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All Posts From : December 2014

CMS Horror Stories

We all know some CMS's are more user firendly than others, but sometimes, even the nicest CMS can be scuppered by an abysmal implementation. Usually this is either the developer not being familiar with the CMS, being on drugs of some kind, or possibly just being a bit rubbish :P

I got to thinking on this recently after being involved in some pitches where the client has stated up front that they hated Umbraco. That's quite unusual for us, most of our clients really love the CMS, so we asked what it was they hated, and got shown the CMS systems they were currently using built on Umbraco. What an eye opener! I think I'd hate my CMS if every single page was just one tab, with a single TextArea that says "Paste HTML here" next to it (and yes, I've seen an actual implementation like this).

We showed the clients some Umbraco implementations that were actual sane, and they changed their mind about Umbraco (yay!) once they saw what you could do with a decently thought out site. This isn't just something I've seen with Umbraco though, I've seen some terrfifying examples with other CMS systems and home grown CMSs as well. Without naming any names, here are some examples I've seen over the years:

  • the aforementioned every single page is a text box that you paste HTML into site
  • a site where the developers put a custom caching framework on top of the CMSs quite fast caching framework, slowing it down to the point that it had to be load balanced just to get even crappy performance out of it
  • a 10 page mobile site that had an insane amount of IOC, business logic and interfaces, probbaly the second most over engineered site I've ever seen
  • sites where all the properties are on one page, sometimes 50+ of them, with little information about what they're for, other than not particularly descriptive labels.......
  • Dropdowns to select things with mystery meat names (how are you supposed to know what Offer 1, Offer 2 and Offer 3 actually are?)

It just goes to show how important it is to think about the editor experience when you build your sites with a CMS. The site could look quite pretty, but if the editor experience is shit, the users will hate using the CMS, and they won't get the most out of it!

So, what are some of your worst CMS horror stories that you've come across?