Making a website for a major university comes with a few restrictions, like using their template and their servers. No problem. After developing a rough draft of the website on a test server of my own, I moved it over to the UVM servers without a problem and was able to access the database while I continued to develop the custom built content management system (CMS) that would interact with US Census data.
One of the bigger challenges was working with a new and developing product called DataZoa. This was the software that actually connected our website to US Census data. I needed to find a way to add automation to the process of adding data to the website, otherwise it would be an overly burdensome task. It was mostly for this reason I decided to create a custom CMS based on my previous SiteBuilder CMS. This way, I could control exactly how the information could be parsed and reconstructed as well as have complete control of the template.
It’s rare to have a need for a custom CMS because there is so much functionality either built into or on top of WordPress and Joomla. This was such a unique case and used emerging technology, that there wasn’t a decent alternative.