Why use RVCMS

Reasons for choosing RenovatioCMS

Thank you for considering RenovatioCMS. As people are getting interested in our product, questions arise about what makes RenovatioCMS so special and why someone should choose our product over other content management systems. In the end, of course, your decision should depend on which qualities you value most. We have not been able to find a suitable CMS for our needs, so we made our own. In the meantime, we are continuing development and are offering the system as a free download, so others can enjoy thefruits of our efforts as well. The main advantages of our CMS are described below.

A piece of RenovatioCMS code as shown by the CodeEditor.

1. RenovatioCMS is transparent

The fact that RenovatioCMS, by design, is as transparent as possible, is probably one of its most notable properties. Web pages like this one are constructed using HTML code (you can view this code, by clicking your right mouse button here, and choosing the option “View source“). Most CMS variants will try to conceal their inner workings because the end user is considered to be “incapable of understanding its functionality any-ways“. This is then considered to be “User friendly“. Usually, Word-like WYSIWYG editors are used that never seem to understand what the user is actually trying to accomplish. This may be convenient for users that have never heard of HTML before, but it can also be quite frustrating for more experienced users.

When using RenovatioCMS, the user can dictate the contents of a web-page directly, by editing the HTML code itself. The result is shown by using the HTML preview pop-up, or by viewing the page that is being edited in a separate browser tab. The included web-based CodeEditor does not only support HTML, but it also supports PHP, SQL, JavaScriptand CSS. The scripts that the user produces are stored in a database and executed when someone visits the website. This set-up is also proven to be quite successful as aneducational tool. Users may start typing simple texts and slowly expand their knowledge. How sophisticated the end result can become is (perhaps) nicely illustrated by the system management pages that come with the CMS.

The account management page is used to create and edit accounts.

2. RenovatioCMS is user-friendly

The system is already being used by some student societies in Groningen, The Netherlands. The members of these societies aspire different fields of study and have different qualities. This allows us tot test how a variety of users responds to our system. As often with these kinds of tests, the general conclusion is that a user does not alwaysrespond the way a software developer anticipated. The level of education allows these students to easily point out problems they might encounter and to think of appropriate solutions. This way, a community based concept is used to increase user-friendliness.

3. RenovatioCMS is easily configurable

Flexibility has been one of our main goals. For example, language dependent system texts like the contents of warning pop-upsmessages or buttons, are stored in a singlelanguage database. A language management tool is included that allows the user to create new translations or correct existing ones. This way, users can create multilingualwebsites. Another example is the skin system. The skin determines the visual appearanceof a page (colours, background images text alignment and so on). All files that comprise a skin are stored in a single directory. The user can create new skins by copying this directory, renaming it and adjusting its contents as he or she sees fit. New skins will become available as free downloads.

In the end, everyone wants to use a unique design.

4. RenovatioCMS is easily expandable

Basically, RenovatioCMS consists of nothing more than a collection of documents, a menuand login system, some management tools, a CodeEditor and a skin. These documents may contain PHP or SQL code. So, when some (skilled) user decides there should be a new page that contains phone numbers of registered members, this can be achieved without adjusting the system itself. In fact, the included management tools used forlanguage, menu or document management, are actually only documents themselves. To help the user expand his website, interesting documents will also be available as free add-ons (photo album tools or social networking tools for instance).

5. RenovatioCMS is safe

The core of RenovatioCMS is small and the concepts it uses are simple. Less code means less mistakes. The majority of the code is contained within documents. These are safely stored within a database and also easily checked for bugs by using document management. Finally, we also would like to point out that the system is developed within an academic environment.

Several (doctoral) students from physicsmathematics and computer science departments of the University of Groningen have lent their spare timeto check the code for errors. Because RenvatioCMS is open source, an increasing community of RenovatioCMS users is available to help finding imperfections.

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