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New and improved bespoke content management

Author: Simon Jackson

We are extremely excited to announce the launch of a major upgrade to our content management system (CMS), BlueEdit. This is the first significant overhaul to our in-house CMS for a few years and a lot of the core framework has been re-built from the ground up.

Why improve our bespoke content management?

The previous version of BlueEdit served us well for many years and is still in use in 80% of our existing client sites. However, over the years we have built a long wish list of client requests for extra features and added our own ideas about how the system could be improved. It's not that the old system was a bad one; we just knew it could be even better.

An important factor for our team was to increase the speed of development and flexibility for new features. The new CMS is significantly quicker when rendering front end pages and the underlying code is much more straightforward to maintain and extend. This all adds up to a system which is more easily customised to meet our client's needs.

Furthermore, to keep pace with developments in web design we needed to implement certain technical items that users won't really see, like HTML5 compliance in the backend CMS. We also needed to extend the editing capabilities to better enable editing of today's responsive design layouts whilst not compromising the cross browser support capabilities.

What's new with our CMS?

The most obvious difference is the restyled interface - gone is the horizontal menu and in its place is a more flexible vertical menu. As a result, more screen space is now available for the information that a user is examining. Search results and editing forms are cleaner, easier to use and more intuitive.

Our old interface versus our new

The newly designed CMS

The major update (from a development point of view) is the editing of front end pages which now uses a graphical editor in order to present a more accurate version of how the page will look to a user.

WYSIWYG formatting options

Now you can work with a real page

The new editing features are wide-ranging and provide editing facilities from single template pages through to complex layouts constructed from pre-set components. Each can be easily manipulated with as much or as little control as necessary being put in the hands of end users.

Formatting of text is now through a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) interface that more users will recognise, so as you change text to bold or add a link, you can see it changing on the page.

The overhaul also includes HTML5 compatibility, responsive design, search flexibility and speed increases.

If it ain't broke...

Whilst the updates are significant we were mindful not to break the features that made BlueEdit popular with its end users in the first place. Media libraries, simple white labelling, full cross browser support back to Internet Explorer 8 and industry-leading security features all remain.

Won't a bespoke CMS make our business less independent?

You're actually more independent with our system than an off-the-shelf CMS like WordPress or Joomla. As a team of developers, we add comments to our code that make it easier for anyone else to maintain. We code in PHP and there are far more PHP developers to take on your project than developers that work with any off-the-shelf CMS. And our system is incredibly easy to use, so you'll get a smoother transition if new staff members need to use the system.

Want to see it for yourself?

We can show you it in person, demo over Skype, or give you login details to try it for yourself today. Just ask.