houston and Washington. COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb.Section Three: The Vendors Amy L. in political economics from Indiana University in Bloomington. IM (webbmedia) and on her blog. Webbmedia has worked with media companies and other groups. NPR. W3 and IAVA. She also earned Nikyu Certification in the Japanese government-administered Language Proficiency Test and speaks fluently. She has contributed to New York Times. The Economist. the Advisory Board for Temple Universityʼs Journalism Program and an Advisory Board for the International Center for Journalists.C. Tokyo University and University of the Arts.com. Dorian Benkoil and A.

COPYRIGHT © Amy Webb. copy/ plagiarize or take action in reliance upon it. None of the materials provided in this document may be used. Dorian Benkoil and A.Section Three: The Vendors Terms of Use This document and any information enclosed within the document. If you are not the intended observer of this document. BGV Media assumes that all users understand risks involved within this document and/or its attached materials. reproduced or transmitted. electronic or mechanical. whether it was caused by: 1. in any form or by any means. 2. contains restricted and/or privileged information and is intended only for authorized screening and/or confidential presentation at BGV Mediaʼs discretion. page 98 . Accessing or other related actions to this document. you must not disseminate. Adam Glenn 2009. including recording or the use of any information storage and retrieval system. All rights reserved. without written permission from BGV Media. Disclaimer BGV Media accepts no liability whatsoever. unless given written permission by BGV Media or the papersʼ authors. and/or materials provided/attached to this document. Any links. modify.

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