New year, new face, new body

Aisling McMahon

For many years Strata3 has been publishing the highlights of each issue of the Marketing at Each month we have been uploading some of the main feature stories from the magazine for your reference along with archiving back issues.

But with the release of our latest version of our content management system (CMS), Publisher 6.0, Strata3 decided that it was time for a front-end facelift for along with some serious nip/tuck to the rear-end.

It involved the setting up of a CMS to enable quick and easy updates to the website, so it’s not just a pretty face. We re-sculpted the front-end with some new features, such as RSS (RDF Site Summary) feeds, social book-marking and a site search.

In the future, we may offer additional services to Marketing readers such as secure online magazine subscription (to complement paying by cheque, bankers order or electronically by bank transfer), newsletter alerts, marketing guest blogs and online advertising.

As more and more people turn to the web as their first port of call for information, it is important to keep a site as up-to-date as possible for content and web standards. CMS is a web-based tool, which allows users to manage a site without technical knowledge.

At its most basic, it is linked to a database, which stores all of the information so site-managers can add text, images and downloadable-files to a page without having to know a lot of technology. The team which handles the updates for Marketing can now add new sections or pages, meta-data, publish online polls, online forms, event calendars et cetera.

Depending on the CMS, a site-manager can do all of the above and also manage who is doing what by controlling publishing and approval rights for all users of the CMS.

Knowing what you want your CMS to do for your company’s website is the easy part.

One must also check the list of CMS features, such as user content preview, access level permissions, multi-site and multi-language management, user work-flow, usability, web and accessibility standards compliance. Ensure that the product matches your expectation and will deliver on your publishing and operational needs.

Once the CMS requirements are identified, it is important to secure the right level CMS and that you are not punching too high or too low.

Depending on the type of web services on offer, be it is a brochure-ware, informational portal site, online accounts/application processing site, you need to choose the right CMS and hosting solution.

For instance, do not buy an enterprise level solution if you have a small site with low functionality. More and more, your CMS will be working directly with your back-office customer relationship or financial system so integration is a key concern.

Likewise, the appropriate hosting solution should be given due diligence. Once you have committed yourself to a CMS, ensure that training documentation, upgrades and support options are not forgotten. Check with your provider that these are standard services.

Finding the right CMS implementation partner can prove challenging. Whether you set your sights on the international or domestic market to find the right fit, remember that experience counts and that CMS can prove to be a handsome investment.

Look for case studies with similar site profiles. Moreover, to successfully plan, design, develop and test your site will take a minimum six weeks and require the input and buy in from all stakeholders. A good partner will have project management experience, technique and toolset in house to make the implementation as easy as possible.

Last, but certainly not least, a CMS will not manage the entire process of publishing content to your site on its own. It is only a tool. You will need to manage the content creation and put in place a content publishing process after the launch of your site.

Although the face and body lift may do the trick in the short term, it is the rigorous beauty-regime of healthy content and ongoing maintenance that stops the wrinkles.

The new


The new look homepage which has been revamped to improve its use from a practical perspective and also give it new vibrancy visually. The content management system (CMS) provides users with countless possibilities.

Aisling McMahon
( is a director of Strata3

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