Staff Lounge: A Survey of Custom Development Projects

Tuesday, July 15, 2008  

Many customers have asked what kind of projects EditMe's Custom Development team has done. It's a good question, and one that I thought warranted an answer on the web site. Here are a few of the more interesting projects we've completed within the past several months, grouped by project size.

Small Stuff

We do a lot of small customizations for customers that like EditMe, but want something just a little different or extra. These typically take less than a day to complete. Here are some examples:

  • A customer wanted a "Send this page to a friend" form to allow users to email the link for the current page to a friend. We've actually done a few of these. It may become a Module some time down the road.
  • A customer loved the Page Counter module, which displays the number of hits the current page has received, but wanted it integrated in a very certain way into the layout of his site. Of course, we obliged.
  • A customer wanted to merge three sites into one. We used a script to rename all the pages in two of the sites with a prefix (updating all the links and what-not) and then added them to the third site.
  • A customer wanted users of the site to be logged out automatically after a specific number of minutes. Easy peasy.
  • A customer wanted their registration form modified so that users are added to their email newsletter list upon registration.

Medium Stuff

Let's call medium projects those that take over a day but less than a week.

  • A customer wanted a button in the editor that allowed images to be uploaded and inserted into the content without having to use the Attachments screen. I liked this idea so much, something similar will be part of EditMe's next release.
  • A customer wanted the comment form on their site customized to collect a few extra fields of personal information from the commenter. That information is then displayed alongside the comment in the comments list.
  • A customer wanted a few extra fields of information captured in the Registration form so that new registrations could be more easily associated with a back-end membership database. These additional fields were also added to the User Preferences and User Administration forms.
  • A customer wanted to connect the user management for several wiki sites, such that users log into a central wiki which gives them secure access to several other wikis.
  • Several customers have asked us to port the design of an existing web site to their EditMe site. This is easier than you might think, and can really transform an EditMe site.
  • Several customers have asked us to import large user databases into their site. 

Big Stuff

These projects may have taken over a week, sometimes over a month. These also tend to be complex sites that have ongoing work done in a maintenance capacity.

  • A customer asked us to build a wiki site that managed structured data instead of page content. It works like a wiki, but instead of a free-form page, you edit values in form fields to allow for powerful searching, sorting, filtering and validation of the data. We also populated the site with gobs of data from an external data source.
  • A customer wanted a major overhaul of the user management tools. We added over a dozen custom user fields, some of which have special value-based behaviors. We also redesigned the user management tools to more easily accomodate a massive user database.
  • A customer wanted a complete custom application built that sort of turns the wiki paradigm on its side. There's more to it of course, but I can't go into a lot of detail on this one.
  • A business customer wanted a site that invites their customers to submit ideas, allows customers to comment and vote on eachother's ideas, and provides a feedback mechanism for the company to respond to popular ideas.
  • A few companies have asked us to replace their complex content management systems or hand-coded web sites with EditMe. These projects include many different aspects such as a custom design integration, various input forms, and structured content management for press releases, jobs, content entry and the like.

I hope this high-level summary provides a sense of the breadth of EditMe's customization capabilities. What really excites me about this side of the business is that these customers achieved their exact desired results without having to build from scratch. EditMe's base product got them 90% of the way there, and our Custom Development team took them through the finish line.


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