Monday, 27 June 2011

CMSs: how about we all use the same one?

A single CMS for all

As a freelance wordmonger, moving nomadically between organisations, I always wish companies would use the same CMS.

Why? Because most CMSs take a while to learn and often need extra bits of HTML code to do something simple like make images appear in the right place on the page.

And the more time it takes to learn a CMS, the less time there is to do the real work you've been hired for: checking facts, jazzing up text and crafting page titles and link text.

Quark, quark!

In the ancient world of print, there were just a few options for producing printed material: Adobe InDesign, Quark Xpress, PageMaker and Ventura.

But now the world’s gone digital, there seem to be a million CMSs out there for publishing content online.

And, not satisfied with the countless number of commercial or freeware products, some large organisations create their own bespoke CMS, taking several years and several million pounds.

My question: is every organisation or industry so unique that it needs its own CMS for publishing stuff online?

From restaurants to telecoms

I've worked for a restaurant chain, a telecoms giant, a museum, a charity and several government departments, and it seems that everyone's doing similar things online. Publishing information.

OK, some organisations use more images or video than others. And some organisations are trying to sell you something, while others aren't.

But it seems to me they've got a lot in common.

By the way, I'm only talking about informational sites as I've not yet worked on a transactional site like EasyJet.com.

Standards

We've standardised on MS Word for the desktop, so can't we all use the same CMS for publishing information?



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