Content Management Systems

23 February 2011 | talking about Programming, Infrastructure

Different CMS SystemsContent management systems (CMS) have been on my mind for a while now. Several months to be exact. A content management system for the web is a system for publishers, producers of content, to easily distribute content without needing a PhD in computer science. Allowing the producer of the content to focus on the content not the technology. Once a CMS is setup a publisher just logs in to a private admin area to add content. Adding content in most cases is as easy as updating your status on Facebook.

Content Management On The Brain

The reason I have been thinking about and playing around with different content management systems is I have had this good guy bad guy thing going on. As a programmer I have always just felt managing content is for non-programmers. If I need to create a new web page I will just open up a text editor and build that page with my programing skills. Who needs that extra layer of fluff? I have used almost every CMS on the market in the past for client work and personal blogs. I always felt they were great if the primary user was not a technical person. Over the last few months I have had this unexplainable urge to prove to myself that I need a content management. I have been on a quest to find a CMS that speaks to me. Diving deep into each CMS offering in search of a CMS that delivers the flexibility I need as a “programing power house” while at the same time giving me features and interfaces to manage my content in a more effective way.

I spent a great deal of time with Wordpress, PyrosCMS, ExpressionEngine, Drupal, Joomla, and FuelCMS. Almost all these content management systems provided really nice ways to build pages, and a blog (which I am sure is a majority of the CMS market). They all had their pros and cons for customizing into a platform to run my web empire. On several occasions I concluded I was just going to write my own CMS (like every web developer does) but then realized there is a lot to it, hat tip to all you CMS developers out there. Then I went into a phase of “I will just build whatever I need on top of which ever CMS I choose, and maybe contribute the code back to the community”. This was a great idea but felt like there was too much custom hacking going on for the commercial products I manage.

Finally, I fully committed to Expression Engine (EE), the only commercial, non-free, CMS of the bunch. I have been playing with EE for years but always thought it was not suited for my particular needs. I was pretty wrong about that. EE is the most flexible and robust CMS I have ever used. Its channeling system, templating system, and asset manager really allows me to build web applications the way I want and not structured around some restricted way of doing things the CMS developer chose. My team and I at Skyclerk recently fully converted our public marketing site to EE. We are very proud of what we completed and are very excited about the flexibility EE will offer for us to grow in the future.
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My Top Technology List Of 2009

7 January 2010 | talking about Cloud Computing, Programming, Infrastructure

technology_v1Every geek blog I actively read posted a list of top technologies for 2009, so I thought I would be remissed if I did not do the same. These are technologies that really stepped it up or came to my attention in 2009 and became part of my everyday life both for work and personal used.
2009 was all about moving my life to the cloud. I determined early in 2009 it was stupid to ever store a file on my computer ever again. All my data should live in the cloud so I can have access to it everywhere I go, I can have access on any platform (think cell phone), I can easily share my data with people I want to share it with, and lastly I do not have to worry about backups (for the most part), and that is just what I have done.
Below is a list of my top 10 products that have changed my life in 2009. The first 6 are sort of consumer related and the last 4 are software developer related. So if you are not a software developer I am thinking you might only find the first 6 interesting.
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No More Compiled Software For Me

25 November 2009 | talking about Cloud Computing, Infrastructure

Cloud Computing As many of you know I am the founder and president of Cloudmanic Labs, LLC. At Cloudmanic Labs it is our goal to build web applications that traditionally were handled via compiled native software and stuff them in the Cloud. For a while now I have been not eating my own dog food (for a lack of a better term). I stilled was using a native mail client, still listening to my stored mp3s in iTunes, using word to type documents, still using some sort of compiled solution for a twitter client and so on. Then the recent preview release of Google's Chrome OS came out and it gave me a wake up call.
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I Am Totally Jazzed On Appcelerator

17 November 2009 | talking about Mobile, Infrastructure

Take a look at my post over at Cloudmanic Labs.

Also take a look at the new stuff they are doing in Version 0.8

Titanium 0.8 Preview - Facebook Enhancements from Appcelerator Video Channel on Vimeo.

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The Stats - Linode Vs. Slicehost ...... And The Winner Is…...

25 April 2009 | talking about Infrastructure

long time ago I went to a linux user group (plug) and there was a fresh new company giving a presentation on this way cool new technology called User Mode Linux or UML. They created this company using virtualization to offer dedicated hosting to users. More or less having many different instances of Linux operating systems all running on one server. Each instance is owned and operated by a different customer. I was so taken in by this idea I became a customer right way. I was a customer for many years as a matter of fact. However I was never really that happy with it. Just seemed to be slow and sluggish.

So I finally left and went on to a Mac Mini hosting which was interesting but owning the hardware and having \"remove hands\" just annoyed me. So I moved to shared hosting. Well that just sucked!!! So I started to get interested in these VPS dedicated hosting company. Thinking that maybe UML has gotten better with time. I found out the UML is a thing of the past and is now been taken over by Xen and all these VPS hosting companies are using Xen which seems to be way faster! So I thought I would give it a try. I looked at all the companies and concluded that SliceHost and Linode were the two best companies on the market.
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PiWik - Oh My God This Is The Best Took Ever!!!

22 April 2009 | talking about Infrastructure

As someone that looks over many different websites one of the tools I have used is Google Analytics. Google Analytics using some javascript that you install on your website to send traffic data back to Google. Then you can log into their website and view data about your traffic. This data consists of visitors, page views, visitor location, and so on. There are hundreds of tools out there for this purpose but Google Analytics really stepped up as the best free option. My only problem with Google Analytics is you have no control over how it works. You do not have direct access to the data, and the data is not processed in real time. While I continue to think there is nothing better out there for free I have recently stumbled upon an amazing open source project called PiWik.
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