ocPortal 7: A CMS for custom social websites

ocPortal Site Tree Editor

This week ocProducts released version 7 of the Open Source CMS, ocPortal, making rapid improvements based on feedback from user testing.

ocPortal 7 builds on the user-experience work that has also driven the previous three releases, with the aim of making it easier to build highly sophisticated social web-sites that can be fully customized by regular users.

In addition to implementing user feedback, the developers have enhanced ocPortal further by optimizing how long the simplest common administration tasks take. These have now made things even easier, and more manageable, than in the past.

Specifically, ocPortal 7 has many improvements to the administration interfaces, with stream-lined choice of default site setup, instant AJAX-powered previews when you browse through content to manage, easy mass-adding of content, better Drag&Drop upload, improved search features, better cross-linking for quick navigation, and the ability to preview content to see how it would look on ocPortal's mobile output.

It is the view of the ocPortal developers that modern CMSs still make it far too hard to make sophisticated websites, where only professionals and a small group of hard-core users are capable of making things that have the crucial combination of being both custom and sophisticated. Rather than looking back at the age where people could make their own websites using Frontpage with a kind of neo-technical-elitism, the developers see an important challenge to combine all the kind of modern social features people need with an intuitive editing environment, while not compromising on important areas such as accessibility and standards-compliance.

Chris Graham, company director, said "We believe that activating your own particular choice of social features (such as forums or polls or wiki-functionality) and defining your own rich content and navigation should be achievable in minutes. Of course, certain web activities are inherently challenging (like writing sophisticated new CSS layouts and working in Photoshop), but this is no excuse to make other things harder than they need to be. Crucially though, we believe that this must be achievable without you losing the opportunity to build in more complex arbitrary customizations gradually over time as you require it, which purely SaaS (Software As a Service) solutions makes impossible."

ocPortal 7 is also the first established CMS to provide a response (according to Google searches) to the recent changes in EU cookie law, a law which affects a large proportion of web-sites.

For a full list of the 280 changes in ocPortal 7, see the official release announcement.

Additional Screenshots of ocPortal can be found below.