Redesigning the M&G Online, the country’s oldest news website. Pics below of the first meeting with myself, Vincent Maher (Strategist), Riaan Wolmarans (Editor) and Matthew Burbidge (news editor). Absent at this particular meeting is Bryan Khumalo (Online Sales Manager). We’re essentially rebuilding the site and bringing the dev inhouse (previously outsourced) and we’re also changing over from .NET to PHP. We’ve decided to host the site at Internet Solutions.

After quite a bit of research we’ve also decided that we are building our own CMS from scratch. We didn’t feel that the open source options we investigated such as Drupal, Joomla etc were suitable. We’ve also had experiences with Drupal and are not mad about it, although we’ve had positive experiences with WordPress on our Thought Leader product. We also didn’t want to incur costs and licence fees that come with buying a custom news/publishing CMS solution. So after quite a bit of thought, the best option was to build our own. The main philosophy behind this is that its important that your CMS is tailored to the specifics and nuances of your business — so the idea is to build it from the ground up that way.

Charl Norman has leaked some of the (very first) mockups on his blog

5 Responses to “Redesigning & rebuilding the Mail & Guardian Online”
  1. […] started brainstorming and plotting about a year ago and created the first mockups about 6 months ago, followed by meeting after meeting, after meeting. Then it all came to a head and the site and CMS […]

  2. […] started brainstorming and plotting about a year ago and created the first mockups about 6 months ago, followed by meeting after meeting, after meeting. Then it all came to a head and the site and CMS […]

  3. @ Stii… We are still going with a framework… I think we’re going with Symphony…but Vince will be better placed to speak about this in detail…

    @ Uno… yeah we’re not big fans of drupal… but as you know ThoughtLeader.co.za has been a joy with wordpress, but then again its bloggy… not sure how much success you’d have with a non-blog site

  4. Interesting that you’ve decided custom. We’re doing custom at the moment as well – you do get all the features that you want really. But we’ve been playing with the idea for Drupal for some of our smaller projects.

  5. Aha! Interesting. I like the idea that it would be a bespoke system rather than an Open Source jobby. That gives Vince and the team the opportunity to take advantage of all the nifty PHP5 features.

    Question though, are you going with a MVC framework like Symphony or will it be completely from the ground up?

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