When looking for a content management system there are so many choices out there it can be confusing to the layperson who wants to set up a blog or visually appealing, but multifunctional display for web content related to a business or informational web site. One of the easiest systems to use is Movable Type.
Six Apart is the development company behind Movable Type and they clearly have the end-user in mind. No longer is there a need to higher software engineers or development consulting firms to set up a simple web site, but the process still feel intimidating for those with no technical background.
The platform is quick and easy to install. There are a lot of features one can use when designing with Movable Type so it may take a little longer to upload. Still, it is worth it if one needs to have these additional resources available to make their own pages user-friendly for their visitors.
Movable Type is so easy to use. There is virtually no learning curve for the creator. It is an open platform which means that it is free to use for someone who needs a professional, clean looking page in a relatively short amount of time. Being open also means that people who are software engineers can make suggestions and help improve upon the system. They have a friendly, open community on their web site which answers questions by users in an easy to understand manner. The contributors are helpful without being condescending.
Designing is clear and straightforward. After one downloads the server, the dashboard gives the options to Create, Design, Organize, Config and Edit. Then, the creator will click on one of these tabs at the top which will bring down a drop-down column of specifics. This is an action-oriented dashboard which is why it is so great for a non-technical person.
Many dashboards for other CMS management systems have the details one wants their own end users to be able to use, but many people are unfamiliar as to what certain words mean or the action they produce such as plug-in, blog-roll or widget. If one did not grow up with these words in one's vocabulary, it is sometimes difficult to know what they mean just by seeing them on the dashboard.
With Movable Type guiding the user with the task they want to accomplish at the top of the dashboard, it is easier to use for those who do not know the terminology. Someone may want a social networking widget on their front pages, but may be thinking that they want to install a button. The action-oriented tabs lets one choose what they want to accomplish and then displays the options.
Another nice feature about Moveable Type is that one web site can have multiple blogs. This is important for informational web sites. If the subject of the web site is general, this allows the visitor to easily navigate to a blog that is specific to the need.
For example, if one has a web site targeting young parents seeking advice on a particular behavior her child exhibits, she can go to a blog where the posts are all about a "feeding" as opposed to a blog about "sleeping." This allows a visitor to get right to the information they need without getting frustrated and leaving the site. If the site is used for commercial reasons as well, this can be effective as far as customer retention and time a visitor spends on the site.
Finally, the community aspect is one of the most important features. While there are places for engineers to brainstorm, there are many people who are willing to help at Movable Type. They have an interest in seeing the platform grow and produce interesting characteristics that other publishing tools do not offer. The communication is dynamic. Therefore, if a user poses a question that may be unique to what they want to do, the software engineers who contribute their expertise are eager to accept the challenge.
I am freelance writer and web design consultant. I love to review software and tools that can help users increase their productivity.