So, I’m sitting around in Denver International Airport, on my way to speak at Gilbane SF, and I got to thinking about CMS admin interface customizations. In a lot of cases, this is what separates the men from the boys, in the CMS world.
Good systems let you customize to your heart’s content in a supported, elegant manner. Bad systems don’t – if you can do it at all, you have to go hack their code, and re-hack with every upgrade.
To give you an example of a system that was planned and built from the ground-up to be extended, I cataloged the ways EPiServer will let you customize their admin interface (all the ways I know about, anyway). I thought about writing them down, but then I realized that would never do it justice, and it’s hard to understand something you never seen.
So, I had a little screencapping party, and I spent about an hour mustering up all the wretched image editing skills I have (there’s not much, believe me). I now present you with an uber-screencap of some of the ways you can customize EPiServer’s admin interface.
I’m sure I missed some, but these are more than enough, believe me. Even if you don’t use EPiServer, this is a great example of what’s possible, and what systems should strive for.
There’s a larger principle at work here: good systems don’t say, “you can do X.” Instead, they say, “how can I give you the options you need to do X,Y, Z, and whatever else you might think up?”