Tag Archives: CMS

My Photo Folio

We’ve started working with MyPhotoFolio to develop a custom content management system. This CMS will form the backbone of their business, which plans to allow photographers to create their very own website. It’s early days right now, but we’re very excited to be involved with it.

Bullet proof JavaScript for CMS

A web content management system (CMS) allows editing, styling and publishing of content for a website from a single piece of software. Some common CMS choices include:
  • WordPress
  • Concrete5
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
The main two ways of editing the content in a web based CMS; In page, and off page.

In page, or in-line editing, allows a user to view their changes as they happen in the context of the web site design. Off page editing has a separate section for editing the content so viewing it on page requires the changes to be either previewed, or even saved first.

Each system has its advantages, but where some in page systems really fall down is with regards to JavaScript. JavaScript code executes directly in the web browser to add powerful functionality to a website. The major downside to JavaScript is that it can easily be broken by inexperienced developers and once a single error occurs, the remaining JavaScript fails to execute. 

An example of this happened to us recently when we were adding a third party block to a client’s Concrete5 website. The developer of the block had an intermittent error in their JavaScript code. Once we added the block to a page, we could no longer edit the page to remove the block! The Concrete5 user interface is reliant on JavaScript code, and the error in the third party block was causing the Concrete5 code not to run. Fortunately, we had the know-how to remove the bad block: For those that are stuck on this, you can often revert your pages to an earlier version (that is, a version that doesn’t contain your troublesome block) by accessing the Dashboard > Full Sitemap, clicking on the page in trouble, and selecting Versions.

The really annoying thing, is that this type of problem is incredibly easy to avoid by writing better JavaScript in the first place. Simply detect errors in each code block and deal with them accordingly. This is what we ended up doing with the third party block in this case. 

I want to implore anyone who works with a CMS that allows In Page editing to be more diligent with their JavaScript code and catch and handle exceptions at all times. Just like we do.

Fiona Alexander Photography

We’ve just launched a new site for a Norwich based photographer: www.fionaalexanderphotography.co.uk.

Check it out now, or see more work in our portfolio.

The Perfect CMS?

What makes the perfect Content Management System (CMS). Here at Head Energy, we’ve worked with several leading open source and off-the-shelf CMS offerings and built a few of our own bespoke ones. What features really make them great though? The answer depends on what you need of course. Not all CMS tools are made equal, and not all of them are perfect for everyone. The answer then is not to invest too heavily in any one system. Sometimes off the shelf is just want is needed, sometimes it needs tweaking and sometimes it needs so much tweaking that you no longer recognise the original offering.

We fully understand that there is no such thing as “The Perfect CMS” and there is no problem with this. In fact, recognising that each site we create has unique requirements, whether great or small, allows us to choose the best tool for the job to cater for those requirements. Be weary of anyone who says that a particular CMS is right for everyone. The only perfect CMS is the one that best fits YOUR requirements, the one that allows YOUR to update and manage YOUR content the way YOU want to, and work in the way that YOU want to. In other words, the question you need to ask yourself, is what is the perfect CMS for YOU. Here at Head Energy, we will help you answer that question openly and honestly and then get to work putting the CMS to work for YOU.