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eZ Publish websites for publishing companies

By Peter Keung  | February 20, 2013  |  Business solutions

Over the years we've worked on many websites in the publishing industry. Each has a unique set of requirements and challenges, but we've been able to refine and re-use a set of tools and best practices. These make up what can be called a "publishing package" built on top of the eZ Publish framework.

Here is an overview of some of the key elements of a publishing solution.

Data import

Legacy data exists in various structures, from flat HTML pages to a nice database structure from another content management system. Data import needs to be customized to suit these structures and consolidate content coming from any number of sources. As well, existing content relations and embedded images and other content need to be preserved.

Mugo Web is the creator of the most popular and flexible data import tool for eZ Publish.

Editorial workflows

Some of the most complex editorial workflows exist in a publishing environment. eZ Publish has a powerful set of default features built around workflows, including content versioning, content states, and a basic approval workflow.

Mugo's has created a flexible editorial workflow solution that supports parallel and linear approval workflows, e-mail notifications, audit logs, custom workflows per content type and site section, and has a central collaboration dashboard.

Approval dashboard

Approval dashboard

Content archiving

Websites in the publishing industry store and present large amounts of content, and their content repositories are continuously growing.

Efficient content structures can store hundreds of thousands of pieces of content in single installations. Sometimes an archiving solution is required that preserves content relations and searchability of content across multiple data stores.

knowbc.com content

Syndication

Publishers can have many syndication outlets representing significant additional audience pools and revenue sources. Each syndication outlet requires that content is exported in a different format. eZ Publish enforces a strict separation of content and design to support multiple output formats, and Mugo Web has a syndication extension that can query content in different ways and output it in different formats.

Traffic scalability

eZ Publish is built to scale over many servers to serve high traffic websites. A content delivery network such as Akamai, or a more integrated solution such as Varnish Cache can insulate a site against expected and unexpected traffic spikes. Implementing the correct hooks in your content management system can ensure that you have precise control over the freshness of content while balancing the need to serve content as quickly as possible. 

Paywall

Content-driven websites sometimes need to not only pay for themselves but also generate extra revenue to support other divisions. Implementing a subscription-based paywall solution complements other revenue-generating solutions such as ads, e-commerce and affiliate links, and syndication.

Content paywall

Multi-channel publishers also need to integrate their web systems with print subscription and other fulfilment systems.

Creative content interaction

Publishing organizations need to make their content engaging to users beyond the traditional text article format. This includes a variety of creative and multimedia solutions, including:

  • Contests
  • Quizzes
  • Photo galleries and videos (integration with Brightcove, NDN Video, YouTube, and Vimeo feeds, for example)
  • Social media integration
  • Topic-based subscriptions
  • Content personalization
49thShelf interactive

Multi-channel web solutions are becoming increasingly important. eZ Publish is well-suited for "edit once, publish anywhere" models that include mobile sites and responsive designs.

Search engine optimization

A large aspect of search engine optimization is to empower editors to customize SEO page elements, such as the HTML title, URL permalink, and other custom markup such as Open Graph tags in a straightforward editorial interface. The eZ Publish framework supports highly granular content editing as well as smart fallbacks so that there is always relevant content in all of the important page markup. 

Editorial enhancements

There are countless editorial enhancements that can be made to suit an organization's needs, from built-in auto-save to ensure that editors don't lose work, to an interface to help find related content.

Related links interface

Other enhancements include multi-edit and multi-upload interfaces, front-end page editing, and WYSIWYG editing.

Re-usable page elements and ads

Sidebar widgets and ads need to be managed in a simple manner so that a global template can be defined but overridden per site section and page where necessary.

CSMonitor re-usable page elements

Mugo Web has created an extension where page elements can be defined, managed, and re-used throughout the site from the editorial interface without needing to edit any code:

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