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In-depth insights on content, code, and creativity

Native advertising is most effective when it’s built directly into your CMS

As traditional online ad platforms become less profitable, publishers are turning to native advertising as a high-value alternative.

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Events registration management made easy, right there in your CMS

Letting site visitors know that you have exciting events coming up is just the first step in building attendance and audience engagement. You also need to make it easy for guests to register for those events, and your team needs flexible management tools that help you keep all those dates, attendees and waiting lists organized.

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Easy, cost-effective management of more than 80 library websites with eZ Platform

One of the more powerful features of eZ Platform is its ability to serve multiple sites from a single database and instance of the CMS, while allowing local managers enormous flexibility in how they manage the appearance and content of each site instance.

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How to use Optimizely to create your first A/B Testing experiment

A few months ago we discussed the importance of A/B testing to help your business build a winning digital strategy. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to use Optimizely, a leading A/B testing platform, to create your first experiment to study, analyze and decide what’s the best move for your content and key site pages.

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Get to know your customers better (and easier) with Mugo Custom Forms

Customer feedback is a powerful tool for decision-making in any business. Web forms are a popular device for gathering such information, but it’s critical that site operators can easily create forms with the right questions and formats that encourage user interaction. We created an eZ Platform module that lets editors build a custom form by selecting from multiple different input types and ordering the fields as desired. In this blog post, we’ll discuss key details of our Mugo Custom Forms module.

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Automating “curly” quotes in rich text fields

One of our clients recently came to us with an interesting problem. When end users type content into a rich text field, double quotes, single quotes and apostrophes are not “smart.” That is, the quotes and apostrophes are straight instead of curly — typographically speaking, they are inch and feet characters.

An editor might type this:

  • J. R. R. Tolkien wrote "The Lord of the Rings," a trilogy of novels that serve as a sequel to Tolkien's "The Hobbit."

But really want this:

  • J. R. R. Tolkien wrote “The Lord of the Rings,” a trilogy of novels that serve as a sequel to Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.”

Here's how we created a script to automate search and replace for curly quotes and implemented an easy-to-use button in the client’s CMS to run the task.

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Adding complex fields to WordPress custom post types

With the release of the new Gutenberg editor in 2018, WordPress alienated some users but continues to lead in the CMS space, currently at a peak of 60% market share. Though most of our clients are on enterprise platforms like eZ Platform, some continue to run complex websites with WordPress. In this post, we'll peek under the hood to see how WordPress handles content classes and field types and we'll use that knowledge to add complex field types of our own.

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Does Scrum deliver an Agile website?

My experience working for an enterprise-level website using Scrum methodology for Agile development has been enlightening. Does Scrum work? That depends on many factors!

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Library CMS website platform features checklist

As a library or library system, you might have well-defined feature requirements for various digital systems such as the online catalogue, various eResources, or even in-library WiFi. However, what about the public-facing website, which can be the first and sometimes most frequent interaction that patrons have with you? Here's a handy library CMS website platform features checklist, whether you're looking for a new website or evaluating your existing one.

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How to customize Bootstrap 4 using Sass

Some months ago I listed 7 reasons why you should be using Sass over conventional CSS to build stunning websites. One of these reasons is the ability to customize Bootstrap, the most used front-end framework in the world. In this blog post, I will explain some basic concepts to enhance Bootstrap 4 with Sass to deliver a unique and delightful user experience.

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Concrete and simple examples for responsive HTML images

In HTML you can implement responsive images. That means that you specify multiple image variations (lower and higher resolution images) and let the browser pick the best fitting image for the given screen size. For a responsive website you want to render large images (higher resolution) on bigger screens like a desktop PC screen, and smaller images (lower resolution) on mobile phones.

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Building machine images with Packer

Earlier this year we wrote about adopting Vagrant and Terraform in our steady march toward Infrastructure as Code. We recently added a new tool to this list, HashiCorp’s Packer. Packer automates building machine images, and with a single set of provisioners, creates images for multiple builders (such as VirtualBox, DigitalOcean, and Google Cloud).

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Editing CSS/JS in Google Chrome

How many times have you found yourself editing and tuning up CSS or JavaScript code right in the browser, then refreshing the page only to lose all of your changes? Improving development workflows can help web developers to be more efficient and deliver a higher quality final product.

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How to develop the right paywall for your publication

Paid content and circulation have always been a mainstay of the magazine publishing business (with the exception of controlled circulation magazines). And prior to the advent of the Internet, it was, for the most part, the norm for readers to pay for magazine content, either by purchasing a newsstand copy, or by buying a subscription. The same has not been true for magazines online.

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Custom tags in eZ Platform with legacy bridge without XSL

In a previous blog post we covered how to create custom tags in eZ Platform (with the legacy bridge or eZ Publish 5.x). The most difficult part of that process was building the XSL to output the custom tag HTML. But there's a simpler way to do it, which allows the developer to use Twig template code instead of XSL.

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Marketing automation with SendGrid

I first came across SendGrid while configuring a Google Cloud Compute Engine instance. Google blocks standard SMTP ports and suggests users route mail through third-party e-mail delivery services like SendGrid. These services offset the work of maintaining IP-based e-mail reputation and provide additional tools for contact management, e-mail marketing, and compliance with CAN-SPAM requirements. 

With a sleek, modern UI, well-documented web API, and helper libraries in seven languages, SendGrid stands out in this space. Though it does not bill itself as a marketing automation platform, SendGrid’s rule-based segmentation, white-label click-tracking, inbound parse webhooks, and transactional messaging -- all free -- are comparable to Bronto, Oracle’s enterprise marketing automation platform.

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IMAG webinar: 4 magazines talk innovative digital publishing programs

In the realm of digital publishing, there’s no shortage of creative ideas, but not every business idea is suitable for magazine publishers. Sometimes it’s prudent to stick with tried and true innovations, or to emulate those who have had proven success.

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How Habitat Magazine turned its annual attorney survey into multiple revenue streams

Like many magazine publishers, Habitat Magazine has a long history of creating quality content targeted to its specialized audience: property managers and condo board members in the New York area. But, with its potential audience maxing out at about 7,500 subscribers, Habitat has had to get creative with digital media opportunities that have enabled it to repurpose and leverage its content in order to grow. 

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Digitizing print content: How to increase revenue with web content

If you deliver print content such as a magazine or newsletter to a subscribed user base, you should be targeting a digital solution.

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The most important web project management skill: the ability to unblock others

As a project manager on a web project, you have to be the hub for editors, marketers, developers, designers, IT staff, clients, and a plethora of other stakeholders as the team works together to plan, build, and launch the website or application. While managing the people, scope, timeline, and budget, you need to find the most efficient way for everybody to get things done. The best way to achieve this is to make unblocking others your primary responsibility.

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Traffic, engagement, and revenue: The trio of web success metrics

For most content-based websites, success comes down to a trio of critical metrics: traffic, engagement, and revenue. These success metrics can also be expressed as a conversion path: you drive traffic to your site via content and marketing strategies that engage your audience, and this converts to revenue via ads, sponsored content, paid subscriptions, or otherwise.

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Enabling SELinux to keep your eZ Publish / eZ Platform website secure

Dealing with permissions and security systems such as Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is an issue that seems to challenge many developers. Some enterprise Linux distributions like Red Hat and CentOS come with SELinux enabled by default, but not knowing how SELinux works can lead developers to disable it. This is a mistake.

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Improving website performance as a money-saving (and money-making) exercise

I recently did a performance review for a server setup running more than 200 websites. The infrastructure is hosted at Amazon Web Services (AWS). It contains multiple web servers behind multiple Varnish caching servers, uses Relational Database Service (RDS) for database storage, and uses Elastic File System (EFS) for storing assets like content images and documents. There were several areas of performance optimization to be done, which was a good development exercise and resulted in an improved user experience. Most importantly, though, the results also saved bandwidth; reduced the number of servers, number of CPUs, and amount of RAM required; and saved money! A faster site also improves SEO, which will drive more visitors / customers to your site, and will increase conversions.

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How Mugo's corporate culture leads to happier employees

Mugo Web puts emphasis on keeping its employees connected -- through good times and bad.

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