Development guidelines


Features of ideal site

  • Breadcrumbs (so you know where you are)
  • Sitewide search
  • Friendly URLS (like \foobar\baking-instructions\ instead of \foobar\node\?q=6)
    • (Interestingly, Alertbox has unfriendly URLs.)
  • Categories and tags for classifying information
    • Categories are more structured than tags
    • But even tags, ideally, can be structured in some way (so you don't end up with redundant tags like "music_old" and "music-old" and "oldmusic")
  • A good, dynamically generated sitemap
  • A CSS-based design that optimally:
    • Is lightweight enough to be fast
    • Puts content close to the top of the HTML page, for search-engine purposes
    • Degrades well for old browsers
    • Works on mobile devices
    • Works with a screen reader
    • Provides a print-friendly format
  • Comments

Usability resources

CSS tips and guidelines



General CMS requirements

Desirable features (apart from end-user features):

  • WYSIWYG editing
    • But with semantic HTML
  • Image uploading
  • Document uploading
  • Speed (both for the end user and for the content creator)
    • Requires some method of caching static HTML pages
  • Relative ease of installation
  • Ease of customization (colors, graphics, and layout)
  • Stability
    • In operation
    • Over time (i.e., sufficient user base and support)
  • Full-site backup and restore
  • Standards compliance
  • Low (i.e., zero) cost
  • Good reporting tools
    • Integration with Google Analytics
  • Spam-defense system for comments
  • Spell-checking

Other features to consider

  • Ability to easily generate printed analog to site 
    • Wikipedia has this feature in development
  • Ability to integrate outside content and gadgets
    • Google Sites has special functionality for integrating other Google things (video, docs, iGoogle gadgets)
(The mezzoblue/blueprint.css guy had a similar wishlist in 2004. He ended up with Movable Type.)

Search-engine optimization (SEO)


Site-speed optimization


Subpages (1): Frameworks and themes