What’s a fun and effective way to evaluate a whole raft of CMS options to see what’s changed or what’s new? Have a hackday! We had a particular project brief in mind for our CMS hack day, so that sharpened our focus.
We’ve loved using Silverstripe CMS for many years in our work at Symbiote. It strikes the right balance between being feature-rich, like MySource Matrix and Drupal, but it’s more nimble and developer-friendly than either of those.
That being said, we always keep an eye on whatever else is out there, in terms of CMSes.
A recent project (read more about it here: Circular Open Case study) gave us the opportunity to find a nice light-weight new CMS. So, rather than having one person sit through tens of “Getting started” Medium posts (the reading time suggestion never takes into account downloading docker images!), we decided that we’d get our dev team to spend a whole day cranking into different CMSes. This was a far more enjoyable way of getting a bunch of completely different perspectives.
A Content Management System (CMS) is the piece of software that provides simple ways for people to write text, upload images, and link to videos (just a few small examples!) and make web pages – without them needing to know anything about web design or coding.
A hackday is a day in which people start from scratch on an idea or concept, and “hack” together something that meets a loosely defined brief.
So for us, this was a hackday to learn a new CMS. These were the criteria we took into account with all the CMSes we looked at.
A simple site running on your local environment that demonstrates the following capabilities:
Evaluation criteria needed to cover:
Our hackday included a couple of prescribed check-ins during the day and then, at the end of the day, we heard from each team member about how the systems the
I personally found Keystone to be really interesting. Having worked with SailsJS in the past, I liked this as an alternative to a headless CMS. I think GhostCMS is also a pretty compelling piece of software if it fits your use-case, and given Drupal’s position within the industry, it’s nice to see it with a modern framework under the covers.
Given that we were after something light-weight enough to upskill quickly though, we settled on using PyroCMS for putting together the Circular Open site for this client. Using PyroCMS we had the site up and running to the satisfaction of our clients within just a few weeks thanks to some great efforts by our team here.
We found the hackday group approach not only fast-tracked our shared knowledge about all the current open-source CMS options, it was also a great way for all of our team members to have fun together and share their insights.