Deconstruction: The Freedom to Fail

After considerable thought, I've decided to deconstruct the website by tearing it apart, remove what doesn't work, and see if we have enough valued pieces left to continue our presence on the Web. I need to get to a point that I understand what new pieces need to be added in our content strategy and business model to make the website as successful in 2019 as it once was in 2009.

The Deconstruction of CMS Report Begins, Bryan Ruby, December 3, 2015

Earlier this month, I talked about putting CMS Report through a very public experiment. My plan is to teardown the website and start rebuilding on a live production server. For a few months, we're dropping the professional website we had with the Agility CMS in exchange for one that returns us back to its blog-like roots in both appearance and content. This is all being done to see if we can recapture our audience's attention, but admittedly, it comes with risks.

The deconstruction process CMS Report will be undertaking not only includes our website's software and layout, but also our editorial policy, our advertising model, and whether the site should remain as a niche focused on content management. I don't know where this road leads. However, I am a strong believer that the reward is greater for those willing to accept risk.

I'm willing to accept the risks of losing the site, but I'm not willing to takes risks on behalf of others. Currently, CMSReport.com's downtime translates into preventing our author's own articles from being shown, our sponsor's advertisement not being seen, and our service providers not getting paid. How can I have the freedom to fail at the same time not upsetting anyone who also invested their time and money into the site? The answer is simple. I'm not making any promises for the next couple months that we'll have a functioning site.

From now through February 15, 2016, this is what you can expect from us:

  1. This week we will continue to migrate our website from the Agility CMS (fantastic people behind this company) to a slimmed down version on the Drupal CMS. After 10 years of accumulating content, I decided to remove over 2000 published articles from the website. What remains is our "top 1500" articles. If you have a favorite article that has been deleted, let me know in the comments section and I'll republish the article.
  2. We will soon be removing all paid banner advertisement from CMSReport.com until a review of our advertising model is complete. As a revenue replacement to banners, we are considering paid content (with full disclosure required) as an option but that decision hasn't been finalized.
  3. We are putting a hold on routine publishing of articles until a review of our editorial policy is complete. You may still submit articles to our website or to me directly for review, but I'm not making promises the support/workflow for publishing your article will be adequate until deconstruction is complete. 

So begins our journey into an inevitble mix of failures and successes. Between now and the new year, we will be focused on completing our migration to Drupal and monitor what these changes will do to our website. With regards to search engine optimization, what happens when you delete two-thirds of the website's articles? I'm very curious to find out the answer to this question. Aren't you curious?

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