University Web Developers

University Web Developers

HI all,

For a long string of reasons, the University of Northern Colorado is just now looking seriously at purchasing our first CMS. We have been stopped in mid-exploration twice so I have a bit of a feel for what's out there and what we need.

We have about 200 web authors, a pretty good consistency in template use right now and about 200,000 pages on a Microsoft IIS platform.

I have been talking to Hannon Hill and Omni Update, although I know there are others out there to consider. Can any of you highly recommend for or against the CMS you use and tell me briefly why?  I would really appreciate your help.

Ronna Johnston

Director, Web Communicatons

University of Northern Colorado

Views: 253

Replies to This Discussion

A lot of the time you can fit CMSs into two categories (not always). Of the two options below, which solution would fit you guys best?

1. Feature Complete - Packaged - Restrictive to Developers - High Cost

2. Blank Slate - CMS Framework - Flexible for Developers - Low Cost

Couple other questions:

- Is there a particular technology stack you're looking for?

- Are you looking for a CMS that targets the Education industry or non-industry specific CMS?

- Is having access to the source code or a solid API a requirement?

I'm currently working on implementing the Umbraco CMS for our site. As a developer I love it for a number of reasons:

1. Best community support I've seen

2. Open Source + strong API

3. Complete control the the presentation layer

4. Complete control of data-structures

5. A fantastic Form Builder add-on

6. Granular user permissions

Umbraco doesn't do anything for you out of the box. It takes a developer to get it up and running and there's a high learning curve. However, it allows you to build a completely customized solution. It's often referred to as a CMS Framework than a standard CMS. 

Daniel,

Thanks so much for the speedy reply! We are a Microsoft IIS only shop and that seriously reduces the options. And yes, we absolutely need access to the source code, our developers are very talented.

Nice to know about Umbraco but no open source for us :(.

You might also look at...

  • Sitecore
  • Kentico
  • Sitefinity
  • Composite c1
  • Orchard
  • DotNetNuke
  • N2

I can't recall which ones are Open Source, but those are some of the popular .Net options. I never really did look into the Higher Ed specific systems. They're usually a lot higher priced and we were on a very limited budget.

Since you have the talent there, I'd still suggest taking a look at Umbraco. I found that a lot of the Open Source fears didn't apply to Umbraco.

Goodluck.

Thanks for the help!

Ronna

Ronna,

Columbus State University in Columbus Georgia has been with OmniUpdate for six years.  Today, we have 300 users, 140 websites and ~130000 pages within our instance of OmniUpdate.  We have OmniUpdate locally installed on servers within our campus Data center.   It took us three years to move all of our sites into OmniUpdate from a Microsoft Frontpage and IIS environment.  We conducted a audit and information architecture review during our migration.  At the time OmniUpdate did not have a migration tool to help with moving content into their system.  Today, they do have a migration tool that will speed up your implementation.  For us, as soon as we had all of our sites into OmniUpdate, we changed our domain, so we had to go back through every site and page and make updates.  We used OmniUpdate migration tool to move us into the XML/XSLT format.  With the migration tool, we were able to touch all 125 sites, within a 11 month period. 

We are very pleased with the continuing development and additional functionality that OmniUpdate has added to OUCampus over the years.  We are also pleased with the customer support that we receive from them.

At Columbus State, during our initial implementation I had a staff of up to 3 full-time staff and 3 student assistants. Today, I have 1 full-time staff, 1 Graduate Assistant and 1 Student Assistant. We required all new users to go through training before they get access to OUCampus. I did the training the first several years and now have other Web Team members to the training.  The training for us is an hour and half long, hands-on session.

I am happy to talk with you in more detail, if you are interested.

Thanks,

Jay

--

Jay Knape
Project Management Officer / Senior Manager of Web Content Services
University Information & Technology Services

www.ColumbusState.edu
knape_jay@columbusstate.edu
w - 706-507-8116
c - 706-593-1655

Jay,

This was very helpful infomration, thank you for taking the time to reply. Wow, this sounds like it was a big project! One last question - does someone else maintain the server and how much time or FTE is dedicated to that part?

Thanks again.

Ronna

Ronna,

A member of our network team maintain our Linux/Apache production web server. It is a very small part of their overall responsibilities. So very little time or effort is needed to maintain our web servers.  For our OmniUpdate staging server, OmniUpdate support staff maintain it.  We allow them access to the server to make the necessary OS and application updates that they need to make to keep our system up and running. 

Jay

Oh good to know about the Omni access to the server, thanks.

We are re-evaluating our WCMS in the coming months.  We use eZ Publish at the moment and have since 2008 - but not on our front page.  They are upgrading and including a lot of new features, so now is a good time to compare, add some features like responsive design and update our design. We have flexibility in design, but we have a limited staff, so we would need a lot of support with a new system. 

Is anyone using WordPress for an enterprise-wide WCMS?  Can it handle multiple sites in one installation?

I'd love to see some sort of matrix of what you are looking at (features) and how the different WCMSs compare.  Any other information you have gathered would be helpful too.

 

Best,

D. Kelly, Florida State

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