cms Archives - Broken Links Archive

Five plugins (and a theme) to improve Textpattern

Fol­low­ing on from my pre­vi­ous post, I thought I’d explore in a lit­tle more detail how I like to opti­mise my Textpat­tern instal­la­tion when start­ing a new site. While TXP has a pret­ty good set­up out of the box, there are a few more steps I like to take to real­ly make it zing.

Bear in mind that I’ve only real­ly noticed the pow­er of TXP in the last year or so, and there may be a heap of oth­er plu­g­ins that I’m unaware of; list­ed below are just my favourites that I’ve dis­cov­ered so far.

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Textpattern releases new version

Textpat­tern have announced the release of ver­sion 4.07. In case you don’t know Textpat­tern, it’s a light­weight and easy to use CMS with a nice XML-like tem­plate tag­ging sys­tem. The major new fea­ture is a new tag pars­er, allow­ing for a lot more flex­i­bil­i­ty in site devel­op­ment. How­ev­er, the admin inter­face still uses the fid­dly design from pre­vi­ous ver­sions, so I strong­ly rec­om­mend you install the restyled inter­face mod as soon as possible. 

WordPress begins to open up its redesign process

The ongo­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion of Mark Boul­ton Design’s redesign of the Dru­pal web­site is pro­vid­ing some great insight into the process; Leisa Reichelt’s lat­est post, on the com­mu­ni­ty wire­fram­ing project, is a prime exam­ple. Now — whether by hap­py serendip­i­ty or a desire to com­pete — Word­Press have begun to do likewise.

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Mark Boulton to redesign Drupal website

Mark Boul­ton Design have been select­ed to redesign, the web­site of the Dru­pal CMS. I’m a big admir­er of Mark’s writ­ing about design and typog­ra­phy, and I think it’s excit­ing that a big open-source project is going in this direction.

Now, if we could get him to design the Dru­pal user inter­face (as Veer­le Pieters is doing with Expres­sion Engine), that would real­ly be something.

The Ideal Website for Textpattern

As I want­ed to learn about Textpat­tern which many peo­ple speak so high­ly of, I decid­ed the best thing to do would be to cre­ate a theme for it. My first effort is an adap­ta­tion of The Ide­al Web­site Word­Press theme; any­one so inclined can down­load a copy of it from

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, what I learned is that Textpat­tern is not suit­able for most of the projects I work on. It’s easy to work with, but does­n’t have the flex­i­b­li­ty I require.

CushyCMS Review

Cushy­CMS is a very sim­ple, nice idea for allow­ing users to edit con­tent on their web­site with­out giv­ing them access to the tem­plates. It does­n’t allow changes to mark-up or style sheets, only titles, images and blocks of copy.

It requires that the site admin marks up the blocks that will be editable by adding class="cushycms" to their con­tain­ing ele­ments; the web-based appli­ca­tion will then auto­mat­i­cal­ly find each marked ele­ment in the pages you assign to it and open a text area (with or with­out WYSIWYG edi­tor) allow­ing the user to edit.

In its cur­rent state it would­n’t be suit­able for sites with a lot of pages, but if you run a small, brochure-type site for a cus­tomer who want­ed to make occa­sion­al updates, this could be a bet­ter solu­tion in some cas­es than installing a full data­base-pow­ered CMS.

I’d pre­fer it to have a bet­ter WYSIWYG edi­tor, and it would be more use­ful if the inter­face could be brand­ed and host­ed on your own serv­er. How­ev­er, the cre­ators are open to feed­back and these ideas and many oth­ers have been sug­gest­ed already.

While it may not (yet?) be the answer to all your con­tent man­age­ment require­ments, Cushy­CMS is a neat, clever lit­tle app that would be use­ful for small busi­ness­es or for small clients. It’s cur­rent­ly in Pri­vate Beta only, but if you watch the intro­duc­to­ry video close­ly, that won’t be a bar­ri­er to entry.


I’ve updat­ed my Speak­ing page to include more con­fer­ences, more videos, and a lit­tle on my speak­ing require­ments and pref­er­ences. I’m plan­ning to cut down on the num­ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter­est­ing offers and oppor­tu­ni­ties, so please get in touch if you’re organ­is­ing an event.

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