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Yesterday we officially released a new major version of SiteFactory CMS. It was announced at a seminar a few weeks ago, when the attendants got their hands on the new version.

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Main focus when developing the new version

In this version we focused on scalability, speed optimization and providing an even greater user experience.

Scalability

Mindbite Core Foundation Server, which is the core system that SiteFactory CMS is built upon, is extremely scalable. By using special configuration files we can inject new views at any location in the system to extend the functionality in a customer’s installation. All added content and functionality automatically connects with the core security system so the owner can apply permissions for the new content.

This is however not a new feature, it has in fact been there since the first version (and improved in several versions back). In SiteFactory CMS 5.0 we improved the scalability by creating Isolated Modules. The Isolated Modules works like Apps in modern cell phones. They can utilize all functionality in the system but they have their own configuration files for settings and security. They also have their own resources and translation files. Widgets can be developed and packaged with Isolated Modules to bring information to the Dashboard.

Speed optimization

In every new version of SiteFactory CMS we try our best to improve its performance. This time we found a new way to optimize the public website. In most cases the loading time was improved to twice as fast as before. In one scenario it improved the loading time by 1600 %.

Greater user experience

Our focus has always been to provide a user-friendly UI/UX. SiteFactory CMS 5.0 has got a complete overhaul in both the interface and the structure. A new menu system gives the user a better overview over the system. It’s both easier to work with and to find what you’re looking for. These changes also gives us the ability to create even larger customer systems.

The first thing the users see when signing in is the brand new dashboard. For the moment all installations comes with six widgets displaying information about the system and their websites. Further widgets will be deployed later on. Widgets can also be developed for each customer.

Deployment

All SiteFactory CMS customers will, as always, get all these new features.

We will start deploying SiteFactory CMS 5.0 to customer sites this week. The new version will be deployed to every site automatically through our Update Service.

Closing comments

You can expect further posts with more detailed information about the new version.

When purchasing a website today, choosing a CMS over the traditional static website, is pretty standard. When choosing a Content Management System, there are numerous guides on what to require. One feature that I would like to point out as one of the most important is Automatic updates (or at least a service contract that includes updates).

If you don’t recieve technical updates to your website, it will fall behind in several aspects, like Search Engine Optimization, browser compatibility and various web standards. You will ultimately end up having to invest in an expensive major update or change website provider. And this is how it worked before. But it shouldn’t when it’s 2011.

At Mindbite we’ve been building Content Management Systems for over 10 years, and in 2005 (six years ago) we formalized our solutions into one product, called SiteFactory CMS. At that point we also started selling it with a service contract that binds us to deliver updates to the product. That means that every customer that invested in SiteFactory 1.0 and later has been receiving updates to their websites. And no customer with a service contract has ever had to pay extra for an update.

Last year we took a huge step when we decided to develop our Update Service. The service was introduced upon the release of SiteFactory CMS 4.0 and it provides automatic updates to every SiteFactory CMS 4.x website. Since November 2010 we have pushed out over 50 updates only to SiteFactory CMS 4. Every update differs in size and is spanned between simple bug fixes up to major features like MultiSites.

When Internet Explorer 9 was released we pushed out an update making SiteFactory CMS 4 compatible with it in a very short time. If our customers had chosen a different CMS provider without a service contract or automatic updates, they would likely have had to pay for this compatibility update.

If I were to invest in a CMS, I would certainly require Automatic Updates, and so should you. At the very least you should require a service contract which includes updates. Any other offer should not be taken seriously. Would you buy a phone or an operating system without ever getting updates that makes it a better product? I wouldn’t.

Screenshots from different versions of SiteFactory CMS

To give you an idea of how much a Content Management System changes over time, check out the screenshots of some of our SiteFactory CMS versions. Over the last six years we have released hundreds of new features empowering our customers websites. This is the way we work at Mindbite. Our passion is to deliver great features and updates to our customers.

SiteFactory CMS 1.2.4 from 2006 (screenshot taken in 2007)

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SiteFactory CMS 2.0 beta from 2006

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SiteFactory CMS 2.1.1 from 2007

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SiteFactory CMS 3.0 beta from 2008

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SiteFactory CMS 3.0 from 2008

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SiteFactory CMS 4.0 from 2010

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SiteFactory CMS 4.2 (build 4052), which is our latest release

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