Content Management

The Past

Traditionally web sites were treated like brochures. They were designed by firms like ours and handed over to you as a done thing. If you wanted it changed you had to go back to the web site design company and ask them to change it for you.

The consequence of this was that the web site rapidly became out of date, or you ended up spending a lot of money with your web site design company.

A New Way

Our solution to this problem is "content management". The way this works is that the text for your web pages is stored in a database on the web server and the web pages are created "on the fly" when a page is requested. For example this text that you're reading is stored in article number 34 in our database for this web site. By default an article's URL is opusNNN.html where NNN is the article number but Opus can use "URL remapping" to give pages more meaningful URLs if that's what you need and you can see that with the URL of this page for example.

Holding the text in a database means that it can be updated from a web browser using a web form. So for example if we want to change this page we can do it by calling up the text in a form on a password protected web page, modifying it and saving it. Then the next person to view the web page sees the new text.

How This Works for You

So imagine this is your site, which we've designed and implemented for you, and one day you decide to change this paragraph to add some extra text, or put in your new salesman's name, or change a phone number. In the traditional model you would have to ask your web design company and then wait for them to find time to make the change. But with our solution you can make the change yourself and it's there instantly.

Taking this a stage further you can add new pages to the web site. For example you might put up your press releases or your news as Cavernoma Alliance UK do. You can even embargo a page so that it only appears when you want it to appear, automatically.

The Engine

The software we use for this is a content management engine called Opus. It's Open Source, it's secure, and it's in use now by a variety of organisations. For example on the Milton Village site where news is added every week.

Using Opus requires only minimal training: most people are confident to use Opus to modify pages after only an hour's training.

Other Features

Opus lets you put non-HTML documents, in formats such as Word and PDF, on your web site, and to treat them just like other Opus articles.

Opus comes with its own search engine, you can see that on this web site: it's the "quick search" box on the left side of the page, so you can be sure readers can find the information they're looking for, and our comprehensive hit logging ensure you know who's looking at what on your web site. It even searches your non-HTML documents in most cases.

Opus uses templates which allows us a great deal of flexibility in designing your web site for you. We can put the navigation on the left, as here, or at the top, or wherever you want it, or have no navigation at all. We can lay the pages out however suits you and we can give you different templates for different types of page. We can also make Opus use different templates for different web browsers, so that the page generated can be tuned to best fit the user's browser so that they see your site to best advantage.