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Choosing a website editor is grueling business. There are hundreds of products that purport to manage your site in one way or another. They vary widely in price, features, ease of use and technical depth. Alas, in this sea of choices, there's no single system that can solve every need.
Big Medium is no different. This page describes what Big Medium is good at, what it's not so good at, and provides links to alternative products for comparison.
Big Medium is tailored to fit the format and collaborative needs of news, magazine, marketing and other informational sites.
Big Medium is tailored to fit the publication of news, magazine, marketing and other informational sites where an individual or a team wants an easy-to-use interface for publishing articles, images and multimedia. Big Medium manages traditional content types of sites very well, including:
Big Medium also makes collaboration easy and lets administrators finetune how and where each contributor can edit the site. Lightweight workflow tools allow editors and publishers to review drafts of pages before publishing them to the site.
Big Medium requires very little in the way of server setup, and installation is easy. It's designed to run out-of-the-box on even the most basic hosted web accounts. The gist: Upload the Big Medium software to the server, follow the user-friendly setup wizard, and you're up and running.
One of the main goals for Big Medium is to support sites with even the most sophisticated and original designs.
One of the main goals for Big Medium is to support sites with even the most sophisticated and original designs. Although Big Medium provides a handful of template themes to help you get started, the vast majority of Big Medium customers create their own highly unique templates. So some HTML knowledge is recommended during the setup phase (or you can use my paid service to adapt your custom design into Big Medium templates). With basic to intermediate HTML skills, Big Medium's templates are very easy to work with.
Aside from that configuration caveat, no coding or technical know-how is required. Editing with Big Medium is dead simple. You only need to know how to use a web browser in order to add or edit pages, images and documents.
By design, Big Medium has a tidy, focused feature set that's tuned for publishing articles, images, documents and media. It doesn't try to offer a Swiss Army knife of tools to meet every need of every type of site. Big Medium does not include polls, forums, ad managers or event calendars, although it does "play nice" and integrate well with third-party software to add those features.
My belief is that fewer and more focused features makes for software that works better, gets out of your way, lets you focus on the job at hand. Big Medium's specialized approach results in a pleasant setup and editing experience compared to systems that are over-powered for most sites.
Fewer and more focused features makes for software that works better, gets out of your way, lets you focus on the job at hand.
As you browse content management systems, resist the urge to choose the system that offers the longest feature list. There are some really powerful all-purpose systems out there that can create sites to do just about anything that you can imagine, but they come with correspondingly steep learning curves. The payoff in investing that time can certainly be worthwhile under the right circumstances. But if you don't care to spend lots of time learning the ins and outs of a complex system, seek out a package that's tailored to your specific needs and resources.
Choose the simplest system that meets your needs. In many cases, that very likely means choosing Big Medium. But not always...
Big Medium's software runs on your server, so you have to have a hosting account where you can install the software. If you don't have or want a server account, there are a variety of hosted content management systems (generally geared to personal sites and blogs) that might interest you and require pretty much zero technical knowledge:
Big Medium can produce blogs (I use it for mine), but there are several other software systems that are designed specifically for blogging. If you don't plan to create anything other than a blog, it makes sense to choose one of these blogging packages in the spirit of choosing the simplest system that meets your needs. In addition to the hosted solutions mentioned above, check out:
Big Medium is great for enabling collaboration (for example: an editorial team, a family, a school's faculty or the staff of a company), but it's not designed to give the general public editing access. Other systems are more targeted at community-contributed content:
Big Medium is structured to enable design flexibility and, in particular, to allow you to manage sites with your own unique, custom design. Other systems specialize in providing a wide range of canned design templates to choose from, though they're typically less flexible in allowing you to create your own custom layout. If a large library of prefab templates is important to you, check out the hosted solutions listed above, or:
Big Medium makes a lot of decisions for you about how it builds pages and the types of content those pages can include. These decisions are appropriate for a broad range of sites, and this means less configuration and setup for you. But hey, it's not a one-size-fits-all world; for developers who want complete control over crafting their own content schemas and templating systems, other systems provide flexible engines to let you crawl under the hood and build your own hot rod system. These solutions require technical confidence; programming know-how is helpful:
The best way to know is to give it a spin. Try it out and see if you like it.