Ayantek worked with The Rao Institute (TRI), an organization founded by best selling author Dr. Srikumar Rao, to build a new website promoting programs to help individuals discover their unique purpose for existence. The programs deal explicitly with issues such as developing personal values, ethics, integrity and achieving mastery. The TRI website was in need of a makeover in terms of branding, website structure and design as well as providing the ability for customers to view and register for scheduled program offerings. Ayantek took a creative approach to designing a new logo and color palette, which added tremendous value to the TRI brand. While thinking about a CMS platform for the TRI site, we considered WordPress at first because of the scale of the TRI site. But based on the level of customization that the TRI site required we selected the Bluetrain.io platform instead. Bluetrain.io was founded by Steffan Berelowitz, who has 20 years’ experience in the software space and agency world. The company just finalized its first iteration of their new cloud CMS platform. Their CMS streamlines how developers and marketers build and manage websites that can be designed for any screen or device – including mobile, tablet, and desktops. We believe that this platform is really going to benefit small to mid-size organizations now and would like to outline some advantages of using it.
Easy Learning Curve
Learning anything new involves a learning curve. We do have experience with WordPress and Drupal – but after a half-day training session with the folks at Bluetrain.io we learned that a CMS couldn’t be any easier. No loops, no variables, no method calls – It’s just like developing a static html site and then plopping a couple of so called ‘Liquid tags’ in there to define editable regions. Any junior front-end developer should be able to get up in speed in no time.
Setting-up the Work Environment is Simple
One of the great features about the new Bluetrain.io platform is that you don’t have to set up hosting environments – local machine, staging, production – that’s all managed through the Bluetrain.io cloud. As a workflow, you can either edit the files locally while their synchronization tool uploads the changes to the server in real-time or you can edit the files directly online. When you make changes, they won’t immediately be live and you can review them through their preview functionality. When everything is set you press a button and – voilà – it’s live! On the Bluetrain.io roadmap later this summer, will be the ability to create an environment (such as a new staging website) with one click. This is specifically helpful for experimenting or if you don’t want a bigger release to get in the way of daily operations. When your changes are ready to go you will be able to promote your changes into the main site. As for content editors, permissions can be set to only allow content editing with or without publishing rights, this way not everyone can fool around with your precious code. Of course this doesn’t stop you from having a code repository, but it protects from smaller annoyances.
Build what you want
The TRI website required some customized features. For example the ‘In the Media’ page on the TRI site required blocks for different types of media to look different. Normally, that kind of change would require a developer to write PHP or SQL, but the Bluetrain.io CMS made it easier. Setting up the data structure is a breeze using simple notation and automatically creates entry forms. The data can then easily be inserted into the target template. Data Structure Figure 1: shows a data field that’s automatically created when a developer defines a content model Data entry form Figure 2: shows the notation that saves developer time by automatically building data entry forms for users, no custom SQL required Target template Aside from the content model for structured data, the CMS also allows the creation of plugins that make it possible for content editors to insert custom data structures into the pages. Figure 3: Shows finished product of TRI ‘In the Media’ page – Made possible by an easy data structure set-up
Hosted on the Cloud + Competitive Pricing = Happiness
Another reason why we chose the Bluetrain.io platform is that the assets are hosted on the Amazon cloud, so there won’t be a bottleneck when page visits increase. Finally there is the pricing model. The service comes at a very attractive price. In fact you can host as many websites as you want for free if the total monthly page views per site don’t exceed 5,000 and with 10GB storage. The next pricing tier comes in at $20/month, allows up to 25,000 page views and 3 team members. There are more advanced packages available for enterprise websites as well, but this step already proves that small to mid-size business website can be hosted for only $20/month. As a comparison: WordPress hosting at Synthesis starts at $27/month. While Bluetrain.io is less expensive, the platform’s biggest financial benefit is the savings from faster development and ease of use. Bluetrain.io is a great solution for any small or middle market company, and they are adding features for more complex websites weekly. For more information about Bluetrain.io visit their website.
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