The Deconstruction of CMS Report Begins

Screenshot of CMS Report

To take apart or examine in order to reveal the basis or composition of often with the intention of exposing biases, flaws, or inconsistencies.

Definition of deconstruct as defined by Merriam-Webster

In the Spring of 2016, should be celebrating its 10th anniversary as a niche website for the content management industry. For more than a decade now, I have been the site's owner, editor, and primary writer. Early on, I understood this site needed to do what most CMS related blogs didn't do at the time: treat open source CMS and proprietary CMS as equals. When you treat people and the communities/companies they represent fairly, good things happen and doors open. Through CMS Report I have had amazing access to some of the best web developers, marketers, content strategists, analysts, and senior executives the industry has to offer. Despite all this good fortune, I now find myself asking a simple question.

Is this website still needed?

During my tenure with CMS Report, we have published nearly 3500 articles with contributions from more than 300 different authors. At the website's peak, the site averaged 100,000 page views a month.When our readers demanded more than a blog from us, we partnered with Agility and transformed the property into a professional website running on Agility's own CMS. Once on the Agility platform, we caught the attention of vendors and service providers. On many occasions, I actually found myself turning away potential sponsors simply because we had no more banner space to sell.

Then 2015 arrived and what a brutal year it has been. For various reasons the site saw its revenue from advertisement drop significantly. Looking at it strictly from a business perspective, CMS Report's current business model is failing and changes are required to justify my continued investment in time and money for this site. I'm at the point in my life that I'm ready to shake things up even at the risk that this adventure concludes with me letting the website go.

After considerable thought, I've decided to deconstruct the website by tearing it apart, remove what doesn't work, and see if we have enough valued pieces left to continue our presence on the Web. I need to get to a point that I understand what new pieces need to be added in our content strategy and business model to make the website as successful in 2019 as it once was in 2009. The deconstruction process CMS Report will be undertaking will not only include our website's software and layout, but also our editorial policy, our advertising model, and whether the site should remain as a niche focused on content management.

What does this mean for you? Starting this month, in real time and online, you are going to see significant changes made to our website. This is deconstruction with real repercussions. The teardown and buildup of CMS Report will not be taking place on a staging server but on the production server. You most definitely can expect downtime and fewer articles published. By the Summer of 2016, we'll see if we still have a real website left or not and whether I want to continue to focus on the CMS market.

What does this mean for our site's contributors, sponsors, and partners? I'll answer this question in my next blog post as we begin this process. The article will be published next week and titled, "Phase 1 of Deconstruction: The Freedom to Fail".