The History of Browserweb’s Digital Architecture and Programmatic selections. 

The remainder of 2016 will redefine how we currently work on the web. Is your digital presence ready for what is happening right now? This profound assumption and statement is based on my past experience and watching market trends and movements in the interactive and digital online industry.

If I can classify it in one word I’d say “Uniformity” is the goal for online digital and it’s already happening, at a very rapid pace.

I have enjoyed many years watching the digital landscape change and I am generally on the pulse as to what I think will happen in the future. My success rate and statistics prove this fact to be true. From web design techniques, programming and web platforms to search engine optimization and marketing. This newsletter should enlighten you as to what you need to be doing in relation to your digital landscape and marketing in 2016. This information does not come with a caveat of a paywall or a buy now button, it’s free to my valued subscribers and clients.

So let’s get started by a review of how we arrived here.

In the early years, we had tools like Macromedia MX and Adobe Flash. It ruled the interactive world and indeed my first website was flash driven and it was pretty “rad” if I can say so myself! Web design was developed using HTML. Off-the-shelf Content Management Systems were only starting to appear. When they did, we saw a surge of Open Source technologies and CMS platforms for websites, content management, CRMs to ERP platforms. In the early 2000’s we enjoyed the growth of PHP and MySQL as people scrambled away from the burgeoning costs of Microsoft.NET and MSSQL. Indeed FrontPage users were the hardest to convince that there were better alternatives for WYSIWYG editors. Yes, today they call that Wix and SquareSpace (I expect some hate mail on that comparison if this goes viral).

Remember, this was at the time we had Tom and he brought us social. Tom Anderson, the face and profile icon that was the staple of that one and only social community called MySpace. Everyone had dancing gifs and vibrant (delicately stated) backgrounds and music pumping out from the moment you logged into the portal to when you left. Think ICQ and AOL dial-up tunes. Alas, Tom’s dancing website and gifs succumbed in a rapid fashion after purchase by news magnet Murdoch and gave way to what we know today as Facebook. But let’s not forget Craig, he was the AIRBNB and UBER of the 2000’s in a layout so simple and minimalist, it just worked. Namely the CraigsList.org directory. Note; I reference these platforms not just for the sake of it, I will reference these platforms again.

Refresh your Online Brand

In 2006 a small micro-blogging service appeared to gain curb appeal

From developers at a hole-in-the-wall webdev event just up the road from me, namely SXSW in Austin, Texas. Now a National event sponsored by the largest corporations, back then SXSW was just a small community of geeks meeting at the weekend in Austin to share pixels and code. Known as the cool, LA-type city for students, boating on the lake followed by an evening of beers and tacos on 5th St., it was also where the tech industry congregated and with locals and imports arriving to work for companies like Dell, one of the cities largest employers at that time.

So yes, I am referencing when Twitter was born, 10 years ago, and not long before it WordPress, that blogging platform with it’s founder Matt, a native Houstonian, was now taking traction. As blogging evolved, so did the introduction of podcasting. We can attribute podcasting to making portals like SoundCloud and Spotify what they are today. Certainly it was a time where tech was evolving and social and digital were becoming key components to businesses.

In those early years the CMS market was full of startups

Like Mambo forking into Joomla CMS, Drupal, MODX was a visionary platform that would rule the world but ended up like Groupon and quite a plethera of other new and improved CMS’s that were like Toyota Prius and claimed to be dual platforms, serving as a Content Management System (CMS) and a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). Sadly most of these ended up resulting in a lot more work than you had time, but you did it anyways to test and see which plaform made sense. LAMP and localhost were your new friends, as well as coffee induced evenings trying out these offerings. This left the bleary-eyed days for serious undertakings, e.g. business and clients.

Of all these platforms, I narrowed it down to several solutions for my clients. Joomla for standard websites, WordPress for bloggers, Boonex for Social Communities and Codeigniter MVC framework for more intricate custom CMS solutions. Magento was the preferred vendor for eCommerce business. Sugar CRM, vTiger, xTuple and OpenERP were the Enterprise selections for corporations looking for a complete, automated, database driven solution that worked well with manufacturing, and oil and gas companies.

Browserweb included Joomla as one of it’s staple offerings to SMBs between I’d say 2007-2011. It was progressive, there was a great reaction and support from developers embracing the platform and it just had a good vibe about it. Most importantly clients preferred Joomla over WordPress and Drupal as it was more simple to grasp and learn the basics of the administration panel for the non-technical person. The UX (design) and front end templating and themes early on were just light years ahead of WordPress, which still had difficulty looking anything resembling beauty..as their slogan states…Poetry is Code – certainly that is not the same for the UX and themes in the early years. Even if you look at WordPress standard theme today, it is plain and uninspiring.

That said, after a few years and around 2011, I realised that WordPress wanted pole position as the leading CMS and were aggressively pushing to take control of the web design marketplace for small business. They were feverishly and continually expanding on the code and platform, all of which was being well received at WordPress.org first (the hosted version of WP). I still used WordPress frequently even though I favored Joomla and I was aware that the digital landscape can change in a heartbeat. This movement by WordPress would impact my business process as I made a radical management decision to streamline the web design content management systems provided to enhance the client experience.

Now you have read the introduction and history of Browserweb’s CMS choices. My next newsletter will explain why I dropped Joomla in favor of WordPress for Website Design and Development and convinced my clients to switch as well. Was it the right choice?

Uniformity of the Web is happening at an alarming rate. I will explain what you need to do in the follow up post to stay current – stay tuned.

Cheers

Mark Burke
Browserweb.com, a Digital Media Company