the Ecru Content Management System features

The features you need, achieved in a simple way

The thing about feature lists…

The thing about feature lists is that they don't give you the full picture when it comes to bespoke content management system (CMS) solutions.

Exactly like going to a Saville Row tailor for a suit, you take for granted that the features of your content management system will exactly match your requirements, but you also expect more, an attentiveness and dedication to craftsmanship that is unparalleled. Delivered by web designers and developers who are at the top of their tree within their profession.

When you look through our feature list as part of your procurement process, everything you see represents our response to real world requirements by our corporate and government clients. If the feature you want isn't shown, just ask – we will accommodate your requirements in an intelligent and creative way.

Technology platform

The Ecru content management system is built in Microsoft .NET and runs on an MS SQL Server database.

No browser plug-ins

No browser plugins are necessary to manage your website content, you just need a version of Internet Explorer that is version 5.5 or newer. This is good because it means the cost of deployment is very low, as is the cost of deploying updates.

Browse your own website to make changes, don't learn a new interface

The really clever thing about the Ecru CMS is that you don't have to learn a new interface to manage your website, you just click your way through your website like a visitor, find the page you want to edit, and make the changes to your content. The editing process is so intuitive that it helps to reduce your implementation and maintenance costs because of the reduction in training.

Editing as easy as using Word

When you edit a page you get a toolbar that is much like working on a Word document, that allows you to add images and documents to your web pages.

Accessible CMS

Ecru are accessibility experts so you would be right to expect the Ecru CMS to deliver websites to exceptional standards of accessibility. We achieve this through a number of steps:

  • When you paste content from Word the inaccessible formatting is stripped out.
  • Inaccessible characters are highlighted so you can replace them with something a little more friendly.
  • Two stages of dynamic filtering clean up the content that you input, and the content that is delivered to your website visitors.
  • Accessibility best practice is enforced in ALT and Title tags
  • We can allow administrators to delve into the raw XHTML to fix the nth degree of accessibility issues. We do this in such a way that the system still remains simple to use.
  • We offer a personal accessibility review service that can pick up issues that machines would struggle to identify
  • We mentor CMS users, training you in best practice accessibility techniques.

Automatic content blocks

Your pages can incorporate automatic content, such as latest news stories, or panels of information that appear elsewhere on your website. Our clients find this to be a very speedy way of assembling web pages, and it means that when you update the content it is refreshed wherever else it appears in your website.

Dynamic menu system

Create a new page in your website and the menu and sitemap updates automatically. Change a page name and links to it remain intact. Archive a page and it disappears from your website. Links to archived pages go to friendly error messages so your website remains looking professional.

Multiple stylesheets

Every page on your website can have a control at the top that allows visitors to select their preferred visual style for the pages on the website. This might be as simple as allowing a choice of font sizes, but can range all the way to giving a selection of different layouts or colour schemes to accommodate specific disabled user groups such as people with dyslexia.

RSS Feeds

RSS is a great way of getting additional traffic to your website. The Ecru CMS can generate standard RSS feeds from key places within your website. When administrators approve content to go live they can select whether the update should appear in the RSS feed.

Social Media integration

Social Media integration is a key feature of the modern world. The Ecru CMS not only allows you to easily load up video and sound files, it also enables visitors to bookmark pages and integrate with social media sites. A new feature we are working on is adding the ability to use geolocation, enabling visitors to easily access information and resources relevant to where they are.

Web page live or not live

The pages on your website can be given go live and retire dates. This enables you to allow a page to appear only for a particular period of time.

Content approval process

Website Administrators are assigned to approve content that is proposed by people who are assigned the role of Editor. This means that you can delegate content creation to the appropriate people in your organisation (or even people outside your organisation!) but you retain full administrative control, accepting or rolling back the changes that have been proposed.

Non-destructive content rollback

The Ecru CMS remembers every version of a page, so you can roll back to any previous version. When you roll back to an older version the system creates a new version, so nothing is ever forgotten. This is a really important feature for a governmental CMS - the ability to audit who did what, and when.

Search engine friendly CMS

The Ecru CMS is extremely search engine friendly. There are no question marks in your web page addresses, and because file names match the words and phrases used in your website structure and page naming, people will be able to remember them a lot more easily than a string of random numbers and letters.

Accessible forum system

We can integrate the Ecru forum system into your website. Rather than starting with an overwhelming set of features, most of which you don't want or need, we work our way up, adding the features that you actually require.

Surveys/Opinion Polls

Surveying user's opinion and running opinion polls are also features that can be integrated into the Ecru CMS package.

Intranet/Extranet

Simplicity is key to the password protected Ecru Extranet. Administrators decide what users can see and do. Integration into your website can be as seamless as you want. This is a great way of disseminating information to employees, business partners and clients.

Email alerts

Visitors to your website can subscribe to your email alert system. They select the areas of the website that are of interest to them. Then when you publish a website update you can decide whether to send an alert to people who have subscribed to that area of your website.

Advanced search

Standard search within the Ecru content management system is based on Microsoft Index Server, is fast and efficient. Advanced search allows you to keyword tag the content on your website so that you can deliver a set of special search results to your visitors above the standard results. This is a great way of allowing your visitors to find the content that you know they want.

Website hosting

Deployment is structured around your requirements. The most simple answer is to have the content management system running on your live web server. You can have a shared web hosting account, so the cost of hosting can be minimal.

Scalability

We can configure your website to dynamically deliver the pages that your visitors see, or we can implement a range of static pages or caching techniques to allow your website to scale up to the number of visitors you receive.

If the feature you want isn't shown, just ask – we will accommodate your requirements in an intelligent and creative way.

Talk to Ecru now about your web development project. Email us or call us on 0800 0433 963 to discuss how we can help you.