Editing Your Own Content
One of the most frequent requests we have had over the years from our web site clients is for them to be able to edit their own content, without having to call the web designer each time they want a change.
We have been able to do this more and more over the years, and now are pleased to be able to offer almost any level of page content editability.
The main sections below outline the Types of Editing We Offer (Direct content editing, CMS, Custom TXT files, Kofive, Calendar, Embedded Google document/ spreadsheet/ presentation, photo gallery) and a brief History of Client Content Editing.
Our most current editing capability allows you as the website owner to log in directly from your web site and edit designated content on your site just as you would use a word processor.
It allows you some limited capability with formatting the page, but gives you full control over the text on that page and the ability to upload new photos and graphics to use in your page.
This capability edits the content directly on the server that hosts your web site, so once you make the change and click "Publish," your changes go live for the world to see. This capability does not allow you to create new pages or change the design or layout of your web site, and it does not keep a history of your old content.
If editing the text content and the occasional photo on your site is all you think you'll need to do, this is the option you should choose.
We also offer web pages or entire web sites built using a CMS (Content Management System).
A CMS keeps all of your web content in a database, and allows you to add pages to your site, full articles to your pages, references to prior articles on their own independent pages, and allows you to embed your own images, video clips, and graphics into your pages.
Because this option is much more involved, it is of course more expensive, but it gives you more flexibility in controlling your own content.
Occasionally, you will need a specially formatted page with content that needs to be updated fairly regularly.
You can see an example of such a page here. Scroll down the page and notice the listings left-aligned, the authors right-aligned, and the dots connecting them. This page is built with a custom TXT file. Note also there are (probably) some embedded YouTube videos farther down the page.
To edit content on a page such as this, you simply edit your TXT file and upload it to your server (we'll give you special access to do that), and presto. Your changes are live on the internet.
This type of page editing is particulary appropriate if you have special formatting needs, or if you have regular updates, or if you have several pages that need to be updated by different people. We can give each editor exclusive access to their own text file upload location, without exposing any of the other pages.
Kofive is a technology invented by David Miller Web Designs to give our clients easy access to editing their own content. It is currently in its third major version, and provides easy direct content editing (not a CMS) of your site's content. It consolidates text editing, photo editing to prepare them for the internet, and file transfers into a single, easily implemented package.
It gives you significantly more formatting flexibility than does the direct HTML Editing referenced above, but it also takes more knowledge of HTML.
If you elect Direct HTML Editing for your site, there will be some elements of Kofive in that implementation.
If you need a live and updatable calendar on your web site, we recommend Google Calendars, for their ease of updating, the ability to embed the calendar directly on your web page, and their ability to synchronize with other calendar applications.
You will need a Google account to use Google Calendars, but once you have that, updating the calendar is very easy.
You can see an example of an embedded calendar here.
If you prefer not to use Google Calendars, we can embed other types of proprietary calendars on your web page.
Another type of embedding is an embedded Google Document. If you have your Google account, you can create word processing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, any of which we can present as a web page on your site.
You can see an example of a read-only word processing document here.
If you want to display a number of photos as part of your site, we recommend Fotki.com. For a nominal fee, you can get unlimited online storage and presentation, and we can modify your Fotki pages so they look exactly like the rest of your site.
You can see an example of an "embedded" photo gallery here. Note how it appears to be part of the rest of their website.
In the early days of the World Wide Web, the only way to change the content of a web site was to get the source code, edit the HTML code, then upload that altered HTML code back to the server, replacing what was there.
Clients who wanted to edit their own content either had to learn how to code in HTML or they were out of luck. Their only recourse was to call someone who knew how. This usually meant a pretty hefty expense or settling for a friend or relative's amateur efforts.
As the internet matured, best practices evolved to separate content from formatting, and Content Management Systems evolved into mature products.
With a CMS, users could not only post articles, they could add pages, categorize their posts, add links, videos, photographs, and just about anything needed to build an entire website.
But all this power came with tremendous complexity.
In other words, people who wanted to use the power of these CMSs pretty much had to get the equivalent of a degree in how to use them.
For a long time, people's choices in maintaining content on their websites was limited. They had to either learn to build entire websites themselves, they had to learn the complexities of a CMS, or they had to hire someone to update their sites.
All three of those choices spawned many businesses specializing in doing these things for people who just wanted to run their business.
Therefore, in 2008, we developed our Kofive© technology. This concept was originally based on five open-source software packages, integrated into a method that allowed our users to edit their own content directly on their servers.
Our Kofive technology has since evolved, and will continue to do so. You can read more about it here: www.kofive.com.
We at David Miller Web Designs remain committed to providing our clients with the best and easiest ways to edit their own content, consistent with the complexity of their websites, the frequency they need to make updates, and their budgetary concerns.