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If you made a list of all the essential tools in an online business' toolkit, what would be on it?

Chances are you'd include content management, analytics and multivariate testing.

Autonomy, an enterprise software company, has combined all three in a newly-released version of its content management system, Interwoven TeamSite, which is most commonly used by major corporations to run websites and intranets.

With the new version of Interwoven TeamSite, licensees will be able to perform advanced multivariate testing and manage closed-loop analytics without having to use a hodgepodge of different services and platforms. The goal, obviously, is to give licensees the ability to manage their websites more efficiently.

Given that Interwoven TeamSite is an enterprise-level solution that has an enterprise-level price tag, it's obviously out of the reach of most small and medium sized businesses. But as I read about it, I couldn't help but think about all of the inefficiencies that exist on the websites I help operate.

For content management, I typically use WordPress or a custom content management system I helped build years ago. For analytics, it's Google Analytics. For multivariate testing, it's Google Website Optimizer and SiteSpect. Throw in all the other third party services I have to deal with (mailing list management, DNS, etc.) and it's amazing anything stays operational (or that anyone involved with the websites sleeps).

It's pretty clear that I could use some simplification and consolidation, even if an all-in-one enterprise solution is not viable financially. I suspect the same is true of a lot of online publishers. Unfortunately, I don't know that an existing solution within my budget exists. Open-source content management systems don't quite fit the bill. I love WordPress, but there are limitations there. Same goes for Drupal.

Since I don't like inventing wheels (or re-inventing them for that matter), I'm issuing a challenge: an extensible content management system that's reasonably scalable that combines the essentials (analytics, multivariate testing, mailing list management, etc.) in a decently integrated package for under $1,000. I'll take 5 licenses, please.

I can dream, right?

Photo credit: oskay via Flickr.

Patricio Robles

Published 16 April, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2392 more posts from this author

Comments (4)

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Robert Barker, ipoints Ltd

If you're going to try to get all those services on a package with a license of less than $1000, they're going to pretty much suck compared to the best of breed free options. You could build a CMS and stick in something like AWStats and in theory tick the 'Analytics' box but it doesn't mean it's any good.

Integration is a one-time headache, and for the services you've listed, not that big a deal.

At that price point I'd go for Expression Engine for the CMS ($249) then Google Analytics, Google Optimiser, and either an ASP email service, PHPList, or something like Interspire Email Marketer depending on the skils of who's going to be using it. Many of the ASP solutions now automatically add GA tracking parameters, so that's one less thing to remember.

Integrating that lot would cost far less than the $751 you have left over after the CMS license.

Scalable? Its' not far off what Arnie uses at http://govnews.ca.gov

over 7 years ago

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Anthony O' Neill

http://www.media-toolbox.com/page12251536.aspx

Read with interest your article and first comments, I have just started to be involved from a Graphic Arts perspective on the whole issue of content managment for small to medium digital printers in Europe

We have worked through all the issues we hope that companies would want to address within one package to optimize their web presence

I would be very interested to get feedback on our present developed solution and what if anything we need to address to develope it further

We have three installations utilizing the system and all are delighted at the performance of the system which includes emarketing disciplines and analytics etc

From the outset and not from the industry I found the range of disciplines needed coupled with the range of applications to learn confusing and long winded and that was the task to address for these busy small companies to use and get tangible benefits relativel quickly in their complete sales and marketing plan

over 7 years ago

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Johan de Keulenaer

Intresting post! Looking forward to the responses and eager to see if there's something in space within your needs.

I'm going to track this one.

All best,

Johan

over 7 years ago

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Peter

The Interwoven tools you mention are good (WCM, MVT)...we use them for one of our sites.  Although I'm unclear on the web analytics piece - I don't recall Automony/Interwoven having an Omniture/WebTrends equivalent...

For another site we use Drupal (could be Joomla or Wordpress just as easily), Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer.  Aweber rounds out the email piece. 

Both have their place. 

The low cost free and open sources solutions are great for testing and rapidly trying out new ideas.  They tend to put more power in the hands of internal business users.  They're also sufficient for low and medium volume web sites.

The high cost solutions come with better scalability, but also require a fair amount of time and effort to get set up.  Product specific skill sets are trickier to find and the implementation consulting can be more expensive. 

The grass is always greener on the other side...

over 7 years ago

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