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Thursday, June 24, 2010

My First Experiences Designing Websites with ContentM

The first time I was exposed to working on K-12 teacher websites was about two years ago when working on my mom’s school website. I remember spending hours Googling how to write HTML code and then copying and pasting that code in random boxes, just hoping that it was doing what we wanted, as there was no real way to preview the web page without completely submitting it for the live website. When my mom and I were finally done struggling through the HTML, we hit submit, and to our disappointment the screen in front of us showed a page full of vibrant, tacky colors and error codes. Needless to say, this interface did not make me (or my mom) want to update her site anytime soon which goes against the whole point of having a school website – to keep teachers, students, and parents up-to-date on the recent happenings around your classroom, school, or district.

When I started working at AllofE, I immediately started working on example teacher and administrator websites using our ContentM system. ContentM is, hands down, easier to use than the system my mom and I were struggling with two years ago. Since I’ve started using ContentM, I have found a number of ways to customize websites in very little time. The ContentM interface lets you customize your website virtually any way you want. Although ContentM provides numbers of preset options for headers and body backgrounds, there are a few shortcuts I use to get around using some of those preset designs in order to completely customize my example sites. One shortcut I find myself always using is to hide the actual header of a panel and create my own by typing with bigger, different colored font in the same panel I use to write my main content. It’s a simple way to get a completely customized website look in just a few seconds.

All-in-all, AllofE’s ContentM offers a whole new paradigm in Content Management Systems. It's impossible to even try to compare it to the copy-and-paste HTML coding experience I had with my mom when designing her site. With drag 'n drop panel-based functionality and intuitive design features, along with its ease of use and integration with social media, ContentM not only cuts down on the time it takes to create, update, and maintain your website, but it will provide you with so much flexibility that you’ll want to change and re-design your site more than you need to—because it’s fun. ContentM changed my whole perspective on designing website pages, and it can change yours too. If we are finally getting to the place where every teacher needs to have a classroom site, it is important that they have fun doing it. With ContentM, website design takes very little time and finally, allows teachers to do powerful things on their school websites.

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Blogger Ross said...

Very true! The most important thing in web design is not so much your experience but the end users experience. cM really allows you to focus on the things that will make the users experience the best it can be. I feel sometimes I find a website that has too much going on, a good CMS will combine look and info into one good product. ContentMent does just that.

6/26/10, 9:50 PM  

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