FEATURES OF A GOOD CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
1. Human friendly membership system - can handle 1 to 100,000 users and more
2. User profile - extensible according to the requirements
3. Search Engine Friendly - can get top rankings by Google, Yahoo and MSN
4. Sensible Categorization system - to create categories or classification of contents
5. Many types of content - not just text, but can handle audio, video, PDF, HTML,
6. SEARCH function - each term and name inside may be searchable, minimum 3 characters (example: ICT, or 123)
7. Human friendly and readable URLs - good for both human and Google
8. Syndication ready, RSS Feed and Live Bookmarking for readers and users, and other websites
9. Title, name of website, and slogan should be displayed in the web browser header
10. No default META TAG (because it will affect Google ranking negatively)
11. Easily read and indexed by Google, and able to be ranked in top search result pages, fast and definitive link from Google (usually less than 1 week to enter Google index)
12. Free from proprietary licensing, free to be used, modified, developed, and enhanced
13. Free from advertising and `Powered by ****' - you should have 100% freedom from the CMS logo and links; can put copyrights, own links and logos in the footer
14. Statistics and referrers - to see how people find your websites, what keywords, names, what ranking by Google, Yahoo and many search engines, who put links to your website
15. Contact form - at least 1 working properly to send feedback and inquiries to web owner or person in charge. No mailto:email@example.com which gets spammed
16. User activities and logs - can see what users look for (search), who registers and logins, time and date, errror messages, content management
17. Easy to change logo, icon and links (without having to edit theme template)
18. Wealth of modules - easy to install, setup, and update - Additional modules to add functionality
Instead of `Page not found - 404 or 403 error message' - the CMS must have a `Redirect' ready - sort of a `good butler' who shows the guests to the right entrance
- Can be used for different applications: Organization, E-Commerce, News, Blogs, Membership portal, Audio, Video Listening and Watching station, Information and Knowledge Center, Online Real-time Interaction, Fan sites, Downloads, Community, Club, Online Reservation system, Customer / Client Relationship Management *Example: Broadcast and video chat using third-party software by displaying the HTML or Java applets (LiveSite, U-Broadcast)
1 user to 100,000 users
-Don’t have to be programmer or hire anybody - you can learn and help yourself to the wealth of modules freely available
(see No. 18)
21. User access control
Accomplished by what is commonly called the `Access Control List'. It should be easy to add a group of users with permissions to access, use, read, edit, delete.
22. Out of the box FORUM
- Forum is a Bulletin Board, a place where users or members can post their articles, questions, suggestions. It is a place where you can interact with members, or amongst themselves. It is a safe avenue to interact and for a democratic type of online presence.
- There are still many organizations with websites but WITHOUT even a simple Forum
Another out of the box module useful to a community site is POLL. You should be able to create polls - a form of multiple choice questions where users can click on which answer, the results also display statistics bar.
23. No Session IDs
What is a Session ID? For a user, it is nothing useful. But for the website, Session ID can be a bane by affecting Search Engine ranking negatively. The absence of Session ID is the key to Search Engine friendliness.
Long and weird URL generated for the `Login' link - this will confuse the Search Engine spider.
You should have all the ingredients to treat your special guest right - the Search Engine `spiders' - if they like your website, they will return high ranking. (No Session ID, no irrelevant meta keywords; Friendly URLs, Title and Name for each page and section) Not only for Search engine spiders, `Clean URLs' and no Session IDs are also good to human eyes.
24. Small basic package - lean and mean
Basic package should be compressed as .tar.gz to about 500 KB, small enough to fit in a diskette plus additional power modules. There should be no Text and HTML Editor included. This is not a disadvantage. The small size means that it can be downloaded quickly and distributed easily for example by giving out free diskettes to those that want to install and learn it themselves. We usually pack additional modules to be around 800 KB which include nifty modules such as webform, video, flexinode, image, notify, and newsletter'.
25. Multi-site capabilites
Each and every site, if linked from the main site, should be independent, separated, and can get ranked high by Search Engines. Your website is like a huge library, each section can have different theme and layout.
26. Multi-language capabilities
Should support UTF-8 which means that your web browser can display non-English letters correctly (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese letters are supported by UTF-8). And you can just type in UTF-8 letters using your keyboard program, or copy and paste non-English UTF-8 texts from other websites or desktop software to display them correctly. Bear in mind that your PC should also have TrueTypeFonts (TTF) which support the language you want. Windows XP users for example have new Courier TTF which can display Arabic and Eastern fonts quite nicely.
27. Allowing for Future Extension. Immediate deployment of Functionalities.
CMS must NOT limit what you can and want to achieve online. For example the user should be able to create an online quiz.
28. Compliance with W3C. Independent of proprietary or heavy system on user side.
Websites should be able to be displayed correctly and accessible by using different web browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Konqueror, IE, Opera, Netscape).
29. User friendly to the writer / publisher; Worry free, stress free for new users (website owners)
- The second thing after creating the first account and logging in is `Create content'
- Even without going further and confused about system configuration, a writer can just click on `Create content' he/she sees on the left column, and starts publishing articles (default content types are page, story, book ....)
- He/she needs not worry so much on the first day using the CMS. He knows that the content gets across the Internet and somebody somewhere can access it (Example: CEO wants to see reports, Potential clients want to see company profile - supply them with the correct URL and let them access the Internet)
(No need to wait to create categories, that can be done later)
- No need to hire a Webmaster or IT officer whose task is to publish contents - the writer can do it himself
(Write, copy & paste, Submit, Publish)
- No need for the website owner to hire programmers or pay more to CMS provider.
He/she can venture on his own but of course can get pointers and help from the CMS user community whether in person or online.
30. Safe and secure CMS
- In general, there is no CMS, whether free, open source, or proprietary CMS based on any language that is hacker-proof
- But the CMS must be inherently strong and difficult to be hacked by irresponsible people by whatever tools
- The CMS is designed with safety and security top priority
31. User friendly to the visitors and web browsers
- Some PHP-based websites are just dysfunctional, notwithstanding nice graphics and public & media hypes
- Some websites have persistent problems and webmasters are either ignorant, unaware of, or just cannot repair or improve
- Clean URLS are commended. No Session IDs. Easy bookmarking. Easily remembered URLs.
32. Lean and fast
- Must not have `inherent' problem when site gets heavy uses (many visitors, users, activities)
- Can have a `throttle' module to disable certain functionalities so that heavy load is not going to make the site crashes or goes blank or user see `Document contains no data'
CMS should have an UPLOAD feature which enables a file to be uploaded as attachment to an article. The attachment can be txt, pdf, xls, doc, odp, bmp, image files, mp3, wav, compressed or executable file. The number of attachments can be more than 1. User access permission can be set to determine who will be able to see the list of attachments and download them. The uploading feature is also a quick way to store files into a website or portal. Again, file storage can be configured so that whether it is accessible by public or private, or known only by the owner.
This UPLOAD feature should also be used to upload PICTURES (Images, jpg, gif, png, Animated GIFs) and if you don't have additional modules specifically for `Image',`Album'`Gallery',`Picture'. You should be able to display the uploaded picture by using HTML code anywhere.
34. Each and every category level should gain good SEO
Even if you are `lazy', you will be impressed that your website can get good ranking for keywords in your categories. By `lazy' we mean that you didn't create URL Alias and you didn't put articles yet. Even if left empty, people will find your website from Google, Yahoo, MSN, or other search engines which refer searches to exact or close matchings of keywords with categories.
35. Trustworthy and serious effort by the developers
Open source and easy compatibility with 3rd party tools.
Should have an out-of-the-box BLOG module which is powerful and fulfills the definition of a Weblog.
Blogging can be such that each person's blog will have its own RSS feed, or it can also be put into specific categories, separated from other content types, and the category in turn has its own RSS feed. You can subscribe to just one's blogs, or you can subscribe to many blogs in one category that you like. You can do `Live Bookmarking' using your web browser, and you can display the `syndicated content' in your own website which has the `Aggregator' tool
37. COLLABORATION - Collaborative document and content
Book module. A `book page' can be short, or long. Each book page can then be put under the `main book page' which is called the PARENT (independent, top-level book). You can also `outline' any page, video, audio, image into the book. What you will see is the `Book Navigation' visible below the content as `up, next, previous' and the titles of each book page and the main page in a block. Remember that you can control this feature by `Access Control List'.
38. Count page views
39. Tracker - tracking a user's page visit, posts (content) and comments. `Personal blogging' track if BLOG enabled. If enabled, there should be a `recent posts' link in the Navigation menu.
40. Default `front page' can be set to any specific page
For example - user registration page, user login page, user profile, Search, Categories, Sitemap, Image Gallery, Slideshow (if you have one) *
Remember that `Error page' 403 and 404 `page not found' can be redirected also to anywhere
41. `Revert revisions'
Creating and reverting revisions - default for admin, can be assigned to users in ACL. You can also set if revisions are accessible or not to readers.
- Not just `comments', but also `Add additional information, opinion, data, info' and `objection' `disagree'.
43. USER AUTHENTICATION - Validation email - Verification of registered user
USER GREETING - upon registration and activation
Even if you didn't bother to create user `profile fields', you can put some text in the `User Registration guideline', and the e-mail which will be sent to the user' email address.
Some CMS and Bulletin Board sent very strange messages which are encrypted. It might be caused by non-UTF texts (Unicode fonts) or non-English message which cannot be read by your web browsers automatically. Some webmasters are ignorant about this problem. The danger is that the email will be thought of as `spam' or `dangerous e-mail' when the user sees weird e-mail sender names and titles and delete it right away.
Some CMS and BB also take quite long time to send the `validation email' or `activation link' which will only make the potential user give up on your website. Worse still, some CMS or Bulletin Board FAIL altogether to send the `validation email' or `activation link' . This lagging might be webhosting problem, or it could be caused by high traffic, or it might be an inherent problem of the CMS/BB. It could also because of problems with the user's e-mail server.
User Management features are critical especially for Membership Portal and E-Commerce, Fan sites, exclusive websites, and Community portals. We must strive to get rid of so many hurdles and obstacles to the users.
44. SINGLE-SIGN ON -
Feature to turn Single Sign on / off
45. FREE TAGGING - again, a great innovation in CMS
As far as we are concerned, Free Tagging if enabled for a particular content type, enables a user posting article to `tag' his or her article, news or picture with whatever keywords permissible and suitable. What more, MULTIPLE TAGS can also be enabled. Again, these tags will be read by SE spiders and they, in addition to descriptive categories, titles, and URL aliases, will help your site gets ranked fast and high by Google. (What about Yahoo? I am not sure, Yahoo search engine still reads the Meta tags).
- `Ping module' is: Alert to other sites when your site is updated. *The ping module is useful for notifying interested sites that your site has changed. It automatically sends notifications (called "pings") to the pingomatic service [http://pingomatic.com/] to tell it that your site has changed. In turn pingomatic will ping other services such as weblogs.com, Technorati, blo.gs, BlogRolling, Feedster.com, Moreover, etc.
47. Confidential or `secret' data; Exclusive viewing of content and user profiles only to certain groups of users; Exclusive membership
The CMS should be able to switch the access to user registration, content and profiles on and off quickly. The `User registration and Login' block can also be hidden quickly. The user profile field can be set to `Private - only privileged users (admin) can access'.
User Profile revisited - `Private profile field'
48. Templates - standards
49. Customisable menus
By default, there should be a Navigation menu which makes sense to the user and admin.The most basic and important menu link which should be displayed:
Create content. Then, the links to: My Account, Administer, and Logout. If applicable: My recent posts, all recent posts. For an anonymous user (not logged in, or just browsing): All recent posts.
A new menu item should be added, as well as a new menu which is displayed in a separate block from the Navigation block.
50. PRESENTABILITY AND USABILITY
For admin, user, writer - Workflow for writers (that is not concerned with web administration and is not assigned as admin):
Creating content - default settings: Teaser - unlimited, or 200 (default) - 600 words. Published (default) or Moderated. Sticky. Unpublished. Promoted to front page (default for page and story). Create new revision. Inputs (Textfields) - Title, Body, Attach files (if enabled). Preview or Submit.
`Submit page / story / content':
Publishing options - Published -In moderation queue-Promoted to front page -Sticky at top of lists -Create new revision
Side display - in `blocks' - you can add a custom block, and put it top header, bottom footer, left, right, or inside under list of content. Mission box can also display HTML so that you can display logos and introduction.
Remember that you can create a piece of text, HTML, and PHP, and Java applets in blocks. You can also copy and paste Google AdSense which is .js script into custom blocks, mission box, or footer.
User can select theme -
User can change username
Change color - if your boss doesn't like the green color, just change it to other colors or let him/her switch colors using the color dial.
Save as HTML - Title of article, Name, URL (if using alias) - saving a page using web browser
51. BLOCK MAGIC
CMS should enable you to handle `blocks' as you wish. The block control is not confusing.
Yyou can do a lot of things with blocks - display, hide, show only in specific page or content type, or show only in specific article. Block can handle text, HTML, img src, audio, video, PHP. Block creation can be set only for admin, or privileged users. Block can be hidden or displayed only for privileged users. You can also set `show block by default but users can choose to hide them',`hide by default but...' - individual preferences to see or not.
Block system enables you to make use of spaces - header, footer, left and right column, and content under your articles. You can put links and images, audio and video consoles in blocks. If you like a Java script, CGI script, or PHP snippets, you can use them in blocks. You can create a scrolling text or `moving pictures' using `marquee' HTML to make your site lively.