The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Content Management Rethink

– December 8th, 2004 –

I’ve been getting slowly frustrated with MovableType (as you do). First off, there’s Comment Spam. Horrible. Last weekend I ended up with over 1000 comments which I had to delete manually. I shouldn’t have to do that. I also shouldn’t have to impose registering restrictions for the people who want to comment to the site.

But that’s not the main thing.

Update: I’ve made the plunge, more to follow once i’ve fathomed out Expression Engine a little more. Thanks to Simon at Collylogic for his advice.

I’m a designer. This is a designers website. As you’d expect, there’s a portfolio. The thing is, MT makes it pretty difficult to do what I want to do with the portfolio in terms of content and stuff. Also if I want to use some kind of content management for clients of mine I’d like to invest the time in becoming familiar with one CMS platform. Now, MT is blogging software, which isn’t suitable for everything. But, I may have found a solution.

Expression Engine is a commercial product, and at $199, it’s cheap but not free. (although pMachine are offering a $99 offer for people who have been running other publishing solutions for more that six months.)

The great thing about Expression Engine is it seems a lot more flexible. I won’t go into all the details here, but here’s a few which struck a chord with me.

  1. It’s PHP and Dynamic - not flat files
  2. Its template system is XHTML and fully valid allowing CSS to do the layout
  3. It has unlimited custom fields for the data modelling. This is great. It allows completely custom content types.
  4. Customisable backend control panel (a great one for the clients)

So, it all looks very good. I’ve downloaded a demo and working my way through the system. I’m a little bothered that i’ve just invested the time in building this site with MT and by and large it’s working fine. But my main concern is building sites for others, which aren’t blogs. Surely a single framework to do this is the best option?

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Filed in: markboulton-co-uk, news.

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