A core strength at b:web is our heavy weight programming skills. Both myself and Chris were Software Developers before we started b:web in 2004 and as such we have always enjoyed bespoke application development. b:web were one of the first agencies in the UK to launch our own Content Management System (CMS). Our SMART CMS powered over 300 websites during its reign including sites for DHL, Land Rover, Royal School of Needlework and several government portals. Most of it’s users, however, were small local businesses looking for an easy to use and affordable solution.
Our original SMART CMS took 6 months to develop with 3 full time developers. SMART was easy to use and produced nice clean HTML/CSS that could be de-coupled from the SMART platform if the client so wanted. Over the years SMART has fallen to one side whilst WordPress has gradually taken over.
WordPress is an excellent platform that we have grown to love but it’s not always suitable. WordPress includes many features that our clients don’t require and it is still very much geared towards blogging and DIY content publishing. All of the projects at b:web are completely bespoke so even when we are providing WordPress solutions our clients wouldn’t need to worry about plug-ins and widgets – we take care of all of that.
Introducing SMART 2
This year the b:web team have been busy developing SMART 2, a new CMS designed to power bespoke websites with the non technical user in mind. No themes, widgets, security updates, redundant functionality etc – just a great looking CMS designed especially to power your bespoke website.
My vision for SMART 2 was as intuitive solution centralising around the most common functions, namely: editing an existing page, creating a copy of an existing page, creating a new page based on elements of an existing page and publishing articles. Because we have absolute 100% clarity about how our clients will be using their websites, we can tailor and customise SMART 2 to delivery exactly what is required. No less, and certainly no more.
b:web developer Dan Walker has developed TwistPHP underpinning SMART 2. TwistPHP is an OpenSource PHP MVC framework. Unlike most other frameworks that just combine a set of already existing tools, TwistPHP is written from the ground up. Every controller, model and view is written to work seamlessly with all the others.
As well as offering a intuitive approach to content management, SMART 2 has some really nifty SEO functionality. All urls, headings, tags can be managed from a single SEO Overview page. This means that all on-page SEO activities can be handled as a single action instead of having to clicking and edit page by page. The SEO overview page will also be able to pull in related data from third-party SEO integrations to show real-time stats on traffic, ranking and opportunity.
The real beauty of SMART 2 is that your website CMS will reflect exactly your requirements. There won’t be any sections or buttons that you are worried about pressing, there wont be any error messages that you are not sure that you should action or pass to your web developer and there wont be the opportunity or worry about accidentally deleting something that should not have been there in the first place. SMART 2 is a bespoke CMS designed to power a bespoke website every single time.
I am proud to announce that we have successfully launched our first SMART 2 website at www.freshairstudios.co.uk and that our own website will be relaunched on SMART 2 in early 2017.