Our goal for CMSX 2012 was to make some new contacts within the web development and content management arena – which we accomplished. David and I continue to build relationships with people we met while we were there.
First, I want to give a huge thank-you to Daniel (@drummond) and PageProgressive – he endured our frequent requests for changes and still produced some great copy and graphics for our full-page ad in the program and our banner. He also helped us clarify our approach and marketing slant for the expo and all our future efforts.
As we progressed towards the expo, David and I considered where we would have the biggest impact. We identified web hosts and web builders as 2 groups we wanted to be sure to connect with.
Having another distribution channel targeted at first-time site builders that isn't too geeky was high on the list. SourcForge is only going to reach the open source tech community, not your everyday users building their business, school or family website. We made a point of visiting with web hosts attending CMS Expo and learning more about what their customers were wanting and what they wanted from a web application they hosted.
It was very encouraging to hear web hosts talking about securing web sites. In fact, the good hosts are as paranoid as we are! If a site on one of their servers gets hacked or hijacked, it can affect a lot of their customers. For a web host, anything that compromises their service level agreements and uptime is something they shy away from. As we talked to them about the lengths we go to to prevent a site from being compromised, they were impressed. Placing sensitive data outside the document root, 2-part password salts, different hashing algorithms, HTML Purifier and the Protector module all contribute to our good standing for a hosting provider.
Web hosts are not only concerned about security, they are also concerned about performance. Our efforts to reduce the resources needed to run an ImpressCMS site did not go unnoticed.
Website builders were also a focus for us while we were in Chicago. Every site builder has their favorite tool they go to when building a new site for a client. We just wanted them to consider another tool for their toolbox.
User interaction and management were on the top of their lists. That is something we can offer them – right out of the box. They also were looking for user-specific content and work flows. All things we take for granted. Without any additional components to be installed, you can create custom groups and manage what they see and what they can do. The menus adjust to fit the user, without a lot of special programming. Build social profiles, send user-selected notifications, send messages between members, add comments to posts – these are all part of what we do. We need to make sure we keep doing them and doing them better than anyone else!
How did we stack up to the other content management systems? I saw a tweet that complained about all the CMS presentations that started with “There are all these sites running our CMS”. They compared that to McDonald's having a 5-star Michelin rating because of the number of hamburgers they've sold. We aren't selling a lot of hamburgers, but we are striving to be better at what we do – building and supporting communities through the web.
In the end, this was a very successful trip for ImpressCMS. And we have a lot ahead of us because of it.