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ICE discontinued... which alternative?

Apr 13, 2010 6:49 AM

I found these alternative to ICE:

 

 

A blog post (read comments):
http://css-tricks.com/the-light-cms-trend/

 

Unify is very interessant (but probably too much "light"), PageLime is good but it's too much complicated to use (control panel very confusing and is necessary to use ID tag for every edit area), surrealCMS is the best but not have repeat function.

 

Nothing above have the possibility to restrict/limit a specific area as ICE (with ICE was possibile to allow that a editor update only text in a h1 tag and not font size, font colour, ecc.)

 

 

Adobe tell us to move our ICE web sites to the their new BusinessCatalyst online service but:

  1. Too much expensive ($2000 partner one-time starting fees and $60/80 mounthly subscription for single website)
  2. In the hosting BusinessCatalyst isn't possibile run php code or other customs applications but only the web applications that their offer us: http://www.businesscatalyst.com/faq#bc
  3. I have understand that every 18 months Adobe discontinued a service/software without repleace it or offert alternative, and I suppose that the next will be BusinessCatalyst (wodpress, drupal, joomla are free and you can install everywhere).
 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2010 7:02 AM   in reply to IronADDT

    Cushy, Surreal, and PageLime still have the same problem of third party CMS hosted dependence. We need a CMS that can be self installed with the developer's own trusted hosting servers. I don't want to pile all my Clients onto a third party hosted CMS only to face downtime because of technical issues on their side (making my services look bad), or they turn around one day (like InContext) and say, "We're done an we don't want to develop this anymore."

     

    Has anyone tried this one?: http://www.concrete5.org

     
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    Apr 13, 2010 7:21 AM   in reply to razorxdev

    like I tried to say before.. Adobe already has a standalone CMS solution that allows site owners to edit inline... Its called Contribute!

    I have a feeling you all want something for free... that seems to be your hangup up. SO yeah, most of the free alternatives are going to be hosted on someone elses server.

     

    If you want standalone applications, you need to seriously reconsider template based designs & you're going to have to learn some php. You can't host your own server solution if you don't know at least js and php. I think you all like the idea of making Html/CSS sites.. but have no idea how to make your flat site into a dynamic site that can works off a database. If you did, you could script your own solution... I know guys that do this, if you like, PM me & I'll put you in touch... but they're not free!!!

     
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    Apr 13, 2010 8:04 AM   in reply to Tommy Logic

    Adobe Contribute is not a good option at all, because it is very problematic in many ways. It is too painful to technically support Client installs of the software plus train them on how to use the dumb thing. I've literally been forced to make personal visits to offices to train people on how to use Contribute and that doesn't work real well with out-of-state Clients. Plus it's other major downfall is that it's locked to that Client's machine and not nearly as easy to access like an online CMS from any browser. Another thing is that is allows way too much flexibility for the user. Contribute allows them to easily destroy a good design or layout within minutes. You can't lock it down as hard or as easily as you could in comparison to InContext. The future of CMS is not machine-locked-software it is browser-based CMS solutions.

     

    I never said I wanted anything for free. I am more than willing to pay good money for the right solution that makes myself and my Clients happy. I just don't want to be in this same third party CMS hosted mess again, so that is why we need a good browser-based CMS solution that can be installed on the developer's trusted server and not one that is dependent upon someone else to host and be a symbiot for the CMS.

     

    By the way I am a full time, self employed web developer of 11 years and very seasoned coder in PHP and many others. I don't have the huge amount of time it would take to develop my own full blown CMS and I see no need for it when it appears that there is some good stuff already out there. I just want to hear about personal picks for server installed solutions.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2010 8:50 AM   in reply to IronADDT

    Yep, reading and watching some of the Unify videos now and it does look interesting!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2010 9:10 AM   in reply to IronADDT

    Unify is looking pretty sweet! A one-time $16 fee per domain and no monthly hosting is super reasonable. I could charge my Clients $10-$15 a month for suporting the Unify CMS and make a little profit. I control the install of the hosted CMS on my side, which is what I am looking for. The only thing I don't see in Unify yet, is page draft or page backup ability... maybe I missed that part somewhere?... still investigating.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2010 10:30 AM   in reply to razorxdev

    Hey Razor - I totally appreciate your concern that we're a hosted service, but let's be frank, we all use a cloud service for all kinds of things like email, project management, invoicing etc. What's so different with a CMS? The cloud is here to stay - and our mission is to take the responsibility for managing and maintaining the software out of your hands and not tie you down with constant updates that need to be released across 50 of your client's sites.

     

    The thing you're concerned about is actually a benefit of the service (if you choose to look at it that way). We're here to stay, and we're not closing shop because of high level product strategy decisions . And long term - you're not tied to us at all, we don't host the sites and we don't have deep integration requirements.

     

    I know we probably can't change your mind - but we really want users just like you: with an opinion and who are vested in the product long term and will help us grow.

     

    Also - bottom line, we're cheaper than Unify . Free for 3 sites, and $19 for a white-label version and 50 sites. We love that you want to resell it to your clients, we're actually rolling out reseller tools built into PageLime over the next two months.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2010 11:58 AM   in reply to PageLimeTeam

    PageLimeTeam,

     

    Thanks for the professional reply. You are smart to monitor the community. I have read about your services and been to your web site, but have not tried it yet.

     

    Yes, I agree with your clever point that as a tech society we do rely on a lot of hosted services, however, it is my duty as a service provider to look for ways to reduce risk not only for myself, but also for my Clients. If I had 50 Clients in a CMS hosted situation and that service has technical problems or goes down, or they go out of business... then that is a service risk I must consider much like the Adobe problem. Looking for ways to reduce risk is a smart tactic. Even hosting companies deploy a strategy to reduce risk by providing distributed resources, dedicated servers, and backup plans to keep everyone from going down at the same time. As a service provider I'm trying to maintain that same strategy by not putting all my Clients ability to update their web site into the full hands of a third party. Even now if one of my hosted sites goes down it won't take all my other Clients with it, but a hosted CMS would take all of my Clients down for editing their web site. At the moment, thanks to Adobe, I now have to frustratingly move my existing InContext Clients into a new CMS solution and no matter the solution, that's going to be a lot of code to rip out and replace. I would rather not have to rip out all this code and re-apply new code for a new editing solution and hope that the new company doesn't decide to quit development or go out of business. Ya know, it's like a cycle of rinse and repeat!

     

    I see your points, but I think you can also see my concerns as well. I currently don't yet see a huge difference in a hosted vs.an installed CMS other than the hosted version gaining some extra benefits of saving page drafts to a database and sliding in occasional software updates. It can still be said that the majority of the functionality and page editing on the front end for the Client can still be achieved with an installed solution.

     

    Having said all of this though... I'm a born researcher and not so stubborn that I won't at least give PageLime a try.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 13, 2010 7:38 PM   in reply to IronADDT

    IronADDT: 

     

    Cory here from Surreal CMS. I just wanted to point out that you can make heading tags editable.  If you have an H1 with class="editable", for example, you can edit just the text in the H1 and nothing else (i.e. no font-size, color, etc.).  In fact, I think the same is true for Cushy and PageLime as well, but don't quote me on that.

     

    Also, we're already working on repeatable regions, so if you can give us a couple more months to get everything finished up and tested out you'll be able to migrate over without any issues.

     

     

    Razor:

     

    We, too, hear and understand your concerns about hosted vs. installed content management software.  ICE is a perfect example of how SaaS can go awry but, on the other hand, ICE always seemed to be an experimental project in my opinion.  Adobe has a lot of overhead and eyes for a much bigger piece of the pie than ICE could ever give them, which is why you're seeing it get merged into Business Catalyst and sold as a rather pricey package deal.  Again, just my opinion but, regardless, it's truly terrible that they've put so many people into this kind of position.

     

    I'm sure there's not much a representative from a competing service can say on a message board to convince you to go with a hosted solution, especially after what happened with ICE, so I'll save you the sales pitch.  All we can really ask is that you try our services, check into the communities that we're building, look at the history of our products, and talk to us about where things are going.  (This goes for PageLime too...those guys are pretty cool, and they work hard to bring you an excellent service with great support).

     

    As for Surreal, we're here to stay as well and we've earned a very healthy userbase to support that claim.  I say "earned" because we've put a lot of effort into our service over the last two years, as we continue to do.  For that reason, we're constantly working on new features and helping our customers out in any way we can.  Just last week we launched a new feature that allows you to integrate Google Analytics into the CMS.

     

    Tom and Emil (the PageLime team) are absolutely right. We want users like you to help us grow.  You won't see any of us disappear one day because some executive pulls the plug.  The "little guys" know that it's their users who make their service great, which is why we put so much effort into everything we do.

     

    Anyways, just something to think about

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2010 9:24 AM   in reply to IronADDT

    Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. While most of my CMS sites are built in Drupal (give it a look at drupal.org), for the simpler, low-budget clients I have been using ICE and am very disappointed that Adobe would follow this path to user unrest yet again. Maybe I'm old in software years, but I seem to remember a day when Adobe actually listened to what its users wanted and needed to help build their agencies/design studios.

     

    While I will forever be saddled with Photoshop and Illustrator as my primary design tools, I can now say that the loss of ICE frees me from the chains of Dreamweaver so that I can begin to use real development tools that are less buggy, less frustrating, and hopefully more willing to keep my long term business goals in mind with their service releases.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 16, 2010 10:00 AM   in reply to 108degrees

    108degrees wrote:

     

    I seem to remember a day when Adobe actually listened to what its users wanted and needed to help build their agencies/design studios.

     

     

    That was Macromedia...

     

    A Little Adobe History:

    Adobe never really listened, they followed the path of "the other guy".. and adapted their tools to fit the format. Freehand==> Illustrator GoLive==> Dreamweaver, Director (shockwave)==> Flash, etc etc etc... .

     

    Adobe was in the "print" market. Photoshop was their only product that had the potential to compete with  the web market, but it was originally designed for the Photographer and  the Print Media. Back in the early 90's it was all Macromedia leading the way in vector rendering and web design. Even then the agencies & print production companies had a hard time swallowing Adobe's bloated pricing. After they finally got the ad agencies on board with their products, they forced it on everyone else.

     

    When they bought Macromedia.. that was THE END!!!  It was their big push into the web design market. Macromedia LISTENED to their clients and delivered. People were willing to pay for that. Nowadays, Adobe is continuing on its "Big Fish" trend.. hoping to force the Business Catalyst model on everyone. We might not buy it, but history tells us that the big companies will eventually get onboard.

     

    They don't sell to the little guy.. their target is the Trophy Bass. And if they can't convice us, they use brute force... they just dropped a granade on us little fish when they announced Business Catalyst model. Most of us dumb little fish don't even know what the reprocussions are going to be from it, but if we did... you designers in the firms would oppsoe this new trend and stand up for your rights!!!

     
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    May 18, 2010 10:53 PM   in reply to IronADDT

    Has anybody tried WebAssists Power CMS?

     
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    May 31, 2010 5:01 PM   in reply to Tommy Logic
    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

    like I tried to say before.. Adobe already has a standalone CMS solution that allows site owners to edit inline... Its called Contribute!


    Contribute was a reasonably progressive solution in 2002 when it launched.

     

    It's inadequate (per seat licenses tied to individual machines) these days and often requires me to train and support clients (even those experienced with MS Office).

     

    It's past its use-by date in my eyes.

     

    Browser based, online solutions are the future on the broadband web.

     

    Finding a value-for-money solution with excellent features and support is an ongoing journey for me. Business Catalyst is not in that category for me.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2010 5:33 PM   in reply to 108degrees

    Just to update...

     

    I checked out all the solutions outlined in this forum and for the time being have decided to go with Pagelime. For my clients it's the right solution, easy to use, easy to RETRAIN from ICE, and with an iPhone app coming out this year, probably the easiest access to updates of the solutions offered.

     

    To be fair, I found Surreal pretty good as well, but for my particular needs, Pagelime was a better fit. Still, most of those recommended here were good and seemed reliable enough that I would recommend everyone check them out to find the right fit for their project.

     

    Best of luck in abandoning ICE.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2010 6:34 PM   in reply to IronADDT

    There are plenty of other great online CMS solutions to explore (no particular order here):

     

    http://www.konductor.net

    http://www.pagelime.com
    http://www.cushycms.com
    http://surrealcms.com
    http://flyspeck.net

    http://grabaperch.com
    http://www.concrete5.org
    http://unify.unitinteractive.com  (UNIFY allows you to install everything on your own server. No need for a middle-man CMS host.)

     
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