If you read any of my prior web projects, you may notice that when I create a web site I typically use a combination of Adobe® ColdFusion®, CSS, XHTML, Microsoft® SQL Server and then optimize the site to be compatible with Adobe® Contribute® which allows clients to update the "static" areas of the sites. Of course I typically also build a completely custom back-end for clients to update any of the more "dynamic" areas of the site such as products, services, news, calendar events, etc.
Well, recently my brother needed a web site. He's a missionary serving in India for the past nine (9) years and is also in the process of building an orphanage. For several years, he's struggled to keep his supporters updated via email and newsletters sent by regular mail. For obvious reason, he really needed a better way to communicate his message with current and potential supporters. Luckily, he has a brother who is a web developer (me!). Unfortunately, due to my workload, I had very little time to dedicate to building him a full-blown web site with all the bells and whistles ... "pro bono" of course. I really didn't want to short-change him.
Fortunately, I attended a presentation on Mura CMS at cf.Objective() 2009. Immediately following the presentation, I downloaded the FREE, open source ColdFusion project. I kept stopping by the Blue River Interactive Group table (the creators of Mura CMS) to ask them questions throughout the conference. Each of them were extremely helpful in answering any questions I had. We actually ended up getting to have dinner together too (thanks again guys!). So of course I just had to give Mura a try when I got back to the office.
Well, like everything else, I had to jump back into my work pile and carried on as normal. Until my brother came to visit for a brief time recently. He was very anxious in creating his web presence. I immediately knew Mura CMS would be just the ticket to help me get him up and running with as little time as possible.
After downloading the most recent version and poking around here and there, tweaking this and twisting that, we were able to launch his site in only two (2) days! Other than a completely static HTML/CSS site, I've never launched a "dynamic" site within that amount of time. Ever!
Now my brother has full control over his site. Not only can he add and modify content, he can even update the navigational structure of the site. I only had to show him how to use the editor, add/remove pages, etc. He was able to start contributing in no time at all.
I really need to mention that Mura is extremely flexible when it comes to design. For my brother's web site, I simply started with the baked-in "Merced" theme and made a few adjustments to the CSS. Nothing fancy either ... trust me ... I didn't have time. I added a custom rotating banner for the inside pages and a few other minor tweaks, but for the most part, that's all I needed to do.
Today, I'm using Mura CMS on my current project for a "paying" client. I'm also using a completely custom design without any problems either. Essentially, it's really just a custom "theme." Now that I've been able to get under the hood and do a few things, I'm learning how powerful Mura CMS really is. Heck, just take a look at their Back End Development section of the Developer Guides and see for yourself.
If you can't tell, I'm really pumped on Mura CMS. If anyone is interested in future blog posts on Mura CMS, please let me know!
Oh and thanks to my brother ... for his patience, enthusiasm and for serving Him.
Developer: Stephen Withington | Content Management System: Mura CMS