Online Publication Models
Digital Publication Platforms

Content Strategy 2021
Eric Eggert

Range of publication options

  • Self-publication
  • CMS-based publication
  • Publication on 3rd-parties, for example social media, blogging platforms, …

All have benefits & weaknesses!

Self-publication

HTML, CSS, JavaScript are sent to the server

Sending to the server

  • by uploading source (HTML/CSS) files.
  • using SFTP.

Example: Uberspace

Example: GitHub Pages

CMS-based publication

CMS = Content Management System

Static CMS vs. dynamic CMS

Static CMS

  • Creates static HTML pages from templates that can be uploaded to a(nother) server.
  • Usually direct editing of plain-text CMS content files.
  • Examples: Jekyll, Eleventy (11ty)

Dynamic CMS

  • Assembles the pages on demand from templates/fragments and content.
  • Provides a user interface to edit content on the website.
  • Examples: Wordpress, Kirby, Typo3, Contao, …

Advantages

Static CMS
  • Good performance
  • Regular consistent deployments
  • Choice of editing tools
  • Easy to add functionality (=PERF)
Dynamic CMS
  • Content easy to edit
  • Directly visible changes
  • Consistent user interface
  • Easy to add functionality (⬇️ PERF)

Examples

Static CMS

W3C/WAI Tutorials

Dynamic CMS

yatil.net

Owning your own domain & webspace

Usually your own domain means that you decide what happens: Avoid user tracking, use all plugins that you like, you have one address for people to go to.

GeoCities logo GeoCities

Huge free web hosting services.

Founded in 1995.
Acquired by Yahoo! in 1999 for $3.57B.
Closed in 2009.

Public pages saved by the Internet Archive.

This is fifteen years and decades of man-hours of work that you’re destroying, blowing away because it looks better on the bottom line.

Jason Scott

We are losing a piece of internet history. We are losing the destinations of millions of inbound links. But most importantly we are losing people’s dreams and memories.

Geocities dies today. This is a bad day for the internet. This is a bad day for our collective culture.

Jeremy Keith

GeoCities is an awful, ugly, decrepit mess. And this is why it will be sorely missed. It’s not only a fine example of the amateur web vernacular but much of it is an increasingly rare example of a period web vernacular. GeoCities sites show what normal, non-designer, people will create if given the tools available around the turn of the millennium.

Phil Gyford

This still happens:

  • Posterous † April 2013
  • App.net † March 2016
  • Vine † January 2017
  • Path † October 2018
  • Google+ † April 2019
  • Periscope † March 2021
  • Yahoo! Answers † May 2021

3rd-party publishing

Not everyone comes to your website

You have to go where your customers are!

There are two models:

  • POSSE: Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere
  • PESOS: Publish Elsewhere, Syndicate (to your) Own Site

Canonical URL

  • Defines what the address of the article or web resource is, even if it is hosted elsewhere.
  • Helps with SEO deduplication.
  • If properly implemented (for example on Medium), it means that even if the service goes away, search engines still have links to your domain.

Also think about accessibility with 3rd-parties!

3rd-party tools often have bad support for accessibility features, although that’s getting better. For example, Twitter allows captions and alternative text.