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This is a list of frequently asked pre-purchase questions. If you're looking for answers to support questions, check out the Big Medium support FAQs.
Big Medium is a website editor (or "web content management system") that lets you manage entire websites from your browser.
For web designers, Big Medium offers design freedom and doesn't impose cookie-cutter layouts. If you bring basic to intermediate HTML/CSS know-how, Big Medium can manage just about any design you throw at it.
For editors and businesspeople, no HTML knowledge is required. Enter your text, images, podcasts and document downloads into Big Medium's web-based editor, and click "Save."
Publishing is a one-click process: When you save a page, Big Medium automatically updates your homepage and section/category pages to add links to your new page. If you move the page to a new location, Big Medium follows along, updating all of the links to that page.
Big Medium uses page templates to publish the page in your site's unique design, while still allowing each article to have its own individual design elements including images, documents, pullquotes, "email this article" links, "related info" links and more.
No need to touch HTML code, to chase down a busy webmaster, or to hire contract employees to make simple changes to your website. Big Medium makes it easy to do it all yourself.
A single installation of Big Medium can do this for hundreds of sites on the same server, allowing organizations to provide individual employees, teachers, or students with their own site.
The skills needed to use Big Medium vary according to your role in managing your site. Big Medium is typically installed and configured by a web designer before being handed to editors. Here are the typical roles and associated skills required:
Writing and editing. Adding and editing pages and other content to your site requires only basic word-processing and web-browsing skills.
Site design and customization. Creating your own custom design in Big Medium requires basic to intermediate knowledge of HTML and CSS. However, Big Medium does provide a modest library of built-in design themes, and using one of these themes requires no technical now-how.
System administration. Installation requires basic knowledge about loading files to your server and setting file permissions. (Never fear, the installation instructions are detailed and helpful.)
Check out "Is Big Medium Right for Me?" for details about Big Medium's strengths and weaknesses.
Big Medium scales easily for sites with thousands of pages and millions of monthly page views. Because Big Medium generates static HTML pages, instead of building every page each time it's requested, the system is gentle on your server and scales to handle very high levels of traffic.
Big Medium is $185 per server license. One license covers a single installation on one production server; one installation can be used to manage an unlimited number of sites with an unlimited number of editor accounts.
When you purchase Big Medium, you also receive a year of free upgrades. You can renew this service plan at any time for an additional fee (currently $59 per license). There's no obligation to renew the service plan; once you've purchased your license, you can continue to use the software as long as you like for no additional fees. If you want to update to the latest version, however, you will need to renew the service plan if it has expired.
Big Medium 2 is a free upgrade for registered users of Big Medium version 1.x. You can use your v1.x license number to activate your installation.
The complete license agreement is included in the Big Medium download package.
Yes. Enjoy Big Medium's full functionality for 30 days without spending a dime. After this trial period, Big Medium's administrative interface will stop working until you purchase a license and register the installation with your license code.
Yes. Big Medium is highly flexible, and you can create custom design templates to make your site look exactly as you wish. The software can handle an infinite variety of designs, bounded only by your own creativity. And it's easy to do: Because they are similar to HTML or XHTML pages, Big Medium's templates can be created quickly and with little effort.
This process does, however, require knowledge of HTML. Once the templates are configured, no knowledge of HTML is required to update and maintain sites managed by Big Medium.
Big Medium comes with a small handful of design themes to help you get started. Big Medium's emphasis, however, is on allowing you to implement your own custom design, and I don't plan to make prefab themes a major emphasis. If a large library of canned designs is important to you, check out some of the alternatives listed in "Is Big Medium Right for Me?".
Sorry, no. I don't currently offer original design services. If you're looking for a Big Medium-savvy designer, shoot me a note at email@example.com and I'll be happy to provide some referrals.
Yes. I offer a paid service that adapts an existing, complete HTML design into Big Medium templates. This service includes installing and configuring the templates; when I'm done, you can get straight to editing your site with your own unique look and feel.
The cost of this service varies according to the size and complexity of the design; fees typically range from $300-$600. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.
Yes. If your organization has made the important step of managing your site's layout with cascading style sheets (CSS) instead of tables, Big Medium makes that move right with you. (The Big Medium-powered site you're reading right now uses CSS for its design.)
Yes, Big Medium generates pristine, standards-compliant HTML or XHTML. As long as your design templates are themselves valid markup, all pages managed by Big Medium will be 100-percent compliant with W3C web standards.
Yes. Like nearly all sites on the web today, sites managed by Big Medium are organized into content sections, and if you choose, any section may be further divided into unlimited levels of subsections.
Yes. Big Medium allows you to create friendly URLs; article pages are named something like
man-bites-dog.shtml instead of
32234s?asdf=a324. These friendly URLs help to improve search engine placement on the included keywords. Big Medium also gives you complete control over the page titles and meta content and description fields of all pages. The software also generates search-engine sitemaps to help search engines find all of your site's content.
Yes. From an article's edit page, you can upload an unlimited number of images directly from your hard drive, specifying exactly where on the page you would like the image to appear. Once uploaded to your server, the image becomes part of a library of images can be reused by any page on your site.
Any page can include its own image gallery and slideshow.
Also, if your server has certain image libraries installed (see the system requirements page), Big Medium will automatically resize your images for you, generating thumbnails and other custom image sizes.
Yes, Big Medium does this automatically for you. Every site has its own RSS news feed and podcast.
Yes. In addition to organizing and managing content on your own site and server, Big Medium can also create and manage links to external sites, pages and documents.
No, but it works well with most banner ad management systems, including the popular OpenAds. If you choose OpenAds, you can place your ads using that system's various "remote invocation" methods.
Yes, just paste the Google ad code into your page templates where you would like the ads to appear.
No, but third-party software can easily run alongside Big Medium to add a forum to your site. Check out these popular software packages:
No. Big Medium is a Perl application that you run on your own server or web account. If you're specifically looking for a hosted service, I recommend a few in "Is Big Medium Right for Me?"
You have to install it on your own server or web hosting account.
Installation of the Big Medium software typically takes an hour or less. If you choose to use one of Big Medium's included design themes, you can have your website up and running in just a few minutes more.
If you want to configure Big Medium to manage your website in your own custom design, the setup can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The amount of time it takes to build the templates to generate pages in your specific website design varies according to the size and complexity of every website, as well as your familiarity with Big Medium's tools.
If you have never installed web scripts before, installing Big Medium may seem a bit daunting because it involves steps like setting file permissions. That said, the installation guide offers clear, step-by-step directions. In a nutshell: Upload the files to your server, set permissions and run the user-friendly setup wizard. If you've installed Perl or PHP web scripts before, Big Medium shouldn't prove much of a challenge.
Normally yes. See the system requirements for details.
Yes. Big Medium 2 has an import utility that lets you import your Big Medium 1.x sites into the new version's data format.
Big Medium 2 is a free upgrade for registered users of Big Medium 1.x whose service plan is still active. If your service plan has expired, you will be prompted to renew it when you upgrade. (Service-plan renewal currently costs $59 for an additional year.)
Big Medium runs on your web server. After it is installed there, it basically acts as a website that lets you manage other websites. This means that you can access Big Medium from any Internet-capable computer anywhere in the world.
Yes. Big Medium runs on nearly any hosted account. As long as your hosting service includes access to the CGI directory and permission to install your own scripts, you can install and use Big Medium on your shared (or "virtual") server. Review Big Medium's system requirements.
Big Medium is written in Perl. See the system requirements page for more technical details.
Big Medium doesn't use a database. It saves all of your data in text files on your server, which makes for easy installation and backups. See the system requirements page for more technical details.
Big Medium generates static
Check out the system requirements page for all the details.
Sorry, no. Each page needs to be entered individually into Big Medium's content editor. (If you are upgrading from Big Medium 1.x, however, Big Medium 2 does have an importer to convert your site for the new version.)
No. Sites managed by Big Medium may be used by any computer and browser. The pages generated by Big Medium may be viewed from all browsers for which your website was designed.
Yes. Big Medium allows you to create an unlimited number of login accounts, each with different access privileges to a specific set of websites managed by Big Medium on your server. This means that you can allow specific individuals from anywhere in the world to contribute to your site(s), and you can carefully control what they're allowed to do. User accounts may have one of five levels of privileges: writer, editor, publisher, webmaster or administrator.
There are no fees for additional users. Add as many as you like.
Yes. Accounts with writer or editor privileges cannot publish articles or edit published articles. Only accounts with publisher, webmaster or administrator privileges may do this. Unpublished articles, while not visible on the public site, may still be previewed and edited within Big Medium before being shared with your site's visitors.
Yes. Big Medium's code is open and unobfuscated.
Yes, as long as you do not redistribute the modified code without permission. Please be aware, however, that alteration of the Big Medium software is done at your own risk.
Big Medium is built with a modular design that allows Perl developers to add their own modules and custom features. I still need to pull together all of the documentation that spells out the API ("application programming interface"); I'm currently aiming to get this done for Big Medium 2.1.
No. A nod my way is always appreciated but not at all required.
Yes. You are welcome to change the graphics and layout of any of the Big Medium pages, provided that you keep intact the Global Moxie copyright information at the bottom of the administrative pages. You can change the look and feel by editing Big Medium's CSS style sheet.