FirstSpirit 4.2

Continuing in the spirit of making content management as simple as possible, e-Spirit launched FirstSpirit 4.2.

Having done some research, e-Spirit is reporting that content volumes are growing, and more effort is needed to keep content from snowballing out of control with efficient content management systems and practices.

Too Much Content to Manage Well

According to research conducted by e-Spirit, a fifth of websites in the UK now have 100 times more content compared to five years ago. The research of 100 enterprises looked at UK websites to identify the mass snowball of content they are being faced with. It also found that 40% of websites had more than 10 times the content compared to 2004.

Robert Bredlau, director of business development at e-Spirit, believes this overload of content is hampering companies’ opportunity to excel in these difficult times.

“Worryingly, this mass of content isn’t being managed well. Sixty four per cent of those questioned stated that time wasting was an issue when managing content, while 45% felt that there was lack of in-house skills.”

Long gone the times of Internet consisting of simple text pages peppered with some links. Structured and unstructured data, multimedia content, social collaboration, web 2.0 -- all these developments are making content management more difficult.

How FirstSpirit 4.2 Wants to Help

Focusing on the concept of ease of use, FirstSpirit 4.2 targets enterprise and web content management markets and content managers looking for simpler ways of managing content.

FirstSpirit 4.2 comes with a redesigned look and feel and several functional enhancements. While e-Spirit says that working with their product “requires no knowledge of content management processes,” we tend to feel that knowing (at least) the basic principles of web content management goes a long way when battling the avalanches of content.

Here’re some of the highlights of new features in 4.2:


This feature is designed for non-technical content editors who want to make fast changes directly in the project (page) preview. ContentCruiser is a browser-based web client available for Firefox and IE. One of the features here is highlighted sections that can be edited, moved or deleted in this page preview mode. Users can also add new sections to the page.

Smart Lounge

Here, content editor can use inline editing and preview changes using LiveView. The editor has a direct WYSIWYG view of their page within the JavaClient of FirstSpirit and can see what the page look like now and what it would look like after deployment.


Live View

The Live View localizes the section of a page in the system and places the appropriate editing screen in the foreground for the editor. The editor can immediately see which Live View section they are working on.



This function enables several elements to be opened next to each other allowing users to create personalized working areas. The CMS saves the user’s tab layout, and it can be accessed again on the log-in.


A Bit of a Reality Check

While all these new features look very compelling to the majority of content editors, one of the questions we’d like to ask e-Spirit is coming straight from the CMS Vendor Meme Challenge kicked off by Day Software and inspired by CMS Watch's Kas Thomas.  Which product version are you running your site on and how up-to-date is your content? We are having a hard time finding any mentions of FirstSpirit 4.2 on the company site. Should we be looking elsewhere?