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Building A Cutting Edge Content Management System

The digital industries move forward at an incredible rate. New features are coming out every week in both hardware, such as the latest phones, and software or the latest Social Media platform. Creating a Content Management System (CMS) that stays up to date with all of these latest technologies and features is a full time job for an entire team of developers here at Intergage.

The same version of our CMS software powers all of the Intergage websites, running the latest and the oldest sites. Some older sites rely on the older HTML standards which the CMS used to produce. New sites need cutting edge HTML5 components.

When some of the Intergage page items were first built more than 10 years ago, HTML standards were entirely different to how they are today. Primarily CSS was used for styling, but not positioning, and so HTML ‘table’ elements were used everywhere to line things up. The latest standards use HTML5, and CSS3 to not only style, but control the position of elements on the page.

CMS Monitor1

To overcome this, we constantly revise the HTML the Content Management System uses for various page items to be more ‘current’ and designer-friendly. The biggest challenge is to maintain full perfect backward compatibility for our older websites – otherwise we risk breaking the design of an existing site. The Test Suite we mentioned in an earlier blog is also built to check this.

There is always a trade-off between allowing a designer to specify the exact mark-up they need and keeping the CMS easy to use. Most of our customers do not want to worry about the intricacies of HTML. This is why we work with our design team to establish the best markup to use, and progressively ‘switch on’ later iterations of our markup when a customer has a ‘makeover’ or a new site. Our latest software release allows our designers to create fully customised site specific HTML templates for listing items and the site administrator can select the one they want to use.

Maintaining a single code base for all our websites means that all our customers have the opportunity to upgrade to the newest features at the appropriate time. Those customers who are not yet ready to move on still benefit from many ‘under the hood’ changes in the meantime.

If you would like to find out more about Intergage services, please contact us.

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