Macromedia Contribute CMS

Macromedia Contribute gets a lot of good press as a CMS solution for small businesses. But is contribute really a legitimate option for your CMS needs? The answer is more complicated than you may think.

Macromedia Contribute, now known as Adobe Contribute, is a popular CMS solution for small businesses.

As a prepackaged alternative to high-end commercial CMS or open source CMS applications, Contribute value and functionality are hard to beat. At the same time, Contribute has limitations every small business owner needs to know about before they adopt it as their CMS solution. Here's the information you need to decide whether or not Contribute CMS is right for your web content management tasks.

Contribute Software Overview

Contribute is an Adobe-based software application that gives content authors the ability to create content directly on your company website. It has been designed to work well with most standard web environments and to accommodate existing HTML. Versioning and rollback features are useful editing tools that combine with WYSIWYG or HTML options to create a highly flexible web content environment.

Not surprisingly, Contribute also offers a convenient and easy to navigate user experience. The system allows users to create content according to predetermined content types and to view it through a handy cross-browser review feature. Editing can take place directly in the web browser. Owners and managers appreciate the fact that Contribute is designed to promote a collaborative publishing environment. Anyone in your organization can simply drag-and-drop images, documents, PDFs and other content into your site.

Advantages and Drawbacks

In addition to its simplicity, the other big advantage of Contribute is price. A simple, single-user license will only cost your company about $200 and a five-user pack can be purchased for about $800.

However, you should also know that Contribute is not a true CMS solution. In fact, some argue that Contribute is better described as a user-friendly authoring tool than as a CMS application. The difference is that Contribute is file-based while most CMS solutions are database driven. As a result, all the content created with Contribute is stored in HTML files. There is no separation between content and presentation, so it may be difficult to use your content for multiple purposes.

Other disadvantages of Contribute include the fact that it isn't scalable beyond the five-user discount. While other solutions offer a modular approach, Contribute is a packaged solution that can't be expanded beyond the purchase of additional user licenses.

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