SilverStripe 4 – what marketers and digital managers need to know
SilverStripe is a robust and simple to use content management system (CMS), relied upon by government, corporates and SME’s across New Zealand to establish and maintain websites and web applications. The CMS enables the creation of a web application without having to conform to rules and constraints of other systems. This level of flexibility is about to be stepped up with the soon to be launched SilverStripe 4, now in Beta.
To really take advantage of the new features, it’s worth considering a digital partner that’s best placed to support and enhance your existing website while also helping you build your future digital platform. The same applies if you are considering a redesign of your website, or even aiming to move from an existing CMS.
This blog summarises the benefits and features of SilverStripe 4 for marketers and digital managers, and highlights the importance of choosing the right partner company who will help develop and deliver digital projects.
Benefits and features of SilverStripe 4
SilverStripe 4 offers a number of improvements. For content managers, improvements in the CMS user interface (UI) will make maintaining your website much easier. The CMS UI has been further simplified to work in smaller screens, including an expandable mobile menu which leaves more room for editing interfaces on mobile screens (enabling quick edits on the go).
With the new ‘campaigns’ feature, content changes can be tracked in draft form by multiple users prior to publication. This is ideal for large or distributed teams that work with agencies or teams comprising both marketing and product owners who edit websites. The ‘campaigns’ feature also means that batches of content can be prepared to go live at specific times. This is ideal for when digital channels need to be aligned with other marketing platforms outside of the website.
Another useful feature of SilverStripe 4 is that images and documents are now able to be held in a versioned stage before they go live. In the past, only pages were able to be staged before publication. Now images and other assets can be held in a draft stage while being approved whereas, previously an altered image was updated and viewed by live users immediately.
As a further example, you can update multiple content changes at the same time, ensuring that your campaigns go live in a syncronised fashion with the push of a button. Previously, it was a significant logistical exercise to ensure that all your content and graphics were ready, and to make them live one by one.
Helping you decouple your CMS and content
The concept of headless or decoupled CMS is becoming more and more common as people look to deploy the same content across multiple channels, in different guises. SilverStripe 4 is built with the future in mind, focusing on delivering your digital content via multiple channels using best practice APIs. To find out more about how a headless CMS works, check out our article on headless CMS here
Are you up-to-date?
If you don’t know what version of SilverStripe your website is built on, now is a good time to ensure that you’re up to date as:
- SilverStripe 3.4 and earlier versions will no longer be supported and existing vulnerabilities will not be reported and fixed.
- The further your CMS falls behind, the more costly and difficult it will be to upgrade and fix security issues. You will also be missing out on all the features mentioned above.
- Over time, older versions of technologies will not be supported and CMS is no exception.
In a nutshell, if you have the most up to date version, your provider will support you.
Finding the right support to harness SilverStripe’s new features
We understand that to remain competitive, your business’s digital properties have to be made available to customers around the clock.
Having one of the most extensive Enterprise Support functions in New Zealand, Solnet is ideally placed to provide you with ongoing support when it comes to hosting SilverStripe or CWP-based websites and properties.
In addition, when your requirements gobeyond a static website, for instance eCommerce, digital transactions, and connecting to legacy databases, Solnet can assist with the integration of SilverStripe and CWP into the rest of your technology stack.
Being SilverStripe and CWP experts, we use our enterprise grade support packages to not only build and deliver website projects but we can also assist with other digital technologies that people want to integrate to build superior experiences for their customers.
Talk to us about your support and hosting to keep your systems available and continuously enhanced
A senior Software Engineer based in our Wellington office, James works across complex enterprise projects for both government and corporate clients. With a wealth of software experience built up over more than 20 years in the IT industry, James has worked with several well-known New Zealand corporates and educational providers helping them manage technologies such as infrastructure services, PHP, Oracle, Angular JS and various CMS platforms. He is deeply involved in the New Zealand open-source community, helping to develop the GraphQL module for SilverStripe 4.