CMS Africa Summit which was held at Strathmore University in Nairobi on 7th and 8th of March 2014 is a major rotating bi-annual event where some of the best brains and successful companies in Website Development and Content Management from across Africa meet professionals in delivering valuable advisories and hands-on insight into the intricacies of Web development and Content Management Systems.

The summit featured key speakers including some of the executives and founders from Joomla! WordPress, Drupal,  Magento and many more. Those in attendance were web developers, web analysts, software engineers, security companies, government agencies, international organizations, online marketers, online business owners and students across Africa.

 

Benson Wesonga from Fika Systems on Demystifying CMS

He talked about use of a CMS as a way to manage content in an organisation. He said that a good Enterprise Content Management System which should have the following components: Capture, Manage, Store, Deliver and Preserve information. A good system will which is user friendly can lead to minor training expenditure, extensive partner networks, large operative client database for an organisation.

 

Huston Malande from Skyline Design on User Interface design in CMS.

 He spoke about how the design of the CMS relates to the response of users to that system. He stated that design of the Interface should be an integral part in the process of developing a CMS as the system one chooses will have an impact on what one does in future.

Key points that he highlighted are that designers should have empathy for the client and users and try to tap into the vision of the client and where they are at. Creativity is also highly crippled by using templates so designers should try to develop their own templates that can allow them to be more creative. Lastly, that the time factor should always be considered this when taking on a project because time constraints can lead to poor work being done.

Brian Wangila from Skyline Design on Monetizing WordPress

He talked about why one should choose to work with WordPress:  it has easy installation, it has a simple and user friendly dashboard, it is highly customizable, it has a more relaxed learning curve, it has a great support and learning resources in that it has forums and blog tutorials and lastly there’s a plugin for almost everything. The advantages that he highlighted are: that WordPress allows people to use it even with limited knowledge of PHP; it also allows one to import content from any other CMS.

For developers, they can monetise WordPress by: making themes/designs based on functionalities which they can sell; do custom development work; do consulting and training and also venture into building SaaS (Software as a Service).

For bloggers, they can monetize by:  having premium content and paid memberships; doing advertising; they can write for blogs and get paid per article and also guest write.

 

Anthony Nandaa on PHP for Google App Engine

He said that scalability is one of the most important aspects of a system.  When building systems for the masses, one must think about the scalability or elasticity in that does it have the same resources to power robust products?  He gave an example of Google which has Google Search, Youtube, Gmail, Android, Playstore, etc. He talked about the components of the Google App Engine.  It has a Cloud SQL, it has Cloud storage, it has a memcache and also has task queues which you can give tasks you want done.

Paul Otieno from Silverball on Marketing SME’s

He used the theory that it takes a village to market ones SME in that how we run them is directly proportional to our past experience with our ‘villagemates’. Why? They are the custodians of stories, they also borrow and lend to each other and they also buy too, they protect their own, they do not only do good business but also do Business good, Social Currency can help one buy goods.

He gave tips on how to build better villages: one should always be in the know and that one should have a future focus to know what they will need in future.