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Igniting our interest

15th October 2010

We don't usually do product reviews on this blog, let alone rave reviews, so brace yourself.

I'm the proud owner of a Kindle, an electronic device designed to replace the paperback.  Drawbacks: no reading in the bath.  Expected drawbacks: not nice to hold, awkward turning pages, awkward finding your place in a book.  None of these are true!  Additional drawbacks: no backlight for reading in the dark - but that's very unfair, as paperbacks don't have a backlight either.

Advantages: too many to count.  From the moment you download your first book (buy off Amazon - some for £0.00 - and it gets delivered to your device within about a minute) you feel light-headed with success and enjoyment.... because it works and because you know it's going to give you  hours of reading pleasure.  It's easy to hold and to handle; the screen is paper-like; turning pages is a doddle and it remembers where you are (of course) and doesn't fold closed when you put it down (no folds).

OK, I'm probably tied in to Amazon to an extent - although you can send e-books to your device in a variety of formats - but it's so easy and nice to use, I'm hooked.

How CMSs let you edit the content and take care of the structure

1st October 2010

When we add a content management system (CMS) to a website, part of the aim is to set our customers free from having to pay a web designer to make every change, down to the last full stop.  To this end we create an easy way for users to add news, menu items, and so on, without affecting the structure (layout, colours, fonts) of the website.  To use a broad analogy, we create the building and our customers decorate the walls and install furniture.

This new found freedom sometimes causes customers to ask (if you'll permit me to extend the analogy) "why can't we extend the building to the south, or add new stairs and lifts?".  The answer to this simple question is that while we are responsible for the maintenance of the building, and making sure that it conforms to regulations, and that it looks nice from the outside, it is important to have one architect who can oversee this and make it consistent.

Giving our customers this distinction between content and structure means that our customers can concentrate on what they do best while our software developers, who are trained and have long experience dealing with HTML, CSS, Javascript and server-side programming (not to mention website accessibility, browser compatibility, and general website best practice) can concentrate on delivering and maintaining a useful working structure.

It is of course possible to give our customers the ultimate flexibility of building new walls and floors, windows and doors, but in that case we would hand over entirely to a new chief architect and builder who can work with the basic building materials and be responsible for how they fit together.  We wouldn't want to share the job of architecture and building for the reasons described above.

If this raises any questions about how a website and CMS work together, we'd like to hear from you!  Please get in touch via the contact form on our website.

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26 Cave Street

01865 596 144

Oxford Web is a trading name of Alberon Ltd, registered company no. 5765707 (England & Wales).