CushyCMS web content management Managing content, especially if you have a large base of people contributing and editing, can be a headache if you aren’t already using a CMS system. The questions of how to integrate it all in a flowing environment can give IT guys and development teams an ulcer. Stateless Systems has launched a private beta of a free online (SaaS) content management system called CushyCMS that aims to make life just a bit easier for website owners and designers the world over. According to Stateless Systems -- the creators of CushyCMS: "Unlike other CMSs, Web designers can implement Cushy in minutes, without any hosting requirements or software installation, and it is easy enough for non-technical content editors to use without any training or programming skills." With Cushy web designers can give content editors access to separate pages or parts of a page at a granular level -- headings, images, sidebars, etc. Through a clever system of decorating DOM nodes the CMS is able to find editable regions of content and then allows editors to produce standards-compliant, search engine-friendly content, all from the browser window. What's especially notable, is the price -- currently the services is being giving it away for free.

Versitile, Light-weight Content Management

At first glance we thought the only use we could see for CushyCMS was if you had a static HTML site with areas that were updated regularly. But the more we poked around, the more clear it became that CushyCMS is much more than that. Considering the fact that you can create editable fields for almost any code sections, we quickly began to see a multitude of uses for this Web CMS. Here are just a few ideas: * Managing Static Sites. If you are an organization that has a static HTML site, this is a great way to edit areas quickly and easily and if you’re not media savvy, outsource your media production and only give access to the areas you want media. * Permissions Management. Do you have a development team working on a large site but don’t want everyone on the team to have access to all code for the site? Add cushy classes to areas of code that you want editable. Also, if you have a number of people working on or maintaining code in your office but don’t want to buy something like Dreamweaver for everybody, you can add cushy classes to large areas of code so they can edit it and upload it without a lot of cost for you. * Content Outsourcing. Outsourced content providers can be given direct access on a limited basis determined by you via CushyCMS. This is great if you aren’t using something like Joomla or WordPress. You can simply create classes around the content areas you want them to edit and post to. All you have to do then is create an account for them. * Light Content Mangement. Not all applications are content-centric. In some case you may have tools or applications that derive most of their content from outside of a CMS. In a situation like this, you could enable web-based, non-technical editorial colloaboration in very specific areas of an application via integration with Cushy. Duncan Riley of Tech Crunch says "The key for CushyCMS is that it’s not a WordPress or similar CMS replacement, it’s a content management interface in the simplest meaning of the term that can be applied to any sort of site.”

When Free is Not Free

So, what's the catch? Savvy CMS consumers know that free is rarely so straight forward. What’s planned for CushyCMS? They intend to add a paid portion to the service that will offer additional functionality and usability. But according to the company, what you see right now is going to remain free. Again, after checking out this system, we can envision a great number of uses to replace or eliminate cost and poor productivity elsewhere. And isn’t the point of a CMS anyway? But don’t take our word for it, go get Cushy for yourself.