Long gone are the days when you were forced to hard-code a new website for yourself. It’s just so much easier to invest in a powerful content management system, leaving the complex coding to the experts so you can focus your time on creating quality content and marketing your site to readers.
Many bloggers prefer using WordPress, but a more commercial application may want to look into something like Vivvo. This commercial-grade CMS serves as the subject of today’s review. By their own description, Vivvo has empowered “thousands of industry leading online newspapers, magazines, portals and media publishers.
A Look at the Final Product
Naturally, you can spend any amount of time you want on customizing the look of your website, but here is an example that was provided to me for the purposes of this review.
This kind of layout is perhaps best suited for an online magazine of some kind. In fact, when you look at the front page of Vivvo, you can see the faded out screenshot of what appears to be Cosmopolitan. Whether or not Cosmo actually uses Vivvo is unclear, but that gives you an idea of what you can expect from this CMS.
Among the features that you’ll find with Vivvo are the ability to publish both articles and static pages, photo galleries, event calendars, a commenting system, a WYSIWYG editor, drag and drop customizable menu elements, three styles of SEO-friendly URLs, bridges to integrate popular forum software, workflow approval system, and 100+ free plug-ins and widgets.
User Dashboard and Control Panel
Vivvo is designed to be both robust and easy to use. The user dashboard can look a little daunting to novices, but it’s reasonably straightforward to understand.
Along the top of the page, you find six different sections: dashboard, content, categories, files, users, and layout. Along the left is a sidebar with additional options and these change depending on the section of the control panel you are accessing.
From the main dashboard, you are immediately provided with at-a-glance metrics, a listing of yesterday’s top stories, and a highlighted box for comments requiring moderation. You also find quick links for adding new articles, reviewing pending articles, and viewing inactive members.
Article Management and Design Elements
Diving a little deeper into the Vivvo content management system, we find a section for managing the various articles that you have published on your site.
This appears to be more robust than WordPress, particularly when it comes to the search utility. You can look for keywords, filter by author, search by date, and so forth. This makes it easier to access articles from your archive.
Further still, each article has quick links (the three “buttons” to the far right) for accessing a preview, editing the article, and reviewing its individual statistics. The stats show number of comments, tags, total views, views today, ratings, and number of times the article was emailed to a friend.
While you could certainly code your own theme to use with Vivvo, the content management system is preconfigured with a good number of options for changing your site’s look and layout. From the “layout” section of the dashboard, you can choose your theme, as well as change the frame layouts for individual sections like categories, articles, topics, and tags.
Pricing and Plans
Offering “web publishing at your fingertips,” Vivvo is available in four different editions. The smallest package is the professional license, which allows for a single website at $295. Going up from there, you find the $395 business package and the $999 developer package. The enterprise package requires you to call in for a quote.
You can check out the pricing comparison chart to see further differences between the four editions. This is not the cheapest way to go — other CMS options like WordPress are free — but it may be more appropriate for a large commercial site.