Some Thoughts on Content Management Systems

A Google search for “content management systems” will turn up just about every resource imaginable – from advertisers trying to woo you to their platform to lists of the Top Ten Content Management Systems Ever.

But what exactly is a content management system – or CMS?

From Techtarget, it’s quite simply “a software application or set of related programs that are used to create and manage digital content.”  CMSs can be broken down even further into two groups: Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Web Content Management (WCM).  You’re more likely to encounter ECMs at a workplace.  As an example, my company uses SharePoint for project collaboration and document management.  Each project has its own site with content specific to that project.  WCMs, on the other hand, are meant to be more public facing.  They offer a wider range of customization to provide a more personal touch.  Some typical WCMs include open source sites like WordPress or Joomla.  Just as ECMs are customized for their workplace, there are web content management systems that offer custom solutions to address a variety of needs.  There are some out-of-the-box options, like Brightcove, which targets video content marketing.  However, if you feel your organization needs something more customized than these options offer, you may want to consider contacting a development company to build you a solution.


Teamwork in Web Development

Teamwork makes the dream work.  A phrase my four-year old learned from daycare – one he often parrots when he’s helping me pick up toys or empty the dishwasher.  And one that couldn’t summarize teamwork better.

From an early age, we’re taught the value of teamwork – whether it’s playing on a sports team or completing a school project.  But teamwork doesn’t end once you’re out of school.  It’s a well-documented business practice.  There are countless books and online resources dedicated to the subject.

It’s no different in the world of web development.

The scope of web development extends far beyond just knowing how to code HTML.  Coding is a part of it, but depending on the size of the site and its goal, the addition of team members is not only a benefit in distributing the workload, it ultimately benefits the client in getting a website that meets their organization’s needs.

For a list of roles and benefits having a good web development team can bring, check out the following links: — includes a breakdown of roles not typically thought of as part of a web team, such as sales and marketing, as well as a section on finding good team members — includes a nice infographic detailing how a site can easily scale beyond the capabilities of a single Webmaster. — provides a detailed look at some of the more typical roles in web development.

Web Development Life Cycle

digital-dreams-1155366-1280x960You’ve just met with a client who wants you to design a website for their organization.  You can’t wait to get back to your office.  Your head is abuzz with ideas.  Your fingers are itching to code.  But before you fire up your text editor, you need to stop a minute and reign your enthusiasm back in.

In Web Development, as with all things, the promise of a new project often has you bouncing in your seat, ready to flex your creative muscles.  But in Web Development, as with all things, you don’t want to dive head first into something and start coding like crazy.

What you need is a plan.

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Print is Dead / Long Live Print!


Is web publishing killing print?  (And yes, I’m aware of the irony of this post being published online).  I feel like this question crops up every time a new e-reader hits the market or a major newspaper goes through a series of layoffs.  As an avid bibliophile and self-professed book sniffer, maybe I’m biased when I say I have trouble believing the web and digital technology is killing off the printed word.  Or maybe I’m just in denial.

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Communicating with Clients — A Sense of Humor is Required

If you’ve ever worked in a job field providing a service to other people, chances are you’ve encountered those customers.  You know the ones.  They come in two distinct flavors — the I’m Open to Anythings or the Control Freaks.  There is no in-between.  They’re the reason why I have a board on my Pinterest site titled {GD} Graphic Design Humour.  Having worked in printing and being tasked with every graphic design job that came through our shop, I’ve had plenty encounters with both.


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Is “Mobile First” so 2015?

The first hit I got when Googling “Is mobile first still relevant?” was a discussion post on  The kicker: the year it was posted was 2014.  It seemed odd, given the rise of tablets, the proliferation of smartphones (do flip-phones exist anywhere outside of D.o.D. contractors and civil service?), and the soon-to-be-released Apple iWatch in early 2015.  Of course “mobile first” was still relevant!  It was 2014!  Devices were “it” and laptops were as ancient as desktop PCs.

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Promoting Your Website

When it comes to promoting your website, one thing is certain — everyone has an opinion about what you should do.  A Google search of the topic reveals countless tips, tricks, and the all-time favorite: checklists.  It can seem a little overwhelming, having one link promise to teach your 24 proven methods of web marketing, while another link can teach the same thing in only 5 easy steps.  Which one do you choose?  Do you take the time to wade through them all or play eeny-meeny-miny-mo and hope you pick the very best one?

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Drawing with CSS

When it comes to drawing, what’s the first thing you do?  Fire up your computer or laptop and launch your program of choice?  Or do you go the more traditional route and reach for pen(cil) and paper?

For me, I’d have to say it’s a little bit of both.  I like to have a rough layout of my design before I begin, and for that, I usually make a quick sketch with a pen and whatever paper is available.  Then I’ll launch Illustrator and begin filling things in.

I never once would have considered using code.

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