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30 October 2015

Kentico Draft helps prepare your website content

I'm just back from the Australian Kentico Conference in Melbourne where, among other things, we learnt about the exciting new product Kentico Draft, which for a simple idea will have a big impact on the time it takes to get a new website live. 

Kentico Draft allows content editors to edit their website content within the context of the live website at a much earlier stage in the development process, reducing delays in project delivery.

To put this in the context of a website build, timelines for the development of websites are generally linear, going through several stages including specification, design, web development, testing, content population and go live.  If the overall duration of a website build is 3 to 4 months, then this would typically break down as follows:

KenticoDraft_Timeline.png

  • Specifications 2 weeks
  • Design 2-3 weeks
  • Development 5-7 weeks,
  • Testing 1-2 weeks
  • Content entry 1-2 weeks
  • Final testing and go live 1-2 weeks.

This means that the content entry happens late in the project and within a short 1 to 2 week window of time. To complete the content entry in this window requires a great deal of preparation and assumptions on exactly how to break down the content to match the structure and style of the website.

Prior to accessing the content management system content is captured in a variety of formats including Word documents and Excel spreadsheets that map existing website content to its rough position within a new site. Once the CMS is ready, the actual task of entering the content can easily be underestimated, especially when new content areas have been created or the structure of the content has changed from previous versions of the website. The preparation of the content, followed by the content entry itself, is hard to manage and it's also hard to have an accurate indication of the progress. 

If content has not been completely prepared or the content entry takes longer than expected, this can cause delays in the overall project delivery.This is a common problem that the developers at Kentico have recognised and have now come up with a neat solution for it - Kentico Draft.

Kentico Draft allows website content editors to create and edit their content early in the project rather than waiting for the development of the site to be complete and the content can be edited using the structure and input fields of the final site. The progress of the content can be tracked and when the final website is ready, the content can be directly published from Kentico Draft to the new Kentico website, greatly reducing the time required for final content entry.

The initial setup of the site structure in Kentico Draft could happen shortly after the completion of the design phase. Looking at the timeline above, it would allow for 7-9 weeks of content entry rather than 1-2 weeks, which would help significantly reduce delays in the project delivery.

KenticoDraft_Graph.png

Now getting organised and saving time are the obvious benefits, but I think there are some more subtle benefits as well. Firstly, when entering content, the editor will be able to understand and experience the content structure and flexibility available to them, therefore seeing how their content fits within it. As this will occur earlier in the project, it could allow for adjustments in the site build at an earlier stage. A second benefit is that project managers will have much better visibility of the content process and can make recommendations on style or address any concerns they have about timing before it becomes critical.

It was great to see Kentico identify and address a common problem in a simple and elegant way.  I'm looking forward to utilising Kentico Draft on upcoming projects and seeing the benefits come to fruition. If you want to know more about this great new product, please get in touch.


Chris
AUTHOR

Chris

Founder // MD and Director of Technical Solutions
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