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Content Management Systems and Their Potential for Use at Miramar College

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Content Management Systems and Their Potential for Use at Miramar College Presented by Bill Smith – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Content Management Systems and Their Potential for Use at Miramar College


1
Content Management Systems and Their Potential
for Use at Miramar College
  • Presented by
  • Bill Smith

2
The Issue
  • Miramars website needs constant updating
  • Most departments must now depend on Web staff
  • Some departments still not in template
  • PLACe
  • TRIO

3
What does a college website need?
4
1. Consistency
  • 1995 Anarchy
  • Large websites collection of small sites
  • Little design cohesion
  • Navigation difficult
  • Confusing to Web users
  • CSU Fullerton, 1996

5
1. Consistency
  • Now
  • Many non-techies are online
  • One website, one design
  • Consistent navigation
  • Information delivered more efficiently
  • Users less likely to leave site
  • Website promotion is easier
  • Less confusion
  • No more What site am I on?

6
2. Scalability
  • College websites tend to expand
  • Ex New sites for graduation, athletics
  • Often seasonal, must be changed/removed
  • Web staff must plan for expansion
  • Rapid addition of in-template materials
  • Easy changes to navigation

7
3. Rapid Change
  • College information changes constantly
  • Academic requirements
  • Department hours
  • News
  • What if?
  • Departments could update their own area
  • No HTML or programming needed

8
4. Technical Concerns
  • 508 compliance
  • Total compliance required
  • Multiple designers multiple 508 issues
  • Security
  • Control non-Web staff server access
  • Code injectiona common attack

9
Content Management Systems
  • Help large entities manage their information
  • 1960sDocument-focused
  • Manage, share, restrict documents
  • 1996Web-based
  • Central management for large websites

10
Content Management Systems
  • Characteristics
  • Skinnable using style sheets or third-party
    themes
  • Authorized users can update pages
  • Images, some formatting
  • Little technical training required
  • All depend on server-side code, database
  • Many now free, open source

11
Drawbacks
  • Migrating existing content
  • This is the 1 issue (Information Architecture
    Institute, 2003 )
  • NOT an out-of-box solution
  • Every organization has different needs
  • Themes are often cookie-cutter, recognizable
  • Learning curve can be steep

12
Content Management Systems
  • Requirements for Miramar College

13
Requirements
  • Fully customizable appearance
  • Stylesheets
  • Logical, understandable navigation
  • 508
  • Allow custom code
  • Database access
  • Document display

14
Requirements
  • Department updatable
  • Users can upload, manage their area
  • Thin-client (browser based)
  • Area-specific user permissions
  • Images, formatting
  • No HTML or scripting
  • Brief training sessions
  • Document management

15
Requirements
  • No cost
  • Must also be well documented
  • Scalable
  • Handle large number of documents
  • Secure

16
Three Candidate Systems
  • All are free, downloadable
  • All are skinnable to some extent
  • All feature structured navigation

17
DotNetNuke
  • One of the few free CMSs using Microsoft
    technology
  • .NET framework
  • Code is written in Visual Basic
  • SQL Server
  • Runs on a Windows server

18
DotNetNuke
  • Installation Configuration
  • Required several hours
  • Many permissions issues
  • Had to grant total rights to Everyone
  • This may be a quirk of using Localhost

19
DotNetNuke
  • Appearance
  • Many free themes
  • Difficult to modify
  • CSS and code must be edited
  • Many separate sections (modules) when a few
    will do

20
DotNetNuke
  • Navigation
  • Third-party menu is required
  • Items must be added individually
  • Shows entire site by default
  • Dropdown/pop-out requires additional coding
  • Data access
  • .NET data controls

21
DotNetNuke
  • Usability
  • Form interface
  • Not intuitive
  • Much technical language
  • Many areas to update
  • Issues with admin hierarchy
  • Two classes of admin
  • Admin and Host
  • Only Host can change appearances
  • Only Admin can change global settings and menu

22
DotNetNuke
  • Advantages
  • Known quantity (Windows, .NET)
  • Large user community
  • Many themes
  • Disadvantages
  • High maintenance
  • Mediocre navigation
  • May be difficult for non-techies to use

23
Drupal
  • In top three for popularity
  • Linux-based but can run on Windows
  • Written in PHP
  • Very learnable similar to C/Java/Perl
  • MySQL database
  • Also free
  • Many downloadable code modules

24
Drupal
  • Installation Configuration
  • Easier than DNN
  • About 1 hour on localhost
  • Database permissions were only issue

25
Drupal
  • Appearance
  • Highly skinnable
  • Many themes
  • Mostly CSS-based
  • This one
  • Four Seasons
  • Many modifications

26
Drupal
  • Navigation
  • Native menu system
  • Dropdown module can be downloaded
  • Items can be placed in menu when created
  • Submenus must be assigned manually
  • Data access
  • Can be scripted using PHP

27
Drupal
  • Usability
  • Users can be assigned page-level rights
  • Form interface
  • More intuitive than DNN
  • Rich text module for formatting
  • Can include images
  • Limited placement
  • One Admin to rule them all
  • Can be tweaked for 508

28
Drupal
  • Miramars Big Issue Documents
  • Web File Manager
  • Free Drupal module
  • Files can be uploaded
  • Allows drag/drop
  • Developer then links to files as usual

29
Drupal
  • Advantages
  • Flexibility
  • Many educational sites in use
  • Ex http//www.augie.edu
  • Easier to train non-techies
  • Disadvantages
  • Best operation requires Linux MySQL
  • Readable URLs may be an issue

30
TikiWiki
  • Newer entry
  • Wiki-specific
  • Mostly user-generated documentation
  • PHP MySQL

31
TikiWiki
  • Installation Configuration
  • Easiest to install
  • Ran out of the box
  • One level of admin

32
TikiWiki
  • Appearance
  • Available themes are very plain
  • Less layout flexibility
  • Use of logos, etc., requires a good deal of
    modification

33
TikiWiki
  • Navigation
  • Menu is logical easy to read
  • Items must be added manually
  • No dropdown option for sidebar
  • Formatting difficult to change
  • Data access
  • TW is not designed for this
  • No real way to use custom PHP code

34
TikiWiki
  • Usability
  • Form interface
  • Easy to understand minimum tech
  • Formatting requires knowledge of Wiki markup
  • Limited images
  • Access is Wiki style
  • Registered users can edit all editable pages
  • Can also create page (as with DNN)
  • Probably too much access

35
TikiWiki
  • Advantages
  • Easy install upkeep
  • Highly readable updatable
  • Disadvantages
  • Inflexible compared to other two
  • 508 is a real problem
  • Difficulty with dynamic pages
  • Might prove useful for Intranet

36
Conclusions
  • Some sort of CMS will eventually be needed at
    Miramar
  • There is no perfect CMS solution
  • Miramar has unique needs
  • An in-house CMS would be redundant

37
Conclusions
  • Three popular CMSs
  • DotNetNuke
  • Extra power not worth the complexity
  • Problematic for non-techies
  • TikiWiki
  • Very easy to maintain
  • Not flexible enough for a full website
  • Might be useful for a College intranet

38
Recommendations
  • DrupalA good compromise
  • Free to install and use
  • Appearance can be modified
  • Very accessible to non-techies
  • Multiple content areas
  • Provide compromise between information and PR
  • Code can be written for Miramars needs
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