CrownPeak Targets Marketers with New CMS Features

CrownPeak (news, site), a provider of SaaS web content management solutions, has its eye on the online marketing crowd.

The latest release of CrownPeak CMS sports multiple new features designed to make CRM and web content management easier. If campaigns, lead conversions, tracking and revenue generation are part of your lexicon, CrownPeak has news for you.

The freshened up CrownPeak CMS includes a new Ephox-based WYSIWYG authoring environment, an upgraded version of CrownPeak's Desktop Connection, enhanced web analytics and the recently launched Landing Page Manager.

WYSIWYG Authoring Environment

And finally, in a partnership with Ephox, CrownPeak now offers the WYSIWYG authoring environment. The integration with Ephox EditLive! 6.5 gives users the ability to employ image cropping and resizing, color customization, spelling and language tools and other functionality.

The new WYSIWYG editor provides 100% compliant XHTML and has built- in checks for Section 508 and WCAG accessibility guidelines.

What’s New in CrownPeak Desktop Connection

This is a new version of the product that was initially launched at the end of last year. Designed for developers working with this CMS, the tool allows developers to work in Visual Studio, Eclipse or Dreamweaver and access CrownPeak templates over web services.


CrownPeak Desktop Connection integrated with Visual Studio

It is available for a download as a standalone version, or as integration with the development tools mentioned above.


Standalone CrownPeak Desktop Connection

“Code Wizard” is a brand new feature that can be used for inserting common elements and accessing API calls and templates to automatically insert generated code into any template. Search of the templates repository can be done using code snippets or keywords.

Upgraded CrownPeak Analytics

This package was introduced last year with a goal to provide simple and basic analytics capabilities.


CrownPeak CMS Web Analytics Dashboard

While distancing itself from complex tools like Omniture and WebTrends, CrownPeak does allow for integration with them.

One of the new features is a “Campaigns” tool where online marketers can designate any page, or a referring URL to be tracked separately for traffic, conversions and general traffic trends.


CrownPeak Campaigns Management

Additionally, reports such as the Dashboard Summary, Visitors Report, Most Performed Searches and Most Popular Links are available as RSS feeds.

CrownPeak Landing Page Manager

Designed specifically for lead management, the tool can display metrics around conversion numbers on various landing pages you may have on your website. This functionality can be useful to online marketers wanting to test out different approaches to landing pages and landing pages with different content to achieve desired results.

What Else is New?

SaaS CMS space continues to gain popularity little by little. Robert Rose, VP of marketing and strategy for CrownPeak, said that they are seeing a big influx of interest and less apprehension from IT groups constricted by tighter than usual budgets.

As Rose also pointed out, the company is taking a new, experimental direction with expansion into the cloud. As customers are looking for more cost-efficient storage solutions (especially those with large multimedia libraries), the vendor is trying to supply solutions based on AWS.

This initiative is still very young though, and right now CrownPeak hosts the majority of its hosted customer gigabytes with IBM and Rackspace.

CrownPeak is trending on the side of going beyond just website content management and including banner ads and social networks. While we must say that integration with social networks and tools like Twitter and Delicious is done in a simplistic way of publishing out RSS feeds, it is available.

Speaking of web 2.0, CrownPeak CMS can also do some blogging integration with popular blogging platforms like Movable Type and WordPress by ingesting a feed from a particular blog and placing as a widget it on a page managed in CrownPeak CMS. Another way of doing it is to author your blog in the CMS and publish to the blog using CrownPeak templates. Support for OpenSocial is still part of the offering.

The company continues to hire and, from the customer perspective, seems to succeed in larger brands doing smaller projects on smaller budgets. Finding a niche could be one of the answers to remaining competitive in these market conditions, as long as the provided CMS functionality meets customer needs.