UK-based SubHub (news, site) has released a new cloud web content management system built on Drupal 7. The company, which specializes in enabling non-technical customers to establish monetized content sites, has offered website building and content publishing since 2005 using a proprietary CMS. The new solution, SubHub Lite, drops the custom CMS in favor of the popular open source CMS platform Drupal.
User Simplicity First
Above all else, SubHub strives for simplicity in its product. SubHub Lite is designed to provide organizations tools to build sophisticated sites without investing in hardware, software and development staff. For a monthly subscription fee, SubHub Lite provides users websites with features like content management, membership and subscriptions, hosting, maintenance, monitoring and updates.
SubHub Lite dashboard
The first version of SubHub Lite is focused on delivering core content management features. The initial release includes:
- Site builder tool
- Support for custom domains
- Customizable themes
- Content editor
- Search optimization tools
All of the tools are browser-based and feature context sensitive help to guide users. The initial release is missing many of the features of the previous SubHub solution; this was a conscience decision by the company. SubHub released early to stabilize the new core Drupal platform and will incrementally add applications for social sharing, video CDN, advertising, subscription payments, e-commerce and a forum.
SubHub is also working on an API for the launch of an apps marketplace. The marketplace will allow developers to create their own apps, which can be made available to SubHub users free or a charge.
The New Platform
SubHub made a strategic decision to move away from its in house Web CMS with its new platform. The move allows the startup to spend less effort on components that are available in other Web CMS platforms and instead focus on usability -- the organization’s core value proposition. It will also concentrate more on integrating all the other needed elements that differentiate SubHub, such as content monetization. The architectural change also positions SubHub as the first major commercial service to release on the Drupal 7 platform.
Drupal released the 7 version beta in early October. However, SubHub had decided to utilize Drupal 7 while it was still in its alpha release. Adopting a product prior to its official release seems risky, but in this case, SubHub's actions were smart. Early adoption of Drupal 7 eliminates the need to refactor from Drupal 6 to 7 once the official release occurs. Drupal 7 features many new features and improvements over version 6 such as:
- Simplification of administrative functions
- Web-based interface to install extensions
- Enhanced content flexibility
- Support for more databases
- Support for semantic web (RDF)
which SubHub will be able to take advantage of.
SubHub is promoting the new solution by offering it for free for life to our first 2,000 signups. Users that sign up after the free offer ends, but before December 31st 2010, will receive a 50% discount on their site, for life. After January 1st 2011, the pricing is expected to be US$ 19.97 per month.