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Web Content Management System (CMS) News & Articles

What's New in January for Open Source CMS

WordPress, the Goliath of free and open source content management systems (CMS), closed the year with the release of a new version named in honor of yet another musician.

Version 4.1 — aka "Dinah" — honors singer and pianist Dinah Washington, one of the most popular black female recording artists of the 50s. She was posthumously inducted to both the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Matt Mullenweg, the founder and CEO of WordPress' parent company, Automattic, and a musician himself, blogged that the new version "helps you focus on your writing" and that the new default theme, appropriately named Twenty Fifteen, "lets you show it off in style."

Mullenweg said the blog-focused theme is designed for clarity and has "flawless language support" through the use of Google’s Noto font family.

Writing is work — and this version aims to make it easier through something called a distraction-free writing mode. When you start typing, all of the editing tools disappear, "letting you focus solely on your writing." The tools "instantly return when you need them," Mullenweg explained.

Not sure if this will actually make writing any easier, but it's a novel option that perhaps some of the platform's massive user base might find worthwhile. For the record, WordPress powers more than 46 percent of the World Wide Web, according to BuiltWith, which monitors such things.

What else is new in free and open source CMS this month? Plenty.

The Washington Post May License its CMS Platform

The Washington Post's team of developers and engineers have done such a stellar job of building out a new content management system (CMS) that it's now considering licensing it to other news organizations, according to a recent article in The Financial Times.

The FT reported that the paper has been approached by other publications about licensing the software.

Bill Rogers Is Out at Ektron, Sources Say

It's a new year, but the Ektron story is far from over.

Multiple sources confirmed today to CMSWire that Bill Rogers is no longer CEO at Ektron, the company he founded. The move signals the end to the Rogers family era for the 16-year-old web content management systems (Web CMS) provider.

The Rogers' brothers — Bill and Ed — had worked together at the Nashua, NH-based company for a good chunk of its 16 years. Ed, who served as chief operating officer, was fired in 2011 and went on to found Akumina. Bill was Ektron's CEO all the way through last month's major investment by Accel-KKR.

However, speculation was high that Rogers would be ousted, and sources today confirmed to CMSWire that Ektron officials told the 200 or so employees of Rogers' departure earlier this week.

It is unclear as of now if Rogers was terminated or left on his own terms. CMSWire's email and text to Tim McKinnon, Ektron president, were not immediately returned.

CMSWire Top Contributors 2014 - Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer

3ef26a4.jpgTjeerd Brenninkmeijer predicted that 2014 would be "a great year for Web Content Management" one year ago and from this vantage point, it looks as if he was right. Tjeerd's passion for all things digital experience and 14 years of business experience keeps him in demand as a speaker at conferences and in demand as a writer on CMS related topics. 

CMSWire's Top 10 Hits of 2014: Web CMS

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It’s been a year of drama for the Web CMS space — or at least a fourth quarter of drama – with rumors aplenty at year-end around Ektron sales and mergers and news of Drupal’s “highly critical” security flaw.

Some of these stories made CMSWire’s Top 10 list for the year, but we had lots more to report about Web CMS, including trends, new players and myths about the world’s leading open-source CMS.

5 Non-Negotiable Requirements for a CMS in 2015

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Content marketing and mobile are the digital marketing buzzwords for 2015. Next year, techniques like personalization, targeting and testing will be non-negotiable CMS features — and here's why.

Your customers are empowered like never before. They seek out information about your business on their own terms, on their own time. And they’ve got options: Google search, reviews, forums and social media all combine to shape their image of your company and its offerings.

If they’re interested, they can choose to visit your site or download your app. It’s their call. If you want to engage them, you have to provide appropriate, relevant and entertaining information. And make sure it is accessible on mobile, which has overtaken desktop consumption in the past year.

Discussion Point: What's Most Important in Web CMS?

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Nothing stirs a good tech conversation like Web Content Management Systems (Web CMS).

Some think it's time to get back to basics. Everyone has a say on who has the best CMS out there. And people watch this industry pretty closely — especially on merger and acquisition talks.

But this is a technology. And enterprises need it to do their jobs better — and make websites look fabulous while managing content.

So what is the most important feature in a Web CMS? We put this question out to some Web CMS veterans today in our latest Discussion Point.

By the way, this closes out our 2014 season of Discussion Point pieces. Check out prior ones. Got a great topic for 2015? Tweet us @cmswire.

Jahia Add-On Tool 'Frees' Digital Marketers to Engage

Open source Web CMS provider Jahia wants to empower digital marketers with its latest tool.

The Geneva, Switzerland-based company this week launched Form Factory, which officials say frees digital marketing teams "in the creation and monitoring of their favorite engagement tools."

The add-on comes in the same year Jahia released its Digital Factory 7 which officials at the company say is part of a "rise of the digital industrialization."

TYPO3 Updates Open Source Web CMS Neos

Open source web content management (WCM) provider TYPO3 released a new version of Neos that officials there say improves the user experience for digital marketers in a "smoother" and more "time-saving" way. 

The Baar, Switzerland, open source vendor today releases Neos 1.2 that "offers many convenient new functions and significant improvements that make the everyday work of editors and developers much easier" for a more intuitive workflow.

The update comes a year after version 1.0 was released.

Not a Rumor: Accel-KKR Invests in EPiServer

Say what you will, but sometimes the scuttlebutt that emerges through Twitter (and that we report on) happens to be the truth, or pretty close to it anyways. We can now confirm that Accel-KKR has made a “majority investment” in (and may very well own — read on) EPiServer. This news comes to us direct from EPiServer, which says that it can’t provide further comment right now.

Hats-off to Martin Henricson, CEO of EPiServer, for letting his customers, partners, employees and anyone else who might be affected by the news know that there’s something significant going on.

Ektron: Good or Bad Software? Depends On Who You Ask

2014-08-December-Coin-Toss.jpgSale. Investment. No sale. No investment. Merger with EpiServer. No merger with EpiServer.

Whatever the heck's happening at Ektron, this is a technology company.

And the future of the Nashua, NH-based .NET Web CMS provider comes down to a simple question: Do people like its software?

The answer depends on who you ask. Some say its usability is poor. Others think the product's never been stronger. Some think its lifetime support model is its sweet spot. Others say that support's inconsistent.

"My take is that the product has never been stronger compared to older versions but that the competition in the CMS market is full of strong players that are rapidly expanding into the ‘content marketing’ world," said Chris Chodnicki, co-founder and executive director of strategic partnerships and alliances at R2integrated, a Baltimore-based Ektron partner. "If the funding means Ektron can integrate their product to meet the challenges we are seeing with clients and what other platforms are bringing — and at a very accelerated pace — then this will be welcomed news."

Is Newly Sold Ektron Merging with EPiServer?

It's hard to separate fact from fiction in the continuing saga of Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron.

But we wanted to share the newest rumor this morning — namely, that the company that just bought Ektron is also buying EPiServer and has plans to combine the technologies.

Company President Tim McKinnon, the guy who runs the day-to-day operations at the web content management firm, told CMSWire today that he doesn't know anything about the alleged merger.

But McKinnon also told us yesterday that Ektron's minority investor — a private equity firm called Accel-KKR was not buying the company — just before a document that refutes that statement surfaced online. You can view it in the story here.

Once Red Hot Ektron Reportedly Sells for Paltry Sum

Privately held companies have it easy: they can vaguely boast of double-digit growth, record profits, strong cash balances and bright futures even when reality seems to suggest otherwise. At least that seems to be the case with Nashua, N.H.-based Ektron.

The web content management firm, which was consistently ranked one of the fastest growing tech companies in New England in the early 2000s, seems to have come to a stunningly disappointing end.

(UPDATE: Ektron confirmed to CMSWire this afternoon that it closed a second round of equity funding with Accel-KKR, but stopped short of acknowledging a sale.

In a conversation with CMSWire's Virginia Backaitis, Ektron President Tim McKinnon claimed the company is profitable and growing — and contended that rumors of its demise are greatly exaggerated.

In a press release issued mid-afternoon today, McKinnon stated that the Accel-KKR investment "provides strong support for Ektron as it delivers upon its vision and mission to provide solutions to customers," and adding that the company is "well positioned for continued growth in 2015."

Greg Williams, managing director at Accel-KKR and a member of the Ektron board, noted in the statement that the private equity firm has been "more than impressed by the momentum, profitable growth in the business and the results the team at Ektron have been achieving."

The press release contains no comments from — or makes any mention of — Ektron CEO and co-founder Bill Rogers.)

Pantheon Hires a Heavy Hitter to Lead Its Marketing

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Tectonic plates are shifting in the CMS market and at Pantheon, a start-up that came to market just over two years ago and is actively positioning itself to be the leader. And in the increasingly open source area of the web content management, you can’t to do that without a heavy hitter who knows both marketing and how to engage with developers.

That’s why Matt Stodolnic, a Pivotal, VMWare and SpringSource vet, is a perfect fit for Panthoen. He has joined the company as its senior vice president of marketing and alliances.

Is a Private Equity Firm Buying Ektron?

BOSTON — Rumblings that a private equity firm is buying web content management system (CMS) provider Ektron swept through the Gilbane Conference at the Renaissance Marriott Hotel in Boston this week.

Although sources were not willing to go on record with CMSWire, one industry insider told CMSWire that an acquisition was forthcoming — and that it did not involve another technology firm. The source did not respond when asked directly if the sale involved a private equity firm. 

Earlier this year, Ektron closed a growth equity funding round led by Accel-KKR. The company stated at the time that this minority investment, the company's first institutional round, will enable it to accelerate product and company expansion. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Neither Greg Williams, managing director at Accel-KKR and a member of the Ektron board, or Ektron employees immediately responded to our email requests for comment.

What's New in December for Open Source CMS

It's a big day for Skien, Norway-based eZ Systems, which released the latest version of its flagship open source content management system this morning.

The company describes the new release, eZ Publish 5.4, as more agile, more powerful and easier to learn and use than previous versions. Just as significantly, it's the last of the current 5.x generation.

"With 5.4, we’ve carved out a clear path to upgrade to our next generation, which will definitely be a release you should consider upgrading to, whatever your plans are," Roland Benedetti, Chief of Product and Marketing at eZ Systems, noted in a recent blog post.

The next generation platform will replace the legacy kernel with a new kernel and new APIs and advance the Symfony framework introduced in eZ Publish Platform 5.x. It will also offer a new user interface that Benedetti claims will provide "a significantly improved user experience to anyone working with content."

Trends in Web Content Management From #jboye14

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I've been to my fair share of J. Boye events both in Philadelphia and in Denmark, and always come away with the same conclusion: J. Boye events are different. They're more than just traditional conferences, they’re really centered around networking and sharing knowledge among peers in a friendly atmosphere. It’s an event organized by people with a passion and deep understanding of the online space, not built around the wishes of vendors (read sponsors). This three day event filled with interesting speakers from around the globe leaves you feeling like part of the J. Boye community.

Turn to a Platform to Tame Your Web CMS Chaos

The last thing you want in a web content management system (CMS) is something kludgy.

Josh Koenig preaches this — and he knows the industry well. He's co-founder and head of developer experience for Pantheon, a San Francisco-based website platform for Drupal and Wordpress sites.

Where should web CMS users be headed in 2015 and beyond? In a webinar hosted by Pantheon and CMSWire yesterday, Koenig said the best option is a platform that leverages open source technology.

"A good platform lets you realize full value of open source," said Koenig, who's also the co-founder of Chapter Three, a San Francisco-based Drupal agency. Platforms, he added, make managing websites easier and faster, and helps drive standardization in an organization's web development and management processes.

Newcomer Bluetrain.io Claims it's a 'True Cloud CMS'

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Officials at startup web content management system (CMS) provider Bluetrain.io claim their platform shakes up the cloud CMS world.

They're so confident that they boast they can take on the Acquias, Pantheons, Sitecores, Drupals and WordPresses of the world. In an interview with CMSWire, Bluetrain.io officials said their CMS platform is better because it's a multi-tenant, multi-client, multi-brand offering and the first multi-site cloud CMS that's natively responsive.

The platform is the brainchild of Web CMS veterans who have worked on the most popular systems in the world, said Steffan Berelowitz, CEO and co-founder of Cambridge, Mass.-based Bluetrain.

"What innovation we can bring to CMS industry?" Berelowitz asked. "Most platforms were never designed to be multi-surface and multi-screen but most were designed as single instance architecture and never benefited from massive scalability of the cloud."

What's New in November for Open Source CMS

It's been a, well, interesting month for free and open source content management systems (CMS) communities.

Thousands of websites running Drupal, one of the world's most popular open source CMSs, may have been compromised by a "highly critical" security flaw. But Imperva, an IT security firm, claims attacks against WordPress, the world's most popular CMS, are even more prevalent.

Jahia named the ever mobile Kevin Cochrane — the former CMO of Mindjet, the former CMO of Open Text and former vice president of digital marketing at Adobe — to its board of directors. But no one, including Cochrane, has yet addressed his abrupt departure from Mindjet. Could Cochrane be planning to relocate from San Francisco to take up an office and deeper role with Jahia in Paris?

Ghost, a relatively new CMS created by John O’Nolan — former deputy head of the WordPress user experience team — continues to wow critics who, for obvious reasons, keep comparing the platform to WordPress. O'Nolan, meanwhile, who funded the project with a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign, just keeps creating. His recent efforts extend to creating a company culture. We'll let him explain: 

We’re very much trying to choose our culture and make it one that we’re proud of. We encourage open and frank debate, but always with civility. … Recently we also published a set of clear community guidelines. The crux of it is pretty straightforward: Don’t be a dick."

With that in mind, let's take a look at what's new in free and open source CMS this month.