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2 minutes reading time (337 words)

Three Waves of Content Management - First Wave

Web design tools like Dreamweaver aren't for the faint of heart. They're expensive, cumbersome and have a long learning curve. They're overkill for someone who just wants to change text on a website or add a new picture. Plus, unless you're a programmer, you'll never be able to use it to add functionality to your website. These are some of the major motivations for having your website in a modern Content Management System (CMS). There've been three waves of CMS products so far. The first wave....

 

 

...custom CMS.

 

Back in the 1990's, a system analyst looked at your organization's needs and worked with a programmer to develop a unique solution to your specific needs. Yes, I've written more than one of these. The main problems with this approach is that they're expensive to write and maintain because they are one-off solutions. The development time and effort isn't spread out over hundreds or even dozens of clients. The customer has to bear the full load of any development effort. And woe to the customer whose programmer loses interest or moves on. They're stuck with custom code that is probably ill-documented and managed.

 

A couple of years ago, a friend called me all excited about his new web developer. This developer had written a 'really cool' content management system that was being modified for his use. I had my doubts. Sure enough, about nine months and many dollars later, he called me saying, "Help, help, my developer's decided he's moving on to greener pastures and won't be working on his CMS any more. What do I do"?

 

Just last year a colleague was bemoaning that the company he was working for was folding. I asked what he did for them, and he said "I develop custom CMSs in ColdFusion." Double-whammy there: a dying market segment using a dying language.

 

All this to say that custom CMSs are dead. I haven't seen a legitimate case for one in a long, long time.

 

 

Three Waves of Content Management - Second Wave
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