I have deliberately used “and” in the title to avoid “Umbraco vs DotnetNuke”. This is not technical comparison between the two nor overview of either one of those CMSes. It’s simply a short story why we started using Umbraco, in parallel to DNN, after many years of DNN development. Being of technical background but economics and management education, I like to think I can serve as a bridge between those two worlds. Most of my working time I organize and manage people within company, but development is my passion which I don’t let go. So, this is a view from my perspective.
DotNetNuke was a great .NET based open source CMS. We started using it for our clients with version 2. Quickly we started building powerful websites in no time. Clients loved WYSWYG approach to editing content. This love lasted for years, and still is. We have built huge portals in DNN, running on dedicated servers and also miniature portals on shared DNN hosts and shared hosting.
Umbraco? Umbraco was love at first sight. I installed version 2 and after initial confusion (which required certain mind shift to completely different concept), I was blown away by flexibility of this CMS. First thing that I loved are document types and datatypes, where you could easily “describe” content types like you add columns to a table. Text here, image upload there, rich text editor here… and you have a document type used to describe content of your site. It reminded me of Xmod module for DotNetNuke. Back office to edit that document type is ready auto-magically. Fields can be referenced in templates easily and everything is editable in back office (templates, macros, content). Read more
As a company that builds web portals and corporate sites we noticed a spam problem with web forms. Our clients complained about spam coming through their contact forms (or they receive blank forms) and requested that we solves it.
Why CAPTCHA is not the solution?
Captcha is not always a good option. Visitors hate to fill it in and if those visitors are your potential customers you do not want them to feel frustrated as it is going to kill your conversion. Here is just one of many articles on this (http://www.seomoz.org/blog/captchas-affect-on-conversion-rates)
Akismet (www.akismet.com) is better choice but it is commercial product which starts from 50$ per month (unless for personal use). Even then, or you have only personal site, note that Akismet is designed mostly for blog *comments*. Connecting it to contact forms or similar web forms is not so efficient as those forms usually consist of quite a few inputs and not just long comments.
Introduction to law: There has been a lot of talks about EU Cookie legislation on websites. Everybody that does websites probably got at least few call from clients with questions and requests to make their websites comply. Cookie legislation also changed in the meantime which confused some. In short, what we have been getting from our client (UK client!) and their lawyers is:
There are 4 cookie categories, in broad terms:
The first does not require an opt-in and no’s 2 & 3 do not require a proper opt-in according to the ICC guide, with only the targeting/advertising cookies requiring the ‘tick-box’ option or similar.
One thing remains interpreted differently among our clients and that is if “Implied consent” is acceptable (for 2 & 3 at least). This means that after displaying opt-in popup message to visitors, if they ignore it and click any other link on website, this is interpreted as “implied consent” to accept cookies (and opt-in popup states that!).
My first impression: well, it is easier than I though to do it without any framework! Don’t expect hundreds of lines of codes, CSS3 and HTML5 offer enough power to do things easier than you expected. But second impression is a bit different as time gets spent on small things, wierd behaviors or things you take for granted when you use frameworks, like managing back button on Android. Read more
I was playing with Ext JS for desktops some years ago and was surprised that Sencha is actually a new name for it and Sencha Touch is mobile variant. That helped me a lot as everything was familiar. Even more familiar than JQM will be to JQuery users. Sencha Touch has amazing documentation and community. Every object, method, property, event… neatly described in a doc (done in Sencha) when you install framework. I kept it open all the time while programming. Read more
Following on previous post Mobile devices development using HTML5/JS – part 1 , after my initial discovery of PhoneGap and HTML5 mobile frameworks it was time to try out the first one. Since we’ve been using JQuery for long time on our web apps and web sites, it was a logical candidate to start with.
Before I continue, I want to say again that I’m no professional HTML5 nor mobile developer. I’m a noob in this area, although I’m building web apps and portals since 1995. However, my daily job for long time is management in this area and less coding, which remains a hobby. So, please don’t take me as HTML5/mobile authority, just a noob exploring new world for the first time. Read more
I have always avoided development for mobile phones. There are too many platforms and programming in Java is not something I want to learn. But last week @istrigo pointed me to PhoneGap (www.phonegap.com) and that changed everything (a bit late for myself I must admit!). PhoneGap enables you to develop HTML5/JS apps the same way as developing mobile sites but then wraps it up in a nice, installable iPhone/Android/Blackberry/… package you can install and run on a mobile device like any other native app. So, your mobile site and ALL platforms share the same code!? Great! Read more