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PHPNW09 Track 1 Talk 5: Michael Nolan – Building an Anti-CMS (and how it’s changed our web team)

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Content management systems rarely live up to their promises. Theyre hard to use, limit creativity and stifle innovation. Decentralised editing leads to poor quality copy, duplication of content and pages which havent been looked at since HTML 3.2 was new. At the other end of the scale you face problems of overloaded web developers who dont understand what theyre publishing to the web, constantly fire-fighting with no time for new developments.

At Edge Hill University, weve tried to navigate the middle ground by deploying or developing tools appropriate for the sites we want to create. Using structured content management we can keep our sites fresh, pushing information out to places where its relevant.

The foundation of all our sites is the Symfony web framework. This session will look at how our development team has made the change from working with static pages, Dreamweaver templates and classic ASP to a modern PHP framework encouraging more agile development practices and focusing on delivering usable systems.

As a web applications developer turned management, Ill try to give both sides of the story.
For the coder!

  • sell the benefits to the business to help persuade your boss
  • develop yourself by learning from other peoples best practices
  • create cool stuff quickly and easily

For the manager!

  • get more out of your developers for the same level of resource
  • make marketing central to your website
  • develop your staff without the need for costly certification

I dont have all the answers, but Ive got opinions about almost everything!

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